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Geographical Information Systems, Spatial Analysis and Public Policy: the British Experience

Les Worrall and Derek Bond ()

International Statistical Review, 1997, vol. 65, issue 3, 365-379

Abstract: Geographic information systems (GIS) have received considerable academic and practitioner attention in the last ten years. It is our view that these tools have been considerably oversold to public sector organisations‐particularly local government‐many of whom have failed to achieve the benefits they expected. In our paper, we attempt to develop a broad definition of GIS and discuss the relationship between GIS and policy analysis, spatial decision support systems, spatial analysis and spatial modelling. We also seek to explore how GIS fits into the management information systems and information architectures of public sector organisations and examine some of the human and organisational tensions which GIS adoption and use have brought about. Where possible, we have used examples of how GIS has been used to inform public development in several areas though these have generally been in academic settings and not in public sector organisations.

Date: 1997
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