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Critical GIS in the classroom

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'.

A Critical Spin on GEOG265, 'Introduction to GIS'

I'm gearing up for next semester's Introduction to GIS, a course required of all Geography (and Social Studies Education ) majors at Ball State University .  In this course, I attempt to provide learning opportunities such that students can learn the technical skills associated with geographic information technologies, while situating these technical practices, critically . Course Description: This course will serve as an introduction to the concepts, techniques, and histories that motivate geographic information systems.  This course will simultaneously expose students to key moments in the academic literature that gave rise to GIS in the discipline of geography while providing the necessary, introductory skills to operate ArcGIS.  GIS brings together traditional cartographic principles, computer-assisted analytical cartography, relational database design, and digital image processing and analysis to enable people to develop geospatial databases, analyze those databases, a

Thinking/Making Geographic Representation

[ Chris Alton, Zulaikha Ayub, Alex Chen, Leif Estrada, Justin Kollar, Patrick Leonard, Martin Pavlinic, Andreas Viglakis, Matthew Wilson ] Following a seminar in critical and social cartography at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, course participants set about writing a manifesto of sorts, a provocation in the thinking and practice of geographic representation. Make art, not maps. Talk is cheap. So are pixels and kilobytes. To build is more labored than to destroy, and maintaining the tenere of an attentional wave is the work of humanist scholars, artists, writers, poets, playwrights, and architects—and not for gaggles of open-source spectators. Masterpieces are immutable. Let's build masterpieces or #dietrying. We would rather enter the ground in pursuit of ineffability than constantly losing face in the mangle in which we are all subsumed. Harness confusion. How maps and mapping need to be rethought starts with a rejection of both the possibility and desirability