Geographic Information Systems GIS Software
1. The Early GISs • SURFACE II, by Kansas Geological Survey • SYMAP, by Harvard Laboratory for Computer Graphics and Spatial Analysis
SURFACE II • Surface III displays of three-dimensional, single-valued surfaces • The input to Surface III is a text file containing X-Y-Z data points. The program will create a matrix of rows and columns describing the surface. The gridding methods include distance-weighted averaging, polynomial fitting, and Universal kriging, Etc.
SURFACE II • The software can create several kinds of maps contour maps three-dimensional fishnet diagrams color-filled contours data-point postings • Grids can be added, subtracted, multiplied, or divided by one another (grid-to-grid operations)
SYMAP • Developed as general-purpose mapping package beginning in 1964 • Output exclusively on line printers • Poor resolution, low quality • Limited functionality but simple to use
SYMAP .. • A way for non-cartographers to make maps • First real demonstration of ability of computers to make maps • Sparked enormous interest in a previously unheard-of technology
2. Major GIS Software Packages • ArcGIS, Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) • Autodesk MapGuide, Autodesk Inc. • GRASS, Open Source Geospatial Foundation (OSGeo) • IDRISI, Clark University Graduate School of Geography • MapInfo, Pitney Bowes Business Insight • Maptitude, Caliper Corporation • Geomedia, Intergraph Corporation
ArcGIS (ARC/INFO) • A long lived, full function GIS • With hundreds of sophisticated tools for map automation, data conversion, database management, map overlay and spatial analysis, interactive display and query graphic editing, and address geocoding • A relational database interface • Changed to object-oriented design in version 8+ in the late 1990s
Autodesk Map • Built on the capabilities of AutoCAD, Autodesk inc. • Extensively used in planning, engineering, and architecture • Supports topology, Oracle and SQL query, and grids/images • Extensive tools for coordinate conversion, map editing and digitizing • Allows an open architecture • http://usa.autodesk.com
GRASS • Geographic Resources Analysis Support System • The first Unix based GIS, using raster data • It is a free software with an open architecture • Started by the U.S. Army - Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (USA-CERL), now run by OSGeo foundation
Grass 6.0 Features • New Vector Engine (geometry) • Volume visualization • Vector network analysis http://grass.itc.it/grass60/index.php
IDRISI • A not-for profit operation (School of Geography, Clark University) • A raster GIS, with an open architecture • Image processing and spatial statistical analysis • Time-series analysis, spatial decision support, uncertainty analysis, fuzzy analysis
MapInfo • Start out as a less than full-blown GIS • Data ready • Suited to economic, political, cultural, industrial applications • Geomarketing • Site location analysis
Maptitude • Related to TransCAD, GIS-Plus GIS, Caliper Corp • Transportation-oriented GIS package • Come with geocoded and system-ready data • Allow creation and maintenance of database, analysis of geographic relationship, and map display • http://www.caliper.com/tcovu.htm
Geomedia • A layer based GIS • With a set of modules for different functions • There are additional extensions for land information, parcel management, public works, and transportation • Maintains topologically clean data without building topology • Use Orical and SQL for attribute data
3. Picking up a GIS Software • Cost • Training • Manual • User support group • Software maintenance That is all well and good, but, but does it come with a remote?
4. Readings • Keith Clarke, 2003, Getting Started with Geographic Information Systems, 4th edition, Prentice Hall.