ArcNews Online

Summer 2009

Research Tool at

Esri's Online GIS Bibliography Serves as Excellent Resource for Information

The Esri GIS Bibliography, free on the Esri Training and Education Web site, recently surpassed 75,000 entries, making it one of the world's largest online repositories for information about geographic information science (GIScience) and GIS technology.

Dr. Duane F. Marble, professor emeritus of geography at Ohio State University, began compiling the bibliography in the late 1980s. Because Marble and other academics were each creating individual GIS bibliographies, he saw the need for a more comprehensive public resource. When Marble retired from his academic position, Esri became curator of the bibliography. The staff at the Esri Library in Redlands, California, working with Marble, continues to update the content and maintain the Web site as a free service to the GIS and GIScience community.

The Esri GIS Bibliography at serves as an excellent resource for scholars, scientists, geographers, cartographers, and professionals in a wide range of industries who want to learn about one or more aspects of GIS technology or geographic information science in their fields. The bibliography references more than 1,000 sources, mostly journals, magazines, conference proceedings, and books. Though mainly abstracts, the bibliography also includes some PDFs of articles, conference proceedings, book chapters, and theses. The bibliography encompasses a vast array of fields and industries, such as marine sciences, health, the environment, defense, land-use planning, surveying, petroleum, and forestry. "Although there are other specialized GIS bibliographies, the Esri resource covers a broad span of disciplines, applications, and theory, as well as representing the history of GIS," says Marble. "The global reach of GIS is also clear. During the early years, North America, Europe, and Australia dominated the contributions, but now we see significant input from other regions, such as Asia—specifically China."

"Thousands of students and hundreds of professors have used the bibliography as one of their major starting points for GIS research," says Dr. Michael Gould, Esri's director of higher education. "Besides being an educational resource, the abstracts and other materials point the way to finding experts in or other sources of information about geospatial research and technology."

Esri librarian Patty Turner says the Esri GIS Bibliography contains all the abstracts or PDFs to full papers for every year of the Esri International User Conference going back to 1993. Many abstracts from the Association of American Geographers' annual meetings are also posted. Citations also come from hundreds of journals, such as Applied Geography, Cartographica, and the International Journal of Geographic Information Science. Turner adds that the bibliography contains a lot of "gray material," which means it's often unavailable anywhere else online.

The Esri GIS Bibliography is easy to search using either the basic or advanced search engines. The advanced search includes fields such as title, author, keywords, and abstract, along with the type of material being sought and the year range. Under the search feature is an area where readers can browse for books, conference proceedings, reports, journals, magazines, and other materials.

More Information

Visit Esri's online GIS Bibliography at

Contact Us | Privacy | Legal | Site Map