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Geographic Information Systems

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Beginners, Glossary and Background


Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are used to store and retrieve information that is related to its position on a map. A huge range of information can be stored in this way: population, crops grown, physical resources, weather, power consumption, business statistics and so on. The software will support various map projections and be able to incorporate data from various sources, such as satellite pictures and aerial photographs. Standard formats allow data to be transferred between different GIS packages.

Remote Sensing is the acquisition and analysis of data about an object without touching the object. More specifically it refers to acquisition of geographical information about the earth's surface by analysis of image data from satellites and aerial surveys. The images are based on the reflection, scattering, re-emission and radiation of light, heat, microwaves and radar. Analysis of the spectral properties of the radiation received by the satellite can be used to determine information about what is on the surface. For example, crops can be distinguished from bare earth.

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is a navigational tool that uses signals from satellites orbiting the earth. A GPS receiver can calculate its position based on the time differences of signals obtained from accurate clocks aboard the satellites. Apart from its main use for navigation, GPS is also used as an accurate time reference and to obtain position for surveying and other purposes.

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28 October, 2000
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MapInfo Introduces MapXtend Java Edition - opens up mapping data on PDAs
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14th Geologic Remote Sensing Conference (Las Vegas, NV, United States; 6 Nov 2000 to 8 Nov 2000
MapInfo 10th Annual Worldwide Partner Summit (Ft. Myers, FL, United States; 15 Nov 2000 to 18 Nov 2000
Practical Applications in the Geospatial Information Sciences (Providence, RI, United States; 1 Dec 2000 to 6 Dec 2000
ASPRS Year 2001 Annual Conference (St Louis, MI, United States; 23 Apr 2001 to 27 Apr 2001
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