New Fundamentals of Mapping and GIS chapter and Key Methods of Geography book

04-11-2024 01:03 PM
Esri Notable Contributor
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I have written a fundamentals of mapping and GIS in the Fourth Edition of Key Methods of Geography textbook, published by Sage Publications.  If you are seeking a single chapter about what GIS is and why it matters, this might very well fit that need.  Beyond my chapter, the book contains a great deal of pertinent content about, as the title indicates, key core methods essential for the geographic sciences, including field data collection equipment and methods, statistical analysis, spatial analysis, remote sensing, and much more.   The book was edited by the following experienced geographers who I have a great deal of respect for.  These people really know what they are doing; they have crafted a book that provides foundations but also is very practical and up-to-date, and it was a great honor to be asked to contribute a chapter to their book:


Joseph Kerski pictured with the new book "Key Methods in Geography" by Sage Publications.

The book's chapters include identifying key literature for your assignment, interviews and focus groups, researching affect and emotion, historical and archival research, exploring the physical environment, UAS/UAV/drone research methods, case studies, scholarly writing, coding, organizing and analyzing, and much more.   The book concludes with the chapter "Doing Engaged Scholarship:  Why Methods Matter" again reflecting the practical nature of the book.   

I begin my chapter with a story about crowdsourcing as a result of a potential tragedy--an oil spill off of a beach in Southern California, and build from there about what GIS is, how it is different from the GIS of the past, and why it all matters.  In the chapter I even start with challenging the definition of "map" that many people might have in their minds, nudging them to consider maps as analytical tools and not just reference documents.  I then discuss spatial data, geotechnologies, the goal of GIS, topology, spatial data, data models, spatial statistics, geoliteracy, how GIS has evolved, and encouraging the reader to consider GIS in the reader's own career pathway.  I include data quality, ethics, forces acting on GIS, and skills important to the reader seeking to use GIS for the first time or to deepen their use of it.  I did everything I could to ensure that GIS is considered a "key method" of geography and geographers, and not relegated to "just the GIS people."  I included plenty of lively and intriguing maps and illustrations throughout the chapter.  


A section of my chapter on GIS.

I am happy to share my chapter with you upon request but I really encourage you to investigate and use the entire book.  I highly recommend the book for faculty teaching research methods, and/or physical/cultural geography and geotechnologies, and for any student in geography, GIS, or environmental sciences. 

--Joseph Kerski 



About the Author
I believe that spatial thinking can transform education and society through the application of Geographic Information Systems for instruction, research, administration, and policy. I hold 3 degrees in Geography, have served at NOAA, the US Census Bureau, and USGS as a cartographer and geographer, and teach a variety of F2F (Face to Face) (including T3G) and online courses. I have authored a variety of books and textbooks about the environment, STEM, GIS, and education. These include "Interpreting Our World", "Essentials of the Environment", "Tribal GIS", "The GIS Guide to Public Domain Data", "International Perspectives on Teaching and Learning with GIS In Secondary Education", "Spatial Mathematics" and others. I write for 2 blogs, 2 monthly podcasts, and a variety of journals, and have created over 5,000 videos on the Our Earth YouTube channel. Yet, as time passes, the more I realize my own limitations and that this is a lifelong learning endeavor and thus I actively seek mentors and collaborators.