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Geospatial Technology In A Multidisciplinary Academic Center

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session


Tagged Division

Information Systems

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.615.1 - 15.615.8



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Paper Authors


Guy Johnson Rochester Institute of Technology

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Professor Guy Johnson, Professor in the Center for Multidisciplinary Studies, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). He has served as a faculty member at RIT for 35 years in STEM disciplines of Computer Science, Information Technology, Manufacturing Engineering Technology and now in Multidisciplinary Studies. In addition to faculty duties in these departments, he has held faculty administrative roles as Department Chair, Director, and Vice-Dean for programs in information technology and engineering technology. He gained extensive experience with multidisciplinary degrees while serving in these roles and as the Director of the National Technology Training Center for the K-12 program and pre-engineering program Project Lead The Way.

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Brian Tomaszewski RIT

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Geospatial Technology in a Multidisciplinary Academic Center Because the technical evolution of the geospatial technologies has led to new and exciting approaches to problem solving in technology fields, the Center of Multidisciplinary Studies at the Rochester Institute of Technology has developed six geospatial technology courses and is currently proposing a BS degree that focuses on developing, advancing, and studying the application of geospatial technology.

The Center has been the home for numerous certificate programs and BS and MS degrees in Arts and Sciences that encourage students to build personalized degree programs based on concentrations drawn from across the Institute. These geospatial technology courses are available to all university students and have been attracting students from a variety of majors. Because of the depth and breadth of geospatial applications, the design of the new BS program proposal integrates topics in Geographic Information Science as delineated in the UCGIS Book of Knowledge1 with general education, professional minors and free elective choices.

In a world where computing, network access, and data sensors are ubiquitous, today’s students and researchers are already capitalizing on the abundance of raw data. The capability to effectively summarize and draw inferences to transform this raw data into useful knowledge is critical in many undergraduate curricula. The pressing global issues in today’s world that these students will face upon graduation require extensive measurements as well as the location and changes of those measurements over time. The underlying mathematics, sciences and technologies used in collecting, transforming, and communicating this data are vital components.


This paper describes a proposed Bachelor of Science degree in Geospatial Technology to be offered by the Center for Multidisciplinary Studies in the College of Applied Science and Technology. This degree will educate a new generation of students who can combine spatial thinking, problem solving, and creative thinking skills with technical skills on effective use of the varied approaches to Geospatial Technologies (GTs). Achieving this combination will allow students to achieve maximum successes in their careers or research disciplines.

Background technologies and the anticipated future of the field

Geospatial Technologies (GTs) have evolved from initial beginnings as simple computer-based map making tools to complex visual and computational environments. GTs are used world- wide in diverse application domains ranging from community planning to the exploration of outer space. The increased use of GTs has led the development of new tools, techniques and theory that have imbued GTs with new forms of geographic visualization, support for spatial thinking, and opportunities for research and education. It is an exciting time for GT research and education. Industry standard, commercial desktop Geographic Information System (GIS) platforms such as ArcGIS2 by ESRI Inc that were once the hallmark of GTs are now being complemented by freely available virtual globe software such as Google Earth3 and NASA Worldwind4. The easy-to-use functionality of virtual globe environments provide users with rich interactivity and visualization capabilities that are allowing millions of people to develop

Johnson, G., & Tomaszewski, B. (2010, June), Geospatial Technology In A Multidisciplinary Academic Center Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16248

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