Geographic Information Systems Essay, Research Paper

Strategic Planning and Management Through The Application of Computer Technology

On the walls of caves near Lascaux, France, Cro-Magnon huntsmans drew images of the

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animate beings they hunted 35,000 old ages ago. Associated with the carnal drawings is a map ;

path lines and runs thought to picture migration paths. These early records followed the

two-element construction of modern geographic information systems: a in writing file linked to

an attribute database. The map has been in being in much the same signifier for 1000s

of old ages. In the traditional signifier it suffers from a figure of jobs. First, maps are

inactive and hence hard and expensive to maintain up to day of the month. This leads to a 2nd

job, in that because they are inactive they lose flexibleness, for illustration, maps exist as

distinct sheets and necessarily your country of involvement prevarications on the corner of four adjacent

sheets. In add-on maps are frequently really complex and may necessitate an expert to pull out the

peculiar informations which are of involvement. Geographic Information Systems ( GIS ) can be

regarded as the enhanced, hi-tech equivalent to maps. An single computing machine generated

map contains information that is used in different ways by different persons and

organisations. It represents the agencies of turn uping ourselves in relation to the universe around

us. Maps are used in diverse applications ; from turn uping telephone wires and gas brinies

under our streets, to exposing the extent of de-forestation in the Brazilian Amazon. From

a direction point of position, accurate and relevant information provides the key to

effectual determination devising. In today & # 8217 ; s modern societies, determinations should be made rapidly

and based on dependable informations and sound processes even though there are many differing

point of views to see and a big sum of information to procedure. Nowadays, the

impact of determinations is of all time greater, frequently because they involve struggles between society

and persons, or between development and saving. Due to this, information should

hence be readily available to decision-makers. Without uncertainty, during the past few

old ages, the drastic addition in entree to computing machines has altered our planning patterns.

Planners that specialize in the application of computing machine engineering to planning and

planning-related issues are concerned with bettering the important procedure of

decision-making by supplying up-to-date information and new methods for looking and

analysing physical, societal, and economic informations. In bend, Geographic Information Systems

and other similar new engineerings are invariably and constructively altering the manner we

position our physical environment, leting contrivers to at the same time analyze the physical,

societal, and economic composing of geographic countries based on such high-tech maps. The

aim of this essay is to analyze and show the benefits offered by Geographic

Information Systems, as a cost-efficient managerial tool, to strategic planning and

direction within all industries. Before get downing, the undermentioned subdivision provides a

brief overview of the basic constructs and maps of a GIS. Concepts & A ; Functions of

Geographic Information Systems Even though legion efforts have been made to

find the exact definition of a GIS, rarely to theoreticians straight relate it to the

strategic issue of be aftering and direction. Nevertheless, the followers is a instead

successful effort of making a full, good balanced and precise definition: & # 8220 ; A system of

hardware, package, and processs designed to back up the gaining control, direction,

use, analysis, patterning and show of spatially-referenced informations for work outing

complex planning and direction problems. & # 8221 ; ( NCGIA talk by David Cowen, 1989 ) .

A primary benefit of a GIS is that it integrates, in a generic mode, informations and information

that may be scattered throughout an organisation, in different sections and on

different paperss. But it is the ability to incorporate common database operations such as

question and statistical analysis with the alone visual image and geographic analysis benefits

offered by maps which distinguishes GIS from other information systems and makes it

valuable to a broad scope of public and private endeavors for explicating events, foretelling

results, and be aftering schemes. More significantly, GIS offers determination shapers at

assorted degrees the capableness of incorporate and coordinated planning, efficient coordination

of building, and development of preventive and everyday care plans on

the footing of dependable informations and long-range programs. The GIS serves users on four degrees:

Basic: archive or file for accessing up-to-date and dependable information on the assorted

elements in the system. Planning: accessing informations for planning at all degrees of item, from

conceptual planning to detailed design. Management: decision-making at all degrees of

direction, from strategic to operational. General: collection of information for

concerns. At senior direction degrees, GIS serves as an indispensable assistance to policy

definition and control of high precedence and critical parts, and aids in determination devising

with regard to planning and development on different clip skylines, and in the

immediate, intermediate and long scope. Generally speech production, a Geographic Information

System links spacial information ( CAD ) to alphameric information ( database ) & # 8211 ; to

bring forth a geographically referenced database. GIS package allows the user to roll up,

edit, analyze, and expose this information, which are stored in the undermentioned three ways: 1.

