GIS has been welcomed worldwide for its potential production of accessible, timely, and accurate information for decision making. In recent discussions it has been presented as a condition for governance. The implementation of GIS in large and complex institutions like ministries or planning institutes, however, is still problematic. Therefore, attention has shifted from the mere `technical factors¿ to organisational and institutional problems of GIS implementation, looking for the right `fit¿ of GIS for the organisation in question. This paper will sketch the importance of organisational culture for understanding GIS implementation, and draw some conclusions on the implications for the use of GIS in promoting good governance. The paper discusses a Costa Rican case study on the implementation of GIS for forest monitoring. This case shows the strengths and weaknesses of different organisational cultures in adopting GIS, and illustrates that the (inter)organisational complexity of monitoring forest resources requires more attention to the potential variety in data demands from different organisations.