Just as we use a word processor to write documents and deal with words on a
computer, we can use a GIS application to deal with spatial information on
a computer. GIS stands for ‘Geographical Information System’. A GIS
● Digital Data – the geographical information that you will view and
analyse using computer hardware and software.
● Computer Hardware – computers used for storing data, displaying
graphics and processing data.
● Computer Software – computer programs that run on the computer
hardware and allow you to work with digital data. A software program
that forms part of the GIS is called a GIS Application.
With a GIS application you can open digital maps on your computer, create new spatial information to add to a map, create printed maps customised to your needs and perform spatial analysis.
This video is a long, and the text is blurred, but you can skip through it:
The full manual explaining the various components of GIS and how it can be used is here: QGIS-1.0.0 A gentle GIS introduction
You need the GDAL and GSL frameworks and the QGIS 1.8.0-2 file
Introductory stuff on GIS here: