As humans and natural processes continuously reshape the surface of the Earth, there will forever be a need to document these changes through the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) such as OpenStreetMap. Just as the surface of the Earth unceasingly transforms, so too does technology.
As location aware technologies increasingly become ubiquitous in society, expectations for mapping products are shifting. This is stimulating the need to dramatically modify traditional GIS training for the next generation of GIS professionals. GIS professionals must now be equipped with skills to both inventory and communicate spatial information through a wide range of digital media.
In this talk I will pose two main questions GIS educators are grappling with: how do we best prepare students for an industry that is evolving so quickly? How do we lure new students to GIS without overwhelming them with all of the possibilities that GIS technology can enable? I suggest how the use of OpenStreetMap in combination of a suite of open source web mapping tools in the classroom could serve as gateway for students to be introduced to the exciting world of GIS.
Dr. Jim Thatcher co-authored the paper presented in this session.