A Geographic Information Retrieval System
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
According to Chang, K. T. (2008), Geographic Information Retrieval System (GIRS) is a system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage and present all types of geographical data. The acronym GIRS is sometimes used for geographical information science or geospatial information a study which refers to the academic discipline or career of working with geographic information system. In simplest terms GIRS is the merging of cartography, statistical analysis and database technology.
A geographical information retrieval system can be thought of as a system which digitally creates and manipulates spatial areas that may be jurisdictional, purpose or application- oriented. Generally, a GIRS can be custom designed for an organization. Hence, a GIS developed for an application jurisdiction, enterprise or purpose may not be necessarily interoperable or compatible with a GIRS that has been developed for some other application, jurisdiction, enterprise or purpose. What goes beyond a GIRS is a spatial infrastructure, a concept that has no such restrictive boundaries.
In general sense, the term GIRS describes any information system that integrates, stores, edits, analyzes, shares and displays geographic information for informed decision making. GIRS applications are tools that allow users to create interactive queries (user – created searches), analyze spatial information, edit data in maps and present the result of all these operations. Geographic information science is the science underlying geographic concepts, applications and systems.
The link between geography and information technology can not to a very large extent be over- emphasized.
Using Enugu State tourism board as a case study has helped to give a comprehensive understanding of the importance and the need of a geographic information system, as it is believed, information technology has a significant role in geographic information system and high level of expectations would and is already being demanded from its use both in Nigeria and the world at large.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
In our daily lives as humans, most of our endeavors involve moving from one location to another for one thing or the other. A problem emerges when there is no proper direction or a system as to give accurate direction in locating our destination, what the said destination contains and what is has to offer. This is the problem the state has as concerning tourism, whereby a good number of tourists
(most especially tourists visiting for the very first time) and other individuals wanting to visit tourist sites in the state but cannot do so because of the lack of a well detailed system to provide them (tourists) with an accurate geographic information system as to how to locate these sites within the state.
Due to the lack of an accurate geographic information retrieval system as far as tourism is concerned, most tourists are discouraged from exploring these tourist locations within the state, this in turn hampers the positive impact that tourism is meant to have on the development in the state and the Nigerian society at large.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
1. To examine the existing / current system in regards to how geographic information for tourism is provided for tourists in and outside the state.
2. To improve on the already existing system by designing a geographic information retrieval system that is well detailed and easily accessible.
3. This study also seeks to help in broadening the scope of tourism in the state through providing a comprehensive geographic information retrieval system.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance of this study is to show that a link between geography and other professions can be created on the platform of information technology. i.e. to show that with information technology the problem of location can and is solved to a very large extent.
1.5 SCOPE OF STUDY
The scope of this study is limited to tourist locations and hotels within the state using the Enugu state tourism board as a case study in view of providing / improving on the existing geographic information system of the board for tourism in the state.
1.6 LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
Time was a major constraint faced during the research for this project work and limited the effort in developing a much more comprehensive package needed in the design and implementation of the geographic information retrieval system.
1.7 DEFINITION OF TERMS
GEOGRAPHY: Geography is a science that deals with the distribution and arrangement of all elements of the earth‟s surface. The word geography was adopted in the 200s BC by the Greek Scholar Eratosthenes and means „earth description.‟
INFORMATION SYSTEM: An information system can be defined technically as a set of interrelated components that collect (or retrieve), process, store and distribute information to support decision making and control in an organization.
GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION RETRIEVAL SYSTEM: A “geographic information system” (GIRS) is a computer-based tool that allows you to create, manipulate, analyze, store and display information based on its location LOCATION: The position, site or sitting of somebody or something.
MAP: A diagrammatic drawing of something such as a route or area made to show the location or how to get there.
TOURISM: Travel to benefit from a particular service or activity that is unavailable at home.
COMPUTER : An electronic device that can accept data/ information inform of input , process the data /information in order to produce an output and also has the capability to store the information for future use.
DATA: Data refers to raw or unprocessed information.
SOFTWARE: This is the logically written instruction that controls the operations of the hardware.
HARDWARE: This is the physical components of computer system and other geographic tools or devices.
DATABASE: This is the collection of related data/ information stored mostly in a central location.
COMPUTER AIDED DESIGN (CAD): Software programs for the design, drafting and presentation of graphics. Originally designed for manufacturing and drawing, now also widely used for mapping.
OPERATING SYTEM: A series of computer programs which control the operations of the computer itself. Application programs such as GIS software run under an operating system. Examples of operating system include UNIX, VMS, DOS etc.