Twenty Years of Progress, Goodchild (2010)

Goodchild (2010) provided an interesting summary of the innovations in GIScience since its first conception. I appreciate the discussion of what innovation looks like in a field that is so intensely interdisciplinary. I feel that Sara Fabrikant’s interpretation of “discoveries” in GIScience as “enabling the discovery of the world” also appropriately captures the interdisciplinary nature of GIScience research implications.

In the 7 years science the article was published, I wonder how successful we’ve been in addressing Goodchild’s fifth challenge of the decade: the challenge of education. He writes that in the first twenty years since the conception of GIScience there has been a transition in the approach to education toward GIScience literacy in the general public. Still, most of my technical GIS education has been with software otherwise locked behind costly licenses or affiliation with wealth institutions. I’d imagine this approach serves to reinforce a knowledge gap between those with access and those without.

Perhaps it’s because of a lack of suitable alternatives, and I can’t speak to the experience of students at other universities, but I think it’s at least indicative of some vestige of educating a professional elite in GIS education. Of course, universities have some duty to endow students with employable skills. I suppose another challenge in GIScience will be to provide students with a knowledge of industry standards without perpetuating a culture differentiated expertise based on resources.

Comments are closed.