In 2018, the American Association of Geographers has announced the Encoding Geography initiative, which is a long-term commitment to build capacity and broaden participation for computational thinking within the geography discipline. The initiative has several goals towards strengthening the future of geography, including training new generations of undergraduate and graduate students for the geospatial technology industry which is having a growing and significant impact. A 2017 global impact study on geospatial services estimates that this industry creates approximately 4 million direct jobs and generates 400 billion U.S. dollars globally in revenue per year. The growth of this industry is increasing the demand for graduates with training in both geography and computational thinking (geo-computational thinking), but they are hard to find. The limited availability of learning pathways towards geo-computationally intensive jobs requires employers across the public and private sectors to choose between hiring a geographer with limited or no computational skills, or a computer science graduate with limited or no expertise in spatial thinking and geographic information.
This workshop is intended to bring together experts from both geography (or related) and computer science disciplines who have primary interest in geospatial data and technologies, either from academia or industry, to discuss the grand challenges towards improving existing learning pathways through integration of geo-computational thinking in higher education. This could impact a variety of disciplines that increasingly deal with geospatial data beyond geography, such as social sciences, environmental sciences, public policy, climatology, and other geo-related disciplines. The workshop speakers will be invited to submit position papers that discuss their vision on challenges and opportunities of topics that include, but are not limited to, the following: