Over the years, technology took the giant leaps that resulted in unlocking a plethora of opportunities for individuals as well as enterprises. Most of the things that are common today were meant for restrictive use and purely intended for the department use. Be it the Internet or GPS and Geospatial Analytics for that matter. In fact, the US Department of Defense started GPS for their internal purpose in 1973.
What is GIS?
It is the systematic study of the geographical location of the earth to analyze the territory, resources and spatial location. The early history of GIS dates to 1963 when a Canadian geologist named Roger Tomlinson expressed his interest in creating the CANADA GEOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION SYSTEM. The then Government of Canada, after observing his studies, has officially permitted him to develop such technology. And that has paved way to what we called computerized GIS. The Canadian Government was successful in maintaining a ‘manageable inventory of its natural resources.’ This path-breaking technology had fast spread across the globe with many other nations adopting GIS. Today, almost every field such as health, insurance, retail, real estate, government, water, transportation, electric and gas utilities, and public safety department leverage GIS. Needless to mention, civil engineering is a pioneer in making the optimum use of this technology that never becomes outdated.
The modern GIS, the technology that civil engineering and other fields today leverage deal with the collection of the crucial information and sharing the knowledge across multiple industries through seamless collaboration.
How Does GIS Work?
Geographical Information System Works predominantly in 3 phases
- Maps: Accessible by anyone across the globe in real-time, maps are the first reference materials to identify any natural resources in the specified location. A never-ending list of maps can be retrieved from the repository and downloaded seamlessly. Maps are helpful in conveying the information— that’s accurate in terms of territory and atmosphere—to the enterprise or individuals who would like to analyze the area. So, this happens to be the first step of geospatial analysis.
- Data: Maps are generation and what’ next? Well, now that you have identified a location and its climate and soil type, the interim step is to find out the data of that location. This data essentially includes geographical components, the features of the soil, the changes in the soil type in the specified area—everything recorded on to a spreadsheet for swift retrieval ay any given point of time.
- Analysis: This is the third and most important step in GIS as the entire basic information through maps and in-depth information collected through data sheets need to be analyzed. Spatial analysis is a highly sought-after branch that can be analyzed only by experts in the industry. The geospatial analysis deals with the capability and sustainability of the soil types and predicts the future of that location. For instance, if a heavy bridge is intended to be constructed at a location, only a civil engineer who’s specialized in geospatial analytics would skim through the analytics data and ascertains if the intended structure would be built as per the initial design plan. In case the certain area of the proposed site location falls under the terrain, then the engineer would make changes to the design.
Merits of Geo-spatial Analysis in Civil Engineering
- Landfill Site Assortment
- Town planning
- 360-degree analysis of the site
- Computerized documents of the site location
- Management of the spatial data
- Transportation planning
- Analysis of the environment
- CAD interoperability
- Construction management
- Optimum utilization of the space