Points: location of electric and telephone poles, fire water faucets, traffic visible radiations etc. 2. Lines:

informations defined topologically in a web or linear, such as H2O grapevines, route center lines,

communicating webs etc. 3. Polygons: closed countries, each with its ain distinct

features such as parcellation, land usage, surface screen, structures etc. A Geographic

Information System can be divided into two basic types of informations: in writing and non-graphic.

Graphic informations, which are digital descriptions of map characteristics, are used by the GIS to

bring forth a map or cartographic & # 8216 ; image & # 8217 ; on a show device, on paper or through other

media. On the other manus, nongraphic or textual informations are representations of the

features, qualities, or relationships of map characteristics and geographic locations. The

following diagram illustrates the relationships of in writing elements to nongraphic informations,

which allows the creative activity of in writing package, a GIS, that integrates ocular stuff with

its appropriate informations: ( Antenucci et al. , Geographic Information Systems ; A Guide to the

Technology, USA, 1991, P.87 ) In order to run, the GIS depends on the integrating of

three facets of computing machine engineering, which are presented in the diagram below: The

database direction is composed of in writing and nongraphic informations, whereas the in writing

capablenesss involve modus operandis that manipulate, show, and secret plan in writing representations of

the information, and spacial analysis tools trade with algorithms and techniques that allow spacial

analysis. ( Antenucci et al. , Geographic Information Systems ; A Guide to the Technology,

USA, 1991, p.21 ) . A GIS provides the installation to pull out the different sets of information

from a map ( roads, colonies, flora, etc. ) and utilize these as required. This provides

great flexibleness, leting a paper map to be rapidly produced which precisely meets the

demands of the user. However, GIS goes farther, because the informations are stored on a computing machine,

analysis and patterning become possible. One might, for case, point at two edifices,

inquire the computing machine to depict each from an affiliated database ( much more information than

could be displayed on a paper map ) and so to cipher the best path between these.

Unquestionably, map devising and geographic analysis are non new, but a GIS performs

these undertakings better and faster than do the old manual methods. And, before GIS engineering,

merely a few people had the accomplishments necessary to utilize geographic information to assist with

determination devising and job resolution. Developing a Geographic Information System GIS

belongs to the category of computing machine systems that require the edifice of big databases

before they become utile. Unlike many micro-computer applications where a user can

Begin usage after the purchase of the hardware and package, the usage of a GIS requires that

big spacial databases be created, appropriate hardware and package be purchased,

applications be developed, and all constituents be installed, integrated and tested before

users can get down to utilize the GIS. The acceptance of a GIS by an organisation introduces

cardinal alteration into the organisation in its thought approximately informations as anterior information

engineering allowed informations to be collected and related to activities and undertakings separately.

Organized shops of informations were the exclusion instead than common pattern. This led to

extra informations aggregation and storage ( as in different sections ) and to the possibility of

erroneous informations bing in one or more locations. One of the ends of computing machine systems

and database development is to extinguish excess informations aggregation and storage. The

rule is that informations should be collected merely one time and so accessed by all who need it.

This non merely reduces redundancy ; it besides allows for more accurate informations and a greater

apprehension of how multiple sections use the same information. The necessary status for

successful computing machine system and database development is for different sections and

bureaus to collaborate in the development of the system. A database becomes an

organization-wide resource and is created and managed harmonizing to a set of database

rules. The & # 8220 ; determination & # 8221 ; to develop a GIS is made incrementally. The information needed

to find the feasibleness and desirableness of developing a GIS is non available until

several of the planning stairss have been completed. The cardinal determination points are: Decision

to look into GIS for the organisation & # 8211 ; the initial determination to get down the procedure. This is an

initial feasibleness determination and is based on the likeliness that a GIS will be utile and

effectual. It is reasonably of import to place the major participants at this point & # 8211 ; both

sections within organisations and the group of organisations, peculiarly cardinal

organisations, those who represent a bulk of the utilizations and who will lend most of

the information. Decision to continue with elaborate planning and design of the database & # 8211 ; at this

clip, the applications, informations required, and beginnings of the informations have been identified.

