Yet again I found an article where GIS expanded as Global Information System.

Falkowski is a graduate of Valparaiso University in planning and building and with global information systems, or GIS. Falkowski worked for Lake County Planner Ned Kovackevich and had also been active in trades in building as a carpenter, a laborer and in construction.

This happens a lot in the "local papers" of the United States. Mostly, I think it occurs because writers or editors do a quick seach on GIS and Global Information System pops up and that sounds right in the context of the story. When I have the time I send a quick, respectful e-mail to suggest it's more likely to mean geographic information system, based on the context. I sometimes inlcude a link to In this case, the author did in fact know about our expansion of GIS and promised a correction.

So what exactly is a Global Information System? Wikipedia offers a few definitions:

  • A global information system (GLIS) is an information system which is developed and / or used in a global context.[1]
  • A global information system (GLIS) is any information system which attempts to deliver the totality of measurable data worldwide within a defined context.

So, in some cases, not in a small town however, a GIS may indeed be a GIS!

Published Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

Written by Adena Schutzberg

Published in


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