Institutionalization of Geographic Information Technologies: Unifying Concept?
Author: de Man, Erik W. H.
Source: Cartography and Geographic Information Science, 1 April 2000, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 139-152(14)
Abstract:This paper studies the role, impact, and effectiveness of geographic information technologies such as GIS. Contemporary frameworks—such as economic evaluation, organizational context, or diffusion—deal with some aspects only. Institutionalization of geographic information technologies is proposed as a paradigm for studying the impact and effectiveness more comprehensively. It refers to the ongoing process within a group or society whereby this technology itself is becoming institutionalized and gaining a strong (normative) impact on common perceptions of spatial problems and, subsequently, on collective actions to remedy these problems. Hence, it is a paradigm that encompasses value, as well as organizational and societal issues, and links these to the level of individual behavior patterns. The paradigm therefore may provide context for economic evaluation, organizational considerations, and diffusion, as well as for other interpretative perspectives. The paper outlines the concept of institutionalization of geographic information technologies and some of its salient factors and conditions. The focus is on feedback and participatory approaches in the design, and choice and implementation of geographic information technologies; whether these are institutionalized or not. Further (empirical) research is needed to explore the practical usefulness of the concept.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: April 1, 2000