For the first time, the International Journal of Geomatics and Spatial Analysis – IJGSA (Revue internationale de géomatique in French) is presenting a series of articles selected by the editorial committee. This “best of” gives an idea of the variety of the themes tackled by the journal in the francophone research network of geomatics. With its international scientific commitments, IJGSA gathers numerous research works from many countries and disciplines.
Why such a publication? Usually, most of the papers published in IJGSA are written in French, although there exist a few exceptions, because the journal is open to English language for a long time. The deep reason is that the language remains the first stone of the culture. And there are not scientific research completely liberated from its underlying culture. Setting a scientific issue, designing a methodology, applying it and getting results are not independent processes from the social context in which the research has been developed. On the other hand, although French language is still spoken by 8% of the population in the world and sets as an official language in the European Community, English became the main used language for scientific communication. This special issue aims at reinforcing the visibility of IJGSA, thanks to the translation supported by Hermes-Lavoisier editor, while keeping a “Francophone touch” in research.
This special issue contains five articles from three different countries: France, Canada and Switzerland. It is interesting to notice here that they involve different topics and disciplines, from spatial object modelling to geospatial prospective. Geographical Information Systems are often required in their different facets and at different scales, from cooperating smart objects to territorial information and spatial decision support (e.g. island conservation planning, co-production of spatial data). Thus, there is a fruitful combination of technological features (e.g. micro-geomatics) and human purpose and behaviour (e.g. participatory GIS, spatial planning). Geomatics concerns many questions about our environment, some of them being handled by these articles, such as diversity, conservation, mobility and land use. Most of the articles are resulting from a strong co-operation between different institutes and disciplines, often coupling particular themes (agronomy, coastal studies, for instance) and associated methodologies to design solutions from computer science.