- from a learning environment project
to a digital tool supporting new pedagogy
in national education
What is geographical infromation?
Why to learn it?
Geographical information (GI) is
place specific information of environment
Mapping and GIS skills are a
citizen’s multi-literacy skill
Mapping and GIS skills are becoming increasingly important when :
• navigating and informing locations eg. in emergency situations.
• finding information from map services, eg. the nearest ATM, a good café etc.
• participating eg. usage of cities’ map services or finding and utilizing spatial data produced by different
• Geographical Information Technology is utilized more in working life now than ever before.
• environmental research, for example, the mapping of flood risk areas
• urban planning
• in companies with traffic control planning in order to optimize transportations
• in marketing when planning the locations of supermarkets and hypermarkets as well as the regional targeting
of direct marketing.
Usage of GIS in education:
• In the new core curriculum research skills are already mentioned during the first classes of primary school.
• PaikkaOppi is a great tool for research containing ready-made map data. Environmental observations can be
examined, recorded, analyzed, presented and shared.
• Financed by The Finnish National Board of Education.
• The service has been used in education of biology and geography in Finnish high
schools throughout the 2000s.
• Aims of current projects:
• the usage of PaikkaOppi has increased in schools nationwide and PaikkaOppi is an essential part of
e-learning materials of Finnish schools at at all levels.
• To develop pedagogical materials which support the idea of an integrated curriculum alongside
student-centered and problem-based learning.
Vision for the future: the service could be developed as a tool for science education,
inspiring creativity and innovation in students. New research information and open data
will be utilized in learning.
Projects: PaikkaOppi Plus and Plus2
Finnish innovation PaikkaOppi
is an open web-based
learning environment of GIS
It consists of:
1. a web-based GIS
application that can be
used to view and produce
2. a set of ready-made
exercises and project
• Datasets, pedagogical tools and
learning materials are free for
• All Finnish schools have equal
possibilities to use them.
• Schools don’t need to invest in
separate GIS-programs and
Equality of education
• The Finnish National Board of Education
• Universities of Turku and Helsinki
• National Land Survey of Finland, Finnish Geospatial Research
Institute, Lounaispaikka, Arbonaut Oy
• Education arranged cities: Turku, Kaarina and Joensuu
Developed in co-operation
with several partners in the 2000s
GIS enhances students’:
Information processing skills
Almost all citizens will need the ability to handle spatial data in the future. Teaching of GIS can develop students’
logical thinking and problem-solving abilities which are needed in all school subjects.
Base map and terrain models of Finland.
PaikkaOppi offers a diverse selection of map
data presentation including:
• Orto-, aerial and satellite photos
• Hydrology (water systems)
• Geology and topography
• Land use and traffic
• Environmental research
• Nature protection areas
• Community structure and planning
• Cultural environment and historical maps
• Geographical grid systems
• Local names and administrative maps
Various map themes in
What you can do
with PaikkaOppi -map application?
of symmetrics in
nature of the city are
positioned on the
map. l Geography and home economics. Local
food project. Where does the food
come from? Dinner is prepared from
local ingredients. Information is
collected of local farmers’ food
production practices and the effects
they have on humans, animals and
Finnish, history. Traditional knowledge is
collected as a text, audio or video format. For
example, intervewing people that have lived
in an area for a long time. Videos are
presented in a map and then shared with
residents of an area..
studies. Mobile herbarium.
Images and descritions of
plants on the map.
Chemistry and geography.
Study of water system. Water
samples from various waters
are compared and results are
presented on the map. Why
samples differ from each
Mathematics and geography:
estimation of geometric shapes
in a vicinity. Create and calculate
routes, their length and areas on
Information collected from surroundings can be presented in a map format
For exercising the
usage of PaikkaOppi
Suitable for students in
Short GI-exercises for
at the beginning or in
the end of a lesson or
Outdoor learning and
Including analysing data.
for various school subjects
and for integrated curriculum
ABC of GIS Tiny tasks Mini research projects Act out of doors
Using either a blank or detailed map of Finland
(including provincies and municipalities) students can
then add their own data to the map, including:
• Biggest Finnsih cities
• Historical borders
• Biggest water systems
• Dialect areas
• Bio-geographical areas
• Home places (domiciles) of finnish artists
• Domiciles of parents and grandparents
• Summerholiday routes in Finland
• Add music to local places
• Locales of movies or tv-series …
Student estimations of locations of biggest
You can place your own markers on the map:
”Mark events and phenomena
on a map of Finland!”
The maps are available in Finnish, English and German. There is
also detailed biology and geography integration. Students can
present with images and texts or videoclips their favrourite
places in many languages. Map presentation is shared with
other classes in Finland as a class trip tip .
The development and testing of the model:
Class teachers Sirkku Alin and
Puolala school, Turku
Class trip -maps
Excercise in a primary education. It integrates biology,
geography, physical training and visual arts.
Students studied various winter plants and animals
using them in winter as a nourishment. Students
collected them, took pictures and put them on a map
using educational games and handicrafts.
Development of the model:
Class teacher Maritta Tammio
Piispanlähteen koulun 2b, Kaarina
Integrated research of chemistry and geography.
Analysis of water samples taken from lakes, rivers, sea
water pH, opacity, conductivity of electricity and
Results are marked on a PaikkaOppi map.
Development of the model:
Teachers of biology and geography: Ari Kalske, Minna
Hämäläinen Luostarinvuoren koulun 9 lk, Turku and MobiLuma
–project from the university of Turku
Reserach of water systems