# 4 Steps in the GIS Modeling Process (Especially for GATE-Geospatial 2022)

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The diagram below is a schematic representation of the entire model-building process.

## 1. The First Step is to Define the Goals of the Model

In the diagram, represents the **natural law** which governs the behavior of the natural system. This may be some complex combination of chemistry, biology, physics, politics, economics, etc. In general, the natural law may be quite unknowable to us.

## 2. Formalization or the Building of the Mathematical Model

The second step is to break down the model into elements and to define the properties of each element and the interactions between the elements. A flowchart is a useful tool for linking the elements.

This represents **formalization**, or the building of the mathematical model. This is where the modeler must make the difficult decisions about which parts of the natural system to model closely and which parts to ignore, and then how to assemble those pieces. Deciding how to represent a natural system in mathematical terms is often the most difficult part of the modeling process.

## 3. The Third Step is the Implementation and Calibration of the Model

Represents **mathematical deduction**, where we work within the model using computations, graphing, algebra, etc. to solve a purely mathematical problem. At this stage, we are removed from the messier aspects of physical reality, working instead with mathematical representations of the essential features of the modeled system.

## 4. The Fourth Step is to Validate the Model Before It Can be Generally Accepted

Represents **interpretation** of the deductions made within the model. If the model is a good one, then the results of the mathematical calculations should say something about the actual behavior of the natural system. If the modelีs predictions do not match reality, then it may be necessary to refine the model and cycle through the process again.