“The discipline that uses geographic information systems as tools to understand the world.” (Clark, K.C. 1997)

“GIScience is essentially the “science behind GIS” or the “science behind the systems.”” (Dawn, D. 2010)


GIScience (Wright, Dawn, 2010).

GIScience (geographic information science) is a scholarly discipline that addresses fundamental issues surrounding the use of a variety of digital technologies to handle geographic information; namely, information about places, activities, and phenomena on and near the surface of the Earth that are stored in maps or images. GIScience includes the existing technologies and research areas of GIS (geographic information systems or GISystems), cartography (mapmaking), geodesy (measurement of the Earth itself), surveying (measurement of natural and manmade features on the Earth; also called geomatics in the U.S.), photogrammetry (measurement from photographs or images), global positioning system or GPS (precise and accurate positioning on the Earth’s surface aided by satellites), digital image processing (handling and analysis of image data), remote sensing (observation of Earth from space or underwater), and quantitative spatial analysis and modeling. Free download



Learning to Think Spatially: GIS as a Support System in the K-12 Curriculum (2006). Free download

Geographic information systems and science: today and tomorrow (Michael F. Goodchild, 2009, Annals of GIS). Free download

GIScience Grand Challenges (Michael Gould, Director of Education Industry Solutions, Esri). Free download

Twenty years of progress: GIScience in 2010 (Michael F. Goodchild, 2010). Free download