HUMAN GEOGRAPHY WITH OPEN GIS AS A TRANSFORMATIVE INTRODUCTORY HIGHER EDUCATION COURSE
Curricula in human geography and GIS can integrate open-source GIS with critical human geography, moving beyond a curricular divide between critical human geography and technical GIS. This integration requires significant transformation of GIS curricula, requires students to simultaneously develop fundamental knowledge of both GIS and human geography to critically address spatial problems in society, and calls for transformation of GIS technology itself. The curriculum is transformed to teach GIS fundamentals experimentally through video tutorials and handouts, teach GIS problem-solving with error detection and debugging skills, teach human geography concepts by reading and replicating research papers, and apply critical human geography concepts and open-source GIS techniques to solve novel problems. Students develop skills in assessing error and uncertainty in GIS, applying GIS to solve human geography problems, and questioning the powerful interactions between politics, economics, and geospatial technologies. GIS technology is transformed as instructors develop software features to facilitate human geography inquiry for novice GIS students and students apply their new problem-solving skills to identify bugs and consider new GIS features.