American Sentinel Shares Enterprise GIS Teaching Insight at GIS in the Rockies

Part one of a three-part series

When it comes to geospatial information systems, or GIS, American Sentinel University is heavily involved in developing new approaches to effective learning. We’re proud to announce that Stephen McElroy, our GIS program chair at American Sentinel, will give two presentations at the GIS in the Rockies 2013 conference.

The first presentation is on American Sentinel’s development of an enterprise-level geospatial strategy course. Titled Teaching Enterprise GIS: From Theory to Practice, it is on Oct. 9 at 2 p.m. in the Kahn Conference Room of the Cable Center, 2000 Buchtel Blvd., Denver. Although GIS has become a sophisticated course of study at a number of universities, the topic of enterprise GIS — a complete approach for sharing, using, and managing geospatial information to meet business and workflow needs — has received relatively little attention.

That may be because many GIS implementations are of limited tactical scope and not the integration of the technology throughout an organization. Enterprise GIS needs a systematic approach that allows integration of enterprise GIS components: servers, desktop software, mobile applications and developer environments. The result brings the power of GIS throughout the organization.

Driving and enabling such an undertaking requires specific knowledge, tools, and strategies beyond those required to implement a single simpler GIS project. That is why American Sentinel created a 3-credit course to prepare students to address the real-world challenges of creating, operating, maintaining, and managing an enterprise GIS in the workplace.

According to Dr. McElroy, students begin by selecting an enterprise scenario that becomes the context for a broad series of activities, exercises, and reports to customize and document a multi-user geographic information system of their design. By putting students into a replication of a real-world situation, they learn to develop a systematic approach that acknowledges potential problem areas and enables the organization to work through them.

The presentation will highlight several of the course components, offer practical information regarding best practices for creating a common operational picture within an organization, and propose an enterprise GIS implementation roadmap that identifies useful steps for getting a project off the ground.

Dr. McElroy will also present a lightning talk on a clever incorporation of gamification — setting goals and offering status rewards — more on that in our next post.

In addition, American Sentinel will exhibit at booth 104, from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 9 and from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 10. Also, we’re sponsoring a social event on the Exhibit Hall floor from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 9. We hope you can stop by and say hello!

Follow our coverage of this event here in our blog. For real-time updates, follow us on Twitter @AmerSentinel using the #GISITR.

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