GIS – A New Paradigm

Lawrie E Jordan


Geographic Information System (GIS) technology is now entering into a new and rapidly expanding era of increased accessibility, applicability, transparency, and meaningfulness. This evolution is transformational and global in scope, with broad implications for the social, economic, and environmental fabrics which connect us. The new GIS paradigm extends its reach well beyond the status-quo by being web-enabled, standards-based, and enterprise wide. The new GIS computing environment is a services-oriented, open architecture that delivers global “Geography-on-Demand” in near real time. The view into this new environment is highly enriched through the use of dynamic 2D and 3D imagery with a highly simplified user interface. Efficiency and return on investment (ROI) are significantly enhanced by “task-at hand” workflows and industry-specific project templates. The foundation and overarching strength of this new approach is a GIS-centric core data model. The model is comprehensive in design, fully integrating all-source remote sensing imagery with traditional GIS vector layers into the Geodatabase . Imagery is now a core component of GIS in one working environment. This paper will examine the new paradigm in further detail, and will offer for discussion some of the inherent institutional and educational challenges which may be faced.