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Geography and Computers: Past, present, and future

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Dani Arribas-Bel, Jon Reades

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12403
JournalGeography Compass
Issue number10
Early online date3 Sep 2018
Accepted/In press30 Jul 2018
E-pub ahead of print3 Sep 2018
PublishedOct 2018


King's Authors


The discipline of Geography has long been intertwined with the use of computers. This close interaction is likely to increase with the embeddedness of computers and concomitant growth of spatially-referenced data. To better understand the current situation, and to be able to better speculate about the future, this article provides two parallel perspectives: first, we offer an historical perspective on the relationship between Geography and computers; second, we document developments—in particular the nascent field of data science—that are currently taking place outside of Geography and to which we argue the discipline should be paying close attention. Combining both perspectives, we identify the benefits of tighter integration between Geography and Data Science, and argue for the establishment of a new space—that we term Geographic Data Science—in which cross-pollination could occur to the benefit of both Geography and the larger data community.

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