This case study presents the development of a simple geographic infor-
mation system (GIS). The target context is archaeology with examples of
geographic information related to the Roman civilization in Italy.
Focus: this case study exemplifies the process of integrating disparate
technologies and, in particular, data storage in a database, data trans-
mission using sockets and data visualization through Java Applets.
OO techniques: inclusion and inheritance.
Java features: JDBC, Sockets, Applets, XML.
Background: the reader is required to know the basic concepts of rela-
tional databases and of the Standard Query Language (SQL), as well as of
computer networking, such as network address and protocol.
A geographic information system is a system of computer software, hard-
ware and data that grants people web access to geographical information, i.e.
information that is tied to spatial location.
GIS is useful in a variety of business and social contexts, such as:
Logistic: efficient transportation of materials and people requires real
time information about roads, traffic and weather conditions. This infor-
mation comes from disparate sources and can be easily integrated using
Environment monitoring: environmental data are heterogeneous in
format, temporal validity, volume, scale, etc. GIS supports the dynamic
visualization and traceability of these data.
Education and leisure: GIS is a powerful tool for computer-based teaching
of a number of disciplines in relation to their geographic context: history,
economy, politics, archaeology, arts, etc.
A GIS offers two basic functionalities: image visualization and data
browsing. Image visualization is the ability to display complex 2D or 3D
images representing cartographic maps and to allow the user to elaborate
them, i.e. zoom, rotate, change perspective, etc. For the purpose of this case
study, we limit the GIS functionalities to simple visualization of 2D images