The current status of GIS and spatial analysis

Michael F. Goodchild

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


The history of GIS is traced, and a working definition is established. The early development of GIS was driven by a spatial analysis, but more recent visions of the role of information technology generally, and GIS in particular, have tended to widen rather than narrow the gap between the two fields. GIS is seen as serving a much more populist vision, in which rigorous and mathematically sound analysis is challenged from a number of directions. Four basic tensions are identified, and the current status of efforts to resolve them is reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-10
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Geographical Systems
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • GIS
  • Spatial analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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