Issue II

issue II 2009

Geographic Information Systems

Volume: 2009, Issue II

Date: April 2009

Guest Editors: Irene Compte-Lobera, Jordi Guimet-Pereña and Monica Wachowicz

Contents: Download full issue (PDF 4.2MB)

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Changing the Face of Geography

This article is a summary of the presentation given by the author during the celebration of the 21st Anniversary of the Laboratory of Geographic Information and Teledetection (LIGIT) of the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (Spain) in October 2008. The development of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) has provided a decisive impetus to solve a large number of the problems facing humanity, based on extraordinary improvements in the availability and in the capacity to analyse data and relevant spatial variables. The author examines numerous examples of current GIS programs and highlights future challenges. Download

Spatial Data Infrastructures: Some Technological Issues

The article describes the main technological issues related to the implementation of a Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI), with particular reference to the Spatial Data Infrastructure of the Spanish region of Catalonia (here referred here by its Spanish acronym, IDEC). Download

Human Mobility Patterns: a Source of Geospatial Knowledge

The study and analysis of human mobility patterns and their relationship with the environment can provide us with a better understanding of certain aspects of human behaviour. New, ubiquitous and non-intrusive devices have made it easier to place sensors in mobile phones, Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) or even clothing, providing us with relatively low cost means of gathering highly detailed data on the movement of people and the environments in which they move. However, new spatio-temporal models and geovisualization techniques need to be developed to handle the large volumes of data generated by these technologies, and to detect, analyse and visualize mobility patterns so as to understand the interplay between human mobility and the environment, while at the same time maintaining the individuals’ right to privacy. The findings from such studies will help to lay the foundations for more sustainable human mobility. Download

Technology, Function and System: Territorial Information Systems in Local Government

The key to success in the implementation of Territorial Information Systems (TIS) in government organizations lies in the ability to create a systemic design with an organizational structure in which procedural and information maintenance requirements take precedence over structural and infrastructural considerations. In this article we look at the organizational model used by the Girona (Spain) City Council’s Municipal Territorial Analysis Unit (UMAT), created in 1993, in order to provide a critical reflection on the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technologies. Download

Global Earth Observation Initiatives: European Contributions to GEOSS

This article provides an introduction to European initiatives relating to spatial and environmental data policy contributing to the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). We begin by describing the background to and goals of GEOSS as a system of systems which encompasses and coordinates a multitude of independent systems. Then we go on to describe the main aims, players and collaborations of individual European initiatives that are making a positive contribution to GEOSS. Download

Spatial Data Infrastructures in Iberia-America: State of Play 2006

In order to have a better view of the status and development of Spatial Data Infrastructures (SDIs) in Iberia-America, a group of researchers from The Netherlands, Cuba and Belgium launched a study in 2006 using the State of Play method. The study collected information on 11 National SDIs (NSDIs) in Iberia-America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Jamaica, Mexico, Spain, Portugal and Uruguay). In most of these selected countries, many NSDI-building blocks were either in place or being developed. In particular, building blocks which linked organisational aspects, spatial data, metadata, standards and services were well-developed in the region. Furthermore, the building blocks which linked legal aspects, pricing and funding were weakly developed. Download

Current Panorama of the FOSS4G Ecosystem 

Prodevelop (a Spanish firm) has been using and supporting Free and Open Source Software for Geomatics (FOSS4G) for several years. In addition to being part of the gvSIG1 development team, Prodevelop develops solutions with free software for the Geographic Information System (GIS) arena and for other areas such as business intelligence and Web applications. At the end of 2006 we began to elaborate, as an internal initiative, a catalogue of FOSS4G software in order to keep our finger on the pulse of the ecosystem of geomatic applications. This involves several objectives, which will be outlined in this article. In addition we present a report summarising the most prominent FOSS4G projects, which we hope will be useful for those starting to work in this discipline. Download

A Perspective on Geographic Information Systems

Abstract: With the perspective of someone who, through day-to-day work over the course of years, has watched the evolution of the developments achieved, Frank Holsmuller shares with us his view of the most important aspects of current Geographic Information Systems (GIS), citing very interesting examples of programs we can now enjoy or anticipate enjoying in the near future. Download