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Abstract

Geographic information systems (GIS) (also known as Geospatial information systems or Geotechnology) are computer software and hardware systems designed to capture, store and manipulate all types of geographical data, as well as analyze, manage, and display geographic information for informing decision making. Users of GIS range from communities, research institutions, environmental scientists, health organisations, land use planners, businesses, and government agencies at all levels. Numerous examples of applications of GIS are available in many different journals and are frequent topics of presentations at conferences in the natural and social sciences. For a long time, GIS has been a well-established and independent discipline throughout American and European Universities; however, there is no single University in the Arab World or even in the Middle East--as far as the author knows--that offers an undergraduate program for this important discipline. Qatar can be the pioneer in this field in the region by offering such a program through Qatar University or any higher education institute in the state. The benefits of opening such a program are numerous to be calculated. Qualified human resources in the field of GIS are in high demand not only in the region but at international level as well. The U.S. Department of Labor has designated Geotechnology (GIS) as one of the three "mega-technologies" of the 21st century—right up there with Nanotechnology and Biotechnology. Opening GIS undergraduate program in Qatar will make the state The "Kaaba" of this science in the region and will attract students from different states, which will generate scientific and financial revenue. Moreover, the host institute of this suggested program can establish an international research centre for GIS to carry out studies for the benefit of the region and beyond. Implementing such a proposal will have great impact on the Computing and Information Technology Research discipline, which is one of Qatar's core research areas.

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/content/papers/10.5339/qfarf.2012.CSP12
2012-10-01
2019-12-15
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