Summarize the various definitions of a GIS given in this chapter. What are the sources of the definitions? Underline in the definitions terms that are common across the definitions. Why would the definitions reflect different user needs and expectations of what a GIS is and what it can accomplish?
To create paragraphs in your essay response, type <p> at the beginning of the paragraph, and </p> at the end.
The History of GIS
Draw a diagram showing a timeline of GIS development. What are the developments that point to a heritage for GIS in various academic disciplines, such as geography, cartography, computer science, environmental science, and planning? Give two examples of ways in which GIS has integrated knowledge and problem solving across these disciplinary boundaries. Search the World Wide Web to find any other GIS timelines. How well do yours agree with any others you may have found?
Sources of Information on GIS
Make a list of the key GIS information sources and find as many as you can in your local public library. If your library offers data services or Internet, use these to find out as much information about GIS information sources (GIS metadata, or "data about data") as possible. What local, regional, or national GIS meetings or conferences are taking place in your area in the near future? Can you get onto pertinent mailing lists? If possible, arrange a field trip to one of these meetings to see any exhibits and to collect vendor information.
Which colleges, universities, or other educational establishments in your area offer GIS classes? What does the educational establishment teach in its GIS curriculum?
GIS Guide to Resources
Prepare a two-page "GIS Guide" on finding out about GIS for a complete GIS novice.