FORTY YEARS OF VISION: MEASURING

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Major reviews of URISA’s achievements and previews of its prospects were featured at the 1977 (15th anniversary) and 1992 (30th anniversary) conferences (Wellar, 1977; Wellar and Parr, 1992). The 1977 proceedings included 13 invited papers on the theme “Information System Inputs to Policies, Plans and Programs”, and 26 invited papers on key IS/IT issues and topics. In 1992, with “Making Connections” the conference theme, 14 papers were commissioned for a special proceedings volume, IS/GIS/LIS and Public Policies, Plans and Programs: Thirty Years in Perspective.

In this paper several of the abiding issues, opportunities and challenges identified in the two previous reviews-previews are revisited, and several new bench-marking criteria are introduced. It is our contention that over the course of 40 years URISA and its members have played a central role in: shaping global and association IS/GIS/LIS networks; defining the G of GIS; expanding and harmonizing the IS family; providing substantive content and personnel for the information system industry; elaborating the connections that underlie information system innovation and adoption in government, business, academia and society at large; and, advancing IS/GIS/LIS research frontiers.
The paper closes with the presentation of selected “Enterprise Principles”. The principles are derived from an inspection of prior URISA reviews-previews, and a keyword-based search of recent proceedings. It is anticipated that this topic will become central to future URISA discourse on curiosity-driven and client-driven research initiatives.
Due to the large amount of review-preview documentation that is already available on URISA’s record, the approach in this paper is to emphasize graphics with a minimal amount of text. It is our impression that the graphics tend to “speak for themselves” in most cases.

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FORTY YEARS OF VISION: MEASURING

