Full text: Modern trends of education in photogrammetry & remote sensing

Grenville Barnes and Duane F. Marble 
The Ohio State University 
Columbus, Ohio 43210 
This paper examines the scope of LIS/GIS in an effort to understand what educational 
topics and issues need to be addressed in this area. This area of study has received a 
great deal of attention at The Ohio State University (OSU) and several programs have 
emerged across campus. The programs in the Department of Geodetic Science and 
Surveying and the Department of Geography are described in the second part of the 
paper. This paper contributes most directly to ISPRS WG VI/2, but should also be of 
interest to other groups who are grappling with similar issues. 
KEYWORDS: LIS, GIS, education, Ohio State University, interdisciplinary, scope. 
Over the past decade the field of 
geographic and land information systems 
(LIS/GIS) has begun to evolve from a 
secondary component of several of the 
established disciplines, such as 
geography, geodetic science, and 
landscape architecture, into a much more 
important field of study. Educational 
programs in this field are emerging at 
many colleges and universities around the 
world with over four hundred institutions 
using some version of the ARC/INFO 
GIS and nearly two hundred and fifty 
making use of OSU Map-for-the-PC, a 
teaching package developed at The Ohio 
State University. 
In any rapidly evolving area, such as 
LIS/GIS, it is difficult to attempt to define 
it in any precise manner; such was the 
case, in the early years, with areas such 
as operations research. However, in 
attempting to structure educational 
programs in any field, especially within a 
multidisciplinary context, it is necessary 
to identify its various facets as well as 
those disciplines currently expressing 
substantial interest in the application of 
LIS/GIS technology. 
The authors of this paper are both 
responsible for developing programs in 
tliis area within the Department of 
Geodetic Science and Surveying and the 
Department of Geography at 1 ne Ohio 
State University (OSU). The OSU 
structure and course offerings in the area 
of LIS/GIS are described in the latter pan 
of the paper. By outlining the scope of 
LIS/GIS education and discussing how 
this is structured relative to some of the 
more traditional disciplines, this paper 
attempts to contribute to the debate 
surrounding educational issues in the 
One of the most challenging problems 
that one faces in attempting to define 
LIS/GIS is that the scope of the topics, 
issues and applications is so broad that it 
is difficult to translate it into the familiar 
(and narrow) disciplinary structures 
found in many colleges and universities. 
It has become clear to many professionals 
working in the field that applications of 
LIS/GIS should not, and indeed can not, 
be considered as belonging entirely to any 
single discipline. 
Initial consideration of LIS/GIS easily 
leads us to focus upon the earth and 
mapping sciences such as geography, 
geodetic science, surveying, cartography, 
geology, etc. However, this perspective 
is much too narrow to encompass either 
the present range of applications or the 
factors which are critical to creation of 
viable LIS/GIS. One of the weaknesses 
in LIS/GIS development and education in 
the past has been the underestimation of 
the non-technical or institutional factors. 
Marble (1990, p. 5) reminds us that:

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