Wed 05 December 2007
It's interesting to see the passionate responses to Joe Francia's article claiming that neogeography is != GIS. One one side there is a small group of folks bashing neogeography and claiming the superiority of "GIS". On the other side there is the attitude claiming that some "revolution" has occurred which has supplanted traditional geographic techniques. You'd think there was a cold war going on! Both memes are as wrong as they are arrogant.
I have always defined GIS as
Geographic Information System: The integration of hardware, software, procedures and people to manage the collection, creation, analysis, synthesis, sharing and visualization of spatial information.
Neogeography easily fits that bill. So does Enterprise IT. So does Desktop mapping. So does Geostatistics. Geodesy. Web Mapping. Remote Sensing. LBS mobile technologies. Cartography. Surveying. Spatial Analysis and Modeling. Database management. Sensor webs. GPS... These disciplines are all a small piece of the larger puzzle that is GIS (whether their staunch adherents will admit to it or not!).
The key word in this controversial acronym is System. In order for any organization to implement a successful GIS, they must figure out a) which technologies will work for them and b) how to integrate them into a coherent whole. All of these aspects of GIS have something to offer so it's important not to get stuck in a rut with blinders on. This goes for all "sides" of this ridiculous "neogeo vs GIS" argument.