During the last twenty years, the concurrent development of technology and greater access to information could only be called a revolution. It has transformed almost every spectrum of activities in the developed and to a lesser extent in the developing countries. The development and the increase sophistication, availability and usability of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Remote Sensing, and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) is intrinsically linked with the technological changes that occurred in the last twenty years. A large amount of literature and applications are found related to spatial technologies. Its development is dynamic and the blurring of lines the GIS and the related technologies gets hazier as it becomes easier to integrate them into cell phones, mobile GIS units, the Internet etc. They are now becoming essential to the study of any spatial phenomena. Environmentalism because of its inherent spatial nature is finding spatial technologies indispensable for inventory, planning/management and environmental emergency management. Despite the promise, there is a real need for properly trained environmental analysts with expert skills in spatial technologies.
When GIS and Remote Sensing were first being taught in institutions of higher education, teaching these technologies were considered as ‘addons’ and specialties and not part of the basic courses of the different departments. At this time, if one took a couple of courses in GIS then you were considered by many to be a GIS professional. Since this time, instruction in spatial technologies has grown due to the great demand for those that are suitably trained in the spatial technologies either as a specialist in GIS, Remote Sensing and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) or as an expert user who will use it as a tool in various in various disciplines such as urban planning, environmental analysis or geographic education.
What should be the recommended undergraduate curriculum for education in Geographic Information Science?
In the upcoming blog entries, I would like to introduce a discussion on the continuing development of a Geographic Information Science undergraduate curriculum.
Comments and guest blog entries are welcome on this topic.