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Interoperability is the ability for heterogeneous computer systems to exchange messages and data with shared semantic meaning using common network systems. Interoperability continues to increase in importance with the amount of data and information we want to share and the number and diversity of computing systems with which we want to share it. Geographic information systems (GIS) and geographic information science developed as powerful ways to understand complex spatial interactions. But to achieve its full promise to address society's most complex issues, such as population growth, climate change, or emergency management, geographic information science must be grounded in an interoperable information systems paradigm.

The Need for Interoperable Systems

The need for interoperability is simple. Storing, managing, and updating all the data a system may need to ...

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