Geoinformatics is about the information of our Earth and our surroundings. It is about measuring and managing this information for the betterment of the Earth and its habitants.
The quest to know one’s surrounding and finding one’s location has been there since the very early days of human existence. This quest has been manifested in different forms during the past thousands of years. Since the onset of industrial age and now in the modern IT age, the need to know about our Earth and our surroundings has become even more intense. The result of this quest is reflected in Google Earth, Google Map, Bing Maps, Google Street View and several other such applications on our mobile and laptops.
Geoinformatics primarily handles two aspects related to Earth information- measurement and management. The tools for measuring the information on the Earth have evolved from early tape and chain to modern satellite, aircraft and moving vehicle/robot/UAV based measurement techniques. These technologies measure the Earth in different forms, e.g., its geometry, its spectral property, its gravity, its thermal property and so on. The measurements are being done from very fine details of a particular location to very broad details of much larger areas. Geoinformatics is about developing techniques for designing these measurement tools and developing strategy for their operation in field. Currently we are collecting several thousand terra bytes of data every hour from ground, air and space-borne sensors, which leads to other challenge that how to manage these data and extract useful information from these. Fortunately, the advancements in computer science now permit bringing these data to computers thus realizing a virtual world inside our computers, where we can simulate/model the Earth System Processes. Geoinformatics deals with techniques of data processing and data analysis and uses the platforms of GIS/Image Processing for this. If you are able to locate the shortest route between two points on your mobile somewhere inside the techniques of Geoinformatics are in play…or if you want to know in advance if your house will be flooded or not Geoinformatics has the tools…and there are thousand other applications where we are consciously or unconsciously using Geoinformatics in our day to day life and beyond.
Welcome to the world of Geoinformatics !