O'Reilly logo

Introducing Geographic Information Systems with ArcGIS: A Workbook Approach to Learning GIS, 3rd Edition by Michael D. Kennedy

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

And So You Ask Again: “What Is GIS About?”

Poet Saxe’s lines could apply to geographic information systems (GIS) in that relating to the subject may well depend on your point of view. Asking what GIS3 is about is sort of like asking “What is a computer about?” The capabilities of GIS are so broad and its uses so pervasive in society, geography, urban and regional planning, and the technical world in general that a short, meaningful description is impossible. But for starters, here is a generic definition of GIS that you might find in a dictionary:

A geographic information system is an organized collection of computer hardware and software, people, money, and organizational infrastructure that makes possible the acquisition and storage of geographic and related attribute data, for purposes of retrieval, analysis, synthesis, and display to promote understanding and assist decision making.

To better understand one facet of GIS, consider how you might use the technology for a particular application. Solve the following site selection problem:

Exercise 1-1 (Project)
Finding a Geographic Site by Manual Means
Wildcat Boat Company is planning to construct a small office building and testing facility to evaluate new designs. They’ve narrowed the proposed site to a farming area near a large lake and several small towns. The company now needs to select a specific site that meets the following requirements:
  • The site should not have trees (to reduce costs of clearing land and prevent ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required