chapter  1
8 Pages

The Emergence of National Geographic Information Strategies

It is now more than 10 years since the Committee of Enquiry on Handling Geographic Information, chaired by Lord Chorley, described geographic information systems (GIS) as ‘the biggest step forward in the handling of geographic information since the invention of the map’ (Department of Environment, 1987, para. 1.7). Since then the number of GIS applications throughout the world has increased exponentially and now extends from local banking and business services to large-scale utilities management and from urban planning to global environmental modelling. As a result, GIS has become a multimillion-dollar industry whose development impacts on many different aspects of economic and social life.