GIS is Dead. Long live GIS - Essay Example

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Name of the of the Concerned Professor Geography 12 March 2012 GIS is Dead, Long Live GIS To put it simply, Geographic Information Systems happen to be such computerized systems, which allow for a variegated processing of geographically referenced data, are they storage, display, analysis, manipulation or retrieval (Longley et al…
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Download file to see previous pages 161). Still, there is no denying the fact that GIS do happens to be a relatively young field. It is a different matter that the antecedents of GIS could be traced back to hundreds of year, in the disciplines of mapping and cartography (Pacione 1999). In a technological context, GIS came to life at sometime in the 60s (Davis 2007). Hence, in an academic context, it is really interesting to trace the development and origins of GIS. The eventual development of GIS happened to be the result of the interest evinced by some key companies, groups and individuals backed by the prompt emergence of key concepts (Monmonier 1998). The onset of computer technology accompanied by commensurate developments in graphics and hardware gave way to much change in the cartographic analysis (Wood & Demko 1999). This was followed by the emergence of many theories of spatial processes, as resorted to by regional science, anthropology and social and economic geography (Weiner 1999, p. 164). This led to a trend towards the integration of varied informational dimensions in a spatial context. Canada Geographic Information System happens to be an apt example of the earliest form of GIS, which emerged in the 60s (Kuper & Kuper 2004, p. 416). The development of the Canada Geographic Information System certainly furnished valuable technical and conceptual contributions. The primary purpose of this system was to analyze the information garnered by the Canada Land Inventory and to produce the requisite statistics for contriving land management plans pertaining to the big tracts of rural Canada (Reilly & Rahtz 1992, p. 89). This led to the CLI preparing maps having seven primary map layers (Reilly & Rahtz 1992, p. 89). Certainly, this necessitated the development of multiple new and costly technologies based on the perception that once the data input is taken care of, the computers could readily accomplish a complex analysis (Reilly & Rahtz 1992). The CGIS led to the emergence and recognition of some key ideas that were to impact the GIS technologies of the future. Following Canada Graphic Information Systems, further development of GIS could be traced to Harvard Laboratory for Computer Graphics and Spatial Analysis (Chrisman 2005). This saw the coming into existence of general purpose mapping software, which was widely distributed and which contributed immensely to the building up of an application base for GIS (Chrisman 2005). This led to the creation of subsequent Harvard Packages like SYMAP, CALFORM, SYMVU, GRID, PLOYVRT, ODYSSEY, with each package being more robust and efficient as compared to the previous ones (Chrisman 2005). In the context of the development of GIS, the Federal Bureau of the Censuses do deserves a noticeable mention. It was the Federal Bureau of the Censuses that recognized the need to assign the data collected by it to correct geographical locations. This led to the recognition of the need for a comprehensive and holistic approach towards census geography. Consequently, the 1970 census happened to be the first geocoded census of its kind and DIME files happened to the central component of this approach towards geocoding (Chrisman 2005). This led to the emergence of the atlases comprising of computer generated maps attributing the select statistical variables to select locations (Chrisman 2005). The British experience with GIS though shared some similarities with the North American experience, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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