GIS through history
On the walls of caves near Lascaux, France, Cro-Magnon hunters drew
pictures of the animals they hunted 35,000 years ago.
Associated with the animal drawings are 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 data base.
Today, biologists use collar transmitters and satellite receivers to track
the migration routes of caribou and polar bears to help design programs to
protect the animals. In a GIS, the migration routes were indicated by
different colors for each month for 21 months.
Researchers then used the GIS to superimpose the migration routes
on maps of oil development plans to determine the potential for interference
with the animals.