Geographers in GIS Development

According to the Federal Interagency Coordinating Committee, Geographical Information System (GIS) is a "system composed by hardware, software and proceedings, which afford to acquire, manage, manipulate, analyse, present and show georeference data, to solve complex problem of planning and management". GIS must be a structured system from which we can extract easily a synthetic plan for managers who take decision. All GIS present geographic information due to studying of a variable which has a geographic repartition. Besides, results are often maps. But even if the G of GIS is a reference of geography, today, many people using a GIS do not know. Geographic analysis is absent of many GIS.
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     And in these new prospects what can be the role of geographers?

     GIS development continues today and we find new problems and some former but persistent. The increasing of data is huge. The enormous resources of information are new challenge when ten years ago problem was with poor database. With Internet more and more data are free and it is easy to find data and work in different software. But public is afraid by this possibility to have a look so easily about information that it concerns. In France, the intensive debate around Edwige is an illustration.
A GIS gives a result but interpretation is important for use. It is the same problem that for a map. We can say what you want with a GIS. So analyses of GIS are a step that we need for decision-making. We describe two types of use for a GIS: one by geographer who misses computerize science and another by engineer who misses geographical knowledge. The role of geographer can be in this step. 

     The ruling of geography in GIS development is limited in area of teaching and research and is absent in many organizations. Debates of the 1990s changed. The fight around GIS as a tool or as a science is over but not resolved. Perhaps that geography did not take position itself in GIS development. New geographic perspective in GIS development is reduced by these latest years. GIS are common in the discipline but the part of geography in GIS development is reduced. Geography can take a role to ameliorate quality of GIS. The next improvements in GIS would be to ameliorate quality of analyses for organizations and for public. GIS must not only accessible but also transparent and readily intelligible.

Bibliographie sélective :
HEYWOOD Ian, CORNELIUS Sarah, CARVER Steve, (2006), An introduction to geographical information systems, Pearson Education, Harlow.
JOHNSTON, R. J. (2000) “Dictionary of human geography”, Oxford: Blackwell
OPENSAW S., (1991), Commentary, in Environment and planning A, volume 23
PICKLES John, (1997) GIS, Technoscience, and the Theoretical turn, in Annals of the Association of American Geographers, volume 87, number 2
WRIGNHT Dawn J., GOODCHILD Michael F., PROCTOR James D., (1997), Demysitfying the persistent ambiguity of GIS as ‘tool’ versus ‘science’, in Annals of the Assossation of American Geographers, volume 87, number2
WRIGNHT Dawn J., GOODCHILD Michael F., PROCTOR James D., (1997), Still hopping to turn that theoretical corner, in Annals of the Assossation of American Geographers, volume 87, number 2

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