GIS and its Conceptual Framework

Goodchild recounts eight topics that outline the research agenda for GIS, and how they fit in a conceptual framework which “[combines] three domains in different proportions,” (6), namely, the computer, the individual user, and society. Put forth in 1992, there are great additions and alterations that need to be made to modernise the framework.

For one, with the advancement of the GeoWeb 2.0, I think “public participation GIS” is better suited to have a greater proportion of society in the conceptual framework (over the human). Participatory GIS is so influential in part because of the sheer volume of it. People all over the world are creating maps in different ways, and mostly in a collaborative setting. For VGI to be beneficial it needs to come from a vast array of sources—used and updated by all of society, not one individual user.

A few additions to the framework include augmented reality, cloud computing, perhaps the geoweb itself. Geographic information is advancing at an incredible rate, and GIS needs to account for such changes. Society is playing a larger role, but how will GIS incorporate semantics and natural languages, for example, or different representations of place? We need to organise these different technologies and facets of GIS in a comprehensive (and user-friendly) conceptual framework in order to fully exploit the benefits GIS can bring to the understanding geographic information.

Goodchild, Michael F. “Twenty Years of Progress: GIScience in 2010.” Journal of Spatial Information Science. (2010): 3-20.

– Sidewalk_Ballet


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