To see further you need to build new telescopes

A much needed call to action from Alex Singleton, but I don't underestimate how hard this will be to achieve. There remains I'm afraid a cultural view within many Geography Departments against GIS let alone programming and the current generation of students entering higher education have no background in coding from school.   

It's a big challenge, but one I completely support,  programming is becoming established in schools at last, hopefully future geographers will see the development of new tools as the truly creative process it is.

Discoveries in many scientific disciplines are the result of the development of new tools, as Geographers we should not forget this and think about how we can build our new telescopes, the universe of geographic big data needs exploring.


Why Geographers Should Learn to Code · Alex Singleton
Why Geographers Should Learn to Code. 04 Jan 2014 Alex Singleton press Tweet this! This article is published in the January 2014 issue of Geographical Magazine – page 77. In my opinion, a geography curriculum should require students to learn how to code, ensuring that they’re equipped for a …

2 replies on “To see further you need to build new telescopes”

Funny you should pick this up Ed as the seed of this article was a discussion we had at state of the map in Amsterdam quite some time ago. We were talking about the type of people that Google hire and the skills that Geographers were lacking…

There will be a period of adjustment (i.e. until the school kids learning to code come through the system); which I think which makes teaching this in a university context a particular challenge at the minute, as the majority of students aren't used to no GUI. However, some students in my classes do really get it which is nice to see when it happens.

I agree I think things will improve in time, I remain concerned that there is still  anti-quantitative bias in many departments.  Let me know if there is anything more we can do to help make this happen..

Add a comment?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.