Why Maps Matter

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12-10-2015 11:00 PM
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JosephKerski
Esri Frequent Contributor
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How would you explain to fellow educators, to students, parents, or the general public why Geographic Information Systems (GIS) matters in education and in society?  One idea is to start with a document entitled "Why Maps Matter".

While spatial thinking is much more than "maps", I aimed at a phrase that would attract people to this workshop.  I frequently choose similar presentation titles depending on my audience, such as "Mapping Your Educational Research" or "Mapping The Social Studies."

Themes of this workshop include:  Maps foster understanding, tell stories, and enable decision making.  I included my favorite maps and map books for a personal touch. Topics include population, land use, urban, economics, health, and natural hazards, with frequent mention of scale, systems thinking, critical thinking, time and space, and place. The workshop is taught through an inquiry-driven, hands-on, problem-based format.

I've posted related resources in the form of three videos and 20 resources for sharing GIS with others.  I look forward to hearing how you share "why maps matter" with others.
whymapsmatter.jpg

Why Maps Matter Presentation and Workshop.

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.