Valuable components of CyberGIS: Expert viewpoints through Q‐method interviews Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd CyberGIS is an interdisciplinary field that merges components of cyber-infrastructure, geographic information science, and spatial analysis. This fusion combines the technical capabilities of advanced cyber-infrastructure with the spatial analysis capabilities of GIS. How expert GIS practitioners perceive, use, and value the various components of CyberGIS is unknown, making student preparation for CyberGIS competency difficult. To address this gap, we reviewed the CyberGIS literature to develop a set of 37 key CyberGIS concepts. Then, we used Q-methodology to interview 20 expert GIS users to understand the components of CyberGIS they viewed as most applicable to their GIS practice. Three distinct conceptions of CyberGIS expertise emerged: the spatial analyst, the domain-specific problem solver, and the CyberGIS-enabled computer scientist. The CyberGIS-enabled computer scientist emphasized the underlying technologies which allow spatial analysts to discover and implement advanced methods and processes in GIS, which are then utilized by problem solvers to address domain-focused issues. These three contrasting perceptions of CyberGIS expertise raise questions about the nature of curriculum and instruction appropriate to develop competent CyberGIS practitioners. With the identified variety of expert practices concerning CyberGIS, confusing practices and contrasting visions of the nature of CyberGIS reveal a need for instructional organization.

altmetric score

  • 4

author list (cited authors)

  • Bowlick, F. J., Goldberg, D. W., & Bednarz, S.

citation count

  • 1

publication date

  • August 2018