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A Geographic Information System is a combination of hardwares and softwares that enable researchers to envisage, capture, display and analyze data from different geographical positions. It gives the users a great opportunity to interpret data quickly and share it easily.
It can be carried to any management information system without any collision. GIS uses either vector or raster methods of capturing information.
Application of GIS
Migration routes management – this application is used for tracing migration circuits of caribou and polar bears. This in turn assists the researchers in coming up with plans that are geared towards protection of the caribous and the polar bears (USGS).
These animals are found in Arctic which poses difficulties for conducting ground surveys due to the geographical terrains, hence the use of GIS which is of two types is very helpful.
GIS application to the project
The hegira circuits were indicated using different hues for each month for a total of 21 months (USGS 2007). The researchers then used the GIS to superimpose the movement circuits upon maps of oil development plans.
This was intended to decide the possibility for interference with the caribous and the polar bears as they migrated (USGS 2007). In addition, the researchers would be able to know the frequency of the migration activities.
Software and datasets used
Software: Collar transmitters and satellite receivers – these softwares are able to release signals from radios at between 132-174 MHz, and can be heard from about 10 + miles away under ideal conditions (USGS 2007).
Data sets: migration routes
Results gained: researchers were able to locate the movement of the caribou and polar bears from several miles away. Over and above, the researchers were able to determine the frequencies of the movement and the actual circuits followed and if at all, a distinct pattern that was at play during the migration.
The application was useful in determining the exact position of the caribou and polar bears and what was happening at any given time. It was also significant when checking possible danger that caribou and the polar bears could posed to the oil plans
Data in GIS
Differences between vector and raster representations of map features
|Vector representation||Raster representation|
|It represents real world features within GIS environment.||It is used in a GIS application for displaying a continuous area.|
|Uses points X and Y to locate features on a particular site.||The use of a square grid to locate features in a defined location|
|Ground survey and GPS is used to pick vector images||Optical scanners mainly used to gather raster data.|
|Requires explicit storage of each vertex |
Data must be converted to a topological features
Cannot be used to cover large areas.
|Hard to represent linear structures |
Only reflect one feature of a site
Fail to adhere to high level cartographic needs.
|Easy to represent data in its original appearance |
No data conversion is required
Allows exact location to be maintained
|Easy to analyze data |
Appropriate for mathematical modeling
Compatible with raster based output devices
|Street or river networks||Analysis of land cover|
Buckey, D J, Bio Diversity Gis. n.d. Web.
GeoVITe, 2010, Website of Geodata Visualization and Interactive Training Environment (GeoVITe). Web.
Natural Earth. GIS Data, 2013. Web.
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USGS, Geographic Information Systems. Web.