What is Geoinformatics?
Geoinformatics is that branch of science which uses the infrastructure of science to address the problems of geography, cartography, geosciences and related branches of science and engineering. It collects and organise the data and then analyse it through computation and geo-visualization.
Scope of the Geoinformatics
The term 'Geoinformatics' is a combination of two words- Geology or Geography and Informatics. The realm of Geoinformatics is very broad because it comprises of subjects like Remote sensing, GPS, GIS, cartography, hydrology, climatology, Aerial photography, photogrammetry etc.
Braches of Geoinformatics
There are seven branches of geoinformatics which are discussed below:
1. Cartography: It is a combination of two word ‘carta’ which means map and ‘graphy’ that is something written or represented in the specified manner, or about a specified subject. In other words, it is an art, technique, or practice of compiling or drawing maps or charts. It is the systematic representation of the Earth or a part of the Earth with its meridians and parallels upon a flat surface. The technology has transform the cartography because before that drawing maps are the only concern and now cartographic process is concerned with data manipulation, data capture, image processing and visual display.
2. Geodesy: It is that branch of geology which studies the shape of the earth and the determination of the exact position of geographical points.
3. Photogrammetry: It refers to the method of surveying or map making by photography and also used in determining the height and motions of clouds, sea waves. It is used in architecture, engineering, and quality control. It describes from three words- 'photo-light'; 'gram-drawing'; 'metry-measurement'.
4. Remote Sensing: It is the science of obtaining information about objects or areas from a distance, typically from aircraft or satellites. It collects data by detecting the reflected energy from the Earth. It has wide range of application such as monitoring of ocean circulation and current systems; measuring the temperature and wave height of ocean; track hurricanes, earthquakes, erosion, and flooding; monitor land use, map wetlands, and chart wildlife habitats. Hyperspectral imaging, sonar, and seismograms are common application of the remote sensing.
5. Spatial Analysis: It is a technique to study the patterns of human behaviour and its spatial expression in terms of topological, geometric and geographic properties.
6. Web Mapping: It is the process of using the maps delivered by geographic information systems (GIS) in World Wide Web.
7. Global Navigation Satellite Systems: It is that branch of geoinformatics that provide precise positioning of anything on the surface of the planet. It is used in satellites, military defence and telecommunication.
Application of geoinformatics
1. It is used for urban planning and land use management.
2. It is used for car navigation.
3. It is used for creating virtual globes.
4. It is used for environmental modelling and analysis.
5. It is used in agriculture, meteorology and to study the climate change.
6. It is used for oceanography and atmosphere modelling.
7. It is used in telecommunications, criminology and crime simulation.
8. It is used in aviation, biodiversity conservation and maritime transport.
9. It is used in disaster risk management.
Hence, we can say that Geoinformatics is one of the powerful technologies of the 21st century. This is totally data driven that helps to support basic scientific inquiry as well as address the complex social and environmental challenges. It becomes very important technology to decision-makers across a wide range of disciplines such as computer science, information technology, software engineering, biogeography, geography, conservation, architecture, spatial analysis and reinforcement learning.