Applications can be prioritized and scheduled

and the benefits watercourse determined. Besides,

applications to be tested during the pilot survey and the specific inquiries to be answered

by the pilot survey will hold been determined. A preliminary determination will necessitate to be made

as to which GIS package will be used to carry on the pilot survey. Decision to get the

GIS hardware and package & # 8211 ; this determination follows the readying of the elaborate database

program, the pilot survey and, if conducted, the benchmark trials. This is the first point in the

development procedure where the costs of the GIS can moderately be estimated, the agenda

for informations transition developed, and marks for users to get down usage determined. Developing

a GIS is more than merely purchasing the appropriate GIS hardware and package. The individual

most demanding portion of the GIS development procedure is constructing the database. This undertaking

takes the longest clip, costs the most money, and requires the most attempt in footings of

planning and direction. Most local authoritiess, for case, will get the GIS

hardware and package from a GIS seller. Choosing the right GIS for a peculiar local

authorities involves fiting the GIS needs to the functionality of the commercial GIS.

For many bureaus, particularly smaller local authoritiess, taking a GIS will necessitate aid

from larger, more experient bureaus, knowing university individuals and from

qualified advisers. The GIS development rhythm is a set of 11 stairss get downing with the

demands appraisal and stoping with ongoing usage and care of the GIS system. These

stairss are presented here as a logical patterned advance with each measure being completed anterior to

the induction of the following measure. While this position is logical, it is non the manner the universe ever

plants. Some of the activities in the procedure may go on at the same time, may be approached

in an iterative mode, or may necessitate to be restructured depending on the size and character

of the organisation carry oning the survey and the resources available to be after for the GIS.

Constructing a Geographic Information System is a extremely devouring undertaking, non merely from a

systems development point of position, but besides from the human resources aspect. The system

could absolutely work, technically talking, and still convey away lead oning consequences. Staff

preparation, instruction, and interaction with the GIS is every bit of import as making the system

itself. It is both the combination of an suitably reinforced system that meets the user & # 8217 ; s

demands, in add-on to well-trained forces, that will let an organisation to work the

GIS & # 8217 ; s full potency. GIS: A Critical Tool for Strategic Planning and Management: Today,

Geographic Information Systems are being applied in all different kinds of organisations,

runing from authorities municipalities to selling houses and finance corporations, as it

provides a decisive tool, through its incorporation of spacial artworks to informations, towards

effectual and productive determination devising. Initially used by the authorities, such systems

hold now increased popularity amongst a broad scope of concerns and bureaus, whose

amazing success has echoed in the corners of all markets. Constructed specifically for

all kinds of geographic intents, the system has demonstrated its ability to run into user

demands and supply important benefits towards be aftering and direction for all sectors.

London & # 8217 ; s Heathrow Airport instance presents an illustration of how a GIS is used to pull off

huge sums of information, therefore covering with big shops of invariably altering informations

that is required for airdrome direction. For the direction and care of the

airdrome, an estimated 400,000 proficient and technology programs are required. In add-on,

with already more than 50 million travelers in 1994, the airdrome was in demand of a system

which could run into the client demands of an ever-increasing figure of riders, and

maintain accurate records of each alteration to the airdrome services and constructions.

Presents, through a GIS, the Airport Planning group, for case, & # 8220 ; issues safety

ordinances detailing what building works is being carried out, which recreations are in

consequence and other relevant information. Up-to-date information can be rapidly accessed

from the database and used to bring forth high quality computer-drafted A3 or A4 programs

back uping safety notices. & # 8221 ; Indeed, the GIS presently being used at Heathrow Airport has

showed existent fiscal benefits and turning around times for record petitions have been

greatly improved. By giving the & # 8220 ; the right information to the people who want it [ and ]

when they need it, & # 8221 ; the system is quickly being accepted as portion of the organisation & # 8217 ; s

determination doing procedure ( Mapping Awareness, Plane Language- Managing Information at

Heathrow Airport, October 1995 ) . The UK H2O industry has greatly benefited from the

presence of GIS engineering. East Surrey Water ( ESW ) , a H2O company functioning the

southern periphery of London, East Surrey, and West Kent, demonstrates one of many

success narratives of the GIS in the private sector. By put ining a Geographic Information

System, the H2O company managed to better its planning and services to clients

through a more targeted and cost-efficient plants plan to further better H2O

quality and supply, which meant less paperwork and duplicate of undertakings, fleet entree to

critical information and a simple updating system ( Mapping Awareness, Do Go Near the

Water: GIS Boosts East & # 8217 ; s Surrey Water & # 8217 ; s Planning, Efficiency and Service, December

1995 ) . On the other manus, UK H2O companies still presently face up to 30 per cent loss

of the H2O they produce, but this clip due to a different ground: H2O escape. Reducing

