The convergence of GIS and social media: Challenges for GIScience

Daniel Sui, Michael Goodchild

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

285 Scopus citations


It is hard to believe that 10 years have passed since we wrote our guest editorial for IJGIS (Sui and Goodchild 2001). Using the nascent evidence that emerged in the late 1990s, we speculated back in 2001 that geographic information systems (GIS) were rapidly becoming part of the mass media. On the basis of the proposition of GIS as media, we were able to link GIScience with theories in media studies such as Marshall McLuhan's law of the media, which considers modern media as modifiable perceptive extensions of human thought (Sui and Goodchild 2003). Remarkable conceptual and technological advances in GIS have been made during the past 10 years. The goal of this review is to provide an update on the 'GIS as media' argument we made 10 years ago and to discuss the new challenges for GIScience posed by the growing convergence of GIS and social media.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1737-1748
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Geographical Information Science
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • GIS
  • Web GIS
  • data mining
  • social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Library and Information Sciences


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