Geographic information systems (GIS) and geographic positioning systems (GPS)


Write a paper consisting of 350- to 700-words that develop an expanded understanding of geographic information systems (GIS) and geographic positioning systems (GPS) for your current or future career field and how it is used today. Research and discuss two the following aspects:

  • Relationships of the geographical subfields and how they might be incorporated into a GIS/GPS application in your field.
  • Research if there are ways to obtain training on applying GIS/GPS in your specific career field. Would you find these types of trainings helpful? Why or why not?
  • Changes that trigger other changes, such as natural disasters. How can GIS/GPS be applied to track the changes and help us understand potential threats like global warming, recurring events, or natural disasters within your perspective career field and/or regional areas.



          Question 1

Relationships of the geographical subfields and how they might be incorporated into a GIS/GPS application in your field.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a system which enables people to capture, analyze, interpret, manipulate and present geographical data. A Global Positioning System (GPS) is a system that enables users or people to know their exact position or location at all times, and in any part of the world (Dahlman & Renwick, 2014). Physical geography and human geography form the major subfields of geography. Physical geography is concerned with natural phenomena or the natural world. On the other hand, human geography is concerned with people, cultures, and their impacts on the natural environment.  These subfields are related in a number of ways. Both physical and human geography analyze the impacts of carbon emissions on climate, which can be classified in both human and physical geography. Both of these subfields are also related in that they examine the relationship of human beings and the natural environment.

The geographical subdivisions can be integrated into a GIS/GPS application in the field. Practice in civil engineering requires the integration of both human as well as physical geography. Civil engineering is concerned with design and construction of structures such as roads, buildings, bridges, dams, and others. GIS/GPS systems can be used to obtain important data such as traffic monitoring, surveying, and assessing the possible impacts of a particular project on the environment. In surveying, the systems enables engineers to obtain important data such where to place mileposts, signs and other traffic signals. This involves both the physical and human subfields.

Catastrophic weather events such as floods, disease outbreaks, drought, storms, and others can cause great damage especially where people are living in congested areas. Disaster management deals with both physical as well as human geography (Tomaszewski, 2014). When disasters strike even the natural habitats are destroyed. A global information system can provide crucial details concerning the area affected by disaster such as the population density, enabling civil engineers to thoroughly plan for ways to address such disasters in those areas. A GPS system can be used to map the entire area.

Question 2

Research if there are ways to obtain training on applying GIS/GPS in your specific career field. Would you find these types of trainings helpful? Why or why not?`

There a many ways civil engineering students can obtain training on GIS/GPS application in their career field. Some institutions offer a training course on geographic information systems, global positioning systems, mapping, remote sensing, visualization, and analysis (Tomaszewski, 2014). Training on applying GIS/GPs is not only carried out through physical interactions with tutors in classrooms but also through online classes. Prospective students can register for online classes which allow them to study from far off places and at their own convenience. Students graduate with various qualifications depending on the depth and time taken to complete their studies. For instance, students may graduate with certificates in GIS/GPS. Students wishing to obtain higher accreditation can obtain a Master of Geographic information Systems degree which can enable them design geospatial systems, analyze data, and engage in geospatial technology project management.

These types of training would be very helpful in my career. To start with, training on applying GIS/GPS can enable one to acquire the right technical competencies and information literacy that a proficient GIS/GPS user needs. Training exposes individuals to modern tools and techniques that are applicable in the field of civil engineering, enabling one to stay ahead of others. GIS/GPS skills are very crucial in civil engineering. Civil engineers can apply GIS/GPS in assessing the situation of local road infrastructure. For instance, civil engineers can use GIS/GPS to determine the accurate lengths of the road, or to come up with the total number of local roads.

Training is also helpful because it can equip civil engineers with important skills such as design, project management, mapping, and others related to geospatial knowledge. These types of training can also help an individual to pursue more advanced programs. Lastly, these types of training would be helpful because they can help the learner in getting the latest insights about the technologies since they are constantly changing, with new uses and applications being discovered from time to time. Thus, training can significantly improve an individuals’ knowledge and skills enabling them to become more productive and effective in their day-to-day activities (Tomaszewski, 2014).


Dahlman, C. T., & Renwick, W. H. (2014). Welcome to Geography: People, Places, &     Environment (6th ed.). : Pearson Education Company.

Tomaszewski, B. (2014). Geographic information Systems (GIS) for Disaster Management. CRC             Press.