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Journaliste en vadrouille sur les routes de France et de Navarre

Geographers and GIS in Organisations

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.
Computer by © karakarton
     There are different uses of GIS. We find a part of GIS users in research and teaching in schools and universities. But today a large part of implementation of GIS is in organizations which are public or private. In these organizations, GIS users are multiple. But geographers are in minority in most of them.

Some users just need to see analysis’ results and search an easily comprehension of the software. But others need complete software with an important number of functions. They use this software everyday and do not have difficulties with comprehension. They are also users who sometimes work with simple GIS, they just want simple software which offers few functions but easy to remember. Today implementation of GIS in an organization is more often a replacement from an old to a new system than a real implementation in enterprise. Often it is the same enterprise which installs software and helps for conversion of old documents and it is also its which has a work of maintenance. Here geographers are absent of this part of GIS. It is the world of engineer and specialist of hardware and software. And conception of GIS is an engineering work. So geographer are absent from an important part of GIS use.

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