Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell'Informazione     
Campari I. Some notes on geographical information systems: the relationship between their practical application and their theoretical evolution. Internal note CNUCE-B4-91-008, 1991.
GISs have recently entered into a new course: after a period of technical refinement. they are now passing through a phase in which their theoretical-cultural foundations are being re-examined. A debate on the construction of ~ new'theoretical basis for GISs. begun by a group of experts in the field, is now involving many n ew , ,as well as the long - standing scientific and technological aspects of this discipline. Among the newcomers now demostrating interest are the cognitive sciences. Efforts aimed at developing expert systems and user/interfaces have stimulated in-depth. consideration of the cognitive implications of the whole of GIS activity. Linguistics. nonEuclidean geometry and topology are becoming obiects of such interest that GISs may act as springboards for a science of spatial information. Parallel to these new approaches however. there remains the current. widespread and purely operative view of GIS utilization. whi c h . perhaps for solely incidental reasons. is at odds with the never approaches. The paper presents some considerations on the two ways of viewing and working wi th GISs. The aut h o r . basing notes on experience in the field. hopes that it will contribute to the understanding how the new courses and all theissues involved have come to be perceived by those far from where it has been set.
Subject Geographical information systems

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