Geography and geographic information science: An evolving relationship

Michael F. Goodchild

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

3 Scopus citations


GISystems have strong and longstanding roots in Geography, stemming from early developments in the 1960s and 1970s that defined a first phase of their relationship. But as the uses and sophistication of geospatial technology have grown and spread across virtually all areas of the academy, reducing Geography's claim to ownership, that relationship to Geography has evolved in new directions, forming a second phase. The critiques of the early 1990s have led to research into the societal context and social implications of GISystems that remains largely centred in Geography; techniques for the analysis of data embedded in space and time remain strongly associated with Geography; and rigorous principles have been discovered under the umbrella of GIScience that are widely recognized within and outside Geography. Today the relationship has entered a third phase, defined by the new opportunities that are being created by the growth of data science, by new sensors, and by new areas of application, suggesting that the relationship between Geography and GIScience will continue to evolve in interesting and exciting ways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages10
Specialist publicationCanadian Geographer
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • GIScience
  • GISystems
  • Geography
  • data science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


Dive into the research topics of 'Geography and geographic information science: An evolving relationship'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this