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Thursday, June 30, 2005

GIS: Pros and Cons

GIS can do many great things for map making. One I find the most benifitial is being able to layer data into maps. This visual display of data makes understanding the data much easier for me since I am a visual person by nature. Being able to layer data ontop of each other is also great. Instead of having to consult two or three maps everything can be complined easily into just one map. When doing so with print maps the data can get lost and the map become unclear or hard to read. However, with GIS layers can be turned on or off when not needed.

There are drawbacks to adding map layers though. If the data is poor or incorrect, the map will also be. While it may be easy to get data from the internet or other places easily, not all the data is reliable. Sometimes data is also hard to understand and the meanings being the numbers are missing. Using data like that makes poor maps. This is one of the major drawbacks of GIS systems. The maps are only as good as the data put into them.

GIS has many more pros and cons associated with it then the two I have listed here. Overall though, I believe the pros far outweigh the cons and as long as proper training is available GIS can make some fabulous maps.


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