Geographic Information System on a civil engineering

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Key to this research is the various information software used in the analysis and presentation of civil engineering works. Introduction The GIS (geographic information system) is a modern scientific system and software capable of acquiring or capturing, recording, integrating and present in more clearly and understandable format for all geographic data. The system will analyze information such as landscape, terrain and hydrology and eventually display the required output whether in 3-D or maps to be used in engineering purposes. Since GIS is jurisdictional, they can be specifically designed to analyze and present civil engineering data and therefore aid in civil engineering design. Such application especially witnessed in GIS is restrictive and would therefore be a civil engineers very important tool. Any application information system that has the ability to capture, integrate, analyze and display in such formats that can be understood is called GIS (Chang 2008). In civil engineering GIS can be taken to use such software as CAD and PROKON which analyze and present civil engineering data. PROKON can be adequately used to carry out structural analysis and present the results in more practical engineering terms. The info is then used for the practical design to ensure completion of the project. Others include Nisa Design Studio, Fastrack, Structural BIM, Vision Civil and S-Frame (Fu amp. Sun. 2010). Literature review Application of GIS can be traced back to the 1832 use of spatial analysis in what has recently become known as the field of epidemiology. This was done by the Geographer Charles Picquet who attempted to represent the whole city of Paris, showing all its districts, using colour variations or gradient. Further developments could include the cholera representation in London by John Snow where points were used to indicate specific cases in specific areas in regard to geographic location and proximity. The Snow representation added value to the previously existing ideas of topography as the element of analysis of clusters was incorporated in addition to the aspect of representation or depiction that was earlier known. This has been the basis of GIS applications where cartographic methods are used to analyze geographically dependent elements (Chang 2008). With advancement in technology and by the 20th century, there was the development of photozincography where maps could now be split into layers to represent vegetation, water and similar phenomena. Though tedious, the aspect of separate layers made it more interesting and accurate as confusion was easily avoided by the draughtsman working on the maps. Colour printing improved this further where printing was done and this enhanced quality output of the maps as well as proper storage. This was the basis of the contemporary GIS concept (Chang 2008). The Canadian GIS (CGIS) brought with it more advantages as opposed to the previous technique of computer mapping. Through CGIS, it was possible to do overlays, measurement and scanning, a feature not previously available through computer mapping. Since the system supported the national coordinate system which covered the whole continent and also stored locational information as supporting files, the system was more effective in analyzing geographic data for it was mainly designed. The result of the Dr. Tomlinson’s contribution is the basis of the modern GIS and is thus conveniently referred to as