chap1b - Geographic Information Systems IDRISI ILWIS ARC/...

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IDRISI ILWIS ARC/ INFO GIS SOFTWARE Geographic Information Systems PEOPLE POLICY AND PROCEDURES FOR RESOURCE MANAGEMENT DATA HARDWARE
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Evolution of GIS Ÿ revolution in information technology - Computer Technology - Remote Sensing - Global Positioning System (GPS) - Communication Technology Ÿ rapidly declining cost of computer hardware Ÿ enhanced functionality of software
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The Philosophy of GIS GIS has had an enormous impact on virtually every field that manages and analyses spatially distributed data. For those who are unfamiliar with the technology, it is easy to see it as a magic box. The speed, consistency, and precision with which it operates is truly impressive. Moreover, its strongly graphic character is hard to resist. However, the experienced analyst sees the philosophy of GIS quite differently. With experience, GIS becomes simply an extension of one’s own analytical thinking. The system has no inherent answers, these depend upon the analyst. It is a tool, just like statistics is a tool. It is a tool for thought. Investing in GIS requires more than an investment in hardware and software. Indeed, in many instances this is the least of concerns. Most would also recognize that a substantial investment needs to be made in the development of the database. However, one of least recognized an most important investments is in the analysts who will use the system. The system and the analyst cannot be separated to put it simply, one is an extension of the other.
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In many ways, learning GIS involves learning to think - learning to think about patterns, about space, and about processes that act in space. As you learn about specific procedures, they will often be encountered in the context of specific examples. In addition, they will often have names that suggest their typical application. But resist the temptation to categories these routines. Most procedures have much more general applications and can be used in many novel and innovative ways (Idrisi Student Manual) The proliferation of GIS is explained by its unique ability to assimilate data from widely divergent sources, to analyze trends over time, and to spatially evaluate potential environmental impacts caused by development. Such advances in information technology have provided governments with the means to address the requirements of spatial data management in developing countries. As the technology becomes widely adopted throughout the world, there are signs that its functions are gradually changing from those of data collection and analysis to the promotion of visualization, incorporating a variety of existing data sources and new techniques such as multimedia and video. These techniques will ensure that the data, and in particular geo-reference information, become more accessible to non-technical audiences.
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Why GIS?
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chap1b - Geographic Information Systems IDRISI ILWIS ARC/...

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