The purpose is to discuss GIS in the developing world. The central argument is that, although GIS has potential to be of utility in the struggle for development, that potential has not yet been realized and there are many problems to be overcome. It is argued that the current developments in GIS are primarily technology-driven and that such an approach has limited relevance to the problems of development. GIS technology is not scientifically objective and value free. It is an artefact of industrial and post-industrial society. If it is to be used in the context of development then it must be introduced, developed, modified and controlled by indigenous people who understand the social, economic and political context of the situation as well as the technical capabilities of GIS. This may involve some quite different GIS configurations and solutions from those already successful in the developed nations. It poses special problems of technology transfer and education and training. The chapter begins by looking at the developing nations and the challenges facing them. A brief description is then given of the introduction of GIS to the developing world, including a description of current applications. Special attention is given to China and India to illustrate the central argument. -from Author

Additional Metadata
Taylor, D.R. (1991). GIS and developing nations. Geographical information systems. Vol. 2: applications, 71–84.