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Say hello to the new geography. It runs your GPS unit, takes you on mobile-device-guided tours, helps you find and see hotel rooms before you book them…Planet Earth lovers should prepare to be amazed by the way new geography has set about solving some of the world’s most pressing and mystifying problems, along the way making travelers safer, keeping them fully informed and throwing open the doors to new horizons.

Geographic information systems, or GIS, is the other side of the story. It has made geography a crucial partner with almost every other field of human endeavor by quickly integrating vast, interdisciplinary troves of information.

What has that to do with you, the traveler? Plenty. Every time you search for something on the Internet — fish and chip shops on London’s Portobello Road, camping sites on the Big Sur coast — and click on an interactive map, you’re using GIS.

Tags: maps