Spatial Analysis with GIS

Spatial Modelling with GISSpatial analysis of GIS has developed greatly in recent years and continues to advance. The GIS software market provides this analytical functionality, though choosing the GIS software that provides the extent of spatial analytical functionality you require up to you – but any good GIS software wil provide a programming or scripting environment to allow you to add anything proprietary or new. Regardless, the scope of spatial analysis is extensive and includes data modelling, topological modelling, network modelling, cartographic modelling, geocoding, geostatistics, map overlays and more.

Spatial Analysis is powered by Queries

The ability to analyse your data is made possible via spatial and attribute data queries. The ability to use standard and to create your own queries of related spatial and attribute data is the key to effective analysis.

Again, good GIS software will provide you with standard queries for common analysis or at least advanced functionality to easily manipulate data without having to write or select queries. Furthermore, advanced analysis will require more detailed queries, so good GIS software should provide wizards and simple query builders to allow you to perform your own analyses.

The process of querying your data is simple – attribute data is initially queried and the relevant primary keys found These primary keys ar ethen used to query the spatial data, to complete the associate query required for both spatial and attribute data. For more example os spatial analysis please see, Wikipaedia andInformation Software Systems.

GIS Software on the Market

Vendors of GIS software supply a host of software and upgraded or carefully targetted version of GIS software. Please consult with the respective vendors to learn more about their respective products.

Some of the newer releases on the market are indicated here to help you find your way. Remember to look at our comparison of popular GIS software to help you to evaluate the best option for you.

New GIS Software Releases

1. IntelliGIS 2.0 – NEW!! – Relelase Date: Mid/Late 2008

US$ 1000.00 – best value for money for complete desktop GIS software

2. MapInfo 9.5 – New!! – Release Date: June 2008

US$ 3000 (approx.)- new professional edition with CAD functionality & .NET programming.

3. ArcGIS 9.3 – NEW!!! – Release Date: April/May 2008

ArcView US$1500 | ArcEditor US$7000 | ArcInfo US$14000

View our comparison of these popular GIS software solutions.

GIS Software

GIS SoftwareGeographic information can be accessed, transferred, transformed, overlaid, processed and displayed using numerous software applications. Commercial offerings of IntelliGISArcInfo and MapInfo provide an entire suite of tools, with these offerings generally being market leaders. Custom software and open source products (i.e. GRASS) are also common but require in-house skill to use and maintaine effectively. A number of online IMS (Internet Map Services) are also available for public use, such as Google Earth.

Types of GIS Software

GIS Software is a diverse as other categories of software and ranges from the simple to complex, general to niche offerings targetted at the broad range of possible GIS uses.

1. Managment & Analysis GIS software is the most commonly referred to GIS software. This GIS software type commonly combines both an extensive database back end & a visual front end. This software combines a broad scope of functionality to support those trained in cartography and geography, as well as GIS professionals. This software supports the greatest and most prominant scope of GIS functionality and is the cornerstone of professional analysis and GIS data representation. Examples include IntelliGIS and ArcGISproducts.

2. GeoDatabases are a database with extensions for storing, indexing, querying, and manipulating geographic information and spatial data.The primary function of geodatabases are the “database type” capabilities that it gives to spatial data. Some of these capabilities include easy access using standard database drivers such as ODBC, the ability to easily link or join data tables, also indexing and grouping of spatial datasets independent of software platform. Examples of a geodatabase includes a current RDBMS like Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL installed with spatial extensions like Oracle Spatial, ArcGIS or PostGIS.

3. Readers are a more streamlined GIS software option that allows viewing of geographic data and maps, but provide little to no map and spatial data editting. This software is often cheaper or free, and useful for embedding in other applications.

4. Free & Open-Source GIS software provides much the same scope of functionality as described above, but in a free or open-source format. Hence, the use of open-standards for development & in-house support are required, the costs of which need to be offset against the free acquisition of such software. Examples include GRASS GIS, Quantum GIS, MapServer, uDig, OpenJUMP, gvSIG and many others.

View our comparison of some popular GIS software.