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Teaching Geographic Information Science and Technology in Higher Education



Teaching Geographic Information Science and Technology in Higher Education


Geographic Information Science and Technology (GISc&T) has been at the forefront of education innovation in geography and allied sciences for two decades.

Teaching Geographic Information Science and Technology in Higher Education is an invaluable reference for educators and researchers working in GISc&T, providing coverage of the latest innovations in the field and discussion of what the future holds for GI Science education in the years to come.

This book clearly documents teaching innovations and takes stock of lessons learned from experience in the discipline. The content will be of interest both to educators and researchers working in GISc&T, and to educators in other related fields. More importantly, this book also anticipates some of the opportunities and challenges in GI Science and Technology education that may arise in the next decade. As such it will be of interest to chairs, deans, administrators, faculty in other subfields, and educators in general.

  • Innovative book taking a look at recent innovations and teaching developments in the course provision of GI Science and Technology in higher education.
  • Edited by leaders in the field of GISc&T who have been at the forefront of education innovation in GI Science and allied science subjects.
  • Provides coverage of GISc & Technology in a range of institutional settings from an international perspective at all levels of higher education.
  • An invaluable text for all educators within the field of GISc&T and allied subjects with advice from experts in the field on best practice.
  • Includes coverage and practical advice on curriculum design, teaching with GIS technology, distance and eLearning with global examples from leading academics in the field.
About the editors ix

List of contributors xi

Foreword xv

Editors’ preface xvii


1 GIS&T in higher education: challenges for educators, opportunities for education 3
Kenneth E. Foote, David J. Unwin, Nicholas J. Tate and David DiBiase

2 Making the case for GIS&T in higher education 17
Diana S. Sinton

3 The internationalization of Esri higher education support, 1992–2009 37
Michael Phoenix

4 Reflections on curriculum development in the US and abroad: from core curriculum to body of knowledge 47
Karen K. Kemp


5 Using the GIS&T Body of Knowledge for curriculum design: different design for different contexts 63
Steven D. Prager

6 Scope and sequence in GIS&T education: learning theory, learning cycles and spiral curricula 81
Kenneth E. Foote

7 Building dynamic, ontology-based alternative paths for GIS&T curricula 97
Marco Painho and Paula Curvelo

8 Addressing misconceptions, threshold concepts, and troublesome knowledge in GIScience education 117
Matthew Bampton

9 Active pedagogy leading to deeper learning: fostering metacognition and infusing active learning into the GIS&T classroom 133
Richard B. Schultz

10 Where to begin? Getting started teaching GIS&T 145
Eric West

11 Issues in curriculum and course design: discussion and prospect 159
Kenneth E. Foote


12 The University of Minnesota master of geographic information science (MGIS) program: a decade of experience in professional education 167
Susanna A. McMaster and Robert B. McMaster

13 Geospatial education at US community colleges 185
Ann Johnson

14 The GIS Professional Ethics project: practical ethics for GIS professionals 199
David DiBiase, Francis Harvey, Christopher Goranson and Dawn Wright

15 An exploration of spatial thinking in introductory GIS courses 211
Injeong Jo, Andrew Klein, Robert S. Bednarz and Sarah W. Bednarz

16 Teaching spatial literacy and spatial technologies in the digital humanities 231
David J. Bodenhamer and Ian N. Gregory

17 Discussion and prospect 247
David J. Unwin


18 Virtual geographic environments 257
Gary Priestnall, Claire Jarvis, Andy Burton, Martin Smith and Nick J. Mount

19 Using web-based GIS and virtual globes in undergraduate education 289
Lynn Songer

20 Trying to build a wind farm in a national park: experiences of a geocollaboration experiment in Second Life 301
Nick J. Mount and Gary Priestnall

21 From location-based services to location-based learning: challenges and opportunities for higher education 327
David M. Mountain

22 GIS is dead, long live GIS&T: an educational commentary on the opening of Pandora’s Box 345
Nicholas J. Tate


23 Media and communications systems in cartographic education 361
William Cartwright

24 UNIGIS – networked learning over a distance 383
Josef Strobl

25 The Esri Virtual Campus 395
Nick Frunzi

26 Delivering GIScience education via blended learning: the GITTA experience 405
Robert Weibel, Patrick L¨uscher, Monika Niederhuber, Thomas Grossmann and Susanne Bleisch

27 GIS&T in the open educational resources movement 421
David DiBiase

28 Experiences in ‘e’ and ‘distance-’ learning: a personal account 439
David J. Unwin


29 Ways forward for GIS&T education 453
David DiBiase, Kenneth E. Foote, Nicholas J. Tate and David J. Unwin

Index 469

“Teaching Geographic Information Science and Technology in Higher Education is a timely and invaluable resource written for a wide audience by leading teacher-scholars in the field of Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIS&T).”  (Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing, 1 June 2013)

“I highly recommend the essential and definitive book Teaching Geographic Information Science and Technology in Higher Education edited by David J. Unwin, Kenneth E. Foote, Nicholas J. Tate, and David DiBiase, to any academics and students in GIS&T and related disciplines, industry trainers in the use of GIS&T, faculty in other fields, public policy makers interested in learning more about the subject matter, and members of general public seeking a complete guide to teaching and learning leading edge principles and technologies in GIS&T. This book is unique and a source of discussion for the future of education in general, and GIS&T pedagogy in particular.”  (Blog Business World, 6 January 2012)