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Studies & Degrees in Geographical Information Systems

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Geographic Information System (GIS), Geographical Information System or Geospatial Information System is defined as the control of everything regarding geographical references. It is a compilation of all the gathered and collected data. Geographic Information System helps us in understanding and locating. It also allows us to question and it interprets. It visualizes and displays maps, charts, reports, globes and their connection or role to each other. Information can multiply and/or be unified with system framework. GIS is very much digitally structured and its information is computer-based.

GIS has four components and it is: Hardware (the moderator of everything you need to support the past, present and future activities of GIS), Software (a variety of this is very important to GIS, we use this for creating and analyzing), Data (this what makes up any GIS, without this, there is nothing to show) and People (of course, we made GIS and we are the ones to operate).

A geographic information system developed for a particular purpose may not be compatible to another GIS that has a different application cause. Geographical information system is also an SDI or Spatial Data Infrastructure. As a Spatial Data Infrastructure that has a main idea of having no limits whatsoever, GIS has no limits in its system.

GIS is really helpful for a number of purposes. Navigation, public utility management, geography, archaeology, urban planning, emergency management and landscape architecture are some of them that rely on GIS.

One of the first few persons that used geographic method was John Snow; he laid out and presented how the cholera epidemic passed on in London, 1854. It led him to discover the contaminated water pump (Broad Street Pump) which he closed so the spreading of the current epidemic could be put to a stop.

The first true development of GIS was in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada in 1960 by Dr. Roger Tomlinson. Dr. Tomlinson worked for the Federal Department of Forestry and Rural Development. Because it was located in Canada, they called it the Canada Geographic Information System (or CGIS). They used it to manipulate, analyze and store gathered data. It was made for the Canada Land Inventory or CLI. Because the CGIS of Dr. Tomlinson was the first and most advanced in terms of using geographic methods, he was called the “father of GIS”.

Because the GIS’ system is within a computer system, you have to be skilled or at least take time to study the operation of this special kind of computer. You have to be familiar with many different geographical skills. Analyzing, researching, observing, map scaling and presenting gathered data are just a few skills needed to be a Geographical Information System Specialist.

The salary of a GIS Specialist in the US is $39,069 to $53,723 while the Senior GIS Specialists earns from about $45,417 to $69,674. Salary depends on skill, education and work experience as well.