Category Archives: Class Readings

Smith et al. “Introduction & Terminology” , “Conceptual Frameworks for Spatial Analysis”

GIS is a term attributed to Roger Tomlinson and his colleagues in 1963 used to describe their activities in building a natural resource inventory system for Canada.

Success of GIS to solve real world issues.

Many aspects of how information is gathered about special awareness, how this information is governed and by definition GIS are sensitive to location as they represent unique locations on Earth’s surface.

PPDAC (Problem, Plan, Data, Analysis, Conclusions) is described as a methodological framework that may be applied to a very wide range of spatial analysis problems and projects.

Basic Primitives:

First: describes the basic view the world

Second: describes some of the structures built with this basic components, and the usefulness.

Third: Spatial statistics and elements of the conceptual framework.

Fourth: components of data infrastructure which provide the essential facilities for spatial analysis.

The domains of this analysis is greatly dependent on the information that is being gathered.

Spatial analysis occurs in the interface between the human and the computer, with which both play major roles. Understanding the right questions and having insight better the ability to gain information so that both grow in sequence together.

Introduction GIS: Notes:

1: Frame the Question: Start by figuring out the information that is needed. How will this information be used and who will use it.

2. Understand your data: Type of data you are working with and what new information will need to be gathered or created.

3. Choose a method: Some methods might be quicker with more approximated information while other will take longer but have more detail.

4. Process Data: Perform steps in GIS.

5. Look at results: Is the information valid and useful, will it help others easily see the information.

Types of Features:

Discrete: Location can be pinpointed to show whether the feature exists or not.

continuous Phenomena: Blanket the entire map to show data with no gaps.

Summarized by area: counts or density within a boundary.

Models of the world:

Vector: Each feature in a row of a table and featured shapes are defined by x,y.

Raster: Features are represented as a matrix of cells in continuous space.

Types of attribute values:

categories: a group of similar things.

Rank: Put features in order from high to low.

Counts and amounts: Show total numbers.

Ratios: Show relationship between two quantities, and are created by dividing one quantity by another.

Chapter One: Schuurman “GIS a short introduction”

Very interesting ideas on how GIS has pervasive qualities. A unique tool that could be used incorrectly.

1962 Ian McHarg uses layers for a project. Maybe a predecessor to CAD?

Interesting correlation between user and tool. Needing to know the right questions in order to gather the information that is most practical, and the philosophical implications.

GIS seems to have evolved with technology- might be an understatement or obvious.

Very cool ideas about how people are more likely to use visual cues more intuitively than how they would interpret raw data. Argument that it allows for better analysis through visualization, and brings science rather than system to the forefront.

*bedtime 2:39am stayed up way to late.

A new Day:

Thought I would add a photo of Loki, we both miss summer right about now.

So From my current understanding GIS is a way of gathering quantitative information and utilizing it in multiple layers dependent on philosophical questioning in such a way that the user hopes to gain a better understanding of the information for better or worse, in applying implications to their data. (I could be a bit off on this as it is pretty new to me)

Interesting that GIS allows for spatial relations that were previously impossible.

Importance of local knowledge used in conjunction with mapping to see patterns.

What is most interesting to me in this chapter was the idea of this “pervasive” quality of GIS. It is interesting when we as humans start trying to categorize and set up boundaries how many adverse effects it can have. We seem to be ok for the most part until we add the human element. What happens to the people on the fringe of an area deemed good construction land or people that do not get health care because the line was to narrow to include them. This also brings up ideas of otherness.