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An introduction to data and information in health and social care
An introduction to data and information in health and social care

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4 Computers as tools for finding

Computers can be used to find things – and the obvious thing they can find is information. The internet is just one example of a vast store of information which can be searched to find what you want using computers (the web consists of linked data which is accessed via the internet using a browser). But computers can also ‘find’ things in the sense of locating them geographically, either by generating maps that can be used for navigation or by locating something or someone with reference to a map.

This section aims to:

  • describe how computers can be used in geographical applications (and, in doing so, it discusses maps and shows that maps can have uses beyond mere navigation)
  • describe and help you learn how to find information.

As you read on, you should try to determine for yourself:

  • what data is involved
  • how it might be acquired
  • what the computer is doing to this data
  • what information is being presented, and for what purpose.

You may find it useful to take notes as you go along.