This paper presents an historical analysis of the GIS industry, focusing on examples from the past twenty years, and includes an introduction on the origins of GIS. Specific topics discussed are an analysis of raster and vector processing capabilities, the integration of data base management systems (DBMS) into a GIS, digital orthophoto mapping, and raster/vector integration. The future of GIS will present a need for better user education as the capabilities of the industry grow, as data sources multiply, and as an increased number of platforms become available. The industry will face other challenges, such as the need for data compression, parallel processing, and a greater need for softcopy photogrammetry. There is definitely more acceptance by the user community of the use of raster processing than in years past, and the appreciation of the value of this technology has broadened as well. GIS is now an essential tool in resource management, forestry, global monitoring, transportation planning, mineral exploration, state and local government, and in a host of other areas.
Rado, Bruce Q.
"Historical analysis of GIS,"
Natural Resources and Environmental Issues:
Vol. 2, Article 5.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.usu.edu/nrei/vol2/iss1/5