Monday, June 11, 2007

I picked up a copy of ESRI News, which is the main publication of ESRI the company that makes ArcView, the dominant geographic information software on the market today, to find a lengthy and interesting article on the overall degradation of geographic knowledge in the general public. This article was written as a matter of "Geographer pride" by a professor at Kansas State University, one of the few institutions in the country that offers an advanced degree in my undergraduate field of study. Apparently, while geography is one of the 9 critical subjects involved in the No Child Left Behind act, there have been $0 allocated to teach it in our schools. None of the ivy leagues offer graduate programs in Geography and only Dartmouth even offers it as an undergraduate option. While almost all of the "great" presidents of the past had official geographers, there has not been one since the Roosevelt administration.

What is geography? It is more than knowing the state capitals. Geography is to time what history is to space. It is the study of spatial relationships between places, things and people. It is cool. I have a degree in it. GO MAC!

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