Education and Training

Educational activity

6611.2 - Playing with maps – using geogames in geography field-courses.

Thursday, July 6
3:10 PM - 3:30 PM
Location: Hoover

The field excursions are an integral part of geographical education. The key question nevertheless is how to attract students to the field-course education in a time of high-speed Internet and continuous usage of smartphones? The paper focuses on the experience gained during several field-courses; and the usage of geogames and playful mapping methods during these courses.
The aim of this paper is on examples of three different technologies to present the opportunities for boosting geographic excursions through modern mapping and geospatial technologies. Firstly balloon and kite mapping technology will be presented as a tool for introduction to cartography or remote sensing education. The second example is the Story Maps platform from Esri that allows users to create map-based websites and map journals that can serve students before, during and after returning from the fieldwork. The last example of "playful" methodologies are geogames – mobile applications, combining aspects of geocaching fun with geography teaching methods. The authors present simple Czech tool called Urwigo that enables creating geogames for mobile phones and GPS devices.
Although the fieldworks are integral part of geographic education (Holt-Jensen, 1999), they are also very difficult to prepare, coordinate and at the same time they must lead to a compromise between content, methods and depth of study subject (Marvell, Simm, Schaaf, & Harper, 2013). While each site is specific and unique, there are certain expectations that the fieldwork will build a 'general' knowledge and bring students to the basics of field research. Self-motivation and the amount of information that students remember are two interconnected themes (Eves, Davis, Brown, & Lamberts, 2007), hence the motivation of the authors to increase students´ motivation through participatory and "playful" methods. The authors argue that playful methods allow students to experiment with maps and geogames, whether in the form of data collection (kite mapping), creation of map presentation (Story Maps) or in the exploration of the terrain using geogames (Urwigo). The approaches described above can also be called by the term "playful mapping" (Perkins, 2009; Sybille & Perkins, 2016) and are often used for interdisciplinary fieldwork focusing on innovative and participatory approaches in the (geographic) education.

Eves, R. L., Davis, L. E., Brown, D. G., & Lamberts, W. L. (2007). Integration of Field Studies and Undergraduate Research Into an Interdisciplinary Course. Journal of College Science Teaching, 36(6), 22–27. Retrieved from
Holt-Jensen, A. (1999). Geography, history and concepts : a student’s guide. Sage Publications.
Marvell, A., Simm, D., Schaaf, R., & Harper, R. (2013). Students as scholars: evaluating student-led learning and teaching during fieldwork. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 37(4), 547–566.
Perkins, C. (2009). Playing with maps. In M. Dodge, R. Kitchin, & C. Perkins (Eds.), Rethinking maps: new frontiers in cartographic theory (Vol. 28, pp. 167–188). London and New York: Routledge.
Sybille, L., & Perkins, C. (2016). An introduction to playful mapping in the digital age. In The Playful Mapping Collective (Ed.), Playful Mapping: Playing with Maps in Contemporary Media Cultures (p. in print). Amsterodam: Institute for Network Culture.

Jiří Pánek

Palacký University Olomouc

Jiří Pánek holds B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Geography and GIS from the Department of Geoinformatics and PhD from the Department of Development Studies, both Palacky University in Olomouc, Czech Republic. His research is focussed on GIS in development cooperation and humanitarian aid, with main focus on Participatory GIS (PGIS/ PPGIS). He has experienced mapping in Kenya and South Africa, studied GIS in India and currently he is developing participatory platform for collection perceptions about urban environment.


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Vít Pászto

Palacký University Olomouc

Vít Pászto holds PhD from the Department of Geoinformatics, Palacky University in Olomouc, Czech Republic. His scientific scope covers topics such as spatial analysis of geographical phenomena, geocomputational methods in geosciences, spatial statistics and geosciences education. His latest research was focused on rural/urban areas delimitation using fuzzy sets and logic. He is currently assistant professor at the Department of Geoinformatics with focus on geoinformatics and its application in geography.


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Temenoujka L. Bandrova

University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy, Sofia

Temenoujka Bandrova is President of Bulgarian Cartographic Association and head of Laboratory on Cartography, UACEG, Sofia. Co-chair of ICA Commission of Cartography and Children (2007-2011), а member of Council board and chair of Young Scientific Commission of International Society of Digital Earth, a member of Commissions on Map Projections, on Cartography in Early Warning and Crises Management – ICA; of Editor’s group of International Journal of Digital Earth, and Cartographia and Geoinformatika Journal, Croatia. She is Project manager in DataMap Ltd where her school atlases and maps are published. She is organizer of 6 International Conferences on Cartography and GIS.


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6611.2 - Playing with maps – using geogames in geography field-courses.

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