The geographic eye: Seeing through GIS?

Roger M. Downs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Vermeer's sixteenth-century painting 'The Geographer' captures the geographer in the act of doing geography, but looking up and away from a map. As professional geographers, many of us now do geography 'through' geographic information systems. We too need to look up from the screen in order to understand the act of thinking geographically. With such an understanding, we can design geographic information systems that are both developmentally appropriate and that support the development of the geographic eye. This paper offers a first approximation to a description of the structure and function of the geographic eye whose operation can be supported by a geographic information system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-121
Number of pages11
JournalTransactions in GIS
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 1997

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


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