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GIS class creates campus map for students with disabilities

January 23, 2009 Presentation, Teaching and Learning No Comments

In fall 2008, geography professor, Kimberley Klinker, decided to try a new approach with her Introduction to GIS class. Instead of the traditional lecture-and-lab format, she designed her class as a five-week “bootcamp,” where students learned critical concepts of geographic information systems and the ArcGis software, and used the rest of the semester for field- and project-work. The result? A success. The students developed a map for students with disabilites to use to navigate their ways around the UR campus. Kim’s students presented their research and final project to the campus community on December 5, 2008.

Klinker’s class studied other schools’ maps, such as Bucknell and UVA-Wise, but thinks UR is one of the schools with the biggest campuses to attempt such a project.

What’s in store for the spring semester? Klinker’s Advanced Spatial Analysis class will be taking the map to the next level, adding additional functionality, and publishing the map online. These maps, eventually, would allow a disabled student to input his or her location and destination, and give the student the shortest and quickest possible routes this student could take that don’t have, say, the interference of curbs and stairs.

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