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Krawczyk, A. Geoinformatics. Encyclopedia. Available online: https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/45762 (accessed on 15 June 2024).
Krawczyk A. Geoinformatics. Encyclopedia. Available at: https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/45762. Accessed June 15, 2024.
Krawczyk, Artur. "Geoinformatics" Encyclopedia, https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/45762 (accessed June 15, 2024).
Krawczyk, A. (2023, June 18). Geoinformatics. In Encyclopedia. https://encyclopedia.pub/entry/45762
Krawczyk, Artur. "Geoinformatics." Encyclopedia. Web. 18 June, 2023.
Geoinformatics
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The geoinformatics is the programming of applications, spatial data structures, and analyses of objects and space-time phenomena referred to the Earth surface, together with designing, developing, and maintaining the software and web services intended for modelling and analysing the spatial data.

GIScience Geoinformatics Geomatics

1. Introduction

A geoinformatic is primarily a computer scientist (and this is his/her basic education), who has knowledge of the software architecture and computer networks. He/she has the skills of designing, programming, and maintaining IT systems, and only next he/she learns the specific nature of computer science application for spatial data processing, spatial information modelling, and analyses used in this field. Undoubtedly, the knowledge of the issues of geospatial services’ construction and maintenance, and the programming of network and mobile systems, must be a significant skill in geoinformatics.
The defining of geoinformatics allows one next to define its research areas. Based on the presented definition, it is possible to formulate research areas in the field of education, research conduct, and the performed profession of a computer scientist, from whom the knowledge and skills from the following research areas should be expected:
1
Spatial databases - this is the modelling of spatial information saved in relational and non-relational databases. For example, the studies on the use of graph structures of databases for spatial data processing, spatial databases programming and optimising, taking into account spatial indices and the use of spatial databases for BigData processing and analysing, and also, simplifying the ‘programming of any databases containing simple, complex, and own types of spatial data’, considering the server and cloud technological solutions.
2
Spatial data in the web environment—research and application of technologies for building infrastructures of spatial data for the government and local government administration, and the technology for web processing of data not related to the SDI (e.g., Google Maps, OpenStreetMaps, and others), and studies on the use of ‘Linked Data’ technology for spatial data processing, combination of technology for spatial data storage in a computing cloud with the data acquisition by means of the IoT (Internet of Things) technology.
3
Sensor systems for spatial data processing—programming of the hardware collecting the data for various GIS, BIM and CAD, and ETL systems and applications, considering the specific nature of spatial data, and programming of sensor devices for networks and local systems of spatial information.
4
Programming autonomous transport systems in real time, and programming of navigation systems.
5
Designing the architecture of spatial information systems together with a skill of carrying out the implementations of spatial information systems in the entire cycle of software development, implementation, and maintenance, including the supply systems.
6
Building ergonomic interfaces for spatial data processing (UX) and developing visualisation methods for multidimensional spatial data in various environments of their use (smartphone, tablet, desktop, and others).
Obviously these areas are a proposal, but they well illustrate the location of geoinformatics in the field of computer science and in the future should be specified and probably broadened. Simplifying, it is possible to assume that the geoinformatics in general is “the engineering of geoinformation software”. The results of scientific research in the field of geoinformatics should enhance and expand the computer science, and develop the analytical possibilities of the geomatics.

2. A New Definition of Geoinformatics

Geoinformatics is primarily a technical science, being a part of the Computer Science (Informatics) area, and may be defined as follows:

The geoinformatics is the programming of applications, spatial data structures, and analyses of objects and space-time phenomena referred to the Earth surface, together with designing, developing, and maintaining the software and web services intended for modelling and analysing the spatial data. [1]
A new definition of the term Geoinformatics, which is based on 7 terminological postulates.  
As a result of the conducted studies, seven terminological postulates have been formulated, which determine boundaries and introduce rules related to the contents and meanings of geomatics and geoinformatics terms:
  • Terminological postulate No 1—there are many computer systems and applications, apart from the GIS, which are capable of spatial data processing. The GIS does not have exclusivity for spatial data processing, and the software engineering enables integrating structures of spatial data into various IT platforms and systems.
  • Terminological postulate No 2—structures of spatial data are subject to continuous development and modernisation, which strictly links the area of spatial data management with IT, in particular with the software engineering.
  • Terminological postulate No 3—the name of the area of research on spatial data should not be an acronym, and in particular it should not contain the name of GIS technology or its derivatives.
  • Terminological postulate No 4—names of similar word-formation origin should be used and defined in a similar way.
  • Terminological postulate No 5—it is advisable that the name of a specific term also functions as a profession (existing in the area of economy and administration).
  • Terminological postulate No 6—in the definition of a name of the area of spatial data management, the names of other technical sciences should not be indicated and used (geology, geodesy, or remote sensing), the more so that there should be no defining of the succession or replacement with the new name for the existing and established technical sciences.
  • Terminological postulate No 7—the definition of a spatial data management area must not use terms related to the definition of the functions of an information system, such as acquiring data, processing them, analysing them, publishing them, etc.

The definition of geoinformatics that has been formulated is definitely closer to the concept of computer science than any previously formulated definitions of this kind. This definition develops Echlers’ idea that geoinformatics is part of computer science and concretises it. It is by far the most important in defining and programming the processing of spatial data structures in fixed systems and in mobile devices or IoT more broadly. The proposed definition of geomatics completely dissociates itself from earlier definitions that were intended to replace the concept of geodesy. It dispenses with the duplication of definitions of information system functions and does not incorporate other sciences or other disciplines into the definition. It focuses on the use of information systems to discover knowledge about spatial relationships in our social, economic, or administrative environment.

The issue of whether the term geoinformatics is a scientific term has deliberately not been considered here. Because it is part of Computer Science which is itself a science anyway. 

References

  1. Krawczyk, A. Proposal of Redefinition of the Terms Geomatics and Geoinformatics on the Basis of Terminological Postulates. IJGI 2022, 11, 557, https://doi.org/10.3390/ijgi11110557.
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