INFORMATION SOCIETY and GIS - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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The MAPBLAST site URL: is perhaps the most useful ... applications the ONTARIO city GIS and the US street maps (MAPBLAST) are the best ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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  • Some remarks on the interaction of GIS and
    information society
  • By
  • Ferenc Sárközy

  • Some events on the way of Information Society
  • The objectives and development stages of GIS
  • Some main features of interaction between society
    and GIS
  • The presence and future of WEB GIS

Some events on the way of Information Society
  • Technological development of fast digital data
  • Evolution of digital data bases
  • The creation of specialized information systems
    for banking, commerce, production and service,
    government, research, etc.
  • The vertical and horizontal linking up of local
    information systems
  • Setting up the WWW, available for everybody
  • Satisfaction of everyday demands for simple people

Technological development of fast digital data
communicationsome milestones
  • 1837 Charles Wheatstone obtains a patent for the
  • 1844 Morse code (for manual telegraph)
  • 1866 The first trans-Atlantic cable between the
    US and France
  • 1875 Emile Baudot the code for multiplexing
  • 1876 A. G. Bell devised the telephone
  • (the first analogous telecommunication tool)
  • 1903 Donald Murray printing telegraph with
    punched tape
  • 1962 The eight bit code EBCDIC of IBM

Technological development of fast digital data
communication (continuation)
  • 1968 the 7 and 8 (with parity) bit ASCII code
  • from 1937 sound digitization by pulse code
  • from 1950 CRT terminals
  • from 1960 hierarchy of digital networks
  • 1967 communication protocol between IBM computers
  • 1969 ARPANET
  • 1975 TCP/IP protocol
  • 1980 fast proliferation of the fax quick
    development of LAN
  • 1990 cellular phones, ISDN (Integrated Services
    Digital Networks)
  • 1991 HTTP

Technological development of fast digital data
communication - CONCLUSIONS
  • The germs of information technology were
    developed in womb of industrial society
  • It resulted in possibility of fast digital data
    transfer between every point on the Globe
  • The LAN became connected to WAN
  • The WWW, based on HTTP, available for everybody
    developed very quickly

Development of digital data basessome milestones
  • Until the beginning of 1960 File Management
    Systems COBOL
  • By the end of 1960 Data Base Management Systems
    (DBMS), in the first time of hierarchical type
  • Beginning of 1970 Network Data Base Model DDL,
    DML CODASYL report (1976)
  • Early 1980 rash development of relational data
    base management systems (the basic principles in
    the paper of Codd from 1970)
  • From the mid 1980 the SQL begins to become a
  • Beginning of 1990 Object Oriented Data Base Model
  • Mid 1990 Distributed Data Bases on the network

Development of digital data bases CONCLUSIONS
  • The modern methods of storage and management
    became commonly used
  • Rapid growth of use of data bases distributed on
  • Using SQL one can get relatively easy access to
  • Business access to data bases by application
  • Everyday access by user friendly browsers

Development of Professional (business)
Information Systems
The Data Base Management Systems and the computer
networks created the right conditions for
establishing the computerized systems
of inventory control analysis planning and
Development of Professional (business)
Information Systems (continuation)
  • These systems are present in all fields of the
    human activity, we will list only a few types
    taking into account the chronology too
  • Inventory systems
  • Flight and hotel reservation systems
  • Banking systems
  • Production control systems
  • Trading systems
  • Enterprise systems
  • Healthcare systems
  • Library, legal systems, etc.

Development of Professional (business)
Information Systems
  • Nowadays all fields of professional activity are
    supported by these systems in some measure
  • The common basis for these systems consists of
    data bases, DBMS, network software, while the
    professional specialization is solved by
    application programs and user interfaces typical
    to the particular professional community
  • Systems communicating with non specialists are
    equipped with more and more simple to use
  • Because the DBMS-s until 1999 could not directly
    handle spatial data the genuine professional
    information systems did not possess spatial

Connecting the local systems horizontally and
  • Connecting with systems of the same profession or
    with systems of other professions
  • We can use our VISA card in different countries,
    it is possible only if our bank and all other
    banks operating the cash machines are mutually
  • If we are applying for a mortgage credit in our
    bank the banking system should be able to
    connect to the real estate inventory system to
    query about the former mortgages on our house
    and to write the new mortgage into the register

Connecting the local systems horizontally and
  • If the systems work normally the client can
    arrange even the most complicated issue by
    dialing a phone number or sending an E-mail
  • Principally the technical conditions are given
    for the normal operation, obstacles are built on
    the one hand by institutional pseudo-prestige and
    lack of legal regulation (or miss regulation), by
    the missing infrastructure (first of all of
    spatial data infrastructure) on the other hand

The world wide network available for everybody
has been established
  • Everybody who has a PC and phone or cable
    television connections principally can use the
    INTERNET too. That means that so far one can
    access almost an unlimited mass of information
  • From point of view of information capture the
    main difference between the INTERNET and the
    radio and television consist in the fact that by
    the media we can listen to given translations but
    the INTERNET gives answers to the questions we
    are interested in
  • Drawbacks of the Internet usage in this country
  • The phone charges are extremely high
  • Only the English speaking people can reach the
    most part of its information treasure
  • Spatial information related to Hungary one can
    find very seldom

