GIS applications in science and engineering research: Case study of the Graduate College University of Khartoum

Badr-Eldin Taha Osman


New trends and developments in science and research urged not less than many disciplines, such as science and engineering, to revisit their methods and practices to become more IT-oriented and spatially referenced by using Geographical Information Systems/Science (GIS). GIS, as a geo-technology/science, is one of the most growing three professions in the recent decades besides bio and Nano technologies. Currently, universities and enterprises, to inject advanced spatial analysis and modelling methods and tools in their disciplines and projects, are increasingly demanding GIS. GIS integrates hardware, software, and data for capturing, managing, analyzing, and displaying all forms of geographically referenced information. The technology works on different levels and sizes of databases and uses various types of tools and models to obtain results usable in research, applications and decision support.  This paper aims first at previewing the different practices and applications of GIS and related geo-technologies in science and engineering research. With some examples from the literature, this paper will explain where and how GIS tools are applied. The tools and operations may include spatial statistics, spatial modelling, mapping and tracking, georeferencing and geo-coding, digital elevation modelling (or 3-D analysis) and network analysis. The second objective of this paper, however, is to urge and draw attention of graduate and research students in science, engineering and environmental fields in University of Khartoum to the application of spatial technology in their thesis’ works. As thesis topics are varying, the use of GIS technology data management, spatial analysis and result presentation, will no doubt, develop and improve the graduate's studies and practice in these vital fields for better living conditions and sustainable development in the Sudan. To achieve its objectives, the paper relied on data from Basic Sciences and Engineering Studies Board (BSESB) master and doctoral theses and abstracts during the period 2000-2011. In addition, applications published in relevant professional journals, web sites, symposia, engineering solution firms, and consulting agencies are examined. Results show that a few postgraduate researches in the University of Khartoum have used GIS and spatial technology and analysis in the field of science, engineering and environmental studies during the period. The reasons are many. They include, to mention some, unawareness, incapability, or lack of concern by the postgraduates about this very vital geo-technology and its spatial analysis and modelling functions.


GIS technology;basic science;engineering;environmental studies;spatial data; spatial modelling;graduate studies

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Sudan Geographical Journal          1858-7992