Geographic information systems (GIS) or geospatial information systems is a set of tools that captures, stores, analyzes, manages, and presents data that are linked to location(s). In the simplest terms, GIS is the merging of cartography, statistical analysis, and database technology. GIS systems are used in cartography, remote sensing, land surveying, public utility management, natural resource management, precision agriculture, photogrammetry, geography, urban planning, emergency management, navigation, aerial video, and localized search engines. As GIS can be thought of as a system, it digitally creates and "manipulates" spatial areas that may be jurisdictional, purpose or application oriented for which a specific GIS is developed. Hence, a GIS developed for an application, jurisdiction, enterprise, or purpose may not be necessarily interoperable or compatible with a GIS that has been developed for some other application, jurisdiction, enterprise, or purpose. What goes beyond a GIS is a spatial data infrastructure (SDI), a concept that has no such restrictive boundaries. Therefore, in a general sense, the term describes any information system that integrates, stores, edits, analyzes, shares, and displays geographic information for informing decision making. GIS applications are tools that allow users to create interactive queries (user-created searches), analyze spatial information, edit data, maps, and present the results of all these operations. Geographic information science is the science underlying the geographic concepts, applications and systems. GIS can be studied in degree and certificate programs at many universities.
GIS technology can be used for: earth surface based scientific investigations; resource management, reference, and projections of a geospatial nature²both manmade and natural; asset management and location planning; archaeology; environmental
impact study; infrastructure assessment and development; urban planning; cartography, for a thematic and/or time based purpose; criminology; GIS data development geographic history; marketing; logistics; population and demographic studies; prospectivity mapping; location attributes applied statistical analysis; warfare assessments; and other purposes. Examples of use are: GIS may allow emergency planners to easily calculate emergency response times and the movement of response resources (for logistics) in the case of a natural disaster; GIS might be used to find wetlands that need protection strategies regarding pollution; or GIS can be used by a company to site a new business location to take advantage of GIS data identified trends to respond to a previously under-served market. Most city and transportation systems planning offices have GIS sections.
GeaBios - tiny WMS/WFS client (Flash/DHTML)
Many disciplines can benefit from GIS technology. An active GIS market has resulted in lower costs and continual improvements in the hardware and software components of GIS. These developments will, in turn, result in a much wider use of the technology throughout science, government, business, and industry, with applications including real estate, public health, crime mapping, national defense, sustainable development, natural resources, landscape architecture, archaeology, regional and community planning, transportation and logistics. GIS is also diverging into locationbased services (LBS). LBS allows GPS enabled mobile devices to display their location in relation to fixed assets (nearest restaurant, gas station, fire hydrant), mobile assets (friends, children, police car) or to relay their position back to a central server for display or other processing. These services continue to develop with the increased integration of GPS functionality with increasingly powerful mobile electronics (cell phones, PDAs, laptops).
The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is an international industry consortium of 384 companies, government agencies, universities and individuals participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geoprocessing specifications. Open interfaces and protocols defined by OpenGIS Specifications support interoperable solutions that "geo-enable" the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT, and empower technology developers to make complex spatial information and services accessible and useful with all kinds of applications. Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) protocols include Web Map Service (WMS) and Web Feature Service (WFS). GIS products are broken down by the OGC into two categories, based on how completely and accurately the software follows the OGC specifications.
OGC standards help GIS tools communicate.
Compliant Products are software products that comply to OGC's OpenGIS Specifications. When a product has been tested and certified as compliant through the
OGC Testing Program, the product is automatically registered as "compliant" on this site. Implementing Products are software products that implement OpenGIS Specifications but have not yet passed a compliance test. Compliance tests are not available for all specifications. Developers can register their products as implementing draft or approved specifications, though OGC reserves the right to review and verify each entry.
Web mapping In recent years there has been an explosion of mapping applications on the web such as Google Maps and Bing Maps. These websites give the public access to huge amounts of geographic data. Some of them, like Google Maps and OpenLayers, expose an API that enable users to create custom applications. These toolkits commonly offer street maps, aerial/satellite imagery, geocoding, searches, and routing functionality. Other applications for publishing geographic information on the web include GeoBase (Telogis GIS software),Smallworld's SIAS or GSS, MapInfo's MapXtreme or PlanAcess or Stratus Connect, Cadcorp's GeognoSIS,Intergraph's GeoMedia WebMap (TM), ESRI's ArcIMS, ArcGIS Server, Autodesk's Mapguide, SeaTrails' AtlasAlive,ObjectFX's Web Mapping Tools, ERDAS APOLLO Suite, Google Earth, and the open source MapServer or GeoServer. In recent years web mapping services have begun to adopt features more common in GIS. Services such as Google Maps and Bing Maps allow users to access and annotate maps and share the maps with others.
