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The Evolution of GIS - Essay Example

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This paper explores the evolution of the Geographic Information System or sometimes referred to as GI System. This covers more than twenty years of development, beginning in the 1970s until the present. The process reflects the rate and type of changes that transpired previously. …
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The Evolution of GIS
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The Evolution of GIS

terature on this subject, it is clear that these two are the core components of the system and the manner by which they rapidly evolve has driven the pace by which GIS has changed and will change over time. This is supported by the evidences that follows. Essentially, GIS is defined as “the system of computer hardware, software, personnel, organizations, and business processes designed to support the capture, management, manipulation, analysis, modeling and display of spatially referenced data” (TRB, p.10). As with any type of computing technology, the GIS's own system is consisted of three basic parts, namely, the UI or the user interface, the tools, which is differentiated according to functions, and, finally, the data manager. Put in another way, the components of the system can be said to include data, technology, application and humans (Lloyd and Bunch, 2003, p.828). All of which have their respective and equally important functions. While the GIS could run in a single computer terminal, the optimum framework requires several computers for GIS operations - desktop, client server, centralized desktop and centralized server (Longley et al. 2005, p.158). These variables and operational framework underscore why hardware and software are critical in the progression of the GIS development. Hardware The invention of the silicon chip back in the 1970s launched the fast paced computer development (Pasewark and Pinard, 2007, p. 263). It led to the viability of personal computers, which became the precursor of the current technology typified by smaller, faster, powerful and cheap hardware. To put this environment in context, there is the so-called Moore’s Law which states that computer processing chips double in power almost every 18 months, making computer more...
Thi essay stresses that the evolution of the GIS system can be attributed to several important technological developments. First, there are the advances in computing hardware, which made computers affordable and powerful. Today, many people and organizations can buy desktop systems not just in workplaces but even for home use. These are computers that can perform complicated tasks and functions with apparent ease.
This report makes a conclusion that in order to depict the significance of the evolution of GIS in the past twenty years, it is important to go back to the importance of geographic information. Accurate and reliable geographic data do not only mean effective geographic expeditions or land mapping initiatives. Rather, they are imperative in many other endeavors such as in running a city or in predicting a catastrophe. This is the reason why GIS is an important technological tool and how its evolution should be of interest for people. In the past twenty years, there were significant achievements and the evolutionary path points to a more sophisticated and intuitive system that would help people to make sense not just of the Earth but also beyond. It is worth noting that today there are just numerous geographies or approaches to geography. One of GIS’ greatest contributions, as evidenced by its evolution, is the universalization and consistency of geographic information. ... Read More
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