Facebook Pixel Code
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

The Evolution of GIS Essay Example

Show related essays

The Evolution of GIS

The Evolution of GIS. The evolution of GIS in the past twenty years or so can best be explained by the development of two important sectors in the information technology field – hardware and software developments. Based on the available literature on this subject, it is clear that these two are the core components of the system and the manner by which they rapidly evolve has driven the pace by which GIS has changed and will change over time. This is supported by the evidence that follows.Essentially, GIS is defined as “the system of computer hardware, software, personnel, organizations, and business processes designed to support the capture, management, manipulation, analysis, modeling, and display of spatially referenced data”

(TRB, p.10). As with any type of computing technology, the GIS's own system has consisted of three basic parts, namely, the UI or the user interface, the tools, which are differentiated according to functions, and, finally, the data manager. Put in another way, the components of the system can be said to include data, technology, application and humans (Lloyd and Bunch, 2003, p.828). All of which have their respective and equally important functions. While the GIS could run in a single computer terminal, the optimum framework requires several computers for GIS operations - desktop, client-server, centralized desktop and centralized server (Longley et al. 2005, p.158). These variables and operational framework underscore why hardware and software are critical in the progression of the GIS development.HardwareThe invention of the silicon chip back in the 1970s launched the fast-paced computer development (Pasewark and Pinard, 2007, p. 263). It led to the viability of personal computers, which became the precursor of the current technology typified by smaller, faster, powerful and cheap hardware. To put this environment in context, there is the so-called Moore’s Law which states that computer processing chips double in power almost every 18 months, making computer more powerful than ever before. The Evolution of GIS.


Alagan, R. (2007). Participatory GIS Approaches to Environmental Impact Assessment: A Case Study of the Appalachian Corridor H Transportation Project. Ann Arbour: ProQuest. Albert, W. and Golledge. (1999). The use of spatial cognitive abilities in geographical information systems: The map overlay operation. Transactions in GIS, 3: 7-21. Carver, S., Cornelius, S., Heywood, I. and Sear, D. (1995). Using Computers and Geographical Information Systems for Expedition Fieldwork. The Geographic Journal, 161(2): 167-176. Chan, Y. (2011). Location Theory and Decision Analysis: Analytics of Spatial Information Technology. Berlin: Springer. Clark, M.E., Rose, K.A., Levine, A. and Hargrove, W. (2001). Predicting Climate Change Effects on Appalachian Trout: Combining GIS and Individual-Based Modeling. Ecological Applications, 11(1): 161-178. Davis, B. (2001). GIS: A Visual Approach. New York: Cengage Learning. Downs, R. and Liben, L. (1991). The Development of Expertise in Geography: A Cognitive-Developmental Approach to Geographic Education. Annals of Association of American Geographers, 81(2): 304-327. Haklay, M. (2010). Interacting with Geospatial Technologies. Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley and Sons. Hanna, K. and Culpepper, B. (1998). GIS and Site Design: New Tools for Design Professionals. New York: John Wiley and Sons. Iannou, G., Kritikos, M.N. and Prastacos, G.P. (2002). Map-Route: A GIS-Based Decision Support System for Intra-City Vehicle Routing with Time. The Journal of the Operational Research Society, 53(9): 842-854. Lloyd, R. and Bunch, R. (2003). Technology and Map-Learning: Users, Methods, and Symbols. Annals of the Association of american Geographers, 93(4): 828-850. Longley, P., Goodchild, M., Maguire, D. and Rhind, D. (2005). Geographic Information Systems and Science. New York: John Wiley and Sons. Meaden, G. and Do Chi, T. (1996). Geographical Information Systems: Applications to Marine Fisheries, Issue 356. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Pasewark, P. and Pinard, K. (2007). Microsoft Office Word 2007: Introductory. New York: Cengage Learning. Pequet, D. (1988). Representations of Geographic Space: Toward a Conceptual Synthesis. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 78(3): 375-394. Shekhar, S. and Xiong, H. (2007). Encyclopedia of GIS. Berlin: Springer. Transportation Research Board (TRB). (2004). Pavement Management Applications Using Geographic Information Systems. Washington D.C.: NCHRP. Vine, M., Degnan, D. and Hanchette, C. (1997). Geographic Information Systems: Their Use in Environmental Epidemiologic Research. Environmental Health Perspectives, 105(6): 598-605.
Close ✕
Tracy Smith Editor&Proofreader
Expert in: Geography, Logic & Programming, Statistics
Hire an Editor
Matt Hamilton Writer
Expert in: Geography, Mathematics, Physics
Hire a Writer
preview essay on The Evolution of GIS
  • Pages: 12 (3000 words)
  • Document Type: Essay
  • Subject: Geography
  • Level: Masters
WE CAN HELP TO FIND AN ESSAYDidn't find an essay?

Please type your essay title, choose your document type, enter your email and we send you essay samples