GIS - traps, maps and databases

Ian Allan, Geocode Mapping and Analysis Pty. Ltd., PO Box 2072, Edithvale, Victoria 3196, Australia.


Digital Geographical Information Systems (GIS) have been common-place for more than a decade now, but many people are still not quite sure what they are. Further, although many organizations are GIS-ready, Geographical Information Systems are often under-utilized because they're mainly used for digital mapping rather than spatial analysis. One reason for this is that many people focus on software functionality rather than database quality. GIS can be a dangerous tool in inexperienced hands because some users do not understand the nature of spatial data. This short paper is devoted to defining what a GIS is, describing some mapping pitfalls that an inexperienced GIS user can fall into, and demonstrating that new usage opportunities arise when digital mapping is formatted to be a spatial database.


Plant Protection Quarterly (2000) 15 (3) 123-125.