Gregoire and all,
Herewith a small contribution to the discussion:
A GIS is a computer based system which deals with the visualization,
analysis and modeling of up to 4-D geospatial data.
With this definition we state the following: If the system deals only with
visualization, it is not a GIS but rather a mapping tool ( many so-called
GIS do only this - but any GIS can do this), ETC.
The data used in a GIS is geospatial, that is it relates to the earth and
the attribiutes have X,Y and Z coordinates. Probably 80% of all data
collected today is geospatial data. (Obviously a GIS can also be used for
data collected from extra-terrestial bodies.)
With the above comments one could draw up a list of properties of a GIS
and I am sure that many so-called GIS would not satisfy all the
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