Research Topics in GIS

There are several important research areas in GIS. One is different ways to model space. A user might want to combine two spatial data sets together that are modeled in different ways. For example, a marine biologist may want to combine sea current data with marine biology models, but the two might treat the space differently. As previously mentioned, the human structuring of space must be taken into account. For example, humans may conceptualize space into a political hierarchy (country - state - county - city - neighborhood) while a geometry model would not take these into account.

Another issue is how to model time. Many applications involve temporal data and commercial GIS don't handle this well.

User interfaces are another important area. As more people start using these systems it will become increasingly imporatnt that they be easy to use.

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Last modified on March 02, 1999, G. Scott Owen,