Saturday, August 18, 2012

20120817 GIS in Geography Fieldwork

Attended a sharing session by a university lecturer yesterday - an invite from a friend who's very passionate in Geography and the use of GIS (in the subject).

Both the subject and the technology are 'alien' to me, though I heard of GIS since it was introduced to schools in the 1st IT Masterplan. One unique feature that I think I know about GIS is its layered feature, where data could be nicely categories and presented in layers. Definitely, the next thing I would associate it with are Maps and Population/ Demographics related data.

Thanks to the widespread use and accessibility of the internet, GIS is now much more accessible and affordable, at least, the web-version that was recommended - QGIS is free and it has both Windows and Mac versions :)

One interesting feature of GIS is that it's able capture maps from various map database like GoogleMap, BingMap, OneMap and OpenStreetMap. On the other hand, the illustration on the use is something that isn't new (oh yes, I'm a bit disappointed).

On the whole, I guess the key takeaway is knowing there's an affordable version of GIS, and the other map database, OpenStreetMap which might be handy. Have not quite explored yet, however, it seems to have more embedded data. Well, hopefully these data can be extracted even without having to use QGIS?

On the other hand, I guess I learnt something, as a presenter, should not do - use "reverse psychology" (I presume) in an attempt to generate buy-in. I think there's no need to "de-suade"others by telling people how complicated or difficult it is. Certainly, I don't quite like the constant 'reminder' on the use of the funding in school to purchase the software (when eventually what's introduced is free). Of course, I do appreciate the fact he pointed out the need for people to come together to generate data so that the platform becomes useful.

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