The Fundamentals and Applications of Geo-Spatial Research

The Fundamentals and Applications of Geo-Spatial Research

Joyce Gosata Maphanyane (University of Botswana, Botswana), Read Brown Mthanganyika Mapeo (University of Botswana, Botswana) and Modupe O. Akinola (University of Botswana, Botswana)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3440-2.ch001
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This chapter is about the fundamentals of geo-spatial research. The Earth's make-up and position in the entirety of the universe and its systems thereof is revealed. It also categorizes the Earth movements into types, causative effects, and their measurable, predictable time beat. It resonates together with Chapter 2 to form a bigger picture. The scenario draws out whole complete discussions of geoscience study on the origins of matter, space, time and energy entities. The revelations of what is known about the Cosmos today and therefore the Universe is the painstaking work of several scientists. This knowledge is fundamental to all Geo-spatial science research. For one to successfully carry out the research of this nature, it is imperative that one is fully conversant with how the Universe and therefore the Earth and its systems function. The discussions also include a map as a reporting platform for processes of the geospatial science research.
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The book and the study is about the fundamentals of geo-spatial research. To understand it one has to first comprehend the three key words of Geo, Spatial, and Research. First, essentially Geo is a prefix word. It is associated with all words meaning Earth. It is borrowed from a Greek word Yaia meaning land. In Southern Africa, the literal interpretation of the Setswana word lehatshe implies the environment at large with everything in it. It covers the people, land, rivers, vegetation, animals and their habitats, so covering the entire ecosystem (Maphanyane, 2012). The word lehatshe in English is translated not only just as land, but it must be understood as having the broad connotation, not just merely the physical land or ground but the world at large (Maphanyane, 2012). Also, in reiteration, when the history of ecology was considered, the concept ‘land’ was often used in the sense of complete ecosystem (Leopold, 1949). Geo-examples are found in geodesy - in the science of geomatics, meaning the use of coordinates reference system for Earth’s surface point location and measurement of its size, shape, and gravitational field; in geodynamics, in Geology, meaning the study of forces and processes pertaining to the Earth’s interior; and in Geophysics, also a Geology sector, meaning the Earth, air, and Space. So, in this book Geo should be understood to mean land; the Earth and its systems in its entirety; the atmosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere (See Figure 3 of Chapter 2). These include all matter, space, time, energy; and processes that occur within Earth’s boundary.

Second, the word spatial is defined here as anything or a phenomenon whose position can be pin-pointed at a specific point anywhere in space at any given time using some form of referencing system of coordinates; a certain place defined by some space whose size is dependent upon the scale of measurement applied.

Third, Research is understood here as any form of scientific investigation. It is described in many dictionaries as the enquiry or testing aimed at the discovery and explanation of facts, review of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts, or practical application of such new or revised theories or laws. It incorporates the collection of information about a particular subject. In addition to that; Howard et al. (1983) eloquently defined research as “seeking through methodical processes to add to bodies of knowledge by the discovery or elucidation of non-trivial facts, insights and improved understanding of situations, processes, and mechanisms.” (Howard & Sharp, 1983).

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