Geographic Information Systems and Cartography

Michael F. Goodchild

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Cartography as a discipline evolved from the ancient practice of map making and its complex set of conventions and techniques. Geographic information systems (GIS) were developed much more recently as a comprehensive computer application for performing a wide range of functions on geographic data. The two fields have converged as digital technology has become more pervasive, and as it provides new opportunities that offer to escape many of the constraints under which manual map making operated. Cartography is both a science and an art, whereas GIS evolved as a more precise and objective approach to what is observable and measurable about the Earth's surface, with an emphasis on numerical analysis. While the distinction between the two fields is not as strong as in the past, these nuances remain today.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Human Geography, Second Edition
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780081022955
ISBN (Print)9780081022962
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Choropleth map
  • Digital transition
  • Geovisualization
  • Map metaphor
  • Map projection
  • Uncertainty
  • Virtual globe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Geographic Information Systems and Cartography'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this