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ItemTeaching and research programs in land and geographic information systems at the University of Melbourne, AustraliaWilliamson, Ian P. ; Hunter, Gary J. ( 1990)As in many other parts of the world, Australia is experiencing a severe shortage of Land and Geographic Information System (LIS/GIS) specialists who possess appropriate tertiary education backgrounds. This shortage of qualified personnel is causing difficulties for public agencies trying to establish LIS/GIS which, having fought for approval of staff increases, are often in the embarrassing position of not being able to fill positions when finally allowed to do so. This shortage applies just as equally to the private and academic sectors.In an effort to address this imbalance, The University of Melbourne has designed new LIS/GIS courses and subjects, at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels, with the aim of catering for young professionals about to enter the LIS/GIS community, and current administrators, academics and practitioners who find they now need a stronger background in the science, technology and management issues surrounding LIS/GIS.The paper outlines a multi-disciplinary strategy at The University of Melbourne for teaching and research in LIS/GIS. The paper, however, concentrates on the programs within the Department of Surveying and Land Information (A Centre of Excellence in Land Information Studies designated by the Institute of Land Information based in Washington, DC), and a new Graduate Diploma in Geographic Information Systems being introduced jointly by the above department and the School of Environmental Planning within the University.
ItemThe need for improved forms of conceptual models in Geographical Information System developmentWilliamson, Ian P. ; Hunter, Gary J. ( 1991)While numerous books have been published in the past two decades on the subject of information system development methodologies, it is now recognized that these techniques need modification to suit the peculiar nature of Geographical Information Systems (GIS). However, regardless of how system development life-cycles might be varied to suit GIS, the use of models remains a common feature of the development of any information system. It is argued that high-level conceptual models, as used in the initial system evaluation phase, are perhaps the most important type of model in terms of providing an overall picture of what the system is designed to achieve -- yet they remain the least understood. The aim of this paper is to provide a greater understanding of their role and purpose and to highlight their importance in effective GIS development and implementation. Suggestions are also made for improving the form and content of conceptual models so that their meaning becomes clearer
ItemEducation for surveyors: a vision for the 21st centuryWILLIAMSON, IAN ; Leahy, Frank ; HUNTER, GARY ( 1994-03)The history of surveying in Australia over the last two hundred years has shown the surveyor to have played many roles besides that of solely measuring features on the earth’s surface. These include those of engineer, planner, land manager, land valuer, environmental manager and land developer. What has given the Australian surveyor a competitive edge over other more narrowly defined professions, is the fact that surveyors have always possessed a balance of fundamental skills in measurement science and land management. It should be noted however, that surveying education has taken many different directions in the same period, often being more influenced by overseas trends and models rather than the needs of the practising Australian surveyor - even though the role of the surveyor in the broader community in Australia has not changed to a great extent over the last two hundred years. This paper discusses the historical perspective of surveying education in Australia and draws distinctions between local and international trends. It presents a vision which recognises the surveyor’s primary role is the measurement and management of spatial data in the broadest sense. The vision is based on maintaining a balance between measurement science and land management, on retaining a strong scientific foundation to the discipline but above all else remaining flexible in today’s ever changing world. The paper illustrates this vision by describing the programs at the University of Melbourne.