FREE and Open Source Software for Geoscience Teaching and Learning

Muhammad Nawaz, Gregory Shaw

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference Paper published in Proceedingspeer-review


    Geoscience teaching and learning has gained significant attention in recent years. Geoscience today is a space-age science making extensive use of remote sensing data, high performance computing, spatial data base management, andanalysis and visualization of data. Geographic Information System and Remote Sensing (RS) software are an integral part of geoscience teaching and learning. Despite the demonstrated utility of commercial/proprietary tools such as ArcGIS and ERDAS IMAGINE for teaching and learning in geoscience there are problems in accessing this software in lowresource settings. Proprietary GIS and RS software are expensive and often more complex than required. A new generation of free and open source software are now available which have potential to positively impact geoscienceteaching and learning.
    The goal of this paper is to assist teachers at institutes with limited budgets to understand and appreciate the potential of RS and GIS free/open source software in geoscience education. This paper explores the possibilities in using this software, it provides a list of software against teaching categories and elaborates their uses in geoscience teaching andlearning. Our analysis reveals that for all the categories of commercial software used in geoscience teaching and learning a suitable free or open source alternative is available. These free tools are particularly useful for handling low quality spatial data and are therefore suitable for use in schools with limited budget. 
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the IADIS International Conference on International Higher Education (IHE 2011)
    EditorsHeling Huai, Ji-Ping Zhang, Piet Kommers, Pedro Isaias
    Place of PublicationChina
    PublisherInternational Association for Development of the Information Society Press (IADIS Press)
    Number of pages5
    ISBN (Print)978-972-8939-56-4
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    EventIADIS International Conference on International Higher Education (IHE 2011) - Shanghai, China
    Duration: 8 Dec 201110 Dec 2011


    ConferenceIADIS International Conference on International Higher Education (IHE 2011)


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