Satisfaction of everyday demands for simple
  • The development of information technology
    sketched out above, affects all the people in
    context of working activity (as employees or
  • Similarly influences the life quality of many
    people as clients
  • However we can speak about information society
    only if
  • all people can practically access the WEB
  • can select the values and access the valuable
    information free of charge
  • these values contain free spatial information too

Geographic Information Systems Tasks and
  • The concept of spatial information systems
  • Development of GIS
  • Types of GIS
  • Development trends

The concept of spatial information systems
  • The GIS is a set of software elements operating
    in a proper hardware environment that supports
    the capture, manipulation, management, analysis,
    modeling and visualization of spatially related
    data aiming at the solution of tasks related to
    planning, research, maintenance and management
  • Basic questions and types of tasks
  • What is on a particular site (inventory/monitoring
  • Where is or is not a selected feature
  • What has changed since a selected time
  • What spatial pattern does exist (spatial
  • What would be if (modeling)

Development of GIS
  • from 1965 CGIS for landuse planning of Canada
  • from 1965 Harward Laboratory mapping software
    for line-printers, latter pen-plotters
  • 1970 DIME files of the Census Bureau, latter
  • 1969 ESRI, late 70-s Arc/Info
  • late 1980-s GIS software for PC-s
  • early 1990-s increasing number of GIS for Windows
  • 1994 NSDI
  • from 1995 OpenGIS consortium modular
    distributed systems

Types of GIS
  • At first several types, but all types were
    separate from the general enterprise information
  • Natural resources environmental systems
  • Mapping systems
  • Utility systems (AM/FM)
  • Urban systems
  • Cadastral systems
  • Planning systems
  • Business systems
  • WEB systems

Development trends
  • Until the end of the eighties the monolythical
    system concept resulted in continuously growing
    giant software
  • In the early nineties two new directions
  • truncated functionality aiming at the merging the
    GIS with the general enterprise wide information
  • connecting the GIS to the modeling and optimizing
    programs in frames of Spatial Decision Support
  • From the mid nineties appearance of the modular
    system concept
  • Late nineties - the WEB GIS starts the era of the
    GIS for everybody

Some Main Features of the GIS-Society Interaction
  • The GIS development involves the growth of
    objectivity in decisions affecting the wide
    strata of population
  • These facts become generally known only in the
    case if the people can access to the GIS
    documentation and can understand it as well
  • The understanding demands the lifting up the
    quality of the spatial or geographical education
    to an incomparable to existing level (see the
    vision of A. Gore and the NASA project Digital
    Earth based on this vision

Some Main Features of the GIS-Society Interaction
Imagine, for example, a young child going to a
Digital Earth exhibit at a local museum. After
donning a head-mounted display, she sees Earth as
it appears from space. Using a data glove, she
zooms in, using higher and higher levels of
resolution, to see continents, then regions,
countries, cities, and finally individual houses,
trees, and other natural and man-made objects.
Having found an area of the planet she is
interested in exploring, she takes the equivalent
of a "magic carpet ride" through a 3-D
visualization of the terrain. )
Some Main Features of the GIS-Society Interaction
  • 4. Education as Gore says demands a huge
    amount of free and comfortably accessible spatial
    data (spatial data warehouses)
  • The people educated in spatial sense in addition
    to spatial information require also spatial
    services (visualization of mailing addresses,
    routing maps, tourist destinations with
    corresponding pathways, etc.)
  • Also require routes for emergency evacuation
  • All these new demands require very fast updating
    cycles, especially in relation of some
    attributive information (e.g. traffic regulations
    due to construction works)

The presence and future of WEB GIS
  • The types of WEB GIS
  • Some (mostly American) applications
  • The future of WEB GIS

The types of WEB GIS
Some concrete applications
  • Browsing the WEB we find mostly American
  • Most of these is based on the Arcview Internet
    Map Server (IMS)
  • The IMS consists of the following three parts
  • The MapCafe applet that is the client side
  • The ESRImap Web server extension (esrimap.dll)
    which transfers the queries and parameters
    received from the applet to the essential
  • ArcView IMS that processes the commands and
    passes the results (.jpg file, error message)
    through the extension and Web server to the
    applet, which visualizes those on the client

1. GIS data servers
  • http// This is one of the
    few European sites. The "pilotGIS"-project is a
    national co-operation project between some
    Swedish communities, Provincial Government Boards
    (regional authority county) and national

  • The most developed data servers, the US NSDI
    clearinghouse nodes one can find at the URL

  • Clicking at the nearest node we can select the
    area we are interested in, the servers we guess
    that contain the metadata in question, and press
    the search button.
  • The results are meta data files that are very
    extensive but contain also hints at the way the
    data itself can be acquired.
  • Most of the data are free of charge by
    downloading for use in public domain and fees are
    to be paid if used for commercial purposes.
  • A little bit easier is to obtain data from GIS
    servers of certain states.
  • For example the state Massachusetts has a GIS
    center with a lot of excellent services.

