Geographical Information System (GIS)

  • The word spatial is derived from the word space. The spatial information technology refers to the features and phenomena distributed over a geographically definable space. The Spatial Information Technology relates to the use of technological inputs in:
    1. Collecting
    2. Storing
    3. Retrieving
    4. Displaying
    5. Manipulating
    6. Managing, and
    7. Analysing the spatial information
  • Thus, we get to know that Spatial Information Technology is an amalgamation of the following:
    1. Remote Sensing
    2. GPS (Global Positioning System)
    3. GIS (Geographical Information System)
    4. Digital Cartography, and
    5. Database Management Systems


  • GIS is an amalgamation of Computer Assisted Cartography and Database Management System. It draws conceptual and methodological strength from spatial and allied sciences. We can say that, GIS is a collection of tools to build, maintain and use electronic maps and the associated databases. It is layered mapped information in a computer to help us view our world as a system and not in isolation.
  • GIS is a useful tool in locating the following:
  1. Physical infrastructure like, water and sewer pipes
  2. Areas, like land use
  3. Incidents, like crime statistics
  4. Quantities or densities, like disease mortality rate
  • GIS has many features that give it an edge over the maps. We can easily retrieve the attribute information of the displayed spatial features. With the help of GIS, maps can be drawn by querying or analyzing the attribute data.
  • Spatial operations can also be applied on an integrated database to give a new set of information.
  • The following sequence of activities is involved in

GIS related work:

  1. Spatial Data Input
  2. Entering of the Attribute Data
  3. Data Verification and Editing
  4. Spatial and Attribute Data Linkages
  5. Spatial Analysis

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  • Q1

    What does ‘resolution’ mean in GIS?


    Raster images are made up of squares or cells called pixels. The number of cells across the width and height of the image is called ‘resolution’.

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  • Q2

    What are the important components of a Geographic Information System?


    Hardware, software, data and people are the important components of a Geographic Information System.

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  • Q3

    What does the term ‘GIS’ stand for?


    The term GIS stands for Geographic Information System. It is used for capturing, storing, integrating, analysing and displaying spatial data.

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  • Q4

    What do you mean by the term ‘spatial’?


    It refers to the distribution of the features and the phenomena over a geographically defined space.

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  • Q5

    Define DBMS.


    DBMS stands for Database Management System, which deals with the principles and methods of data processing.

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