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E-Learning for GIS, Cartography and Geodata Acquisition

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Thilo Kaufmann


Thilo Kaufmann
Institute for Applications of Geodesy to Engineering (IAGB)
University of Stuttgart, Germany
[email protected]

Volker Schwieger
Institute for Applications of Geodesy to Engineering (IAGB)
University of Stuttgart, Germany
[email protected]

Abstract
The paper gives an overview about geoinformation related e-learning. The authors present the e-learning platform GIMOLUS that was developed within a project granted by the German Ministry of Education and Research in cooperation with different partner institutes. The e-learning modules developed at the Institute of Application of Geodesy to Engineering are integrated into the curricula of different courses of study. By way of example the combination of physical teaching and e-learning is shown for the exercises on “Thematic Cartography”. The module “Animated Maps” used within these exercises and its evaluation are described. The importance of the evaluation divided into target group, e-learning platform and the module itself is underlined.

Introduction
The knowledge regarding geoinformation techniques and the required basics is essential not only for geoscientists. Hence these basic techniques are taught at the Institute for Applications of Geodesy to Engineering (IAGB) University Stuttgart, to courses of studies like geodesists and geographers (in German language), technique and management of real estate (in German language) and infrastructure planning (in English language). The IAGB tries to go new ways by combination of existing exercises and additional e-learning offers for self study. By implementation of e-learning new and attractive possibilities for learning processes can be possible: learning can be independent from time and location as well as an individual self-directed lerning tempo is possible. So by e-learning quality of teaching should be upgraded.

Geoinformation related e-learning
The current status of geoinformation related training and education courses is manifold and can be summarised in the international context as software training, software development and customization, school-level, under graduate level, post-graduate level university and for professionals. Furthermore all these types could be offered as face-to-face training as well as distance learning (Rhind 2005). Typical example for distance learning is the ESRI Virtual Campus for software training or the UNIGIS-consortium for academic teaching. A combination of face-to-face and e-learning is offered by platforms like GITTA (Bleisch and Nebiker 2004), GEOINFORMATION.NET (Plümer and Asche 2004) or GIMOLUS (Müller and Kaule 2004). Also in a current research of EEGECS (2004) it was established that the most commonly used scenario is a combination of face-to-face and e-learning. According to this study the level of interactivity can be classified into e-mails, readable digital documents, interactive digital documents, conference systems and video conferencing. In this paper the authors present e-learning in combination with face-to-face learning as interactive digital documents integrated into an e-learning platform.

E-learning at IAGB
The first step for the start of e-learning activities at the IAGB (Institut für Anwendungen der Geodäsie im Bauwesen / Institute for Applications of Geodesy to Engineering) was given between 2001 and 2003 within the e-learning project GIMOLUS (GIS- und modellgestützte Lernmodule für umweltorientierte Studiengänge / learning modules for GIS and modelling in environmental courses), granted by the German Ministry of Education and Research. In cooperation with other institutions, like the Institute for Landscape-Planning and Ecology (head of project), an internet-based e-learning platform for GIS and model-based studies was created (Müller and Kaule 2004; www.gimolus.de). Together with the Institute for Photogrammetry (IfP) at the University of Stuttgart the basics of GIS for the environmental disciplines involved into the project were treated (Kaufmann and Weippert 2002). Within an XML-based module text components and graphics, WebGIS realizations, animations using Macromedia Flash and Multiple-Choice-Tests using PHP-language can be integrated by the authors. Based on this e-learning platform the IAGB develops e-learning modules up to now.

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