Introduction of GIS Operations: Spatial and Attribute Operations (Especially for GATE-Geospatial 2022)

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Geographical Information System (GIS) is difficult to use that it takes some expertise to handle them, and it is not unusual to assess a whole year until an operation master a GIS.

By analyzing current GIS user interfaces and omitting all those operations that are due to either the historic development of a software package.


This approach considers the functions which GIS can perform. Data analysis in GIS is closely related to the data model (vector data model and raster data model) . Both the vector and raster data types are used for spatial information.

Types of GIS Data

Spatial and Attribute Data

  • Spatial data (where)
    • Specifies location
    • Stored in a shape file, geodatabase, or similar geographic file
  • Attribute (descriptive) data (what, how much, when)
    • Specifies characteristics at that location, natural or human-created
    • Stored in a data base table
    • It is information that is additional to geographical location (spatial Data) . E. g. Names, descriptions, labels, statistics, measurements, categories, codes, dates, symbology.

GIS systems traditionally maintain spatial and attribute data separately, then β€œjoin” them for display or analysis for example, in ArcView, the Attributes of table is used to link a shapefile (spatial structure) with a data base table containing attribute information in order to display the attribute data spatially on a map

Types of GIS Operations

The fundamental classes of operations performed by a GIS have been characterized as map algebra operations, in which the processing operations are considered as like the mathematical operations. There are main two types of GIS operations:

  • Spatial operations, these can be Vector or Raster
  • Attribute operations can be Joining table or Relating table
Types of GIS Operations

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