GITA Releases White Paper on Defining GIS

12 Jun, 2005

GITA (Geospatial Information & Technology Association) has published a white paper, "What Is GIS: A Profession, Niche, or Tool?" that examines a long-running debate in the geospatial information industry: the very definition of a GIS (geographic information system). Whether it is defined as a separate profession, a niche technology included within the broader arena of information technology or a tool used across a wide array of professional disciplines, the question has raised strong opinions from a number of varied perspectives.

Including the opinions of individuals involved in recent exchanges on the GITA Web site and at its annual conference in March, the paper summarizes the positions of those who subscribe to at least one of the camps -- in fact, as the paper illustrates, many participants in the discussions argued from two or even all three perspectives.

The white paper, including a downloadable PDF version, is available at