2018 QUARTER 03

A B C D E F G H I K L M N O P R S T U V W
GS-11 - Professional and Practical Ethics of GIS&T

Geospatial technologies are often and rightly described as “powerful.” With power comes the ability to cause harm – intentionally or unintentionally - as well as to do good. In the context of GIS&T, Practical Ethics is the set of knowledge, skills and abilities needed to make reasoned decisions in light of the risks posed by geospatial technologies and methods in a wide variety of use cases. Ethics have been considered from different viewpoints in the GIS&T field. A practitioner's perspective may be based on a combination of "ordinary morality," institutional ethics policies, and professional ethics codes. By contrast, an academic scholar's perspective may be grounded in social or critical theory. What these perspectives have in common is reliance on reason to respond with integrity to ethical challenges. This entry focuses on the special obligations of GIS professionals, and on a method that educators can use to help students develop moral reasoning skills that GIS professionals need. The important related issues of Critical GIS and Spatial Law and Policy are to be considered elsewhere.  

KE-31 - Professional Certification

Professional Certification has been a part of the GIS enterprise for over two decades. There are several different certification programs and related activities now in operation within GIS, though there has been much debate over its merits, how it should be done and by whom. 

KE-27 - Professional organizations
  • Compare and contrast the missions, histories, constituencies, and activities of professional organizations including Association of American Geographers (AAG), America Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ASPRS), Geospatial Information and Technology Association (GITA), Management Association for Private Photogrammetric Surveyors (MAPPS), and Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA)
  • Identify conferences that are related to GIS&T hosted by professional organizations
  • Discuss the mission, history, constituencies, and activities of the GIS Certification Institute (GISCI)
AM-85 - Propagation of error in geospatial modeling
  • Compare and contrast error propagation techniques (e.g., Taylor, Monte Carlo)
  • Explain how some operations can exacerbate error while others dampen it (e.g., mean filter)
FC-10 - Properties
  • Formalize attribute values and domains in terms of set theory
  • Develop alternative forms of representations for situations in which attributes do not adequately capture meaning
  • Define Stevens’ four levels of measurement (i.e., nominal, ordinal, interval, ratio)
  • Describe particular geographic phenomena in terms of attributes
  • Determine the proper uses of attributes based on their domains
  • Characterize the domains of attributes in a GIS, including continuous and discrete, qualitative and quantitative, absolute and relative
  • Recognize situations and phenomena in the landscape which cannot be adequately represented by formal attributes, such as aesthetics
  • Compare and contrast the theory that properties are fundamental (and objects are human simplifications of patterns thereof) with the theory that objects are fundamental (and properties are attributes thereof)
  • Recognize attribute domains that do not fit well into Stevens’ four levels of measurement such as cycles, indexes, and hierarchies
GS-07 - Property regimes
  • Explain the legal concept “property regime”
  • Compare and contrast the U.S. federal government’s policy regarding rights to geospatial data with similar policies in other countries
  • Compare and contrast the consequences of different national policies about rights to geospatia data in terms of the real costs of spatial data, their coverage, accuracy, uncertainty, reliability, validity, and maintenance
  • Describe organizations’ and governments’ incentives to treat geospatial information as property
  • Outline arguments for and against the notion of information as a public good
  • Argue for and against the treatment of geospatial information as a commodity
FC-17 - Proximity and distance decay
  • Describe real world applications where distance decay is an appropriate representation of the strength of spatial relationships (e.g., shopping behavior, property values)
  • Explain the rationale for using different forms of distance decay functions
  • Explain how a semi-variogram describes the distance decay in dependence between data values
  • Outline the geometry implicit in classical “gravity” models of distance decay
  • Plot typical forms for distance decay functions
  • Write typical forms for distance decay functions
  • Write a program to create a matrix of pair-wise distances among a set of points
  • Describe real world applications where distance decay would not be an appropriate representation of the strength of spatial relationships (e.g., distance education, commuting, telecommunications)
GS-06 - Public participation GIS
  • Critique the assertion that public participation GIS promotes democracy
  • Explain how community organizations’ use of geospatial technologies can alter existing community power relations
  • Explain how geospatial technologies can assist community organizations at each rung of the ladder of public participation
  • Explain the challenge of representing within current GIS software local knowledge that is neither easily mapped nor verified
  • Discuss advantages and disadvantages of six models of GIS availability, including communitybased GIS, university-community partnerships, GIS facilities in universities and public libraries, “Map rooms,” Internet map servers, and neighborhood GIS centers.
  • Explain why some community organizations may encounter more difficulty than others in acquiring geospatial data from public and private organizations
GS-05 - Public participation in governing
  • Differentiate among universal/deliberative, pluralist/representative, and participatory models of citizen participation in governing
  • Defend or refute the argument that local knowledges are contested
  • Explain how community organizations represent the interests of citizens, politicians, and planners
  • Explain and respond to the assertion that “capturing local knowledge” can be exploitative
  • Describe an example of “local knowledge” that is unlikely to be represented in the geospatial data maintained routinely by government agencies
  • Explain how legislation such as the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 provides leverage to community organizations
  • Describe the range of spatial scales at which community organizations operate
  • Compare the advantages and disadvantages of group participation and individual participation
  • Describe the six “rungs” of increasing participation in governmental decision-making that constitute a “ladder” of public participation
FC-29 - Public sector origins
  • Identify some of the key federal agencies and programs that provided the impetus for the development of GIS&T
  • Explain how the federalization of land management in Canada led to the development of the Canadian Geographic Information System in the 1960s
  • Discuss the role of the U.S. Census Bureau in contributing to the development of the U.S. geospatial industry
  • Discuss the role of the U.S. Geological Survey in contributing to the development of the U.S. geospatial industry
  • Describe the mechanical and computerized technologies used by civilian and military mapping agencies between World War II and the advent of GIS
  • Trace the history of the relationship between the intelligence community and the geospatial industry
  • Compare and contrast the initiatives of various countries to move their national mapping activities to geospatial data
  • Describe the role of NASA and the Landsat program in promoting development of digital image processing and raster GIS systems

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