Geographers Should Learn to Code?

See the 4 Jan ’14 issue of Geographical Magazine (p77) for the entire article. A few paragraphs from Singleton’s article follow below. Do you see the need?

“In my opinion, a geography curriculum should require students to learn how to code, ensuring that they’re equipped for a changed job market that’s increasingly detached from geographic information systems (GIS) as they were originally conceived…

“The ability to code relates to basic programming and database skills that enable students to manipulate large and small geographic data sets, and to analyse them in automated and transparent ways….

“Geographers shouldn’t become computer scientists; however, we need to reassert our role in the development and critique of existing and new GIS. For example, we need to ask questions such as which type of geographic representation might be most appropriate for a given dataset. Today’s geographers may be able to talk in general terms about such a question, but they need to be able to provide a more effective answer that encapsulates the technologies that are used for display. Understanding what is and isn’t possible in technical terms is as important as understanding the underlying cartographic principles. Such insights will be more available to a geographer who has learnt how to code….”

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