Geographical Information System or simply GIS is a toolbox comprising of hardware, software, data, people, institutional and organizational ordering and arrangements that help to get information about the real world by following sequence of steps ranging from observation, collection, storage, retrieval and analysis to manipulation plus interpretation. Roger Tomlinson also known as the ‘father of GIS’ was the very first one to introduce the term Geographical Information System in 1968 in his paper. It is a field popping up and providing assistance and ease in almost all circles and areas. The prominent position it holds cannot be brush aside as it is chained to multiple social and environmental elements including welfare policies, disaster prevention, facilities management, natural resource management etc.
It is a multidisciplinary subject manifesting various traditional sciences such as computer sciences, remote sensing, civil engineering, statics, cartography and many more. There is stream of benefits or advantages generated from this discipline as it helps in handling and integrating large volumes of data received from widely discrete sources. This information management system presents the spatial information of the real world on digital maps than on spreadsheets through which better decisions can be made using geographical information. GIS software runs on computer which are managed through powerful servers and information is stored in form of thematic layers linked by geography and each layer possessing information about same geographical features which are further on combined and the data is easily analyzed via graphs, charts, maps in which patterns and trends can be easily monitored.
Applications of GIS have tied knot to our daily life. For instance, it has helped in exploring charming sites which is the heritage of the versatile universe, and in visiting those sites i.e. in tourism where it assist in identification of these attractive sites, their selection and analysis, possible routes for reaching destinations, availability of transportation facilities, accommodation and all relating details can be gathered using digital maps and by the use of GPS which are the products of GIS and which has helped in tourism planning, research and marketing.
Rohma Zafar 1st author
Asst. Professor: Rabail2nd author