GEOG 583
Geospatial System Analysis and Design

Technology Trends: Introduction


GIS Meets High-Tech

OK, you might think, "Well - isn't GIS already something most people consider high tech?" The answer to that question is a little complicated. In comparison to where we were about 20 years ago - yes, current GIS systems are pretty high tech. In comparison to recent advances in software, interfaces, and the ways in which regular people can participate in the development of data and tools - no, off-the-shelf desktop GIS isn't so radically new anymore.

I want to help contextualize what we learn on system design and analysis with what's happening with new technologies. In each lesson, I will ask you to review a specific new technology trend and to imagine how those advances can and will impact GIS in the future.

Technology Trends

Each Lesson features a Technology Trend page that presents a new technology and encourages you to envision its potential impact on GIS systems. I draw upon video lectures, links to live demonstrations, and other multimedia as much as I can to make these modules as engaging as possible.

The trends we will cover this term include:

  • Emotional Design
  • Anthropology and New Interactive Displays
  • Volunteered Geographic Information
  • Augmented Reality
  • Openness
  • Parallel Programming
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Eye-Tracking

For each Technology Trend, I'll ask you to participate in threaded discussions with your classmates based on several prompts that I will provide. These constitute an important part of your participation grade.

On the next page, you'll find your first Technology Trend assignment. In this assignment, we will examine a new general design methodology called "Emotional Design," and we will discuss how it might be valuable as a design philosophy for the development of GIS systems.