Training students in Python programming skills and WPS wrapping for geoprocessing tasks by using examples of less commonly applied thematic mapping methods
Python programming and the application of web services technology can be considered important skills for geomatics students when looking for employment later. A course on Web Processing Services (WPS) as part of the International Geomatics master programme at Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences takes this into consideration while using the opportunity of making students aware of less-known thematic mapping methods. Students are introduced to automating a complex geoprocessing task and finally wrapping it into a WPS. It is achieved by following the phases of first conceptualizing the single steps before then using ArcGIS ModelBuilder and Python scripts in combination to build the processing chain. The alternate band map method serves as example in the hands-on exercise. Later students are asked to automate the generation of the geometries for the map face and/or map legend supporting other thematic mapping methods like the square density map or the absolute value raster map. The paper discusses the teaching approach and experiences made so far. Conceptualizing the automatization of a given complex geoprocessing problem proved to be the most challenging part for the students.