Some years ago one of the Nottingham University staff asked me a question when we were talking that I still remember “Is GIS special if everyone becomes GIS Professional? “ I was bit taken back by the question esp. as it came from an educator and I replied “There is nothing special about GIS if it is for few rich people only but if it the learning opportunities for GIS are made available for everyone it is truly special ... “.
I was very lucky to get the opportunity to learn GIS. I still remember the struggles I faced to just get access to learning GIS (over two decades back!) as very few universities had GIS that time in India. I spend nearly two years going around different universities and places knocking so many doors to just to get access to GIS . My dream that time was to get opportunity to do my final year undergraduate project using GIS. Unfortunately in spite of all my best efforts I failed that time . But that experiences made me realise years later when I did get opportunity to learn GIS that now I need to everything in my abilities to keep the doors of Geo education open to all and no student anywhere should go through what I went through.
When GeoForAll was started , I faced lot of ridicule and opposition from some but I also got lot and lot of amazing support and help from so many amazing colleagues at Nottingham and globally. Thanks to all our amazing colleagues, we have truly made GIS education opportunities open to all. Please share our resources with allhttps://www.osgeo.org/foundation-news/please-share-geoforall-teaching-research-resources-colleagues-students/
I am requesting all colleagues to keep the doors of education opportunities open for all. For me, Openness is not just about open source or open data … It is about the Open mindsets to help make education opportunities inclusive to students from all economic and social backgrounds. So “Is GIS special? “ I leave it to you to decide…