We can find this server at the URL
Downloadable vector files are in Arc/Info export
and ArcView shape file formats, but they offer
also a free utility for converting .shp into
.dxf. Ortophotos are in Geotiff format.
2. Simple map servers can visualize a number of
maps and can pan and zoom.
  • University of Szeged, URL http//www.jate.u-szege

Only 1 level zoom, and the possibility to pan and
zoom in the directions of the 4 corners, or zoom
to the center of the map
  • A very huge set of static maps can be visualized
    at the site of the Texas University at Austin
    URL http//
    tion/Map_collection.html, 1 example the CIA made
    land use map of Hungary

  • More developed map servers allow to make
    composites AND/OR thematic maps. For example that
    of the Center of Advanced Spatial Technologies
    (CAST) URL http//

We can select the map name, extension (scale),
one raster layer and arbitrary number of line and
point type layers. The result can be viewed or
downloaded or sent to an E-mail address. (I have
to confess it was not so easy to compile
something viewable)
Here is the result The land use map of
Little-Rock with some line features,
corresponding to USGS 124000 map sheet tilling
  • Or we can make thematic maps with the
    Demographic DataViewer v.3. URL
  • The example shows the density of female
    population in the city of Fort Worth TX.

3. Information servers can answer some queries.
  • Simple example the city of Szombathely URL

3 types of queries are available search for a
street name, search for a parcel number, or
selecting a red color object we get the address
and the name of the firm.
The slide shows the street name query. The red
square points on the street
The red square shows the searched parcel, however
no parcel data are available!
  • A much more developed information server has the
    city of Ontario in California. URL
  • The public applications were made in visual basic
    using the ESRI MapObjects Internet Technology.

The parcel query application works very well
(No Transcript)
The next application is called development status
with residential, industrial and commercial
themes. The development maps are up-dated
quarterly. Clicking on the legend entry we get in
response the data of corresponding construction
works and can also visualize the plans of the
particular project.
The Site Locator locate potential site locations
by defining desired parameters. The Search
concentrates on vacant land or properties with
vacant buildings. In our example we have searched
for a parcel with area size 2-5 acres, C3 zoning,
2 miles from the freeways, 5 miles from the
railroads, 0.75 miles from Non-Reclaimable Waste
In the infrastructure application the water,
Sewer, Storm Drain networks can be queried.
  • In the last few months a lot of American County
    GIS applications appeared on the WEB, e.g.
  • Stanly County WEB GIS, URL http//

One can mark the layers, select a map clicking on
the map in center, or select by a scroll menu
item (if we know what are we looking for)
Here we searched for a Fire District, however we
can also search for street addresses with the 2
first letters of the street name
and get the attributes of the lot corresponding
to that address
  • The MAPBLAST site URL http//
    is perhaps the most useful information server
    for traveling people.
  • It demonstrates very clearly what we understand
    under spatial services
  • It visualizes the street networks of the US
    cities. We can map a street address and can also
    ask for driving route maps between given
  • Its main attraction - in my opinion is the link
    to the yellow pages. One can find out a theme
    (e.g. museums, hotels, shopping centers, etc.)
    and a distance say 2 miles and the found
    objects will appear on the map with ID numbers
    and their detailed list with street addresses is
    also available.

We searched for the motels and hotels close to
the Scott Avenue, Fort Worth, TX. Clicking on the
links we can read detailed information about the
hotels AND/OR can open the links to driving
  • The GIS information server of City of Huntsville
    AL, URL http// is
    interesting from technical point of view it
    works with the Intergraph GeoMedia WEB Map server
    software and uses the CGM vector format.
  • To view the interactive maps one should download
    a plug-in for the Netscape browser or an Active X
    component for the Explorer.
  • The services of this system are rather limited.
    One can select the street name entry and type
    in a valid address, after the Build a Map link
    was pressed the map of the road section the
    address falls in appears and the crossing streets
    limiting this section are listed. If we choose
    the address entry with the same address as
    before, the corresponding building is marked and
    some attributes are listed. The coordinate read
    out, area and distance functions as well as the
    Street Repairs menu entry do not work.

The size and quality of the build map are also
very poor.
4.On-line GIS
  • REGIS GRASSLinks 3.1 Public Access GIS
    l This is the only on-line GIS in my knowledge.
    Visualizes raster and vector layers.

It can also set up buffer zones, calculate area,
and perform reclassification. Its largest data
set contains many-sided information about the San
Francisco Bay
5. Function servers
I have not found any function servers, until now.
The future of WEB GIS
  • The WEB GIS did not reach yet the puberty it
    needs 1 2 years to do it
  • Most of the applications uses java clients the
    server side software is rather different
  • Beside the active visualization building
    composites and making queries are possible
  • Among the applications the ONTARIO city GIS and
    the US street maps (MAPBLAST) are the best

The future of WEB GIS (continuation)
  • The real GIS analysis is not yet present
  • The vector data transfer has just begun
  • The JAVA versions of applets are often outdated
  • The sites with CGI and the network itself are
    often very slow
  • The possibility of automatic selection of
    complete data sets for the users windows is not
    yet solved
  • The automatic generalization especially for
    labels should be solved too

Thank you for your attention