chapter  1
Introduction and Overview
ByMassimo Craglia, Harlan Onsrud
Pages 12

This book brings together some of the latest research in areas of strategic importance for the development of geographic information science across both sides of the Atlantic. With its predecessor, Geographic Information Research Bridging the Atlantic, also published by Taylor & Francis (Craglia and Couclelis, 1997), it spans the entire range of research topics identified by the European Science Foundation's GISDATA programme (Arnaud et al., 1993) and by the NCGIA (Abler, 1987). These two programmes have been crucial in Europe and the USA in shaping and developing the geographic information (GI) research agenda during the 1990s. As we move towards the year 2000 we see new topics emerging such as a greater focus on the societal implications of geographic information science advancement, alongside some of the traditional ones such as spatial analysis and modelling. We are also starting to see geographic information research moving away from the core disciplines of geography, surveying, and computer science to a wider set of disciplines in the environmental and social sciences. This creates new challenges but also offers opportunities to address together some of the long standing problems identified in this area. Hence we see a greater contribution of philosophers and cognitive scientists into fundamental issues related to the perception and representation of space and the integration of time, the emergence of new specialities such as digital information law and economics, and of new areas of application such as health.