We are entering a period of very rapid increase in the availability of global natural resources data. This is fortunate because we are also confronted with a long list of global problems that are resource related. GIS technology offers many advantages in dealing with such problems. These rapid changes are driven by developments in computer technology that have occurred at both ends of the spectrum of computing capability in supercomputers and in personal computers. For example, personal computer users soon will be able to work effectively with many kinds of global databases on systems that cost less than $500. In spite of this progress, there are problems that still need to be overcome. Existing data resources must be captured in or converted to digital form, and all data must be more widely shared. Despite the problems, a dozen or more global databases already exist; and if the public databases are more widely shared, the effect on global databases already exist; and if the public databases are more widely shared, the effect on global problem solving is likely to be profound. Those persons with an understanding of the nature of these changes and their implications need to share their understanding more widely with others.
"GIS systems and data management for global data sets in natural resources,"
Natural Resources and Environmental Issues: Vol. 2
, Article 4.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/nrei/vol2/iss1/4