Within universities there has developed a clear theoretical convergence between Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and geography (Antenuccl, 1991). Studies have revealed that one of the qualified departments to teach GIS within universities is the geography department. This study focuses on: the importance of establishing GIS as a major curriculum element within universities. In geography departments, economic geography students require a strong statistical/mathematical background to allow them to work with major databases. They should know how to design a specific database for economic activities, such as agriculture and manufacturing, and tertiary industry and how to relate this database to a map, so that changes can be monitored more accurately. In any aspect of geography spatial location is a key factor and GIS allows spatial patterns to be interpreted with great facility. Therefore it is important that students have a good knowledge not only of computers and related software on economic geography, but also on GIS systems (Burrough, 1993). The work of geography students from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC) geography departments is examined to evaluate the importance of training in GIS technology. This paper evaluates the effects of implementing GIS as a tool in teaching economic geography. At present there are 15 geography departments in the GCC which offer economic geography. Of those 15 departments, only 3 provide GIS courses within their curriculum, and 4 have basic equipment, although 6 additional departments are to introduce GIS in the near future.
- Geography curriculum
- Gulf Co-operation Council
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development