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Training Non-GIS Experts in the Use of Geospatial Tools & Technologies at Stanford University Patricia Carbajales, Geospatial Manager, Branner Earth Sciences & Map Collections, Stanford University
Geospatial Information Systems: The evolution of the Geospatial CommunitySystems Applications Source: Joseph Berry, Geoworld Magazine, October 2006
Geospatial Information Systems: Present & Future Directions• AT PRESENT • GIS development has been evolutionary, then revolutionary • Contemporary needs • Technical breakthroughs • From descriptive inventories to prescriptive analysis • GIS technology has changed our perspective of a map: • Provider of input – Vital ingredient in decision-making • Geotechnology is moving toward commodization • Undifferentiated product • Characterized by price, not quality • GIS is “As different as it is similar” to traditional mapping• FUTURE DIRECTIONS • Social Solution vs. Scientific Solution
The Importance of GIS in Higher Education• “Geotechnology is one of three mega technologies for the 21st century together with nanotechnology and biotechnology”. U.S. Department of Lab• Projected to have one of the top ten fastest growth of employment between 2005 and 2015• More than 350,000 organizations using GIS• Growing demand for working professionals• Overall market size: $50-$60 Billion in total revenue for acquiring, managing, analyzing map data• Applied in over 100 academic disciplines• Millions of GIS Users (Emergency response, natural resources, utilities, business, sociology, transportation,…)• Enhances educational goals: creative thinking, problem-based learning approaches, civic engagement,...• It has saved thousands of millions of dollars through increased productiv and efficiencies
Stanford’s Libraries Strategy: Centralized Geospatial Center• Center of excellence in GIS: + Forum for exchange of ideas and expertise: intellectual osmosis - Room full of hardware, software, and intimidating GIS experts + Faculty oversight in GIS Committee: + No draining costs for traditional programs + No fights over academic ownership + Space, hardware, software, and data acquisition are a communal good - Not just another “techno-science” addition• GIS technology benefits from its diversity as it does from its oneness: + To be embraced into existing courses, it needs to be close to its user’s minds - An isolated building on the other side of campus + Grabs a student’s attention by directly relating to his field of interest + Application-specific GIS, eclectic set of courses - Theoretical bases + Incorporate unconventional concepts and approaches
Stanford’s Libraries Strategy: Keys to successOBJECTIVES: SUCCESSFUL SOLUTION:• Awareness 1. Learning environment• Basic principles 2. Leadership communicates commitment & sponsorship• Mapping know-how 3. Comprehensive, simple, flexible• Domain expertise 4. End-users must be proactively involved in all phases• Data delivery• Center of excellence Scope• Learning environment• Support for allacademic disciplines Cost Expectations Time PRINCIPAL CAUSES FOR FAILURE: Quality 1. Poor planning 2. Lack of corporate management support 3. Poor project management 4. Lack of customer focus and end-user participation
Branner Library Geospatial Services Civil & Environmental Earth Sciences Anthropology Political Sciences Engineering (Fundamentals of GIS) (Spatial Approaches) (Social Sciences) (Hydrology) Review Class Sessions: Undergrads Support Undergrads Graduates Grads & WhereCamp: BrannerStaff: GIS Library Instruction Consultation Post-docs Outreach Geospatial ManagerGIS Community 2 GISServices GIS Assistants Data Resource Center Support Center Faculty Geography Collaboration Week & Data Resource Center GIS Day: Technical SupportStanford Univ Staff Spatial Academic Digital Humanities History Technology Specialists Lab Specialists
GIS at Branner LibraryMISSION: Support all faculty, students, and staff in their GIS-related activities.SERVICES• Data Resource Center• Consulting: • Data gathering • Advanced spatial analysis • Effective cartographic display• Instruction• Troubleshooting• GIS facility for project development
Stanford’s Libraries Response: GIS Education & Training • “Thinking with maps”: mapped data spatial information • GIS education: raise awareness + stimulate interest + sound foundation • Learning environment Vs. teaching environment Support for high level research analysis HIGHER Customized data manipulation & modeling LEVEL MODELING Specific courses by discipline APPLICATIONS Working with & storing geospatial data Query, analysis, display and output USER TRAINING IN BASIC GIS TECHNOLOGY Spatial relationships, topology Examples applied to different disciplines Coordinate systems, datums, projectionsBASIC SPATIAL UNDERSTANDING Scale & precision, data formats, components Data capture (GPS, scanners, RS, CADD) GIS AWARENESS Pool of potential new users are & APPLICATIONS introduced to what GIS can do with emphasis on the diverse backgrounds, interests, and objectives
Workshops• Hands-on with instructor • In one year:• Student participation • 4 different models• “No student left behind” • Intro to ArcGIS • Data Creation &• Following with consultation 1-on- Management 1 (return on investment) • Advanced GIS Series• Tailored to cover most frequent • Google Mapping needs: Technologies • Compatibility • 2 coming up soon • Analysis • Projections • Spatial Statistics • Publishing • Over 80 workshops• Always evolving: based on feedback from students • More than 340 students• Expanding to non-traditional • Popularity mostly from geospatial software former students• Integrated in classrooms • bit.ly/geotraining
Geospatial Software & Users• ArcGIS Desktop Spatial Analysis • Compatibility Research • Requirements in current job market Project Job requirement • Capacity for analysis Basic to advanced • Campus Site License User • 640 library clusters • Over 2,000 installs • Free training • Tech. Support Publishing &• Google Earth, Maps & Fusion Tables Collaboration • Easy, user- friendly, familiar Research Project • Great for collaboration & publication Basic user• R, QGIS (specialized GIS groups) Specific Tasks Research• PostGIS, OpenLayers, ArcSDE, Project ArcGISServer (non-utilized) Advanced user
Conclusions• Main objective: establish geospatial foundation • Responsibility for solid foundation • Limited resources • Specialized groups• Faculty’s involvement is critical • Often not easy • Enforcement of fundamentals• “Human resource” as important as infrastructure• Balance between goals, expectations and resources• Next steps: expand expertise and support to programming languages such as Python
Thank you• Websites: • Contact information: gis.stanford.edu email@example.com bit.ly/geotraining Thank you for listening!