The five component model of GIS is only an idea. It serves
several purposes one of which is to emphasise that GIS is not simply a
matter of technology nor of technology and data. Such views dominated
GIS for some years and need to be resisted. Understanding GIS means understanding
technology in an organisational setting - in an ecological sense, as a
linked system of technology and organisation. We must also appreciate
that behind technology and organisations are traditions of ideas, methods
and culture which shape what we do. Of particular importance are the methods
we use. These encapsulate the rationale of our actions and provide the
linkage between different activities. And behind everything is the body
of accumulated knowledge, skill and experience which users of GIS draw
upon to give direction to their actions.
So far we have only scratched the surface and not surprisingly you will
revisit many of the ideas as you expand your knowledge and practical skills.
You will find that many problems in healthcare, logistics, forestry, transportation,
government or agriculture are geographical in nature. The spatial perspective
helps us to frame problems, explore potential solutions and operationalise
the decisions we make.