GIS Maturity Models in Higher Education

Authors: David Cowen*, University Of South Carolina
Topics: Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: GIS, Education,
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Delaware B, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

This presentation focuses on the evolution of GIS applications in higher education and how institutions have responded to support a diverse set of new users. Prompted by the development of powerful, cloud based, user friendly technology such as Story Maps individuals across the campus are looking for ways to integrate spatial perspectives into a wide range of applications. These range from creating on line portfolios to new forms of term papers to disseminating research results. The market for these applications extends well beyond the traditional geography disciplines. It is also clear that some of the most enthusiastic users are emerging at colleges and universities that do not even have geography departments. By surveying an extensive set of Esri higher education sites this research found a range of strategies to support these users. The findings suggest that it is possible to identify general patterns that parallel stages in GIS usage and to utilize a check list of structures and accomplishments to assess the relative stage of maturity of the GIS program. Of particular note is the emergence of libraries as focal points for campus wide training and technical support. Additionally, the findings suggest that introduction to entry level GIS applications is attracting a new group of students who wish to gain in-depth GIS skills and opportunities for faculty collaboration across the campus.

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