Manfred Ehlers on the Main Challenge of GIScience

Further fodder for the “Is GIS a science?” debate: a brief YouTube video of Manfred Ehlers, Professor for GIS and Remote Sensing and Director, Research Center for Geoinformatics and Remote Sensing (FZG), University of Osnabrueck, Germany. Ehlers sees the main challenge as being “to establish our discipline as an innovative scientific field that we have to show is the equivalent of other new sciences that have evolved over the last 10 to 15 years.” He draws a comparison to computer science, which he says “used to be a part of mathematics. Now computer science is a scientific field in its own right.” The video was recorded at the International Society for Digital Earth (ISDE) meeting in Potsdam, Germany in November 2008.

Geospatial Science and Human Rights

The American Association for the Advancement of Science recently launched its new Science and Human Rights Coalition. Its mission is “to improve human rights practitioners’ access to scientific information and knowledge and to engage scientists in human rights issues, particularly those issues that involve scientists and the conduct of science.” The report mentions the “valuable tools and expertise” scientists have to contribute, including geospatial technologies, and encourages groups such as GIS Corps to continue volunteering.