Adapting Web Mapping Curriculum to Open Source Technologies

A session at FOSS4G North America 2013

Wednesday 22nd May, 2013

11:00am to 11:30am (CST)

The current pace of technological innovation in web mapping is spectacular, with new releases of or substantial updates to web mapping technologies occurring almost daily. This increasingly complex solution space poses a special challenge for those who teach web map development in an academic setting. If we wish to equip students with the evolving skill sets necessary for the 21st-century workplace and the ability to quickly adapt to technological changes, we must learn to adapt quickly ourselves. The shift in industry-standard web mapping away from standalone, proprietary technologies (e.g., Adobe Flash/ Flex) and towards open technologies that leverage HTML5/CSS3 web standards and JavaScript has at once opened vast new teaching opportunities and thrust us out of our well-known and stable comfort zone. We will report on the results of three technology-oriented studies designed to refresh the University of Wisconsin-Madison Cartography/GIS Program: (1) a competitive analysis study resulting in a comprehensive framework comparing nearly 40 extant web mapping technologies on their relative advantages and limitations; (2) a needs assessment survey conducted across the UW System eliciting past experiences with these technologies as well as future or currently ummet web mapping needs; and (3) a modified participant observation study charting the implementation of the same web mapping scenario in four candidate technologies: D3, Leaflet, OpenLayers, and the Google Maps API. The talk will provide insights about the individual technologies evaluated and offer comments on a process for keeping pace with the ever-evolving array of web mapping technologies.

About the speaker

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Carl Sack

Mapmaker, justice seeker, runner, thinker, teacher, bicycle commuter/tourist, explorer, creature of the forest and lakes and snow. bio from Twitter

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Time 11:00am11:30am CST

Date Wed 22nd May 2013

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