GIS: Geographic Information Systems, Geographic
Information Science, or Geographic Information Studies.
What is a GIS?
In the strictest sense, a GIS is a computer system capable of assembling,
storing, manipulating, and displaying geographically referenced
information, i.e. data identified according to their locations.
GIS practitioners also regard the total GIS as including operating
personnel and the data that go into the system. The first GIS was
developed in the mid 1960s (1963) as the Canadian Geographic Information
System (CGIS) associated with the Canada Land Inventory.
MCHP has been doing GIS analysis since the start of the centre
and before. Much of the research repository data is already geographically
based through postal and municipal codes. MCHP has always looked
at location of residence, location of service, migration and changes
in residence. More recently, MCHP has looked at education measures
tied to Regional Health Authority (RHA) and Winnipeg areas, child
inequality measures, and neighbourhood socio-economic characteristics
by community centre areas. Most of this work was presented without
using maps. RHA and other health regions are all geographic units.
Income quintiles and other SES measures are based on the geographic
location of individuals and household income by neighbourhoods.
In other words GIS is nothing new; however, presenting information
as maps has not been extensively used and geo-locating and referencing
has typically been done by hand.
Maps have been used and developed from SAS in the past at MCHP.
This was often a long and painful process since the maps provided
by SAS did not contain the base maps required for Manitoba. Creating,
editing, and importing new maps into PROC GMAP was very time consuming.
In addition, using and manipulating map data for presentation and
basic analysis was difficult. More recently SAS has added a GIS
component to its software package that makes the process of mapping
much easier. While SAS/GIS software has many of the components of
GIS packages like ArcGIS, MapInfo, and GRASS it is still quite limited.
For more information on using SAS, please refer to our SAS
This workshop covers data presentation using maps and getting data
into and out of ArcGIS. We will also cover adding some your own
data from tables. The primary tool used in this workshop will be
ArcMap.GIS for this workshop is limited to presentation of geographic
information using maps.
This workshop will not be covering the creating or editing of maps,
spatial statistics, use of raster/bitmap images, network analysis,
geodatabases, or other advanced techniques. This is intended as
a workshop to provide an introduction to the use of ArcMap and some
GIS concepts, it should not be considered a complete introduction
to GIS. A print copy of the course notes is available (Course
Notes.pdf) as well as a georeferencing addition (georeferencing.pdf).
ArcMap 8.2 from ESRI (Environmental
Systems Research Institute) ArcGIS Desktop will be used for this
workshop. There are a few factors which make ArcView or ArcGIS the
most appropriate choice for this workshop: The University of Manitoba
has a site licence for ArcGIS through the Department of Environment
and Geography, it is widely used and supported, and it is primarily
a vector based application which works well for our needs. Until
recently we have not used ArcGIS 8.2 very much because it requires
more powerful computers than were generally available. A free package
called ArcExplorer is available from ESRI and will allow users to
display but not edit or manipulate maps or tables. There are a wide
variety of other GIS packages for sale and for free: MapInfo, EpiMap,
Idrisi, GRASS, etc…
Tools Within ArcGIS
-Map: display and presenting maps (Relates most to ArcView 3.3)
-Catalog: manage, storage, locations, defaults, creating new files,
-Toolbox: transformations, statistics
1 ArcView supports simple features (points, lines, polygons, and
static annotation) in a personal geodatabase, not rules and relationships.
2 ArcView and ArcEditor support more than 25 raster formats. ArcInfo
supports more than 30 raster formats.
3 ArcToolbox in ArcView and ArcEditor contains 36 basic data conversion
tools. ArcToolbox in ArcInfo contains more than 170 data management,
analysis, and conversion tools.
4 ArcGIS Desktop supports both Windows XP Home Edition and Windows
Resources, References, and Acknowledgements