Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Visualisation of the spatial!

Left image: The beach, Sunshine Coast, Queensland.
Right image: Mangroves in Moreton Bay, Brisbane Queensland.

Related sites to the Spatialworlds project
Spatialworlds website
21st Century Geography Google Group
Australian Geography Teachers' Association website
'Towards a National Geography Curriculum' project website
Geography Teachers' Association of South Australia website
Email contact

Where am I??
Adelaide, Australia: S: 34º 55' E: 138º 36'

Discerning the difference between visual and spatial literacy
The terms visual and spatial literacy are often intertwined in discussions. I have come across an attempt to discern the difference between the two by the The North East Regional Computing Program, Inc. (NERCOMP), New England Regional Computing Program, Inc.in Massachusetts Institute of Technology. NERCOMP defines itself as an association of information systems and technology users affiliated with colleges, universities and other educational and research institutions throughout New England. I have customised for this posting of what they say visual and spatial literacy is and what it adds to a student learning and capacity building as individuals.

Visual literacies
The visually literate student can:
•Find images for a specific purpose
•Conduct close “readings” of images (VTS/Visual Thinking Strategies)
•Make evidence-based interpretations
•Construct narratives and/or arguments with images
•Articulate reasons for image choice/use
•Cite images
The visually literate student has: •A sense of themselves as creators, not just consumers
•Additional experience as analysts and rhetoricians (aligns with students’ work in first-year writing courses)
•An appreciation for ambiguity, competing/different interpretations of a work
•Familiarity with basic image licensing/intellectual property considerations

Compared with spatial literacy where;
The spatially literate student can:
•Recognize and interpret patterns in graphs, diagrams, maps, and other spatial representations of data.
•Comprehend basic spatial concepts such as scale, resolution, spatial interaction, and neighborhoods/zones.
•Use location as a basis for organizing and discovering information.
•Overlay different types of information to make an argument or solve a problem.
•Evaluate data quality.
The spatially literate student has:
•An appreciation for geography as more than just a list of places on the earth’s surface.
•An understanding of spatial concepts and principles(scale, distance, location, distribution, spatial association, movement, spatial interaction, region and spatial change over time (GTAV interpretation of spatial literacy concepts)
•The ability to capture and communicate knowledge in the form of a map, graph, or diagram.
•Familiarity with GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and geospatial technology.

Food for thought and a discussion we need to have as geographers to clarify the difference between visual and spatial literacy. Is one a subset of the other or are they quite independent of each other?

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