Cartography and more in the digital age: GIS
What and How
GIS is an acronym for geospatial information systems. It is a combination of hardware and geospatial software for capturing, storing and analysing spatial data. Computer images of maps combined with databases of that corresponding map give an information which could be used many different purposes. Almost all information tends to have a geographical information component in them meaning every information is tied to a place. So in a case of a disaster or any other emergency, the geographical information component has precedence over all other information. So in this case GIS can analyse a quick route to get to the site or finding routes which could have survived the disaster etc. National Water Development Agency (NWDA) of India uses the same technology to predict flood and river flow for the future
Polio and beyond
GIS mapping software in its entirety or in a minute capability has been used in many fields such as telecommunication to infrastructure planning. The list of applications are endless and still growing. The applications of GIS have found interest in medical disease experts using to track and control the flow of diseases to planning future cities. While some of the above-mentioned application may be of large scale government and business interests. GIS can be used in small businesses in surprising ways.
Magnifying small and medium businesses
It is difficult for any small business to jump into any existing market with big names. The quality of the product notwithstanding, it is important to know where to jump. Retail modelling and gravity flow modeling have been used by small and medium businesses for decades now. These GIS applications have changed how small and medium businesses choose their business locations. These GIS applications analyse how a particular area may be accessible or convenient to the average customer.
Recent updates to large scale data analytics have meant that customer databases have huge information about potential customers like purchasing patterns and preferred payment methods. All of which can be combined with a GIS software to make actionable predictions, a boon for any small and medium businesses. This allows an estimate of profits to calculated for a long term, which in turn could lead to making smart business moves.
India with GIS
National Spatial Data Infrastructure is the apex body everything related to GIS in India. In 2013 the Indian state of Karnataka was chosen for the pilot project of governing through GIS data. This project combined more 50 individual state machinery to work in tandem all while using the GIS data provided to them. As of 2017, the project was hailed as a success and many other states followed suit. Since the use of GIS at a state level has increased manifold. The developing capabilities of India have been given an edge by the use of GIS.
Space companies with dreams of colonizing other planets have invested in GIS Application development projects, which could trickle down to other important uses for GIS applications on the ground level itself. While on the ground level, 3d GIS looks to be a promising addition to an already competent technology. New styles of visualization techniques of GIS have meant a wider audience for the technology. As for the future of GIS in general, since the first records of cartography at 7 BCE to until today. GIS have a long way and it does not show any signs of slowing down anytime soon.