Process Models and Next-Generation Geographic Information Technology

p1p1Interesting article from Dr. Paul M. Torrens, associate professor in the School of Geographical Sciences at Arizona State University and director of its Geosimulation Research Laboratory.

“Much of the inner workings of geographic information systems is organized around data models: computational structures (rasters and vectors are common variants) that determine how GIS stores, organizes, and displays various types of information for different purposes. Put simply, data models treat the world in terms of objects that represent entities and their related attributes. In GIS, there is usually no dedicated model of the processes that govern dynamics, adaptation, and evolution of a system. For many years, GIS has advanced the potential for unifying representations of entities and processes, and recently, the long-standing promise of consociating the two is beginning to be realized, enabling a burgeoning paradigm shift to a new style of GIS.”