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History of GIS; Beginning to Now Journey of Geographical Information System

History of GIS; Beginning to Now of Journey Geographical Information System

A Geographic Information System (GIS) is designed to capture, manipulate, store, analyze, and manage data. It is an extension of cartography — the science of making maps — and allows individuals to visualize, analyze, question, and interpret data. Interested parties can use GIS to understand relationships, trends, and patterns better. Throughout this article, we will be assessing GIS History as a point of interest.
A GIS is like a cartographic document in the sense they both contain examples of a base map, where additional data has been added as necessary. There is no limit to the amount of data that can be added to a GIS map, which capitalizes on analysis and presents data in support of arguments.
The history of GIS all started in 1854. Cholera hit the city of London, England. British physician John Snow began mapping outbreak locations, roads, property boundaries and water lines.
When he added these features to a map, something interesting happened:

The Early History of GIS

The field of geographic information systems (GIS) started in the 1960s as computers and early concepts of quantitative and computational geography emerged. Early GIS work included important research by the academic community. Later, the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis, led by Michael Goodchild, formalized research on key geographic information science topics such as spatial analysis and visualization. These efforts fueled a quantitative revolution in the world of geographic science and laid the groundwork for GIS. 

The First GIS

Roger Tomlinson’s pioneering work to initiate, plan, and develop the Canada Geographic Information System resulted in the first computerized GIS in the world in 1963. The Canadian government had commissioned Tomlinson to create a manageable inventory of its natural resources. He envisioned using computers to merge natural resource data from all provinces. Tomlinson created the design for automated computing to store and process large amounts of data, which enabled Canada to begin its national land-use management program. He also gave GIS its name. 

The Harvard Laboratory

While at Northwestern University in 1964, Howard Fisher created one of the first computer mapping software programs known as SYMAP. In 1965, he established the Harvard Laboratory for Computer Graphics. While some of the first computer map-making software was created and refined at the Lab, it also became a research center for spatial analysis and visualization. Many of the early concepts for GIS and its applications were conceived at the Lab by a talented collection of geographers, planners, computer scientists, and others from many fields.

Esri is Founded

In 1969, Jack Dangermond—a member of the Harvard Lab—and his wife Laura founded Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. (Esri). The consulting firm applied computer mapping and spatial analysis to help land use planners and land resource managers make informed decisions. The company’s early work demonstrated the value of GIS for problem solving. Esri went on to develop many of the GIS mapping and spatial analysis methods now in use. These results generated a wider interest in the company’s software tools and work-flows that are now standard to GIS.

GIS Goes Commercial

As computing became more powerful, Esri improved its software tools. Working on projects that solved real-world problems led the company to innovate and develop robust GIS tools and approaches that could be broadly used. Esri’s work gained recognition from the academic community as a new way of doing spatial analysis and planning. In need of analyzing an increasing number of projects more effectively, Esri developed ARC/INFO—the first commercial GIS product. The technology was released in 1981 and began the evolution of Esri into a software company.

GIS Today

GIS gives people the ability to create their own digital map layers to help solve real-world problems. GIS has also evolved into a means for data sharing and collaboration, inspiring a vision that is now rapidly becoming a reality—a continuous, overlapping, and interoperable GIS database of the world, about virtually all subjects. Today, hundreds of thousands of organizations are sharing their work and creating billions of maps every day to tell stories and reveal patterns, trends, and relationships about everything.

Time-traveling in the past to see just how much a location has changed over time with historic street view.

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