Apr 28, 2008

Learning to Think Spatially: GIS as a Support System in the K-12 Curriculum: Free Online Book

I came across a link to an interesting book on Susana Valica's blog. Susana's master's thesis focuses on human-computer interaction and geographic information systems.

The book, Learning to Think Spatially: GIS as a Support System in the K-12 Curriculum is available for partial viewing online. This book specifically addresses topics useful to educators who are interested in visual thinking and learning and would like to improve their own visual skills, develop a better understanding of human spatial cognition, and share this with young people.

According to the authors, "..spatial thinking is powerful and pervasive, underpinning everyday life, work,and science. It plays a role in activities ranging from understanding metaphors, becoming good at wayfinding, and interpreting works of art, to engaging in molecular modeling, generating geometry proofs, and interpreting astronomical data."

If you are interested in this topic, you might also be interested in the work of Alan M. MacEachren, the director of the GeoVista Center at Penn State. I recently had the opportunity to see Dr. MacEacren's presentation at UNC-C and the Charlotte Visualization Center's Visualization in the World Symposium. I was impressed with the depth and breadth of his work.

Dr. MacEachren is the author of How Maps Work: Representation, Visualization, and Design.

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