FAQ

What is GIS?

What is GIS?

GIS stands for Geographic Information System, a means of storing, displaying, and analyzing data that can be referenced geographically. Maps are a common GIS product. A GIS consists of data, computer hardware and software, and of course, operating personnel.

A GIS takes data stored in traditional tabular format databases (i.e. rows and columns), and gives it geographic references so that it can be displayed graphically. A GIS can also organize data by subject matter or theme, via data sub-sets called layers. A GIS can combine many layers of information.

Why use a GIS?

Why use a GIS?

One of the most common reasons to use a GIS is its ability to create graphical images — maps — from database data. It is often easier to identify patterns in such images than in tables and rows.

Because a GIS can link data sets together, it can make data sharing and management easier. GIS can also assist with decision-making, because it helps users to analyze, query, and map the data. “Answers” can be displayed visually, allowing the user to compare different data more easily.

Is GIS the same as GPS?

Is GIS the same as GPS?

GIS and GPS are not the same thing, but they are related. GPS stands for Global Positioning System, a worldwide radio-navigation system of 24 satellites and their ground stations. GPS uses these satellites as reference points to calculate positions accurate to meters. These geographic position data are converted to a file that can be used by a GIS, which can map it to show the location of the actual coordinates.

How are maps drawn?

How are maps drawn?

To draw the Earth (or a portion of it) onto a map, map makers use different map projections that apply (or “project”) the curved Earth surface onto a flat map. Although no projection will perfectly depict all areas of the Earth, different map projections make specific areas of the Earth look as accurate and realistic as possible.

You can learn more about map projections from the USGS at http://www.nationalatlas.gov/articles/mapping/a_projections.html.

Do you provide Training?

Do you provide Training?

We provide GIS training to a variety of clients on different topics. Yellow Dot also operates in conjunction with Professional Training Organisations, such as GIS College. Please contact us to find out more about our training schedule.

Who is using GIS?

Who is using GIS?

Without even thinking, tens of millions of people access directions and look-up local businesses from GPS enabled mobile phones every day. Let’s tie this back to our big picture here, GIS. The 24 GPS satellites orbiting earth are constantly broadcasting data about their location and exact time. Your GPS device or phone receives and process the signals from three to four of these satellites to figure out where it is located. Points of interest, addresses (lines or points), and aerial or road data is all stored in a database that is accessed by your device. When you submit data, such as posting a geo-Tweet (a location-based Tweet on Twitter), or rating a restaurant you are adding data to one or more GIS data sources.

We want to use GIS but we do not have any base data. Can you help?

We want to use GIS but we do not have any base data. Can you help?

There is a lot of data available from Government bodies. Much of this is available for free, but varies from State to State. The Queensland Government has recently launched an initiative to make quantities of spatial data available to the public, free of charge. This also includes some aerial imagery. We regularly assist clients with their data acquisition, implementation and management processes.

What are your hours of operation?

What are your hours of operation?

General hours are:

9:00am to 5:30pm, Monday to Friday.

FAQ didnt solve your problem?

Here are several ways for you to get assistance

Need Support?

There are many resources available to you if you want to find out more about GIS.

Some of it makes for great reading or educational topics.

Here are a few links to help you on your way to learning more about what GIS can do and where it is heading:

The GIS Lounge
http://www.gislounge.com – This is great for information on what sorts of things GIS can be used for and what is happening in the industry.

ESRI
http://www.esri.com - ESRI is a leading GIS software company. It is producing leading technology for GIS and associated fields. They have an excellent resource to search for most topics on GIS.

National Atlas
http://www.nationalatlas.gov – This is a good resource for technical information about things such as projections and cartography.

Geoscience Australia
http://www.ga.gov.au – Geoscience Australia applies geoscience to Australia’s most important challenges by providing geoscience information, services and capability to the Australian community. Much of the data they supply to the public is FREE..