A century of method-oriented scholarship in the Annals

Mei Po Kwan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article, as part of this forum that celebrates the 100th volume of the Annals of the Association of American Geographers, reviews the cumulative contribution of this journal to the advancement of methods, models, and geographic information systems (GIS) from 1911 to 2010. Using data in an Endnote bibliographic database and the ISI Citation Database, I analyze the trends of contributions in these areas in the journal over the past century. I conduct a content analysis on these articles in the journal and identify several enduring and prominent themes in them. I also highlight research directions that are particularly promising for future studies. This article concludes that the cumulative contribution of the Annals to advancing research in methods, models, and GIS over the past century is enormous. Since the restructuring of the Annals into four sections in 2001, the Methods, Models, and GIS section has played a pivotal role in significantly increasing the proportion of method papers in the journal, reversing a downward trend that had been in place since the 1970s.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1060-1075
Number of pages16
JournalAnnals of the Association of American Geographers
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Annals of the Association of American Geographers
  • Geographic information science
  • Geographic methods
  • Models

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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