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52°North, the Institute for Geoinformatics and its education initiative GI@School, together with ESRI Germany initiated the GeospatialLearning@PrimarySchool project in September 2009. The project's objective is to develop OLPC (One Laptop Per Chidl) XO-Laptop applications which foster geospatial thinking by using novel Information Technologies. Primary schools, in particular the social science and geography classes, in Rwanda and Germany have been targeted to test the applications. The "geospatial" aspect plays an important role in the development of XO activities as a means to playfully learn basic concepts like position, direction, distance.

Visit our Blog about GeospatialLearning.

Project partners

GI@School (an Initiative of the Institute for Geoinformatics) develops teaching and learning modules in the field of Geoinformatics for secondary schools. Cooperation with many secondary schools already exists. Until now, there was no program for primary schools.

ESRI supports schools and universities in Rwanda via its Corporate Social Responsibility Program. There are also activities with schools in Germany, however primarily with secondary schools.

52°North is a cooperation platform for research and industry in the field of Geoinformatics. In addition to the University of Muenster and ESRI, ITC is also involved in 52°North. ITC is an international post-graduate institution in the Netherlands, which offers courses of study to scholarship recipients from developing countries and transitional countries. ITC is also active in Rwanda.


A software module for the XO laptop was developed for use in general subjects (1st--4th grade) and geography, or rather social studies (5th--6th grade) in Rwanda. The software was built upon several scenarios, which were tailored to the students' age and surroundings. Orientation, navigation and measurement scenarios fostered the students' geospatial thinking.

The exisiting XO laptop technology was applied for...

  • Sensors to measure temperatur, humidty
  • MESH network (Peer2Peer) between the XO laptops in own surroundings and the Internet
  • Camera
  • Microphone

...and was supplemented with additional technology for determining position (e.g. GPS mouse) and with other sensors (attachable via USB).

possible scenarios

  • Geotagging
  • Geocaching
  • Where am I?
  • PaperChase
  • Categories
  • Mapping

For more information contact Thomas Bartoschek.


The 52° North affiliations:

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Cooperation Partners

The 52°North principal cooperation partners

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