Encyclopedia of Database Systems

2018 Edition
| Editors: Ling Liu, M. Tamer Özsu

Geographic Information System

  • Michael F. GoodchildEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-8265-9_178


Geospatial information system; Spatial information system


A geographic information system (GIS) is a computer application designed to perform a wide range of operations on geographic information. Geographic information is defined as information about locations on or near the surface of the Earth, and may be organized in a variety of ways. Thus a GIS includes functions to input, store, visualize, export, and analyze such information. Commercial off-the-shelf GIS software is today capable of virtually any conceivable operation on geographic information, and capable of recognizing hundreds of different formats. GISs are used in a wide range of applications, from the management of the distributed assets of utility companies to emergency response. Their scientific applications are found in any discipline that deals with phenomena distributed over the surface of the Earth, from ecology to criminology. Increasingly GIS technology is encountered by ordinary citizens, in the...

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Recommended Reading

  1. 1.
    Arctur D, Zeiler M. Designing geodatabases: case studies in GIS data modeling. Redlands: ESRI Press; 2004.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Clarke KC. Getting started with geographic information systems. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall; 2003.Google Scholar
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    Foresman TW, editor. The history of geographic information systems: perspectives from the pioneers. Upper Saddle River: Prentice Hall; 1998.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Longley PA, Goodchild MF, Maguire DJ, Rhind DW. Geographic information systems and science. Chichester: Wiley; 2005.Google Scholar
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    van Oosterom P. Spatial access methods. In: Longley PA, Goodchild MF, Maguire DJ, Rhind DW, editors. Geographical information systems. New York: Wiley; 1999. p. 385–400.Google Scholar
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    Worboys MF, Duckham M. GIS: a computing perspective. Boca Raton: CRC Press; 2004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of California-Santa BarbaraSanta BarbaraUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Ralf Hartmut Güting
    • 1
  1. 1.Computer ScienceUniversity of HagenHagenGermany