With the fast growing trends in computer technology information systems and virtual
world to obtain data about the physical and cultural worlds, and to use these data
to do research or to solve practical problems. The current digital and analog electronic
device facilitates the inventory of resources and the rapid execution of arithmetic
or logical operations. These Information Systems are undergoing much improvement
and they are able to create, manipulate, store and use spatial data much faster
and at rapid rate as compared to conventional methods.
Information System, a collective of data and tools for working with those data,
contains data in analog form or digital form about the phenomena in the real world.
Our Perception of the world through selection, generalization and synthesis give
us information and the representations of this information that is, the data constitute
a model of those phenomena. So the collection of data, the data base is a physical
repository of varied views of the real world representing our knowledge at one point
in time. Information is derived from the individual data elements in a database,
the information directly apparent i.e. information is produced from data by our
thought processes, institution or what ever based on our knowledge. Therefore in
a data base context the terms data, information and knowledge are differentiated.
It can be summarized that the data is very important and added value as we progress
from data to information, to knowledge. The data, which has many origins and forms,
may be any of the following:
Geographic Information Management Technology encompasses many fields including Computer
Science, Cartography, Information Management, Telecommunications, Geodesy, Photogrammetry
and Remote Sensing and is flavored with it’s applications of engineering, environmental
analysis, land use planning, natural resource development, infrastructure management,
and many others. Geographic Information Management Technology has almost as many
names and acronyms as uses.
One common name is Geographic Information System (GIS). Another is automated mapping/facilities
management (AM/FM). Although GIS has recently became more widely accepted as a generic
term for the technology, the term Geographic Information System was first published
in a 1965 Northwestern University discussion paper by Michal Dacy and Dvane Marble.
Key terms associated with geographic information management technology include:
All these terminology’s are often used interchangeably even though they denote different
capabilities and concepts (Figure 1).
The GIS history dates back 1960 where computer based GIS have been used and their
manual procedures were in life 100 years earlier or so. The initial developments
originated in North America with the organizations such as US Bureau of the Census,
The US Geological Survey and The Harvard Laboratory for computer graphics and Environmental
Systems Research Institute (commercial). Canadian Geographic Information Systems
(CGIS) in Canada, Natural Experimental Research Center (NREC), Department of Environment
(DOE) in notable organizations in U.K. involved in early developments. Even the
other parts of the world are noticed but they have taken place in recent past. In
India the major developments have happened for the last one-decade with significant
contribution coming from Department of Space emphasizing the GIS applications for
Natural Resources Management. Recently the commercial organizations in India have
realized the importance of GIS for many applications like infrastructure development,
facility management, business/market applications etc.
National Institute of Rural Development,