Stages in GIS Development (Especially for GATE-Geospatial 2022)

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Key Role Players in GIS

Here are some of the key role players in GIS, interplay of these help in solving GIS problems.

  • Databases
  • Computer mapping
  • Remote sensing
  • Programming
  • Geography
  • Mathematics
  • Computer aided design
  • Computer science

4 Phases of Growth

Basics of GIS developed during 1950s and 60s with growth from Computer cartography.

  • Phase 1: 1960s to 1970s: New discipline with few individuals – future research and development
  • Phase 2: 1970s to 1980s: Adopt technologies and develop software
  • Phase 3: 1980s to 1990s: Commercial marketing of the software
  • Phase 4: 1990s onwards: Improve usability of technology
Development of GIS in Various Years and Decades

Origin and Need for GIS

  • 1854: Cholera hit London, England. John Snow (Father of Epidemiology) started mapping outbreak areas, water lines and more. This was the beginning of spatial analysis & GIS as problem solving tool

Era of Static Paper Mapping

  • Before 1960 maps were simple and made on paper
  • Sieve Maps: Transparent layers on light tables to identify areas of overlap
  • Major issue was handling the data and coarse information
  • This problem incentivized development of computer mapping

Era of Revolutionary GIS

  • From 1960 to 1980՚s was the period of rapid developments in the field of GIS
  • 1968: Roger Tomlinson first used the term “Geographic Information System” in his publication “A Geographic Information System for Regional Planning” .
  • Layer system were adopted to handle maps
  • GIS provided accurate and relevant data for land planning and decision making
  • 1970 witnessed digital input of US census data in GBF-DIME (Geographic Base File – Dual Independent Map Encoding) format
  • GBF-DIME format supported digital data input, error fixing and even choropleth mapping
  • Still at this time GIS was used only by few national agencies across world

Era of Software Commercialization

  • Mid 1970՚s: 1st vector GIS called ODYSSEY GIS developed
  • 1975: 1st GIS meeting in UK
  • Late 1970՚s: Memory size and graphic capabilities improved
  • 1981: 1st ESRI conference with 18 participants
  • Cartographic software, GIMMS (Geographic Information Making and Management Systems) , MAPICS, SURFACE, GRID, IMGRID, GEOMAP and MAP released
  • ESRI became the largest GIS software company of the world
  • 1982: ArcInfo for minicomputers was released
  • 1986: PC ArcInfo was released with Intel microprocessor

Era of Increasing User Base

  • GIS become cheaper, faster & efficient method
  • Improved with launch of new satellites & integration of remote sensing techniques
  • Introduced to classrooms and companies
  • GIS softwares could now handle both raster and vector data
  • GPS led to great innovative products like car navigation systems and unmanned aerial vehicles

Era of Open Source

  • Now GIS data can be as large as terabytes not megabytes
  • Some of the common GIS open source data include TIGER data, Landsat satellite imagery and LiDAR data
  • ArcGIS online has numerous spatial data accounts
  • QGIS is gaining momentum now
  • This provides public with GIS data free of cost

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