Geography and Computers: Past, present, and future

Dani Arribas-Bel, Jon Reades

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)
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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.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12403
JournalGeography Compass
Issue number10
Early online date3 Sept 2018
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


  • Quantitative Geography
  • GIS
  • Geocomputation
  • Data Science


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