GIS_overview_watershedinst - Overview of GIS Andrew Rowan...

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Overview of GIS Andrew Rowan, Ph.D. Director The GIS Center at Stony Brook
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Overview of GIS: Outline Introduction: What is GIS? Software Options Finding the Data
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Introduction
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What is GIS? GIS = Geographic Information System What is it? The cocktail party answer: maps on a computer. But really much more. G + IS: Geographic/Spatial info, backed up with a database of attributes Ties together disparate info sources, provides new ways to use them
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Not Just a Drawing, a Database WHERE it is Each object drawn as a point, line, or polygon Locations stored in X,Y coordinates referenced to a common coordinate system WHAT it is Every feature has a corresponding record in a database describing it “Layers” of information stored separately but used together
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Where it is/What it is
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Where What is? What is the “it”? ANY information that is associated with a location can be used in GIS Physical objects: houses, streets, fire hydrants, rivers, landfills, etc. Characteristics of the land: soil type, geology, elevation, etc. Human factors: governmental boundaries, property ownership, demographic info, crime events, pizza orders, etc. Usually you start out knowing one (what or where) and ask the system to show you the other
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Four Major GIS Functions Data Capture – keying in, digitizing, scanning, converting Data Storage and Manipulation – File management, editing, documentation Data Analysis Data Display – maps, reports, interactive displays
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Database Queries Query “from the map”: starting with a location, GIS gives you information about what is there
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Database Queries Query “to the map”: you specify WHAT you are looking for, GIS tells you WHERE it occurs
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