Overview What is GIS now How GIS was viewed before Current trends and developments Future directions of research
What is GIS? Internet's definition of GIS: geographic(al) information system: (1) A set of computer tools for analyzing spatial data; (2) A special case of an information system designed for spatial data; (3) An approach to the scientific analysis and use of spatial data; (4) A multibillion dollar business.
Old GIS Old GIS: Two dimensional, Static, non-interactive, Very limited representing interaction between objects, Confusing set of data models, Dominated by the idea of map, Independent application
Change of view on GIS The range of views of GIS has increased over the recent years, in response to the expansion of the market for GIS and the applications to which it has been applied. Goodchild in 1992 reviews what is unique about spatial data and gives GIS a flavor different from other types of information systems.
Motivation GIS projects/organizations are relying less on their own data automation and more on sharing/exchange to obtain data. Portability of the data is a key component to finding and evaluating data and facilitating data transfer. New data models / structures emerge to better represent different phenomena, and metadata will be a useful source of descriptions of data characteristics.
Related topics interoperability integration general type data (megadata) distributed systems decision support systems fuzzy datasets visualization
Related Applications Medicine Epidemiology Education Archeology Law Traffic
Trends in GIS The general trend of GIS development seems to indicate that it will continue to become: easier to use more intuitive more analytic more embedded within a variety of technologies
Trends in GIS Trends in GIS application: GIS are used everyday for routine operations (planning, development, navigation, scheduling, etc.). GIS and other areas of science are beginning to merge (graphics, visualization, geomatics, civil engineering, statistics, probability theory, cognitive science, computational geometry, simulation and modeling). Beyond the original decision-support and problem-solving role, GIS are being viewed as tools for generating ideas. Cooperation between vendors continues. Emphasizing the information and finding new ways for data representation.
Trends in GIS Database Components Metadata can be considered one of three essential components of GIS database: spatial data (coordinate locations, topological relationships), attribute data (descriptions of features), and metadata.
Trends in GIS components continue In the past, the first two components have received the most attention in terms of database development and analytical capability. In order for GIS software to become easier to use, more intuitive, provide more analytical capability, and become more embedded within other technologies, GIS software must pay more attention to the third component, metadata. Just as links must exist between spatial and attribute data in order for a GIS database to be fully functional, links such as metadata must exist between different databases to make GIS a more user-friendly and integrated technology.
Trends in data storage Society is collecting and storing more information in a digital form There is better access to information for everyone, both within organizations and outside organizations (i.e. public access)
Trends in algorithms and data representation Traditionally: Vector and Raster are the two dominant forms of representation of the real world in s spatial database. Recently: New models based on computational geometry: Voronoi diagrams, TIN, Delaunay triangulation, pattern analysis, models for dynamic databases, 3-dimensional or volumetric databases, very large and/or distributed databases, fuzzy datasets, and complicated network- relationship databases (e.g. road or utility networks). New methods and data structures that can handle issues of fuzziness and imprecision in datasets, deal with degeneracies and to create and store feature-level metadata about the properties of individual features, boundaries, or locations within the database.
Future trends Integration (multiple formats, multiple databases) Accessibility (anytime, anywhere) Reliability (no data loss) Proper display of data (advanced graphics methods)
Future trends Real-time decision support Information visualization and 3D modeling Tracking GIS development on-line High-resolution Mapping Satellites Data exchange between different applications/vendors Virtual and augmented reality Intelligent Decision support GIS systems
Future Environments Scientific visualization and computer Graphics will be increasingly integrated with GIS capabilities Animated maps Interactive maps Augmented reality
Future of GIS Scientific visualization and computer graphics will be increasingly integrated with GIS New capabilities, especially animated and interactive maps, will be developed. GIS is critical to new scientific trends, especially multidisciplinary research and global systems studies.
What’s next? “ Computing is not about computers any more. It is about living.” Nicholas Negroponte Founding Director of MIT’s Media Being Digital (1995) Future is in your hands!