This article lists and explains various key and important components of GIS. The elements listed as components of geographic information system are almost similar in different types of GIS systems available. Knowing this concept forms a foundation for understanding the workflow of GIS in various applications.
GIS components are very important as the data flows through various components before it finally becomes as information for the final end user.
These are different elements which are very much required for forming a Geographic Information System. Various key elements of GIS are Hardware, Software, Data, Methods and People. All these 5 elements are required for successful implementation of GIS. The listed components are described briefly in the following sections.
The basic hardware in GIS includes a Computer device consisting of monitor, CPU, Keyboard and printers, scanners, digitizing tablets, digitizing pens, Hard disks for memory etc.
Software is what provides the interface and offers various functionality for data processing through the inbuilt methods bundled in various modules of it. There are so many different types of software available for working on variety of applications. Some of most popular GIS software are ArcGIS, QGIS, Grass etc.
Data is the most important element and heart of GIS. Without data, there is no information. Data is collected using various means and is transferred into computer using various methods of data input. Input and storage devices present in hardware are used for capturing the data into computer. This data is processed using various functions for generating the desired output to the user.
Methods are the functions which provides data analyzing, manipulating and handling capabilities to the GIS. The data captured in the GIS is accessed and manipulated or processed using various tools present in GIS for preparing different results which are required in various applications. Some of the examples for methods include union, intersection and buffering etc.
People includes both GIS professionals and end users. The data is handled in GIS by GIS professionals for producing various types of maps which are required for the final end user.