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The Landscape of GIScience Publications 1997–2007: An Empirical Investigation with Latent Semantic Analysis


Yongmei Lu, Department of Geography, Texas State University, San Marcos, 601 University Drive, San Marcos, TX 78666, USA. E-mail:


This article reports on an empirical study of the trends and patterns of research activities in Geographic Information Science (GIScience) during the years 1997–2007. The GIScience research priorities identified by the University Consortium of Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) were used as guidelines to examine the 985 research articles published in six well-recognized academic journals. Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA) was employed to investigate the association among the different GIScience research themes. The spatial and temporal patterns of the association between the publications and the different GIScience themes were examined to show the development of GIScience research during the study period. Furthermore, correlation analyses between the publications were conducted following the LSA results to reveal GIScience research networks, including the networks of the published articles and those formed by the research places. In this article, we applied an approach that was developed within information science to depict what GIS research activities were conducted when and where and how they connect to each other through sharing common research themes. The related findings pave the way for future efforts to describe the paradigm of GIScience as well as the pattern of GIScience research.