New Online Geography and GIS Resources
A column by Doug Richardson, Executive Director, Association of American Geographers
The Association of American Geographers (AAG) has decided to make many new and existing publications and important reference resources freely available on the AAG website. A small sampling of these online geography and GIS resources is summarized below.
Jobs in Geography and GIS
An extensive collection of career resources is now online for students interested in pursuing a career in geography or GIScience, or for seasoned educators or GIS professionals seeking to further develop their careers or find a new position anywhere in the world. The AAG Careers site includes information about the types of jobs available to those who study geography and GIS; information about typical employers; the most current salary data; career preparation tips; and links to working geographers who can offer advice, and much more.
Another valuable employment resource, AAG's Jobs in Geography (JIG), is now available as a feature-rich, searchable online jobs listing system. This new system, which will be publicly available on the AAG website, will make it easier for employers to reach qualified candidates and for job seekers to connect with employers in all sectors.
The AAG Guide to Programs in Geography
The Guide to Geography Programs in the Americas and AAG Handbook and Directory of Geographers has long been a useful tool for students, faculty, and geographers throughout the world. This year we are pleased to announce that it will be more widely available to students and others, as it will be offered as a free online publication.
The new Guide describes in detail nearly all academic institutions throughout the Americas, including faculty specialties, financial assistance, and degree requirements. It also provides information on government agencies and private firms that employ geographers.
The AAG has also transitioned its AAG Newsletter content to a set of interactive online communication channels. Geography and GIS news, op-eds, job listings, grant information, and event calendars are now updated and available on a more timely and in-depth basis than before. An index on the AAG home page will make it easy to quickly find the information you want.
Additionally, AAG news and information are conveyed regularly online via the AAG SmartBrief, AAG Geograms, our website home page news section, AAG's online Jobs in Geography listings, AAG Specialty Group Knowledge Communities websites, and other similar outreach means.
The GIS&T Body of Knowledge
With support from Esri and UCGIS, the AAG is making a key reference work, Geographic Information Science and Technology Body of Knowledge, available online as a free, downloadable PDF and, for a small shipping fee, as a print edition. Organized thematically by GIS knowledge areas, the book presents a comprehensive survey of Geographic Information Science and Technology (GIS&T) topics, ranging from analytical methods and data modeling to GIS&T in society. It is an important reference work for GIS&T professionals and classroom teachers and students.
There are no plans to discontinue the hard-copy versions of the AAG's flagship journals, Annals of the AAG and The Professional Geographer. Currently, all AAG members automatically receive both a hard copy of and online access to these leading AAG journals. However, members who wish to receive their AAG journal subscriptions online only may do so on an individual basis. Many AAG members have now chosen this option, either for personal convenience or due to concerns about the environmental impact of printing and mailing the hard-copy issues.
The AAG Review of Books
The new online AAG Review of Books publishes scholarly book reviews as formerly published in the Annals of the AAG and The Professional Geographer, along with reviews of significant current popular books related more broadly to geography, public policy, and international affairs. As an online publication, it will be able to include many more worthy geography books for review and to publish these reviews in a more timely manner. In addition, it is also hoped that the new AAG Review of Books will reach a much broader interdisciplinary readership, as well as make important geographic contributions to policy and international affairs.
GIS Master's Degree Programs Online
The AAG has created a unique clearinghouse for GIS and GIScience training and educational programs. A special focus of the clearinghouse is a compilation of all GIScience and GIS professional master's degree programs, including both traditional and online programs.
AAG Annual Meeting Programs
The AAG will begin offering online electronic versions of our Annual Meeting Program book, for use on handheld devices and laptops, beginning at our upcoming April 9–13, 2013, conference in Los Angeles, California. The program will also still be available in printed program books for those attendees who wish to have the hard-copy version in Los Angeles or to access it as an archival reference source following the meeting.
I look forward to your feedback as we continue to transition AAG publications and resources online for your quick and easy access, and hope you will benefit from and enjoy these newly available resources online.