Vol. 34, No. 1, Spring/Summer 1996- "The Pennsylvania Geographer"


INCORPORATING GIS MODELING TECHNIQUES INTO

AN INTRODUCTORY ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY CURRICULUM


Robert G. Cromley

Department of Geography

University of Connecticut

Storrs, Connecticut



Abstract


While technological improvements are still in progress, another important development in the evolution of GIS is the integration of its science and technology within the core of geography. Because computer technology in general and GIS technology in particular will have a profound influence on instruction media for future geographic education, it is important to move GIS concepts and technology beyond their traditional place in methodology courses and into the more general curriculum. This paper demonstrates how GIS methodologies can be incorporated in the instruction of elementary location theory in an introductory economic geography course. Models from market area analysis, agricultural location, and industrial location are represented and solved in a GIS approach. The GIS methods allow students to explore not only the basic structure of these models but also some of their applications. In the process, students are exposed to the commonalties among various classes of location models, including general concepts such as an isotropic plain, opportunity costs and surface gradients.


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