Goodchild Discusses GIS

Goodchild’s article presents a brief history of GIScience, and discuses from his perspective, and from the perspectives of others, the role of GIS as well as its label as a science. It is important to note that the article leans more towards an opinion piece or a discussion rather than an objective paper to explore questions without reaching any specific conclusion; however, Goodchild does conclude by making the argument that GIScience is well established as a domain of science without risk of being absorbed into related disciplines. Effectively, Goodchild makes claims that are logical and well founded but seems to forget that the conclusions he pulls are framed within an opinion text.

I enjoyed that the other was careful to make the distinction that the arguments made are from a personal perspective. Naturally the article becomes subject to bias; that of a geographer. Personally, I found the article to be convincing and I agree with the statements made while also remaining open and critical about them. The author’s willingness to explore opposing perspectives translates well to the reader and encourages them to do the same. On the other hand, this creates some confusion and makes it more difficult to finish the reading with a firm conclusion of your own.

The lack of clarity regarding the nature of the paper encourage the reader to explore the subject further and pull their own conclusions. I think to be able to better answer the question of whether or not GIS is a proper ‘science’ could be better explored by comparing/contrasting GIS to other fields of science. While interesting, a more in-depth discussion of what counts as ‘science’ is not the primary subject of the paper and could abstract from the rest of the text.

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