Towards a web-based GIS for teaching geo-informatics at under-graduate level in developing countries: a case study of Iran
- 1Department of Computer Engineering, Khavaran Institute of Higher Education, Mashhad, Iran
- 2Faculty of Information Engineering, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan, China
- 3Center for Advanced Land Management Information Technologies, School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, USA
Keywords: Geo-informatics, Web GIS, Geo-education, Developing countries
Abstract. In developing countries, the number of experts and students in geo-informatics domain are very limited compared to experts and students of sciences that could benefit from geo-informatics. In this research, we study the possibility of providing an online education system for teaching geo-informatics at under-graduate level. The hypothesis is that in developing countries, such as Iran, a web-based geo-education system can greatly improve the quantity and quality of knowledge of students in undergraduate level, which is an important step that has to be made in regard of the famous "Geo for all" motto. As a technology for conducting natural and social studies, geo-informatics offers new ways of viewing, representing and analysing information for transformative learning and teaching. Therefore, we design and present a conceptual framework of an education system and elaborate its components as well as the free and open source services and software packages that could be used in this framework for a specific case study: the Web GIS course. The goal of the proposed framework is to develop experimental GI-services in a service-oriented platform for education purposes. Finally, the paper ends with concluding remarks and some tips for future research direction.