H2O escape is the premier concern of British H2O companies, as they are infinitely

developing new modeling and water-distribution direction systems to battle this

monolithic job. At Thames Water Utilities, though, a PC-based GIS system was

installed as an alternate solution to this financially lay waste toing job. The system,

which simplified the updating of records and screening of information from databases, made

it inordinately easy to happen solutions to operational obstructions, leting them to be

overcome in a shorter period of clip via more efficient techniques ( Maping Awareness,

GIS Plugs the Gap as Water Leakage Companies Combat Leakage, April 1996 ) . With

over 50 per cent of the population as clients each month, Boots the Chemist is one of

the most popular ironss of stores in the UK. Despite its domination over its industry,

increasing competition is coercing Boots to hone its competitory border by get the hanging new

engineerings, doing it one of the first retail merchants to incorporate a GIS into its mainstream Information technology

substructure. Due to its disparate bing sets of informations, such as CCN & # 8217 ; s Marketing Environ

system for customer-profiling informations and nose count demographics and GOAD plans for paper

maps of towns, detailing units, residents and their goods and services, Boots wanted a

system that would roll up all beginnings together into a individual system. Overall, Boots required

& # 8220 ; a flexible GIS, capable of concern analysis and planning chiefly for site location and

research. & # 8221 ; In add-on, as client tendencies change daily, the company hopes to utilize the

system to polish its stock list to guarantee that it is providing what clients require.

Despite this, developing a GIS remains a complex, attempt and time-consuming undertaking, for it

has taken Boots over 18 months to capture and incorporate its informations into the GIS database.

One definite strategic benefit, though ; the new engineering has changed the house & # 8217 ; s focal point

from shops to clients, towns and rivals, which will be critical to the hereafter

success of the concern ( Mapping Awareness, Contending the Supermarket Sweep, June

1997 ) . The instance of the British Royal Navy proves that GIS engineering can even be

utilized for military intents. Recently, the Royal Navy has equipped some of its war vessels

with a stand-alone plotting system that offers greater truth and increases the sum

of tactical information plotted through the execution of GIS engineering. This new

system, which is turn outing priceless as a flexible, low-priced planning tool, may even salvage

lives. A modern war vessel demands sophisticated data-handling engineering to assist deploy its

detectors and arms systems rapidly and efficaciously. To guarantee its war vessels are prepared,

the Royal Navy is puting to a great extent in made-to-order computing machine systems in order to manage the

tremendous sums of tactical informations now available. To run successfully in the Royal

Navy, a system must be able to supply rapid processing, with a minimal figure of

operators, which would give a clear and concise overview of the tactical state of affairs.

Previously, the ships had to manually update places on a paper chart every 10 to 15

proceedingss. The new system, interfaced with satellite pilotage informations, now allows them to

accomplish an update about immediately utilizing computing machine artworks display. Although the GIS is

still at the test phase, & # 8220 ; it provides a low-cost, customized, commercial off-the-shelf system

that is now being used as an amphibian planning tool for sea-going commanders. & # 8221 ;

Worldwide, GIS advisers are confident that the engineering will boom in the

foreseeable hereafter & # 8211 ; but in a different signifier ; in a few old ages the GIS market will consist

( 1 ) fewer providers, ( 2 ) more lower-cost systems, ( 3 ) and easy-to-use desktop systems that

are integrated into main-stream corporate solutions. Even though GIS & # 8217 ; s flexibleness will

addition in general, the public-service corporations and local authorities remain the healthiest market sectors,

with industry/manufacturing the least promising. As to specific alterations and countries of focal point

in the close hereafter of this tool, its rapid growing will be coupled with low-end GIS and

desktop PC-Based solutions, as they are expected to be the chief countries for enlargement.

Business GIS is the first country expected to din, since it has the greatest potency for

enlargement, such that mapping engineering will be on the desktop. GIS is seen as a

specialist country now, restricted to specialist industries and specific types of organisations.

However, in five old ages it will doubtless be an sweetening to many applications

whose increased benefits for users and providers will quickly germinate as unfastened systems

go the norm. Obviously, there is an tremendous growing potency for the GIS, which

should come through broader proliferation in different markets, due to take down cost

software/hardware and informations handiness. With clip, the systems are expected to go

more user-focused as both users and purchasers will anticipate quality, cost-efficient, and

significantly simpler application-based GIS solutions.

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