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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Geospatial Technology: Curricular Keystone of Applied Geography

Geospatial Technology: Curricular Keystone of Applied Geography
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Author(s): Richard G. Boehm (Texas State University–San Marcos, USA) and Audrey Mohan (University of Texas–San Antonio, USA)
Copyright: 2012
Pages: 10
Source title: Computer Engineering: Concepts, Methodologies, Tools and Applications
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Information Resources Management Association (USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-456-7.ch109


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Research into the nature and function of curricular matters in applied geography has provided an opportunity to assess the penetration and relative importance of geospatial technology to the discipline of geography. Departments of Geography with degree programs in applied geography were surveyed to find out how important geospatial technology was in the preparation of students for meaningful jobs and careers. The Applied Geography Specialty Group of the Association of American Geographers (AAG) was also surveyed about the value of geospatial technology, as was the 95 academic programs that listed applied geography as a “program specialty” in the AAG Guide to Geography Programs in the Americas. There was a uniform agreement across these various groups that geospatial technology occupied an extremely important position in their overall course offerings, and if you are watching the workplace, such courses are not only sensible but offer critical employable skills for students upon graduation. It is widely known that geospatial technology education and training require a large commitment of departmental resources, including faculty lines, equipment expenditures, space, and technical support. A geography department and its university’s administration have to understand these unique requirements and allocate resources, more akin to a computer science department than a traditional academic unit. This reality is of immediate importance to geography departments because almost one quarter of all academic jobs advertised in geography over the last six years have been in the broad area of geospatial technology. A final conclusion to this research is a policy matter that suggests geography departments take a strong proprietorial position toward providing education in geospatial technology because other disciplines and training programs see opportunities in a rapidly expanding workplace skill and they are aggressively pursuing a niche of their own.

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