|What is GIS?|
|Why a Separate Database?|
|Who Uses GIS?|
|BG-Map vs Other GIS?| |Other GIS Sites|
What is a GIS?A GIS (Geographic Information System) is a sophisticated computer based mapping and information retrieval system. Every GIS consists of three primary components:
To form a true GIS, all three components must be tightly integrated.
- A powerful computer graphics program that is used to draw a map.
- One or more external databases that are linked to the objects shown on the map. This linkage permits changes entered into the database to be immediately displayed on the map and querying of the database directly from the map.
- A set of analysis tools that can be used to graphically interpret the externally stored data, for example, by showing objects or regions that meet certain criteria in different colors or shadings.
Why Use a Database That is Separate From the Map?A relational database is far more efficient than a computer map for storage and retrieval of text data, particularly when a large number of data records are present. By using the map to hold the graphical portion of the data, and the database for the text portion, maximum efficiency is obtained. Further, the data in the database becomes easily available for sharing with other software applications.
Who Uses GIS?GIS technology is used by anyone who needs to interpret or display large quantities of data on a spatial or geographic basis. Frequent user's of GIS include:
- Governments - for tracking land usage, utilities, real estate parcels, and for emergency response planning
- Businesses - for interpreting demographic data
- Scientists - for depicting the distribution of geological formations, soils, plants, and animals
What is the Difference Between BG-Map and Other GIS Systems?Like any other GIS, BG-Map consists of a computer drawn map, an external database, and a set of analysis tools. However, for botanical garden use, BG-Map offers several advantages over other GIS systems:
- BG-Map is Specifically Designed for Botanical Gardens
Attempting to adapt a general purpose GIS to meet the unique needs of a botanical garden can be difficult and time consuming. BG-Map is already designed to to do the things that botanical gardens and arboreta need to do in managing and interpreting their plant collections.
- BG-Map is Not a "One of a Kind" System
A general purpose GIS adapted for use in a botanical garden is a "one of a kind" system. If the developer of the system leaves, the garden for which it was developed may be left without support. BG-Map is a standardized GIS solution, already in use at a number of major gardens, supported by an ongoing software maintenance program. And, you can share your experiences and questions with other BG-Map users.
- BG-Map is Easy to Use
BG-Map is not cluttered with commands and functions associated with other disciplines. The functions that BG-Map performs are only those specifically needed by botanical gardens and arboreta, arranged into an easy to use menu structure, with fill-in dialog boxes and help screens.
- BG-Map is the Only GIS that links to BG-BASE, the Most Widely Used Botanical Garden Database
BG-Map is the only available GIS that provides a direct data link to BG-BASE, the most widespread botanical garden data management tool in use today - installed at botanical gardens and arboreta worldwide.
Other GIS sites on The World Wide WebFor further information on GIS, try:
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