GIS and spatial data analysis: Converging perspectives

Michael F. Goodchild, Robert P. Haining

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

123 Scopus citations


This article identifies some of the important developments in GIS and spatial data analysis since the early 1950s. Although GIS and spatial data analysis started out as two more or less separate areas of research and application, they have grown closer together over time. We argue that the two areas meet in the field of geographic information science, with each supporting and adding value to the other. The article starts off providing a critical retrospective of developments over the past 50 years. Subsequently, we reflect on current challenges and speculate about the future. Finally, we comment on the potential for convergence of developments in GIS and spatial data analysis under the rubric of geographic information science (GIScience).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-385
Number of pages23
JournalPapers in Regional Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • GIS
  • Geostatistics
  • Point processes
  • Spatial data analysis
  • Spatial modelling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)


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