For one academic year, I've attempted a different type of approach to an introductory course in GIS, drawing on various curricular strategies of Nadine Schuurman, Sarah Elwood, Francis Harvey, and Meghan Cope. In this course, students work through introductory technical skills, while simultaneously reading/writing about and discussing the GIS & Society tradition. In this brief post, I'm asking students who participated in this introductory GIS course to reflect on what it means to practice 'critical GIS'.
This fall at Harvard, I'll be co-teaching Maps and Mapping with Charles Waldheim (chair of Landscape Architecture at the GSD). A course video has just been produced to promote the course on campus. Geography at Harvard! Course description: Mapping has been considered both an art and a science, as part of artistic, communicative, and analytical processes in the geographical tradition. This course will serve as an introduction to the concepts, techniques, and histories that enable mapping as an empirical and analytical practice, with particular attention to the digital. It covers the centrality of the map in everyday life and considers the changing role of the map-maker as society becomes increasingly saturated by digital information technologies. Of particular interest will be the use of Internet-based mapping tools and location-based services and the relationship of these tools with more traditional digital mapping techniques, such as geographic information systems (GIS) and