Why geographic knowledge is more important than ever

Posted on October 8th, 2013 by

Jialiang Gao, www.peace-on-earth.org

Terracing in Yunnan, China. (Photo by Jialiang Gao, www.peace-on-earth.org. Creative Commons License.)

Michigan State Geography Professor Kirk Goldsberry makes the case for the importance of geographic education and spatial thinking:

“In its 375 years, Harvard has only ever eliminated one entire academic program. If you had to guess, what program do you think that was and when was it killed off?

“The answer: Harvard eradicated its Geography Department in the 1940s, and many universities followed suit.

“The timing couldn’t have been worse, really.

. . .

“In the meantime, spatial thinking, visualization, contemporary cartography, and the other core competencies of geographic education have never been more relevant or necessary.

. . .

“Recommitting to a geography curriculum in both our high schools and universities will be crucial to effectively developing a generation of great data visualizers who can tackle our challenges. Quantitative spatial analytics offer vital insights into the world’s most important domains including public health, the environment, the global economy, and warfare.”

Continue reading his essay in the Harvard Business Review.


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