Global change, climate history program and prediction of its impact Maps have traditionally been used to explore the Earth and to exploit its resources. GIS technology, as an expansion of cartographic science, has enhanced the efficiency and analytic power of traditional mapping. Now, as the scientific community recognizes the
environmental consequences of anthropogenic activities influencing climate change, GIS technology is becoming an essential tool to understand the impacts of this change over time. GIS enables the combination of various sources of data with existing maps and up-to-date information from earth observation satellites along with the outputs of climate change models. This can help in understanding the effects of climate change on complex natural systems. One of the classic examples of this is the study of Arctic Ice Melting. The outputs from a GIS in the form of maps combined with satellite imagery allow researchers to view their subjects in ways that literally never have been seen before. The images are also invaluable for conveying the effects of climate change to nonscientists. Prediction of the impact of climate change inherently involves many uncertainties stemming from data and models. GIS incorporated with uncertainty theory has been used to model the coastal impact of climate change, including inundation due to sealevel rise and storm erosion.
Adding the dimension of time The condition of the Earth's surface, atmosphere, and subsurface can be examined by feeding satellite data into a GIS. GIS technology gives researchers the ability to examine the variations in Earth processes over days, months, and years. As an example, the changes in vegetation vigor through a growing season can be animated to determine when drought was most extensive in a particular region. The resulting graphic, known as a normalized vegetation index, represents a rough measure of plant health. Working with two variables over time would then allow researchers to detect regional differences in the lag between a decline in rainfall and its effect on vegetation. GIS technology and the availability of digital data on regional and global scales enable such analyses. The satellite sensor output used to generate a vegetation graphic is produced for example by the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR).
This sensor system detects the amounts of energy reflected from the Earth's surface across various bands of the spectrum for surface areas of about 1 square kilometer. The satellite sensor produces images of a particular location on the Earth twice a day. AVHRR and more recently the Moderate-Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) are only two of many sensor systems used for Earth surface analysis. More sensors will follow, generating ever greater amounts of data. GIS and related technology will help greatly in the management and analysis of these large volumes of data, allowing for better understanding of terrestrial processes and better management of human activities to maintain world economic vitality and environmental quality. In addition to the integration of time in environmental studies, GIS is also being explored for its ability to track and model the progress of humans throughout their daily routines. A concrete example of progress in this area is the recent release of time-specific population data by the US Census. In this data set, the populations of cities are shown for daytime and evening hours highlighting the pattern of concentration and dispersion generated by North American commuting patterns. The manipulation and generation of data required to produce this data would not have been possible without GIS. Using models to project the data held by a GIS forward in time have enabled planners to test policy decisions. These systems are known as Spatial Decision Support Systems.
Importance of GIS:
Geographic information is the key to better decision-making; just about everything a community, business, or public agency does, whether in day-to-day operations or longterm planning, is related to its geography.
Education is a good example. The primary purpose of schools, of course, is to teach children. But schools also have to worry about maintaining an efficient and safe transportation system for their students, whether the school building will have to expand if the population keeps growing, and whether the building¶s septic system will be adequate in years to come.
Commercial site evaluation is another example. Zoning regulations, utility availability, traffic access, and proximity to consumers are all important considerations for retail businesses choosing building sites.
In fact, many routine operations of business and government are tied to a location and rely on the use of geographic information to accomplish their goals. Some examples are: 1- Land-use planning (Where is growth happening?) 2- Marketing (Where are our customers?) 3 -Subdivision review (Where is the wetland?) 4- Permit tracking (Whose property is the permit attached to?) 5- Parcel/tax mapping (Who are Jane Doe¶s abutters?) 6- Engineering design (What is the topography of the building site?) 7- Road and utility maintenance (Where is the downed power line blocking the road?) 8- Event (crime, fires, accidents) reporting (Where do the most accidents takes place?) 9- Emergency dispatching (Where is the E-9-1-1 call originating from?)
