A Geographic Information System (GIS) is an integrated and organized set of hardware, software, geographic data and trained personnel, ordered to capture, store, search, analyze and present all information that may have a geographical reference.
It is an analysis tool that offers the possibility of identifying the spatial relationships of the phenomena studied. The main difference, then, between a GIS and other software, is that a GIS is basically a spatial database, which gives an incomparable quality in the development of focus analysis on solving real problems that affect the geographical space.
A GIS stores digital cartographic information which is attached to the attributive information in table form containing descriptive data which allow queries, analysis, graphics and query spatial data.
This allows solving complex planning and management problems, through the capture, storage, manipulation, analysis and display of geographically referenced information. It also can be defined as a model of a part of reality referred to a terrestrial coordinate system and built to meet specific information needs.
In a more generic sense, GIS are tools that allow users to create interactive queries, analyze spatial information, edit data, maps and present the results of these operations.
The technology of Geographic Information Systems can be used for any type of scientific research, such as resource management, archeology, environmental impact assessment, urban planning, thematic cartography, geography, logistics, etc..
WTECH applies this technology to drilling tests and data layers processing useful for geology and hydrogeology (lithology, structures, contours, piezometric levels, conductivity, etc..) It can read data from other softwares such as Microstation and AutoCAD, which may be associated with databases and graphics. This application can view drilling test data, and consult them by graphical selection, coordinates, fields, graphics or data. It can generate custom reports, export data cvs, xls, read data from SQL database, etc. It is intended to facilitate the task of the geologist in data search and query.
The GIS serves as a database of geographic information (alphanumeric data) which is associated by a common identifier to graphic objects on a digital map. In this way, it is possible to know any object attribute by pointing to it and, inversely, find its location in the map by just asking for a database record.
The main reason to use a GIS is the management of spatial information. The system separates the information into thematic layers and stores them separately, allowing to work with them quickly and easily, and providing to professionals the ability to link existing information through the topology of objects in order to generate a new one that otherwise could not obtain.
Among the utilities that have a GIS, the followings are included:
- Location: ask for the characteristics of a particular place.
- Condition: achievement of conditions imposed on the system or not.
- Trend: comparison between temporal or spatial situations differents of any feature.
- Routes: calculation of optimal routes between two or more points.
- Guidelines: Detecting spatial patterns.
- Models: generating models from simulated events or actions.
Because it is so versatile, the scope of Geographic Information Systems is very broad and can be used in most activities with a spatial component. The deep revolution that new technologies have caused, has influenced decisively in their evolution.