The Geographical Information Sciences (GISc) gather the disciplines and fields of application, which study, develop and use the methods and techniques of acquisition, treatment, analysis and visualization of geographical information. The Geographical Information Sciences largely exceed the framework of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) by integrating fields such as the spatial statistics, modeling and simulation of spatial and spatial-temporal phenomena, management of large spatial databases, analysis of networks, or interactive and dynamic visualization.
The geographical information sciences developed starting from the methodological and theoretical interrogations around the systemic approach in geography and of the spatial analysis as of the years 1970, then of the Geographical Information Systems (GIS) at the end of the 1980’s, with which they should not be confused. GISc have a strong anchoring in computer science and quantitative data processing methods, as well as the systemic approach. The IGD’s research wants to be open on the close fields like statistics, modeling and simulation. In order to take in consideration this opening of our field of research, we give him the name “Generalized Geographical Information Sciences”, or GGISc.
At the Institute of Geography and Sustainability, research in GGISc currently covers mainly the following fields:
- cartography and visualization
- modeling and simulation, in particular for self-organized complex systems
- data analysis
These various fields are applied to problems resulting from several fields, of which in particular:
- physical geography
- urban geography
- development studies