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GIS, History of

  • By: Timothy W. Foresman
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Geographic information systems (GIS) benefited from a range of parentage disciplines. The advent of spatial information management and decision support systems can be traced to a range of development push disciplines, including transportation engineering, automated cartography, computer science, aerospace engineering, and remote sensing. A litany of disciplines further created the applications environment for these systems to succeed, including demography, agricultural science, forestry, urban and regional planning, ecology, rangeland management, and geography. Common to these push and pull disciplines was the influence of 1960s space age technology and the computerized information age. Two decades of GIS development occurred prior to geographers formally recognizing GIS as a field in geography. Geographers began in the 1980s to investigate the underlying scientific principles and the framework for the success ...

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