GIS: Application of GIS in Transportation

Not many of us are not aware so as to how GIS (Geographical information System) is widely used in fields of Transportation and Logistics (Read more: What is a GIS and how does it work? Applications of GIS) . How can GIS help us work with real time information and solve any problem relating to routing and navigation?

What if we have information relating to route planning, shortest route detection and alternate routes? Our lives will be much more organised with these things available in hand. Traffic Management, will be much simpler and route planning will be helpful in case of any disaster.

Geographic Information Systems for Transportation (GIS-T) refers to the principles and applications of applying geographic information technologies to transportation problems.

A real time information need to be fed to the GIS application (software) and based on this, the tool gives us information of whatever query we need to solve. For example in simple case when all the data related to number of houses in particular locality, its area and road network is given we can compute the shortest route for a fire brigade for that area also location of a fire station can be estimated based on the information provided.

Transportation professionals all over the world have discovered and applied GIS as an important tool in, planning, evaluating, and managing transportation systems.
It is widely used in:

  • Aviation: By combining IT and spatial information, aviation has used GIS in many ways. With cost effective, web based platform it is easy to link the real time information and also carry out planning and managing operation. For example Manchester airport is planning to invest in implementing GIS to map and record asset information in one central database, to be shared between departments. Multiple layers of information will be accessible on a map, enabling airports to visualise any and all requirements. Thus, helping in optimum airport management and to streamline the information efficiently.
  • Public Transport: With everything getting “smarter” and” better” , people are more inclined towards having a transport system which is systematic and organised. Today GPS/GNSS is working a great deal with Geographic Information System to enable good transport facility to the people. In India, GPS embedded transport facility along with Web application and spatial information is doing well, both in public and private sectors. It is time saving as well as cost-effective. Arc GIS Network Analyst now provide transportation network model, so that one can plan their routes and maximise the value of their resources with the click of a button.
  • Logistics: Logistics involves the flow of goods and information from one point to another but optimised routing is more than just getting from point A to point B. Today many businesses carry their operations at geographically dispersed locations and hence there is a need for analysis and modelling of routing and location. GIS technology gives the capability to analyse streets and demographic data and retail store locations to provide first-class service to the customer while developing opportunities. Information can be shared to reduce redundancy in marketing and increases employee efficiency.
  • Ports and Maritime: It is important to have complete information about the current port conditions. GIS helps in maximising investment and the use of resources and through assessment of deterioration pattern and risk of ports. It can be a support system in :
  1. Infrastructure building and Planning(Port Design)
  2. Storm Water Management
  3. Spill Response and Management
  4. Real-Time Vehicle Location
  5. Bathymetric data used for further application.
  • Railways: GIS is extensively used in Railways and the aspiring developers of GIS promise to provide a solution based technology to manage assets, maximise throughput and provides monitory safety for passengers.
    For example Bulgarian Railway Network Management used GIS to form a system that provides access to data about the railway network and helps to improve the railway structure management. GIS has been extensively used to monitor and evaluate sites and infrastructure facilities to integrate staff responsibilities and address different strategic and operational tasks.

Thus, this form of information system is every widely used in all developed countries to efficiently managing resource and investment activities. Transport is one such sector where its scope is ever increasing. With the advent of GPS and its combination with Geographical information System it has become one of the aspiring areas for research and development.

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