Geographic Information Systems

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Scopus citations


Geographic information systems (GISs) are defined as software systems. In this article, the relationships between GIS and other activities having to do with geographic information are reviewed. The use of GIS in social and behavioral sciences is discussed as an increasingly essential component of the research infrastructure and as a tool for acquiring and communicating geographic knowledge. Examples are used to discuss the importance of GIS across the social and behavioral sciences. Sources of data are reviewed, and GISs are discussed from the perspectives of client-server architectures, the Internet, Internet-based services, data archives, and digital libraries. GIS use is intimately related to the role of space in scientific explanation. The article ends with a discussion on the future of GIS.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences: Second Edition
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780080970875
ISBN (Print)9780080970868
StatePublished - Mar 26 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Attribute
  • Buffer
  • Gazetteer
  • Geocoding
  • Geographic information
  • Global positioning system
  • Idiographic
  • Nomothetic
  • Point of interest database
  • Point-in-polygon
  • Polygon overlay
  • Raster
  • Site
  • Situation
  • Vector

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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