For many years, personnel involved in these routine operations have had to rely on reams of printed material,hand-drawn maps and their own imaginations to consider alternatives and make choices.GIS stands for geographic information system, a
method of managing, analyzing, and displaying geographic information on easily understood,computer-generated maps.The strength of GIS is its ability to create distinct map layers for different types of information, and then to combine them in any way desired or needed. Each layer consists of geographic, or spatial, data linked to descriptive, or tabular, information. In combining layers, GIS uses known earth coordinates (like latitude and longitude) to make sure each layer lines up correctly with the others. For instance, a community involved in municipal planning might want to know how suitable different areas of the town are for development. GIS can be used to generate maps showing where various conditions exist: prime agricultural land, surface water, high flood frequency, and highly erodible land. Planners can use this information to make decisions about zoning designations and building permits.
To compare that information with data showing where development is already occurring, GIS could generate another map or series of maps showing where permits have been issued, when, and for what kinds of development. GIS can also help businesses research retail markets. By entering customer survey data into a GIS database, marketing research staff can see where customers are coming from, and decide where their marketing efforts will have the most impact.
The Sandwich Analogy: Using GIS is a little like making a multidecker sandwich. The person desiring the ³sandwich´ can use any type of layer or number of layers required. The toothpick holding the sandwich together is the coordinate system that guarantees the layers line up properly. How is GIS Different From Using Traditional, Hand-Drawn Maps? Traditional paper maps exist in many different map scales and projections, making it next to impossible to superimpose or overlay them the way GIS can. GIS can mathematically transform map features from one scale or projection to another to allow map layers from different sources to be used together. Traditional maps are also less efficient because changes require starting from scratch with a brand-new map. Once information is entered into a GIS system, it is a simple matter to change the data on the computer and produce an updated product. GIS can produce maps at any size, depicting an entire community or only a selected area using information from different scales.
This case is to show how implementation of GIS has helped in improving efficiency, better understanding and increased productivity of an international advertising agency. Also looks into the details of how GIS was customized to fulfill user¶s requirement.
Introduction Information forms the key source in strategic planning in any business. Businesses, be it retail marketing, consumer services, all require information such as sales, customers, inventory, demographic profiles, addresses and so on. Relating all these information geographically allows the user to spatially visualize data revealing relationship, pattern and trends. Purpose An International advertising agency, took decision to move to GIS application as the information system to improve their work system. Market analysis and route being their main stream of working required Geo-demographic analysis. The existing system, allowed to analyze the data but lacked relation with their respective location, which impede the user to analyze geographically and overlook many hidden spatial factors. Time consumed in assessing the potential customers and designing of the route plan was enormous.
GIS based marketing solution LinCompass, a decision support system was developed specifically to plan marketing campaigns. Application is developed on Avenue, customization language of ArcView.
Salient features of the software
Prioritization of district Function of district prioritization enables the user to rank the districts based on desired
parameters (population, literacy, availability of medical and educational facilities, etc) and weightage. User can prioritize district considering only the rural areas, or urban areas or both. All the districts are assigned an Index value based on the weightings given to each parameter. District priority index becomes the first step towards Below the Line (BTL) campaign planning. Performing query
Composite query Composite query gives user the option to drill into the data by running queries out of 128 parameters stored in the database. The user can have five parameters to run the query. This query can be invoked from within the buffer query as well as separately. User can generate 25 reports using varied AND/OR combinations. Buffer query Application in this function allows the user to perform spatial query. User can select places falling within a certain buffer distance from a nodal town by created a buffer of desired distance.
Reports generation Application automatically generates reports of all finding along with the wanted information.
Route Plan Creation µRoute Designer¶ involves the process of generating route plans with shortest path method. It provides user the facility to specify the µStart Place¶ and the µStart Date¶ of the route.
A typical route plan would need a list of villages to be covered on a particular day which fulfill the desired conditions put in the query, the plan should automatically generate the list of villages/towns that will serve as night halt for the campaign. The night halt place
has to have minimum criteria for selection. Complexity is added to the plan when stockist option is to be applied. Following are a few routes, combination of which is sought for the campaigning depending upon the product to be sold.
