The Power of GIS in our Changing World

in The LIFESTYLE LOUNGE2 years ago (edited)
Pandemic Mapping

How can geographical maps be used to find the source of pandemics?

The use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to find the cause or source of a pandemic dates back 1854 when a British physician, John Snow, analyzed the relationship between water pumps and cholera cases, and came to the conclusion that water was the cause in spreading the disease, and thus the spread of Cholera was halted with the use of GIS when this physician made the spatial connection between water pumps and the disease.

GIS made a huge impact on curbing many other health conditions such as:

  • 1890 – Maps were used to delineate the geographical distribution of rickets.

  • 1948 and 1956 – Spatial analysis was used to study the relationship between sunlight and cancer.

  • 2017 – GIS played a role in a study of the Ebola Virus.

  • 2019 to today - GIS currently is proving to be an extremely valuable tool using geographical information to study issues around the virus and trying to get a better understanding of the spread of the virus.

covid19 map.JPG

As seen by these situations, GIS has been successful in providing an in depth understanding of public health issues, therefore it’s no wonder that people are turning to GIS for answers about the coronavirus.

Platform set by Land Surveyors

I’m sure we’ve all seen those guys next to the highways or in the middle of a field, bending at all kind of angles over an instrument on top of a tripod, squinting with one eye through a lens.
Technology in the field of surveying has advanced at quite a mind-boggling pace.

What are these guys and nowadays even gals looking for, we wonder?

Land Surveying is the science and practice of recording and setting out the exact measurements of man-made and natural features of the earth's surface.

Land surveying is said by many historians to be the second oldest profession in the world, dating back to ancient times in Egypt, Babylon, Greece and Rome with the establishment of cities and kingdoms and having to determine land ownership.

Historians further believe that early precision surveying techniques originated in Egypt, with the Great Pyramid of Giza which was built in 2700 BC being an amazing feat and proof of their skill as they had no modern surveying equipment.

What is GIS?

Briefly, GIS is computer software and information providing a visual representation of data where software is used to capture, manipulate, analyse, display and view geographical data such that users can search specific geographical information in a specified locality.
Without accurate boundaries and positioning of geographical features as determined by land surveyors, GIS simply would not exist, or would be a case of thumb-sucking and many more wars!

What is the point of all this data?

GIS is a valuable tool for the Cartographer requiring accurate data to produce specialized maps to depict the relationship between different elements; don't be fooled into thinking that Google Maps can provide the same results, GIS is a whole different ball game!

Crime Mapping
A prime example is where GIS is used for crime mapping, an excellent tool helping crime fighters pinpoint areas they need to focus on; it minimizes victimization and helps the police or security companies forecast times and the types of crime in different neighbourhoods.

Blue Security Crime Map.JPG

Emergency Responders
GIS further gives real time data to emergency responders about geographical layouts as well as possible protest actions which are becoming the norm here of late!

Informed Business Decisions
GIS is an excellent tool to use when making business decisions as all data captured has attributes such as demographics which can assist in determining a viable site for a restaurant or hotel, shopping mall, school and so forth.

Project Management
It is essential for town and regional planning, engineering, conservation and many other projects, by improving communication between these various disciplines working on the same project.

Saying goodbye to GIS as a career
I shared my very My first ever HIVE BLOG POST challenge - What is a GIS Technician? just over two weeks ago in a challenge set by @jaynie, but thought it appropriate to write a more in-depth post outlining the uses of GIS in the changing world we're finding ourselves in.

Although I said goodbye to it as a career, GIS is a tool I still use from time to time as it's really useful for us in the tourism industry.

Sadly the implementation of the system is failing in many local authorities in our country for various reasons; mainly due to political appointees who lack the skill and vision, so we still have a long way to go.

There are many online GIS providers who offer software and maps at no cost; do your own research for relevant data, or take a peek at ESRI if you'd like to learn more about this exciting field.

Hive animated divider 1.gif

PS - for those who were not aware of it, check out our very own Pinmapple

Pinmapple is a collection of the best travel content on the Hive blockchain shown on a map.

Read all about it HERE

Heart page break.png
Original Content by @lizelle
Thank you for stopping by
Copyright @lizelle – All Rights Reserved

Banner created by @derangedvisions

Banner created by @zord189


I agree woth @bigtom13! This was a nice informative and fun piece! Hive could use more of this :)

A while back there was an interesting article about a similar topic in the National Geographic. This kind of data visualization is so useful. And nowadays interactively presented, lots of fun and addictive ;p

It certainly is very interesting & a whole load of fun to see how things are interconnected @michelmake!
Thanks for your valued comments.

Oh, Lizelle! What a seriously good article. That is just beauty.

I'm no cartographer but I do love maps of all sorts. I have a two maps of the US on my living room walls. One is the official USHighway department map of the Scenic Byways in the US and the other is shaded by using road density. It's a bit different than a population map would be.

The two sources you provided alone were worth more than the price of admission! Thank you!

I'm really hooked on maps as well and stil like the feel of a real hard copy as opposed to looking at it online.
One benefit of reading a GIS Map online is that as you zoom in, more layers of data become visible so it is better jn that respect!
So glad you enjoyed it bigtom13, thankyouforthelovelycomments!

Hello Lizelle :)
I have been in GIS to before and sure it would be nice to have Esri’s engine assisting Hive with Location Intelligence. As the Hive platform grows and matures, I am sure we will be able to produce nice maps related to projects and posts. GIS is so cool 😎

Hey @newparadigmtt, the possibilities really are endless! I'm not sure if you're aware of Pinmapple and the Haveyoubeenhere community where one can pin one's Hive travel posts on a map, run by @martibis who set up @pinmapple.
Thank you so much for your interesting input! Who knows what the future holds not so!

Yes, GIS is a powerful tool for scientists