School GIS Use Cases

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This page is for documenting User stories and Use Cases for GIS in Primary/Elementary and Secondary School Education, whether they are for teaching geography or other subjects or for teaching GIS per se as is currently required in the South African syllabus.

Hopefully FOSS GIS projects will take these to heart when developing or putting solutions together for schools.

Our aim is to achieve some of these for launch at

What must the ideal GIS software do and how must it do it from a teacher's and learner's perspective?


  • Geography teacher
  • Computer / IT teacher
  • Pupil / learner
  • IT admin staff
  • School admin
  • others?

User Stories

Please document any user stories here

Use Cases

Please add to this list and elaborate on ones already here.

Cross-platform: Linux, Windows or Mac

All three OSs are used in schools (in SA at any rate)

One-click installation

Integrated software stack so teachers and learners have to launch a minimal number of applications. Teachers do not have the time or expertise to install and set up multiple software packages.

Simplified and customised GUIs to lower the entry threshold

for teachers to teach curriculum requirements of GIS

List the SA requirements here - these would be 'simple' to package - one click for each item...

for teachers to use GIS to teach geography and other subjects

What other ways do teachers use GIS?

  • cross-sections
  • river long sections
  • etc... a long list!

for learners to use for hands-on work

  • making a map
  • projecting
  • printing
  • etc... another long list

Free, integrated global and local data package

One well-maintained global data set and then separately maintained country data sets - so the 'release' ebcomes locale-specific.

excellent documentation


SA has 11 official languages

framework for local contributors structure and contribute exercises, lessons, etc, with a central website. Sharing resources a la OSGeo pages for tertiary education

network deployment

Desktop installation vs network deployment on multi-seat or terminal server basis.

functionality for more sophisticated users

The fast learners and 'switched on' teachers will want to go beyond the syllabus and do more interesting and exciting things

functionality / points of entry for 'computer studies' learners (i.e. developers)

The 'computer studies' learners can work with the geography learners and write custome applications, develop web maps and mashups, etc. and make their coding exercises more outcomes based and exciting.

school web map services

Let the geogaphy and computer departments implement real mapping solutions for the school