In our line of business, conversations involving GIS and neogeography concepts often taking place, but the difference between the two can be difficult to understand sometimes. So here’s a short explanation of the two and how they can be used.
Neogeography simply means “new geography,” and is commonly applied to the use of geographical techniques and tools for personal and community activities, or by a non-expert group of users. In addition, the application domains of neogeography are typically not formal or analytical.
GIS combines hardware, software, and data to collect, manage and analyze location-based data. Our company utilizes GIS for a large variety of tasks including data and asset management, planning and analysis, and as the backbone of our mapping software like Kiwi. Learn more about mapping software in our article “5 Mapping Tools that Can Make Your Job Easier."
You can look at it like this: GIS represents land and neogeography represents different kinds of buildings. If people want to share their food experiences and the location of a particular restaurant on a map, this kind of neogeography category would be considered a personal experience application. If people are social media users and check into different places very often, this kind of neogeography category is social media application. GIS and neogeography play very different roles in this regard. Without GIS, neogeography could not survive. With neogeography, GIS would go further into another wonderland. Both of them are not such an issue of who leads who or who takes the place of whom.
GIS and neogeography should work and connect together. Neogeography provides a new way for people from the entire world to express themselves and interact with each other and the world. Through neogeography people might show their human behavior in it, such as shopping behavior, daily spatial origin-destinations, and social connections. This is valuable data.
GIS can be leveraged by experts in data analyses processes and be used to build different kinds of models that can send feedback to businesses, helping them to improve their products/services and investments. For example, GIS has long been a powerful tool for the retail and banking industries which I cover in my article on “Top 5 ways to use GIS in retail and banking.”
GIS an neogeography may be different in many ways, but they are similar in that they represent the most valuable tools available to businesses, both now and in the future.