Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2020, Vol. 75 ›› Issue (8): 1790-1796.doi: 10.11821/dlxb202008016

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Curriculum design for urban informatics

YUE Yang1,2,3(), LI Qingquan2,3, GUO Renzhong1,2,4   

  1. 1. School of Architecture and Urban Planning, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, Guangdong, China
    2. Guangdong Key Laboratory of Urban Informatics, Shenzhen 518060, Guangdong, China
    3. Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Spatial Smart Sensing and Services, Shenzhen 518060, Guangdong, China
    4. Research Institute for Smart Cities, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen 518060, Guangdong, China
  • Received:2018-10-23 Revised:2020-07-02 Online:2020-08-25 Published:2020-10-25
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41671387);Shenzhen Strategic Innovative and Future Industry Development Fund(2017)


GIScience is facing challenges in defining its discipline-specific knowledge and skills due to the rapid development of computer science. Meanwhile, the research paradigm of urban studies is shifting to more quantitative approaches with the emerging big data and various analytics tools. Based on the development pathways of GIScience, we argued that one direction of the future GIS is urban informatics by taking the advantage of spatial modelling and analysis technologies. The transformation from GIS/Geomatics to urban informatics requires transdisciplinary knowledge, methods, and tools to form a new teaching and research framework. An undergraduate curriculum for urban informatics is proposed in this paper based on the notion of transdisciplinary cooperation among GIS, computer science and urban studies, to foster system thinking, spatial thinking and computational thinking in urban informatics teaching. Researchers and educators from urban studies, geography, geomatics and GIS should work together to promote the development of this emerging discipline, so as to achieve more significant scientific discovery and innovations.

Key words: Geomatics, urban informatics, new urban science, Convergence Research, education reform