Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have a special importance in the new stage of development of the computerized society. The emergence of new versions of collection, processing and management applications for geographic data on personal computers, including the use of computer networks, has led to a continuous increase in the number of users of these systems. There is no field of activity in which geographical data are not used. Of these data, position data and attribute data play a special role. By processing them or by direct query, one can obtain the positions of some objects or phenomena, the areas of some terrestrial surfaces, the volumes of stripping or filling, the flows of some flows, the lengths of some transport routes, the optimal positions of some constructions, etc. Applications involve structuring data and creating geographic databases, more complex than ordinary databases.
These geographical databases must allow easy, easy and quick answers, the calculation of data-derived sizes, the creation of complex reports, including maps, charts, diagrams, cartograms or even cartographic animations, etc., the visualization being much easier and understood. by each user (Nitu, C., 1992).
There are many opinions on the use of the terms "geographic information system" and "geographic information system". It is known that the computer system is that part of the information system that involves the exclusive use of the electronic computer. But can we still talk about the information system without using the electronic computer?
The dilemma also comes from the different translation of the English expression "geographic (al) information system" (GIS). Our option is also related to the role of data, in general of geographical information, this information being the object of knowledge, structuring, collection, validation, storage, processing, management and supply.
The introduction of the discipline "Geographic Information Systems" or GIS, even under another name, in the study program of the Faculty of Geography of the University of Bucharest has proved its usefulness for over a decade. Notions such as geographic database, computer-assisted cartography, telecartography, cartography using web, webmapping, location based services (LBS - location based services) and location based information systems (LBIS - location based information systems), GPS etc. they are becoming accustomed to today's society.
The graduates of the faculty will work in as diverse fields as possible, which involve the use of specific GIS applications. The paper is intended for students of this faculty, but can also be used by students of other faculties studying geonomic sciences or by GIS users in various fields.
The paper refers to the design and implementation of geographical information systems, the discipline of the master's degree program of some specializations of the faculty.
The geographical information system - GIS involves a cooperative activity. At the top level of an organization, GIS professionals need to organize brainstorming meetings to know all the requirements, even create a discussion list on a Web server, so that all users can discuss training issues, set up a working group and generally lead the plan to success.
It is strictly necessary to certify GIS standards at the national level, which leads to good cooperation, with benefits for the entire GIS community. Collaboration, which makes data and documents open and accessible to other users, is a key factor for GIS specialists and this paper has the same noble purpose.
Many books describe a GIS, its components, the necessary programs and equipment, the data and procedures for their collection, validation, processing and storage, data extraction, production of complex products according to conditions required by beneficiaries.
The paper deals with the activities of design and implementation of systems, addressing GIS specialists, but also those who monitor the implementation and use of the system or who prepare feasibility studies and specifications necessary for various subsystems or the system as a whole.
It is interesting to emphasize to whom the work is addressed. Numerous specialists participate in the realization of a GIS, the system being used by several types of users, with different levels of training, the most important being the users who make decisions on the activities of spatial modification of geographical details or removal of the effects of natural and anthropogenic geographical phenomena. .
Much information on design and implementation is contained in hundreds of requirements regarding procedures and data, especially on the structure of databases and files with documentation on databases and program functions and applications. There are probably thousands of public and private documents from organizations and consulting companies that have implemented such systems. Although it is very difficult to gain access to this information; however, there are some general data specific to particular applications, used especially in public institutions.
There are many papers on the design of relational and object databases, but which do not contain information on how to work with spatial data, with which to answer questions that begin with "where". It is important to know how to design a general computer system, but designing a geographic computer system puts new restrictions and requirements.
In the local administration, the design of a database to ensure the planning and zoning activities is quite interesting. The aim of the paper is to explain the problems of spatial data in the design and implementation of a GIS and to provide useful examples to the GIS community.
People become involved in GIS through all kinds of questions and answers. Some become interested in urban planning and civil engineering studies, computer aided design and drawing (CAD), while others in the study of environmental remote sensing or cartography. There are experts or ordinary people who come to GIS from non-technical or mapping studies; but who know and recognize that a GIS could better help them in their duties, for example ethnographers, archaeologists, psychologists, literati, historians, statisticians.
Others come after specialization in spatial planning, environmental geography, public health, geomorphology, climatology, land surveys, property management, tourism, transportation, public safety, from any of the dozens of areas of application that can benefit from GIS. Because there are so many areas of human activity that can benefit from maps and GIS, we must summarize at the general level, without focusing on a particular field of application. The emphasis is on how to work with the data, applications and software that organizations need to consider.