Knowledge Economy

Knowledge Economy is the portion of the Body of Knowledge focused on the elements of GIScience central to the growth of the field, particularly in areas related to the professional realm. This knowledge area emphasizes the education and training of personnel, labor and management issues, professional standards (like certification and ethics), industry economics and impacts, and overarching professional community issues.

Topics in this Knowledge Area are listed thematically below. Existing topics are linked directly to either their original (2006) or revised entries; forthcoming, future topics are italicized. 

GIS&T Workforce GIS Operations
Social, Political, and Cultural Issues Capital: Facilities and Equipment
Labor and Management Funding
GIS&T Workforce Development Implementation Planning
GIS&T Positions and Qualifications Design & Implementation of GIS&T
GIS&T Training and Education The Process of GIS&T Design
Professional Certification Problem Definition
Incorporating GIS&T into existing job classifications  Planning for Design
GIS Competency Models Application User Assessment
Coordinating Organizations Requirements Analysis
Agency, organizational, and individual perspectives  Feasibility Analysis
Data sharing among public and private agencies, organizations, and individuals Managing GIS Operations & Infrastructure
Professional organizations Budgeting for GIS Management
Publications System Management
The Geospatial Community User Support
The Geospatial Industry GIS&T Benefits and Costs
  Data Costs
  Economics & the Role of Information
  Valuing and Measuring Benefits
  Models of Benefits
  Measuring Costs


KE-16 - Agency, organizational, and individual perspectives
  • Describe perspectives on the nature and scope of system benefits among agency officials, organizational personnel, and citizens
  • Discuss implications of unequal economic power on the kinds of organizations that use, and benefit from, GIS&T
KE-04 - Application user assessment
  • Identify current and potential users of geospatial technology in an enterprise
  • Identify new geographic tasks or information that align with institutional missions and goals
  • Educate potential users on the value of geospatial technology
  • Classify potential users as casual or professional, early adopters or reluctant users
  • Recognize geographic tasks and geographic information that already exist in an enterprise
  • Evaluate the potential for using geospatial technology to improve the efficiency and/or effectiveness of existing activities
  • Differentiate the concepts of efficiency and effectiveness in application requirements
KE-20 - Budgeting for GIS management
  • Describe various approaches to the long-term funding of a GIS in an organization
  • Describe methods to evaluate the return on investment (ROI) of a GIS within an organization
  • Develop a budget for ongoing re-design and system improvement
  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of maintenance contracts for software, hardware, and data across an enterprise
  • Evaluate the adequacy of current investments in capital (e.g., facilities, hardware, software) and labor for a GIS
  • Justify changes to the investment in an enterprise GIS, including both cutbacks and increased expenses
KE-10 - Capital: facilities and equipment
  • Identify the hardware and space that will be needed for a GIS implementation
  • Compare and contrast the relative merits of housing GISs within IT (information technology) and MIS (management information system) facilities versus keeping them separate
  • Collaborate effectively with various units in an institution to develop efficient hardware and space solutions
  • Hypothesize the ways in which capital needs for GIS may change in the future
KE-08 - Data costs
  • Identify potential sources of data (free or commercial) needed for a particular application or enterprise
  • Judge the relative merits of obtaining free data, purchasing data, outsourcing data creation, or producing and managing data in-house for a particular application or enterprise
  • Estimate the cost to collect needed data from primary sources (e.g., remote sensing, GPS)
KE-18 - Data sharing among public and private agencies, organizations, and individuals
  • Describe formal and informal arrangements that promote geospatial data sharing (e.g., FGDC, ESDI, memoranda of agreements, informal access arrangements, targeted funding support)
  • Describe a situation in which politics interferes with data sharing and exchange
KE-13 - Economics and the role of information
  • Discuss the general role of information in economics
  • Describe the role of economics in the use of geospatial information
  • Describe the role of economics in public and private production of geospatial information
KE-07 - Feasibility analysis
  • List the costs and benefits (financial and intangible) of implementing geospatial technology for a particular application or an entire institution
  • Evaluate possible solutions to the major obstacles that stand in the way of a successful GIS proposal
  • List some of the topics that should be addressed in such a justification of geospatial technology (e.g., ROI, workflow, knowledge sharing)
  • Decide whether geospatial technology should be used for a particular task
  • Perform a pilot study to evaluate the feasibility of an application
  • Justify feasibility recommendations to decision makers
  • Identify major obstacles to the success of a GIS proposal
  • Compare and contrast the relative merits of outsourcing the feasibility analysis and system design processes or doing them in-house
KE-11 - Funding
  • Identify potential sources of funding (internal and external) for a project or enterprise GIS
  • Create proposals and presentations to secure funding
  • Analyze previous attempts at funding to identify successful and unsuccessful techniques
KE-24 - GIS&T positions and qualifications
  • Discuss the status of professional and academic certification in GIS&T
  • Identify the standard occupational codes that are relevant to GIS&T
  • Identify the qualifications needed for a particular GIS&T position
  • Discuss how a code of ethics might be applied within an organization
  • Explain why it has been difficult for many agencies and organizations to define positions and roles for GIS&T professionals
  • Describe the differences between licensing, certification, and accreditation in relation to GIS&T positions and qualifications