Call for Papers – Learning GIS: Establishing the Nexus Between Disciplines

Abstracts are invited for a session jointly held by the GIScience Research Group (GIScRG) and the Higher Education Research Group (HERG) at the Royal Geographical Society – Institute of British Geographers International Conference 2016. The conference runs between 30th Aug – 2nd September, 2016 at the Royal Geographic Society in London.

“Learning GIS: Establishing the Nexus Between Disciplines”

Convened by: Patrick Rickles and Dr. Claire Ellul (University College London)

Geographic Information Systems (GIS), though formerly considered only to be a fundamental tool of research for Geography, have lent themselves to extending and enriching analyses of many disciplines. Illegal activities that threaten populations, areas with unequal access to resources, those vulnerable to natural and manmade disasters – these are interdisciplinary issues that require researchers to work across domains of knowledge and can begin to be investigated through the use of GIS. GIS, however, have often been said to be difficult to use, as there is specialist knowledge that needs to be acquired to understand and adeptly use it.

That said, this has not stopped enthusiastic researchers from successfully applying GIS in their analyses, but they may not have had an easy process in doing so. People have individual styles and ways of learning; it is important to understand their learning journey and support it as best as possible – whether it is through classroom training, online tutorials and videos, or simply getting bespoke help from those already familiar with GIS. Through perseverance, the outcomes of their research may be enlightening, not only to their discipline, but for others as well, as new analytical methodologies may create new opportunities.

This session brings together researchers from disciplines inside and outside of Geography, as well as GIS experts providing skilled insight into interdisciplinary research to share their experiences on learning and applying GIS in interesting and innovative ways. This may include, but is not limited to:

• Those who have learned GIS, sharing the successes (or failures) from their learning experience with suggestions for improvement
• Those from disciplines / sub-disciplines that may not be familiar with GIS who have successfully applied it in their research
• Those who have learned to use and apply GIS analyses across disciplinary boundaries to bring researchers together

We would like to welcome participants to send us a submission detailing your work. Titles, abstracts (roughly 250 words) and 5 keywords, along with contact details should be emailed to Patrick Rickles ( by Friday, 5th February, 2016. Notification of acceptance will be given by Friday, 19th February, 2016.


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