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Instructional Development Award Recipients

Several undergraduate instructors who attended the 2004, 2005, or 2006 SPACE workshops were awarded funds to continue their efforts in integrating spatial analysis into their course curriculums. These pages showcase their achievements. See the full recipient list.

Wei Tu

Affiliation: Department of Geology and Geography, Georgia Southern University
Workshop Attended: Spatial Analysis in the Social Science Curriculum: Enhancing Undergraduate Learning, UCSB
Accomplishment: Developed Internet GIS resources for teaching and enhanced existing courses in GIS and cartography.

Notable Achievements in His Own Words

One topic that impressed me the most during the SPACE workshop was Internet-based GIS. New technologies, especially those related to computers and the Internet, are the major driving forces of the development of GIS in the past 15 years. With its mobility and flexibility, Internet-based GIS provides an excellent media to disseminate and communicate spatial knowledge.
Wei Tu

Prior to attending the SPACE workshop in summer 2006, I taught three GIS-related courses at Georgia Southern University: Intro to GIS, Advanced GIS, and Cartography. Currently, I am developing a project-oriented upper-division GIS class - Applied GIS, which will be offered in spring semester 2007. GIS classes at Georgia Southern University draw students from a wide range of science and social science disciplines: from Geology/geography, Biology, Political Science, Business Management, and History, to Education. In my GIS classes, I attempt to expose students in five areas of GIS: (1) theoretical underpinnings, (2) technical details, (3) broad applications in the physical and social sciences, (4) spatial analysis and thinking, and (5) the latest progress and development.

The unlimited potential of Internet-based GIS, represented by half a dozen or so “virtual globes” software, has been reported in a recent special issue of Nature (Vol. 439, issue 7078, February 2006). Serving as the student internship director for my department, I realized that knowledge and skills related to Internet-based GIS has become one of the most wanted assets in today’s growing GIS job market. While learning, reading, and contemplating more about Internet-based GIS after the SPACE workshop, I realized that the shift to a more Internet based-GIS has a much deeper meaning, that is, GIS has evolved from a geotechnology owned by a small group of GIS practitioners to location-based services that are now required to serve basic needs in our economic and social lives.

Despite the growing importance of and requests for Internet GIS content in GIS classes, Internet GIS has yet to be integrated into the GIS curriculum at Georgia Southern University. With help from the staff of the campus IT service, I installed an ArcIMS server in the spatial analysis lab. As an experiment, I introduced some basic Internet GIS topics and developed a few labs in my Cartography class in fall, 2006. Both the lectures and labs were well received by students. I also plan to include ArcIMS as one of the lecture/lab topics in my Applied GIS class in spring, 2007.

Course Materials

- Introduction to Cartography Wei Tu Introduction to Cartography.pdf
- Introduction to GIS Wei Tu Introduction to GIS.pdf

Future Participation

I plan to attend an advanced ArcIMS training session offered by ESRI to supplement the introductory course on ArcIMS offered through the ESRI Virtual Campus. This course will advance my knowledge about ArcIMS administration and how to better protect and maintain ArcIMS servers.

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