geographic information system

GIS: multiple definitions


a particular type of database used to manage objects associating descriptive data to localized physical entity

a tool storage, management and exploitation of spatial information

a tool enabling mapping of production from a spatial database

an approach that integrates a technology package (software), informative (geographical data) and a precise methodology

GIS: historical


The years 1960-1970: the beginnings


military applications, natural resource studies, urban information systems

Systems development in raster mode

Development of computational geometry

Computer ramping

industrial design systems for vector

Development of automatic mapping systems

Development of remote sensing

1980: consolidation


Large databases and development of the theory of databases (relational model)

Development of graphical interaction and workstations (SUN, APOLLO)

GIS Development (raster-vector, statistics, mapping, etc.)

1990: broadcasting


Industrialization and distribution of GIS technology

Microcomputers replace stations

Development of graphics hardware cheap

Integration of data from different sources (aerial and satellite remote sensing, GPS)

Applications in all areas with ties to the location

The 2000s


knowledge representation and mapping of the real world

3D GIS, time management

graphic animations, simulations and modeling

GIS and Internet: consultation

GIS and Internet: broadcast data, metadata, freeware


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