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Strategic Planning and Management Through The Application of Computer Technology On the walls of caves near Lascaux France Cro-Magnon hunters drew pictures of the animals they hunted 35000 years ago Associated with the animal drawings is a map track lines and tallies thought to depict migration routes These early records followed the two-element structure of modern geographic information systems a graphic file linked to an attribute database The map has been in existence in much the same form for thousands of years In the traditional form it suffers from a number of problems Firstly maps are static and therefore difficult and expensive to keep up to date This leads to a second problem in that because they are static they lose flexibility for example maps exist as discrete sheets and inevitably your area of interest lies on the corner of four adjacent sheets In addition maps are often very complex and may require an expert to extract the particular data which are of interest Geographical Information Systems GIS can be regarded as the enhanced high-tech equivalent to maps An individual computer generated map contains information that is used in different ways by different individuals and organizations It represents the means of locating ourselves in relation to the world around us Maps are used in diverse applications from locating telephone wires and gas mains under our streets to displaying the extent of de-forestation in the Brazilian Amazon From a management point of view accurate and relevant information provides the key to effective decision making In todays modern societies decisions should be made quickly and based on reliable data and sound processes even though there are many differing viewpoints to consider and a large amount of information to process Nowadays the impact of decisions is ever greater often because they involve conflicts between society and individuals or between development and preservation Due to this information should therefore be readily available to decision-makers Without doubt during the past
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