GIRAFFE: A wiki project to share resources amongst Geographers

GIRAFFE (Geographical Information Research And Future-Facing Education Network) is one of the latest research and development projects at Beyond Distance. We are looking for contributors to this wiki project, so please read on if you have an interest in either GIS (Geographical Information Systems), Geography and related subjects and / or creating communities or networks amongst practitioners and researchers.

Using Media Wiki as the platform, the GIRAFFE Network project aims to develop an exemplar of a virtual Community of Practice or Network of Practice to facilitate collaboration between educators within the field of Geography, including GIS and Geographical Information Science.

The project will examine the processes involved in creating a Community of Practice using wiki technology, and in the generation of sharable content for learning, teaching and research within the above-mentioned disciplines.

The GIRRAFE model draws on the experience of, and lessons learned from the WikiVet (  developed by the Royal Veterinary College in London. WikiVet  is a collaborative project amongst a number of UK Vet schools to develop an on-line knowledge base for vet students and practitioners.

GIRAFFE uses MediaWiki software (, the same software that powers Wikipedia), to provide an easy technology to create and publish learning and teaching resources.

We would like to hear from enthusiastic lecturers, researchers, PhD and Masters students with or without prior experience in writing learning and teaching material for the web, within the fields mentioned above.

Some examples of contributors and contributions would be:

  • lecturers who would like to contribute to the wiki with material drawn from their own lecture notes, Word documents, PowerPoint slides and any other resources
  • researchers who would like a space for publishing draft reports (so far unpublished) and promoting their research and/or teaching experience to support learning
  • PhD and Masters students who would like to contribute to the wiki with their literature reviews, photographs and any other resources.

All copyrights and ownership of the relevant material remain with the individual contributors (or their institutions).  The project team will provide guidance to contributors on copyright issues.

Drop us a line and tell us whether you would like to know more about GIRAFFE and if you are interested in contributing. We look forward to hear from you!

Palitha Edirisingha (

12 May 2010

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