Geographic information systems and science: today and tomorrow

Michael F. Goodchild

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Geographic information is defined as information linking locations on or near the Earth's surface to properties of those locations. The technologies for handling such information include GPS, remote sensing, and geographic information systems. Behind the technologies are a set of fundamental, researchable issues whose study has been termed geographic information science. I review these technologies under four headings: positioning, data acquisition, data dissemination, and analysis. Recent research has led to substantial advances in specific areas of GIScience. I outline five future scenarios that are all technically feasible given current technology, and discuss the research advances that will be needed to make them a reality. In the conclusion I comment on the changing needs of education in geographic information systems and science.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1037-1043
Number of pages7
JournalProcedia Earth and Planetary Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 2009
Externally publishedYes
Event6th International Conference on Mining Science and Technology, ICMST 2009 - Xuzhou, China
Duration: Oct 18 2009Oct 20 2009


  • GPS
  • Geographic information system
  • geographic information science
  • remote sensing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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