Is it difficult to learn GIS

GIS as spatial thinking in geography

Problems - strategies - solutions or why are there no solution templates?

Welcome to the practice units in our learning modules. Below you will find so-called learning objects, which are introduced and worked on in the face-to-face exercises, but which you will find as practical parts corresponding to the theoretical content self-organized and self-dependent edit. Only in this way can you (in our opinion) receive the necessary security and practice in dealing with GI systems.

We do not want to and will not make complete solution aids available. As noted in the introduction, the article by Kanwischer et al. (2009) " How does the Transrapid get to Marburg? The entire structure of the online materials follows the didactic concept of the Problem based learning (PBL) (Müller 2007, p. 26f). The basis of the PBL is the independent development of strategies to solve problems. So it is a general technique that is not limited to this GIS course. The general structure is simple and efficient:

  • Prepare a solution strategy (draw up a sketch, etc.).
  • Find out about the possibilities of implementing your strategy with the help of the selected software (e.g. manuals, tutorials, at ArcGIS desktop or online help, user forums).
  • Always start your work in the GIS first to Creation of a solution concept and work through your planning consistently.
  • If you have fundamental questions / problems, use the literature provided or, if this is not sufficient, look for further literature.
  • Always consult the available help texts for the selected software (e.g. ArcGIS desktop and online help). Learning is iterative and not linear. What you did not understand yesterday could be the solution today.
  • With most MS-Windows-based software products, you can reach all available options with a right-click or double-click (applies in particular to ArcGIS!)
  • Discuss problem cases and solution strategies with your fellow students. In this way you will learn a flexible approach and alternative solutions.
  • Very important! Document both your successful and unsuccessful work steps in a form that you can understand (learning diary, blog, Google Gadgets ...).

learning goals

  • You will experience the efficiency of targeted abstraction of reduced spatial aspects to answer specific geographic questions.
  • Beyond diverse and very different user guidance and graphical interfaces, you will discover the underlying principles of data and information that are common to all GI systems.
  • You can classify different application possibilities and concepts that are subsumed under the term GIS