Defining Geographic Information Science (Mark, 2003)

Mark(2003) give a comprehensive review of Geographic Information Science (GIScience) in term of its history and components. He presents a number of GIScience definitions but doesn’t synthesize them for setting a clear boundary between GIScience and other disciplines. However, it remains to be answered nowadays since its multidisciplinary nature. GIScience, as an independent scientific discipline, is not independent because it relates to and interacts with many disciplines such as geomatics, cartography, computer sciences.

It is interesting that Mark(2003) deem GIScience as a branch of information science, which makes me consider why there is no other kinds of “information science”. For instance, we can call “bioinformatics” but not “biologic information science”. Why not regard GIScience and geomatics as the same thing? I think it is not important to explore whether GIScience is a branch of information science. The nature of “geographic” is significant, which makes GIScience standout. In any disciplines, things always happen over space and time, which can be modeled and managed as spatial information. Therefore, GIScience emphasizes on dealing with spatial data and computation. These are indicated in both Mark’s(2003) component review Kuhn’s (2012) core concepts.

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