GIS In Natural Resource Education: Where Are We Headed? | 2485
Journal of Earth Science & Climatic Change
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Over the past three decades, GIS education has evolved from a focus on automated cartography, to spatial database management,
to geo-web applications. Within these contexts, curricula have emphasized the mechanics of descriptive mapping (?Where is
What?) involving acquisition, storage, retrieval, query and display of spatial objects. However, the future of GIS education is moving
from a ?down the hall and to the right? specialist?s role for providing mapped data, to a broader and more active role of providing
spatial information for natural resource research, policy, planning and management. The instructional emphasis is shifting from
data?centric tools to application-specific constructs of prescriptive mapping (Why, So What and What If) that infuses consideration
of geographic patterns and relationships within problem-solving contexts. The paradigm shift replaces spatially-aggregated tools
and models that assume uniform or random distribution in geographic space with spatial reasoning and analytical procedures that
capitalize on the variation within and among map variables.
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