The Value and Scope of GIS in Marketing and Tourism Management

The Value and Scope of GIS in Marketing and Tourism Management

Mertcan Taşçıoğlu, Dursun Yener
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 23
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5088-4.ch009
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Geographical information systems (GIS) are the systems that store location-based data and analyze them. GIS originated from the conventional cartographic techniques of simply drawing maps with a pencil and board. Following the adoption of computer technology, GIS further evolved as a geo-referenced dynamic information system, which can today be considered as a multi-disciplinary instrument that links different disciplines like geography, computer science, remote sensing, civil engineering, statistics, marketing, and other social and behavioral sciences. In this chapter, GIS is defined and its importance and functions are described in detail. Usage of GIS in marketing is explained, especially its development in marketing theory. Also, the value and scope of GIS in tourism management with a view to understand the spread of GIS applications in tourism is explored.
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Geographic Information Systems

Geographical information systems (GIS) are defined as an integrated collection of software and data that is used to visualize and organize location-based data for the purposes of performing geographic analyses and creating maps (Wade and Sommer, 2006). GIS is capable of assembling, storing, manipulating, and displaying geographically referenced information (Coyle, 2011). It combines maps, tabular data and analysis capabilities. It allows users to take information, view that information spatially and analyze that information so users can reach conclusions through correlations (Elliot, 2014). As with most technologies, the effective use of GIS depends on the person using it, rather than the technology itself (Fung and Remsen, 1997). GIS is analytical so that able to answer such questions as: “what is adjacent to this intersection?”, “what are the conditions like within 15 km. of this point?”, “how far is the nearest water line?” (Black, Powers and Roche, 1994).

The first modern GIS system was used in 1962 in Ottawa, by the Canadian Department of Forestry to map land use and data about farming and wildlife. The designer of the system was Roger Tomlinson, who was asked by the Canada Land Inventory project to pursue his idea of using computers to combine maps and statistics (Coyle, 2011). The high cost of computer hardware limited the widespread use of GISs. As software and hardware have become more affordable, available and powerful, more researchers are realizing the potential of GISs (Elliot, 2014). In 2007, Tomlinson stated that he thought GIS would be implemented by just about every modern business, if the business was not using GIS it was going to be considered old-fashioned (Coyle, 2011). In its present form, GIS technology represents a software/hardware system designed to capture, manage, manipulate, and analyze geographic data (Star and Estes, 1990; Fung and Remsen, 1997) GIS has applications in many different areas such as geology, defense, population, environment and local governments (Bensghir and Akay, 2006). GIS is now a tool that finds application in most fields of human endeavor at local, regional and global levels (Musyoka et al, 2007).

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