  1. 1. Forty Years of Vision: URISA in the 1960s, 70s, 80s, and 90s Dr. Barry Wellar Department of Geography University of Ottawa and URISA President, 1977 – 1978 Slides for a Panel Session, URISA 2002 Annual Conference and Exposition, October 26-30, Chicago, Illinios
  2. 2. Figure1. Building a Global IS/GIS/LIS/… Network Russia Spain Sweden U.K. Far East U.N. Africa Hungary U.S. France South URISA Canada Amer. Denmark Australia OECD Europe Neth. Mexico GDR Middle East
  3. 3. Figure 2. Expanding IS/GIS/LIS/… Association Linkages ICMA GFOA NGA ASCE AURISA UDMS AGI AAG URISA APWA IAAO GIS/LIS SORSA AUTO-CARTO ASPRS ACSM DFD BURISA AM/FM AWWA NSGIC MFOA TRB APA NWCAMA
  4. 4. Figure 3. Elaborating the “IS Family ” Air Pollution Monitoring Financial Public Property Assessing Fire Public Works Audit Fiscal Real Estate Auto-CAD Geographic Regional Development Building Permits Housing Resource Management Citizen Access Infrastructure Solid Waste Community Development Land Storm Water Decision Support Licensing Sustainable Development Development Monitoring Management Tax Ecologic Mapping Transportation Economic Development Municipal Urban Emergency Response Permitting Utilities Engineering Planning Water/Wastewater Environmental Assessment Police Watershed Planning Environmental Monitoring Property Wetland Protection Facilities Management Public Notification Zoning
  5. 5. Figure 4. The “G” In, Of, and About GIS Contiguity Geomatic Near(ness) Route Accessibility Continent(al) Geometric Neighbour Scale Adjacency Coordinate/point Geopolitical Network Shape Agglomerate Core Georeference Node Site Aggregate Density Globe(al) Object Situation Amalgamate Diffusion Grid Orientation Space Arc Dimension Hinterland Parcel Sphere Area/polygon Disperse(ion) Home Path Spread Association Distance Interaction Pattern Strip Attribute Periphery Structure Distribution Intrusion Border Perimeter Surface Edge Layer Boundary Place System Elevation Line Buffer Point Topography Entity Link Centrality Pole(ar) Topology Extrusion Local(ization) Circle Polygon(al) Urban Flow(s) Location Close(ness) Position Vector Function Map Clump Proximity Where Geocode Migration Cluster Region Yonder Geodetic Movement Concentrate Relation Zone Geofactor Nation(al) Connect
  6. 6. Figure 5. Making Connections Information, Society and Science Electeds, Staff and Citizens Government, Business and Academe Arts, Sciences, Humanities and Technologies Scope, Scale and Functionality Standards, Standards and Standards Complexity, Utility and Reliability Security, Efficiency and Democracy Data, Information and Knowledge Inputs, Throughputs and Outputs Thinking, Knowing and Acting Qualitative, Quantitative and Visualization Procedures Text, Numerics and Graphics Exhortation and Demonstration Higher-order Analysis and Synthesis Curiosity-driven and Client-driven Research
  7. 7. Figure 6. Contributions to Information Industry Associations, Organizations and Corporations Programs and Exhibits Workshops and Workbooks Ideas and Actions Human Resources and Technology Expert Advice and Hands-on Involvement Testing and Calibrating Supporting and Promoting Education and Training Criticism and Encouragement
  8. 8. Figure 7. Contributions to Society/Science Leading-edge Publications Leading-edge Conference Programs State-of-the-Field Reviews and Forecasts Reality→Data→Information→Knowledge Transforms IS/GIS/LIS Means of R→D→I→K Transforms Systems Integration IS/GIS/LIS/MIS/RIS/TIS/… Innovation and Adoption Real-World Applications of IS/GIS/LIS/MIS/RIS/TIS/… Decision Support Systems Information as an Investment Democratization of Data/Information Through IS/GIS/LIS/PPIS/… Mapping Cause-Effect Connections Through GIS Performance Measurement Methodology Better Governance
  9. 9. Figure 8. Advancing Research Frontiers (If the research boat ain’t rockin’ it ain’t movin’.) • Beyond Same Old Same Old to New and Different • Beyond Data to Information and Knowledge • Beyond Analysis to Synthesis • Beyond Cataloguing to Hypothesizing and Theorizing • Beyond Indicators to Indexes • Beyond Description to Explanation and Prediction • Beyond Events to Processes • Beyond Incidents to Patterns • Beyond Concepts to Operations • Beyond Exploratory to Confirmatory • Beyond “One-offs” to Generalizations
  10. 10. Figure 9. Specifying Enterprise Principles for IS/GIS/LIS • Management, Planning, Operations, IT and Research Are Interdependent IS Functions • Robust Performance Measurement of IT Systems and Services is Based on Outputs • Human Resources, Software, Hardware and Peripherals Are Interrelated IS Components • Technological Constraints Are Temporary, and Institutional and Organizational Capacity-Building Needs Are Eternal
  11. 11. Figure A. Indicative List of What Management Wants to Do or Expects To Be Able To Do As a Result of GIS Investments* Divine the future Propose new policies Create new strategies Discover new processes Increase productivity Increase market share Increase revenues Improve products/services *This list is derived from government manuals, journal and proceedings articles, trade magazines, company reports and the business sections of newspapers. As the alert reader will notice, some of the entries represent competing outcomes or even polar opposites. Those entries are included to reflect the reality that management - both public and private - often employ several agendas when specifying outcomes, and the means and consequences of achieving them. Source: Wellar, B. “Assessing GIS Benefits: The Methodology Dimension”, GIS/LIS Proceedings, 1997
  12. 12. Figure B. Indicative List of What Management Wants to Do or Expects To Be Able To Do As a Result of GIS Investments* Increase sales Minimize liability Minimize vulnerability Minimize conflicts Build capacity Increase value-added Increase volunteerism Improve service delivery Improve quality of life *This list is derived from government manuals, journal and proceedings articles, trade magazines, company reports and the business sections of newspapers. As the alert reader will notice, some of the entries represent competing outcomes or even polar opposites. Those entries are included to reflect the reality that management - both public and private - often employ several agendas when specifying outcomes, and the means and consequences of achieving them. Source: Wellar, B. “Assessing GIS Benefits: The Methodology Dimension”, GIS/LIS Proceedings, 1997
  13. 13. Figure C. Indicative List of What Management Wants to Do or Expects To Be Able To Do As a Result of GIS Investments* Ensure equitable distribution of costs/benefits Cut/cover/recover costs Diversify holdings/offerings Support centralization/decentralization Support concentration/deconcentration *This list is derived from government manuals, journal and proceedings articles, trade magazines, company reports and the business sections of newspapers. As the alert reader will notice, some of the entries represent competing outcomes or even polar opposites. Those entries are included to reflect the reality that management - both public and private - often empoly several agendas when specifying outcomes, and the means and consequences of achieving them. Source: Wellar, B. “Assessing GIS Benefits: The Methodology Dimension”, GIS/LIS Proceedings, 1997
  14. 14. Figure D. Indicative List of What Management Wants to Do or Expects To Be Able To Do As a Result of GIS Investments* Support intensification/sprawl Expand market opportunities Enhance networking/integration Improve access/participation Please voters/shareholders Protect/sustain environment Support downloading/off-loading Protect privacy/security of files *This list is derived from government manuals, journal and proceedings articles, trade magazines, company reports and the business sections of newspapers. As the alert reader will notice, some of the entries represent competing outcomes or even polar opposites. Those entries are included to reflect the reality that management - both public and private - often empoly several agendas when specifying outcomes, and the means and consequences of achieving them. Source: Wellar, B. “Assessing GIS Benefits: The Methodology Dimension”, GIS/LIS Proceedings, 1997
  15. 15. Figure E. Indicative List of What Management Wants to Do or Expects To Be Able To Do As a Result of GIS Investments* Increase capability to engage in new/different informational activities Quantify/visualize cumulative spatial impacts Provide real-time monitoring of spatial patterns/change Explain changes in input/output relationships Produce robust syntheses of forces and implications of spatial change Justify decision-making processes, choices and outcomes *This list is derived from government manuals, journal and proceedings articles, trade magazines, company reports and the business sections of newspapers. As the alert reader will notice, some of the entries represent competing outcomes or even polar opposites. Those entries are included to reflect the reality that management - both public and private - often empoly several agendas when specifying outcomes, and the means and consequences of achieving them. Source: Wellar, B. “Assessing GIS Benefits: The Methodology Dimension”, GIS/LIS Proceedings, 1997

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