The survey results of the GI-N2K (Geographic information: Need to Know) project which aims to improve the way in which future GI professionals are prepared for the labor market so that the GI sector in general can evolve in a dynamic and innovative way, have been published.
The GI-N2K Survey on ‘GIS&T Teaching supply’ used the original GIS&T BoK as a starting point for collecting information on GIS&T education and training in Europe. The objectives of the survey were to collect information about which GI-subjects courses and programmes are available, to characterize the teaching supply in terms of international references, to assess the degree of awareness and the use of the BoK, to discover parts of the GI-domain that are present in today’s teaching but not covered by the BoK and to reveal existing intentions to each about GI-subjects in the near future. The survey was successfully completed by 234 organizations involved in GI teaching in Europe. Responses came from 28 different countries.
Key findings of the survey are:
- 570 courses on GIS&T in Europe were identified, of which 427 are currently on offer, and 143 are intended to be offered in the near future. Most of the identified courses have a study load between 0 and 11 ECTS, i.e. a duration of between 4 days to about 7 weeks. With regard to the teaching level most of the existing courses of 5 ECTS, i.e. courses with a workload of 140 hours, are given on the levels of EQF5_6 and EQF7.
- Respondents were asked to use the BoK to specify the content of existing and intended courses. The Knowledge Areas ‘Analytical Methods’, ‘Geospatial Data’ and ‘Cartography and Visualization’ were most often indicated as the subject of existing courses. The most favorite subjects of intended courses were ‘Data Modelling’, ‘Geospatial Data’ and ‘Analytical Methods’.
- The results of this survey indicated that more than half (54%) of the respondents were not aware of the BoK, and that another 18% was aware, but not using it. Only the remaining 28% was using the BoK. Several respondents indicated that the BoK in its current version is not sufficiently attractive for several responders to include it into their practice.
- Web services, data acquisition technologies, point cloud analysis, programming in Python, UML, XML, Qualitative GIS, and Open source software were mentioned as subjects that are relevant for existing and intended teaching offers, although they are not covered by the BoK.