The original "science behind the systems" continues to advance on several fronts. It intersects with computer science, analytical cartography, remote sensing, and imagery science. Some of the most important work is in developing and documenting useful datasets for science, and interoperating between these datasets and various approaches. Paramount here are effective and open analysis, modeling, and replicability and reproducibility of approaches.
Geographic information science is in our DNA
Geographic information science, also known as GIScience or geospatial data science, has been in Esri's DNA since our founding in 1969. Many of our key staff and leaders trained with legends in the field. "Father of GIScience" Mike Goodchild is a long-standing, trusted consultant to further guide and critique us, as is remote-sensing and education pioneer Dave Cowen. Chief scientist Dawn Wright is on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Geographical Information Science and Transactions in GIS.
Esri and the Space and Time for Knowledge Organization (STKO) Lab of Professor Krzysztof Janowicz and his students are pursuing joint research projects of mutual benefit and interest in the areas of Linked Data, semantic search, data-mining-based metadata enrichment, and geo-ontology. This includes experimenting with the ArcGIS ingestion of ontologies and Linked Data for data queries and the associated issues of user experience (UX), semantic search, automatic interpretation, web analytics, and more.
Imagery & Remote Sensing
Imagery as data and remote sensing as science power today's modern GIS. Rapidly changing developments that combine imagery and spatial analyses are opening up new chapters in the history of GIS, as society awakens to the power of geography and the intuitive understanding that imagery helps us "see" in all its forms. As we like to say, "the map of the future is an intelligent image."
Inspiration, resources, training, and fascinating reads on cartographic science
Maps We Love
A map can change the world, and so can you! Maps We Love is an ongoing project to find and share inspiring examples of what's possible with ArcGIS.
Cartography MOOC training
Once, only cartographers made maps. Today anyone can. Cartographers teach how to make better maps in this free massive open online course (MOOC).
Applied Data Science Initiative