The following section presents an outline of INSROP GIS and a simple example of its application.
4.6.2 System Features and Composition
INSROP GIS offers the following features.
 Data and analytical results are linked to geographical data in an easily accessible visual format.
 A wealth of high-quality data on the Arctic Ocean, particularly the Russian Arctic, is stored from the joint research and development by Japan, Norway and Russia.
 Environmental data at arbitrary points in the NSR can be easily retrieved and analyzed.
 The data obtained using this system is expected to be applicable in simulations of the issues such as environmental impact assessment, planning of routes and design of various structures.
 The system can easily be operated on an ordinary personal computer.
 ArcView, a widely used, commercially available, general-purpose GIS software application, provides flexible linkage with the other software.
The overall structure of the system appears in Figure 4.6-1. The software and data for INSROP GIS is supplied by CD-ROM. Because this system is based on a customized version of ArcView, ArcView 3.0 must be installed in the PC. A PC, running Microsoft Windows with sufficient hard-disk space and memory, is required for the operation.
INSROP GIS consists of three parts. First, it contains a series of databases, covering geographical data, the natural environment, shipping routes and ecosystems. Second, a suite of application software enables this data to be retrieved and analyzed, allows the user to create and define new themes, and performs basic services such as filing and printing. Finally, an interface called a view-table chart is provided to display data in a graphical format.
Today a wide variety of GIS software components are available on the consumer market. As mentioned above, INSROP GIS is developed as an ArcView-application for use on PCs running Microsoft Windows, which was in turn developed by Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. (ESRI) of the United States and provides the necessary tools required to develop a comprehensive GIS application. ArcView renders geographical data in spatial form and provides retrieving, description and analytical functions. Also included is the object-oriented programming language, called AVENUE, from which ArcView was developed. AVENUE is provided to enable customization of ArcView or to program special analysis tasks not available from the default ArcView interface.
Since INSROP GIS is essentially a customized application on ArcView 3.0, it includes all of the functions of ArcView plus a wealth of comprehensive INSROP geographical data and analytical tools. In addition, the INSROP GIS component includes hard-copy layout templates for presentations, as well as INSROP hypertext documentation and analysis software.
Program data include map data, source data, and definition information used in retrieving, analysis and display functions, as well as scripts to link and organize these data and information. To make analysis of data on the NSR and the related issues as easy as possible, a script is included to enable customization of ArcView's menu- and help- functions.
4.6.3 Contents of the Database
ArcView contains a vast corpus of data on the natural environment in northern Russia and the Arctic Ocean, including the NSR, as well as shipping routes, distributions of ecosystems and data of infrastructure. To display this information in an intuitive and easily comprehensible format, map data are provided as well. All of these data were painstakingly accumulated through various projects of INSROP.