The required route should cover villages of population less than 4000, and each day it should visit three villages that should have either a haat day or a primary school or primary health center. The total travel distance should not exceed 60 Km and the distance between two villages should be less than 15 Km.
Duration of route cycle = 25 days District to be covered = Lucknow Tehsil to be covered = Malihabad & Lucknow
Typical route option:
Stockist option: In all mobile unit operations there is a limitation on the amount of Stock, branding material that it can carry. When covering villages the unit might have to keep coming back to the feeder market to collect stock. Clicking µSelect Stockist¶ option the µFeeder Town¶ function opens for selecting towns to replenish stocks and to specify the stock replenishing period. Draw Route options: µLinear¶ option draws a linear route with start place and the end place different. It identifies the next destination on the basis of the assigned weightage, nearest place with the consideration of traveler covering 80km per day and night halt, which should be within distance of 25 km. µCircular¶ option plans circular route, having the same start and end place. It works on the Traveling Sales Man Problem (TSP) model covering maximum places with optimum travel distance.
Show Route options: µAutomatic¶ option would generate the route plan automatically based on the specified start and end dates and the input given in the route calculator. µManual¶ option will allow user intervention to confirm the selection of places to be visited on a day. In the situation of disagreement, the user has an option to select his preference. Night-halt selection: The night halt place can be either the nearest town or the last village of the day or user specified. User also has the option to select night halt from the places to be covered or even any other desired halt.
Route plan for covering different states: it allows the user to cover different states in the one route plan based on the distance factor. Input data The application is based on the Census data (maps & tabular data) Conclusion Implementation of the application resulted into much easier identification of markets on the targeted population strata. Number of route plan with desired options could be worked automatically as well as manually with application within a few minutes. This resulted into radical cutback in the time between data processing, planning and implementation.
Prior to development of application, planning marketing campaign took eight to ten days to produce a single route plan. Which involved tedious scanning of demographic data of all the rural and urban area in the desired parameters to prioritize the areas. Route was designed manually on the hard copy maps resulting into consumption of time.
Industry Usage & comments from an industry expert
GIS applications in marketing & sales
Prashant Baxi WIPRO Consumer Care & Lighting
Wipro Corporation is a Rs 1800 crores, diversified Company engaged in the business of Consumer Care, Lighting, Information Technology, Medical Systems, Finance and Hydraulic Technology.
Wipro Consumer Care (WCC), with its turnover of Rs 300 crore is engaged in the business of manufacturing and marketing of Hydrogenated Fats, Toilet Soaps, Toiletries and Baby Care products.
WCC has many firsts to its credit. WCC is being credited even today for being the first to introduce flexible consumer pack for vanaspati.
In terms of distribution strengths, Wipro products are available in about half a million directly covered outlets and an estimated equal number through indirect coverage. These outlets are being serviced through a strong stockist network of over 3000 stockists.
Wipro products are available across population strata ranging from metros to remote villages with a population of 3000, directly by the company network coverage.
One of the strong points of WCC has been its proactive addressing of coverage expansion.
Coverage expansion would mean expansion within an identifying newer geographic areas and consolidating coverage of outlets within the identified geographic area, popularly referred to as a market.
At WCC, review of existing coverage and identification of uncovered markets is a major exercise that takes place at the beginning of each year. Based on the number of uncovered markets identified, a coverage plan is drawn up each year. These plans are then implemented by the frontline field force.
Traditionally, the following obstacles are encountered in the implementation of these coverage plans :
Each uncovered market has to be located, physically. A personal visit is required for potential determination. A route plan has to be made manually, based on the available road information on these markets.
These constraints make the implementation time consuming and expensive.
WCC tried out MarketMap - the GIS based software, for the first time in 1996-97, on an experimental basis, for TamilNadu and Andhra Pradesh. 1. The summary of our experience is listed below: 2. Identification of markets in the targetted population strata became much easier. 3. With the linkage of census based data with the maps, a preliminary fit was obtained on the markets for its potential. 4. Authentication became much easier. 5. Personal visits could be reduced and were carried out with a proper focus. 6. Possible route plans were chalked out on the screen and extension / modification of routes from existing markets and stock points became much easier. 7. The sales officer had a route plan with him when he spoke to the stockist for investment in infrastructure like vans.
