GIS education by another name? geographical referencing for social scientists

David Martin, Samantha Cockings, Samuel Leung

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


This paper presents the work of an ESRC¬funded project entitled Geo¬Refer: Geographical Referencing Resources for Social Scientists. The underlying motivation for this work was to address the needs of social science researchers who have to work with geographically referenced information but who do not have any background in GIS, most of whom cannot realistically be expected to engage in formal GIS training ancillary to their primary research. The project arose from the authors’ repeated experience of being approached by colleagues (and strangers!) with a range of spatial analysis needs, who were unfamiliar with the key concepts, reference datasets and software tools which are often seen as central to GIS education. We thus devised a series of online learning resources and associated workshops intended to address these learning objectives, delivered through an adaptive learning interface which permits the user to profile their own requirements and obtain a customised online tutorial. Design and implementation of this project has required a careful deconstruction of spatial concepts and skills, resulting in an extensible series of highly granular learning resources. This paper provides an overview of social scientists’ needs for geographical referencing skills and describes our learning design and implementation.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2 Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes
EventThe GIS Research UK 16th Annual Conference GISRUK 2008 - Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 2 Apr 20084 Apr 2008


ConferenceThe GIS Research UK 16th Annual Conference GISRUK 2008
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • GIS
  • georeferencing


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