Exploring the GIS Knowledge Domain Using CiteSpace

Fangwu Wei, Tony H. Grubesic, Bradley Wade Bishop

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


Since the 1980s, geographic information systems (GIS) have developed rapidly and have been applied widely in the social, natural, and space sciences. In line with this explosive development and use, thousands of articles have been published on GIS, detailing both technical development and application-oriented research. Given this flood of material over the past thirty years, the purpose of this article is to apply a suite of scientometric and bibliometric approaches to help discover and benchmark the most important and highly cited papers in this burgeoning field. Not only do these techniques facilitate the connection of research themes and authors in the GIS community, but the approaches help highlight how research interests and foci evolve over time, greatly contributing to our understanding of the GIS knowledge domain. Although the scale and scope of this analysis are somewhat limited, the outlined method is highly generalizable and its results show that several key publications have helped forge the field and facilitate new trends in the literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)374-384
Number of pages11
JournalProfessional Geographer
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 3 2015


  • GIS
  • geographic information systems
  • knowledge domain
  • scientometric analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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