Mainstreaming the use of geographic information in a developing country context: examples from Rwanda

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Abstract

Advances in information and communication technology coupled with the digital revolution have fundamentally impacted on geographic data production and information use. Geographic information science (GISci.) refers to a body of integrated disciplines such as photogrammetry, remote sensing, geographic information system/land information system and other aspects of surveying and mapping sciences such as geodesy, surveying and cartography, with information and communication technology. Geographic information (GI) is becoming more important everyday at all levels of society. It has a central role in supporting economies, improving business effectiveness in the private sector, enabling more efficient decision-making and increasing citizens' involvement in governance. This paper traces the development of GISci. as well as the development and use of Geographic Information Technologies with special reference to Rwanda. Awareness of the importance of GI is currently high in Rwanda especially since 2006 when the first SDI conference was organized. As a consequence of this increasing awareness, the range of GI applications is increasing by the day. There is a huge demand for GI specialists in organizations which in turn is necessitating the design and development of different educational and training programs for developing human capacity in the field of GISci. In its examination of available educational and training programmes, it is found that courses are either completely focused on GISci or GISci courses are being offered as part of undergraduate or postgraduate programmes in various fields. This paper contributes to the better understanding of the situation as regards the development and adoption of GISci. in a developing country context.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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