8. Time lag between identification and implementation reduced. 9. GIS engine based technology assumes some preliminary knowledge on computers and ability to interpret the knowledge of GIS and other IT related terms. Hence, it does require considerable investment in training. Cost wise, the investment is significant as compared to the traditional means of identification
Transaction ID: 0265640446 Date of Journey: 03/11/2010 From: DELHI(DLI) Resv Upto: KOTDWARA(KTW) Total Fare: Rs. 133.0 PNR No: 2541383890 Date Of Boarding: 03/11/2010 To: KOTDWARA(KTW) Distance: 0238 KM Adult: 1Child: 0 Train No. & Name: 4041/MUSSOORIE EXP Class: SL Boarding: DELHI(DLI) Scheduled Departure: 22:20
Details of Passengers
SNo. Name 1 RAHUL KUMAR SING Age 025 Sex Male Status /CONFIRM Coach S5 Seat/Berth 0048/SU
E-ticket passenger is permitted in the train against a berth/seat only when his name appears in the reservation chart failing which he can be treated as a passenger travelling without ticket The accommodation booked is not transferable and is valid only if one of the ID card noted above is presented during the journey. The passenger should carry with him the Electronic Reservation Slip print out. In case the passenger does not carry the electronic reservation slip, a charge of Rs.50/per ticket shall be recovered by the ticket checking staff and an excess fare ticket will be issued in lieu of that. E-ticket cancellations are permitted through www.irctc.co.in by the user. In case e-ticket is booked through an agent, please contact respective agent for cancellations. If the name of the passenger does not appear on the chart, the passenger should not board the train as he/she will be treated as a passenger without ticket and dealt accordingly.
For cancellation and Refund
Passenger should access the website www.irctc.co.in only for cancellation as no cancellation is permitted at railway counters for electronic tickets
Please note that the provision for specifying I/D proof at the time of booking an e-ticket has been dispensed with. The accommodation booked is not transferable and is valid only if one of the passenger booked on an e-ticket in a transaction presents any of the identity cards(Voter identity card/Passport/ Pan card/Driving license/Photo I/d card of Central/State Government issued to their employees) during train journey in original and same will be accepted as proof of identity failing which the passengers will be treated as travelling without ticket and shall be dea with as per extant Railway Rules.
Transaction ID: 0267768104 Date of Journey: 07/11/2010 From: KOTDWARA(KTW) Resv Upto: DELHI(DLI) Total Fare: Rs. 133.0 PNR No: 2312533243 Date Of Boarding: 07/11/2010 To: DELHI(DLI) Distance: 0238 KM Adult: 1Child: 0 Train No. & Name: 4042K/MUSSOORIE EXP Class: SL Boarding: KOTDWARA(KTW) Scheduled Departure: 22:00
Details of Passengers
SNo. Name 1 RAHUL KUMAR SING Age 025 Sex Male Status /CONFIRM Coach S6 Seat/Berth 0054/UB
E-ticket passenger is permitted in the train against a berth/seat only when his name appears in the reservation chart failing which he can be treated as a passenger travelling without ticket The accommodation booked is not transferable and is valid only if one of the ID card noted above is presented during the journey. The passenger should carry with him the Electronic Reservation Slip print out. In case the passenger does not carry the electronic reservation slip, a charge of Rs.50/- per ticket shall be recovered by the ticket checking staff and an excess fare ticket will be issued in lieu of that. E-ticket cancellations are permitted through www.irctc.co.in by the user. In case e-ticket is booked through an agent, please contact respective agent for cancellations. If the name of the passenger does not appear on the chart, the passenger should not board the train as he/she will be treated as a passenger without ticket and dealt accordingly.
For cancellation and Refund
Passenger should access the website www.irctc.co.in only for cancellation as no cancellation is permitted at railway counters for electronic tickets
Please note that the provision for specifying I/D proof at the time of booking an e-ticket has been dispensed with. The accommodation booked is not transferable and is valid only if one of the passenger booked on an e-ticket in a transaction presents any of the identity cards(Voter identity card/Passport/ Pan card/Driving license/Photo I/d card of Central/State Government issued to their employees) during train journey in original and same will be accepted as proof of identity failing which the passengers will be treated as travelling without ticket and shall be dealt with as per extant Railway Rules.