Call for contributions to a special issue on Geodata and GI in education


In Denmark, teaching of geography in primary school has very ambitious goals. Geography is clearly expected to contribute to the scientific training of the pupils. In the official guidance to the profession emphasis is placed on the following scientific skills: study, modeling, perspective and communication. All four can be supported with GIS and geodata – but how to make it in practice?

At the high school level in Denmark, there are also ambitious goals for the subject of physical geography, especially on B- (intermediate) level where GIS is mandatory to include. But geography in high school does not, in itself, qualify or gives access; it is not even a requirement for admission to the study of geography.

Perhaps, the knowledge of GIS and geodata ought to be looked upon as part of a general education, especially for those who will study natural sciences or social sciences?

Often GIS and geodata will be able to contribute with calculative and visual dimension to mathematics, physics, biology, social studies, and more that will enhance the understanding of the subjects.

At the university level, GIS and geodata are involved in many different ways. In some educations, especially the technical and natural sciences, GIS and geodata is included from day one as an integrated part of the study (a tool). Some humanistic educations are also using mapping and geodata as analytical means, while GIS and geodata stand out by their absence in most IT educations.

In Denmark, most geodata is free of charge. Pupils and students therefore have access to create their own online maps including numerous layers of data, new as well as historical, and to download large amounts of data via the governmental data site, Are these opportunities being used? How are they used, and for what purpose and to which extend? Does the free access to geodata add any value in order to reveal new patterns for a subject, or to illustrate multidisciplinary perspectives of the education?

It is also interesting to know, how people work with geodata; on which platforms: as online GIS, on the school network, or using applications on the pupils / students' own computers.

Also, it is interesting to know, how deep you can get into data. Do you have to know the underlying table or database structure? How far should you be able to analyze? In the communication, is the emphasis on cartographic virtues?

Do you have to produce your own data by using a GPS device? Or for that matter your mobile phone?

Do you let students contribute to e.g. Open Street Map, to their own neighborhood or by humanitarian mapping sessions?

Thus the aim of this publication is to focus on Geodata in the education – from primary school to university level, using high school as an offset and as a “gatekeeper”.

Are children and youth of today being taught how to read maps? Are they capable of understanding how their smartphone knows where they are located? The aim is, through this visibility and examples of best-practices, to spread the knowledge and the use of it to other educations.

Authors are invited to make their contribution to this upcoming publication.

Geoforum Perspektiv contains both reviewed papers that are subject to a double-blind peer review, and non-reviewed papers. You can choose which category you are writing for. We are kindly requesting you to submit your paper in the journal template, which can be found at:

Questions can be addressed to the editors of this publication:

Guest Editor, Niels Christian Nielsen, senior upper secondary school teacher, Rybners Gymnasium,

Executive Editor, Line Hvingel, COWI,

Important dates for papers aimed at peer-review:

  • Deadline for submission of the paper (max 7,500 words): February 15, 2017
  • Submission of final paper: April 1, 2017

Important dates for all other papers:

  • Deadline for submission of the paper (max 3,000 words): March 15, 2017
  • Submission of final paper: April 1, 2017