A spatial analytical perspective on geographical information systems

Michael F. Goodchild

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

182 Scopus citations


The field of geographical information systems (GIS) is reviewed from the. viewpoint of spatial analysis which is the key component of the familiar four-part model of input, storage, analysis and output Input is constrained by the limits of manual methods and problems of ambiguity in scanning. The potential for developments in output is seen to be limited to the query mode of GIS operation, and to depend on abandoning the cartographic model. Discussion of storage methods is organized around the raster versus vector debate and the need to represent two spatial dimensions in one. A taxonomy of GIS spatial analysis operations is presented together with a generic data model. Prospects for implementation are discussed and seen to depend on appropriate scales of organization in national and international academic research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-334
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Geographical Information Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Library and Information Sciences
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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