Creator of Knowledge
Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Geographic Information Systems as Decision Tools

Geographic Information Systems as Decision Tools
View Sample PDF
Author(s): Martin D. Crossland (Oklahoma State University, USA)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 4
Source title: Encyclopedia of Information Science and Technology, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-026-4.ch257


View Geographic Information Systems as Decision Tools on the publisher's website for pricing and purchasing information.


Geographic information systems (GISs) as a technology have been studied and reported extensively and, not unexpectedly, in the field of geography. The various ways of capturing spatial data, arranging attribute data into appropriate database structures, and making the resulting large data sets efficient to store and query have been extensively researched and reported (Densham, 1991). However, the geographic research community has only recently noted the need to study how GISs are used as decision tools, especially with regard to how such decision making might be related to a decision maker’s cognitive style (Mennecke, Crossland, et al., 2000). As an example, the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science called for research examining how geographic knowledge is acquired through different media and by users with different levels of experience and training (University Consortium for Geographic Information Science, 1996). Researchers in the fields of decision sciences and information systems have more recently begun to make contributions in the area of decision making with GISs. When a GIS is employed as a decision support system, in these studies the resultant system is often referred to as a spatial decision support system, or SDSS (see Crossland, 1992; Crossland, Perkins, et al., 1995; Mennecke et al., 2000). A geographic information system in its simplest form is a marriage of accurately scaled digital maps with a database. The digital maps comprise spatially referenced details such as natural elements (lakes, rivers, topographic elevation contours, etc.), manmade objects (buildings, roads, pipelines, etc.), and political boundaries (city limits, state and county lines, international boundaries, etc.). These natural elements are typically referenced, with varying degrees of precision, to latitude/longitude coordinates on the earth’s surface. It must be noted here that the degree of precision and, more importantly, differences in degrees of precision for the various elements are the subjects of much research and user consternation in applications of GISs to solving problems. The database, in turn, catalogs information about the various spatial elements (e.g., the names of rivers, names of buildings, building owner, operator of a pipeline, etc.). These descriptive entries in the database are often referred to as attributes of the various spatial elements. A GIS may be paired with the global positioning system (GPS), from which real-time, satellite-derived location information may be derived, as provided by an appropriate GPS receiver.

Related Content

Christine Kosmopoulos. © 2022. 22 pages.
Melkamu Beyene, Solomon Mekonnen Tekle, Daniel Gelaw Alemneh. © 2022. 21 pages.
Rajkumari Sofia Devi, Ch. Ibohal Singh. © 2022. 21 pages.
Ida Fajar Priyanto. © 2022. 16 pages.
Murtala Ismail Adakawa. © 2022. 27 pages.
Shimelis Getu Assefa. © 2022. 17 pages.
Angela Y. Ford, Daniel Gelaw Alemneh. © 2022. 22 pages.
Body Bottom