Field of mathematics that studies the problems of signal transmission, reception, and processing. It stems from Claude E. Shannon's mathematical methods for measuring the degree of order (nonrandomness) in a signal, which drew largely on probability theory and stochastic processes and led to techniques for determining a source's rate of information production, a channel's capacity to handle information, and the average amount of information in a given type of message. Crucial to the design of communications systems, these techniques have important applications in linguistics, psychology, and even literary theory.
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Acquisition, recording, organization, retrieval, display, and dissemination of information. Today the term usually refers to computer-based operations. Information processing consists of locating and capturing information, using software to manipulate it into a desired form, and outputting the data. An Internet search engine is an example of an information-processing tool, as is any sophisticated information-retrieval system. Seealso data processing.
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Discipline that deals with the processes of storing and transferring information. It attempts to bring together concepts and methods from such varied disciplines as library science, computer science and engineering, linguistics, and psychology to develop techniques and devices to aid in the handling of information. In its early stages in the 1960s, information science was concerned primarily with applying the then-new computer technology to the processing and managing of documents. The applied computer technologies and theoretical studies of information science have since permeated many other disciplines. Computer science and engineering still tend to absorb its theory- and technology-oriented subjects, and management science tends to absorb information-systems subjects.
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Computerized system that relates and displays data collected from a geographic entity in the form of a map. The ability of GIS to overlay existing data with new information and display it in colour on a computer screen is used primarily to conduct analyses and make decisions related to geology, ecology, land use, demographics, transportation, and other domains, most of which relate to the human use of the physical environment. Through the process of geocoding, geographic data from a database is converted into images in the form of maps.
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Data-transmission code used to represent both text (letters, numbers, punctuation marks) and noninput device commands (control characters) for electronic exchange and storage. Standard ASCII uses a string of 7 bits (binary digits) for each symbol and can thus represent 27 = 128 characters. Extended ASCII uses an 8-bit encoding system and can thus represent 28 = 256 characters. While ASCII is still found in legacy data, Unicode, with 8-, 16-, and 32-bit versions, has become standard for modern operating systems and browsers. In particular, the 32-bit version now supports all of the characters in every major language.
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Note: The information-bearer channel may operate at a higher data rate than that required for user data alone.