The Potential for Geographic Information Systems in Agricultural Economics

The Potential for Geographic Information Systems in Agricultural Economics. Edward Reinsel, Organizer (Economic Research Service, USDA); Gene Wunderlich, Moderator (Economic Research Service, USDA); David Moyer (National Geodetic Survey); Robert Marx (Bureau of the Census, USDC); and Jane Luzar (Louisiana State University) Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are a means of acquiring, storing, retrieving, and analyzing natural resource, socio-economic, and other data. Although such systems offer great flexibility in handling complex geographically oriented information, they have been used relatively little by our profession. This symposium explored concepts underlying GIS's and identified several systems of significant potential interest to agricultural economists. The objective was to provide an understanding of GIS's and thus allow informed decisions by members of the profession concerning adoption of this technology. Moyer introduced general concepts of GIS, noted use by various government agencies and discussed forms of output, including maps, tables, and graphs. Marx described and offered suggestions on accessing and using TIGER--the Census Bureau's new geographic support system. Luzar considered the practical issue of adoption and application of GIS's to analysis of rural problems, including electronic transfer of large data bases, potential products, and hardware and software needs.

Issue Date:
Jul 30 1989
Publication Type:
Conference Paper/ Presentation
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