GIS: A Short Introduction. Short Introductions to Geography

  • ID: 2248092
  • Book
  • 184 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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This guide enables students of human geography to take a critical look at the theory and practices that together comprise GIS. It outlines the value – both intellectual and technical – of GIS for human geographers, recognising the positive effects GIS has had on the discipline but also pointing out its limitations.

The guide addresses issues important to human geographers such as how data are represented through digital models and how different ontologies emerge from different data models. It explores the influence of cultural and social context on the development of theory in GIS. As a means of illustrating the analytical, interpretative and methodological issues associated with GIS problem solving, the text describes two sets of challenges that GIS users and researchers face. The first includes data collection, organization, standardization and the difficulties inherent in interpreting semantics. The second refers to the problem of developing spatial analysis and models. Both sets of challenges draw on contemporary research and use examples from on–going research. The guide also includes a close reading of a GIS analysis from health geography in order to elucidate the conceptual and operational bases of GIS. A final chapter provides an inventory of tools and information related to GIS, covering web–based resources, current texts, and theoretical approaches and critiques of GIS. The guide is supported by a website featuring all the illustrations from the book in full colour.

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List of Figures.

List of Tables.

Series Editor′s Preface.

Author′s Acknowledgements.

1.Introducing The Identities Of GIS.

2.GIS, Human Geography, And The Intellectual Territory Between Them.

3.The Devil Is In The Data: Collection, Representation, And Standardization.

4.Bringing It All Together Using GIS To Analyse And Model Spatial Phenomena.

5.Where Do I Go From Here? GIS Training And Research.



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“Geography and non–geography students interested in GIS should read this book. It is an important contribution that elegantly illuminates GIS systems and GIS science. By giving close attention to the details of rigorous GIS analysis, the impact of GIS on society, and the relationship of GIS to geographic epistemologies and social theory, Schuurman provides a unique and up–to–date summary of the field.”Eric Sheppard, University of Minnesota

"This is an excellent choice for an introductory undergraduate GIS class, and it should also be required reading for all critics who have dismissed GIS as being purely technical enterprise. It takes the reader through the nuts and bolts of GIS concepts while at the same time scrutinizing its intellectual and social implications. The discussion of GIS applications, highlighted by contemporary case studies, does an admiral job of conveying the curious messiness of actual GIS practice" Stacy Warren, Eastern Washington University.

"Schuurman develops an intellectual and practical history of the field and of the technology....the book offers insights into the development of our field that have recieved little coverage in other venues. Further, Schuurmann offers excellent examples of reflexivity in GIS practice, showing how we might make the social processes of GIS use more transparent to ourselves and to others." Progress in Human Geography, Vol 29/1, 2005

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