The Future of GIS in Planning: Converging Technologies and Diverging Interests

Geographic information system (GIS) technology is rapidly evolving and becoming more integrated with allied technologies. Based on a literature review and the authors' own observations of current technology trends, this paper describes important changes in geospatial technology and discusses how the planning profession can best respond to the challenges and opportunities posed by GIS innovation. With the advent of mass-market GIS, the needs of planners are less central than they were previously to commercial GIS vendors. There are exciting new opportunities provided by web-based systems and open-source geospatial software, and planners must move aggressively to grasp these new opportunities. The new web-based systems provide the opportunity to create new geospatial applications, especially in the area of public participation. New open-source GIS software will allow planners to assemble geospatial applications from functionality that is distributed across the web. In order to take advantage of the continuing evolution of GIS technology, planning practitioners and academics should form alliances to help develop the next generation of urban modeling and planning support software. Two comments providing different perspectives on the future of GIS are included on pp 174-179 of this journal.


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  • Accession Number: 01105201
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 28 2008 2:07PM