Task What is a 'true' GIS company? Purvi Rajani asked this question and observed that there is more than one answer. He concluded that it may be prudent to watch events at mainstream IT companies if we wanted to see the future of GIS (listen to, for example, the 2010 Directions Magazine podcast "Will Spatial Queries in Google Fusion Tables Change the World?"). Given the 'localisation' of information search this seems like some prophecy. So, as we settle into the C21st how does the GI industry promote its activities? Your task is to explore the web sites of GI-related organisations from the public- and private-sectors and look for evidence of 'GI Systems' and 'GI Solutions / Services'.
When Is GIS not GIS?
[ pdf ]

Source: Rajani, P., 1995. When is GIS not GIS? GeoWorld. This article is copyright of Adams Business Media.


Source: Environmental Systems Research Institute <http://www.esri.com> URL last accessed 16-11-2010.
Intergraph Corporation
Source: Intergraph Corporation <http://www.intergraph.com/sgi/default.aspx> URL last accessed 16-11-2010.
Google Earth
Source: Google Earth <http://earth.google.com> URL last accessed 16-11-2010.
NASA WorldWind
Source: NASA Learning Technologies <http://worldwind.arc.nasa.gov> URL last accessed 16-11-2010.
US Government Geospatial One Stop Shop
Source: Geodata.gov <http://www.geodata.gov> URL last accessed 16-11-2010.
Task You are challenged to show your understanding of GIS components by completing this tutorial. In it you must identify components of GIS and analyse their relationships. FreeMind is a free, easy-to-use mind mapping software tool that can be used in this e-Tutorial.
e-Tutorial: Components of GIS  


Summarise the relationships between the paradigms of GI Systems, GI Science and GI Services. This is not a trivial task and to help you the readings have been separated into those that compare GI Systems to GI Science and those that compare GI Systems to GI Services.

  GISci emerged as a subject of academic interest in the early-1990s. The 1997 paper by Dawn Wright and colleagues' was timely and clearly articulated the relationship between GI Systems and GISci. The term GISci suggests it should be a branch of Information Science. Or could GISci be just a pretentious name for GI Systems and not really a scientific or intellectual field at all? David Mark explores these issues and lays out the intellectual scope of GISci.
GIS as "Tool" Versus "Science"
[ URL ] [ pdf ]

Source: Wright D et al., 1997. Demystifying the Persistent Ambiguity of GIS as "Tool" Versus "Science", The Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 87, 346-362. <http://dusk.geo.orst.edu/annals.html> URL last accessed 30-10-2007.

Defining Geographic Information Science
[ URL ] [ pdf ]

Source: Mark DM, 2003. Geographic Information Science: Defining the Field. In: Duckham M, Goodchild MF and Worboys M (eds.), Foundations of Geographic Information Science. CRC Press, 2003, p. 1 - 15. <http://www.geog.buffalo.edu/ ~dmark/MARK_GISCI_BOOK.PDF> URL last accessed 30-10-2007.

  GI Systems and GI Services: There has been transition in the approach of GIS companies from 'here is what we have... do you want to come and use it?' to 'what do you want, when and where do you want it?' People and organisations are able to build their own geoportals using combinations of geospatial and web technologies; virtual globes provide an intuitive interface for communicating with geodata and mobile and positioning technologies are being harnessed to create augmented reality systems. To what extent are these examples of a shift in paradigm from GI Systems to GI Services.
Geoportals and Spatial Data Infrastructures
[ Ingenta ] [ pdf ]
Source: Maguire DJ and Longley PA, 2005. The emergence of geoportals and their role in spatial data infrastructures, Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 29, 3-14.
Will Ubicomp Make GIS Invisible?
[ Ingenta ] [ pdf ]
Source: Sui DZ, 2005. Will ubicomp make GIS invisible? Computers, Environment and Urban Systems, 29, 361-367.
Task We have identified five components of GIS and three paradigms. In previous tasks you have explored the relationships between components and looked at different paradigms. Your task is to considering how the five components are expressed in each of the three paradigms.
e-Tutorial: GIS Components and Paradigms