A tribute to Anne Olsen

A tribute to Anne Olsen


It was with great sadness that we heard about the death of Anne Olsen from cancer Monday 31 May 2021.

Anne was one of the foremost thinkers and contributors to the New Zealand GIS in Schools Programme. Along with a small number of other New Zealand teachers including Sally Brodie, Nick Page, and Stephaine Eddie, Anne championed the use of Esri products in the classroom to enhance geographic thinking and problem solving from the very early days of the GIS in Schools Programme. Her championing of the geospatial cause in the education sector spanned over 20 years progressing from installed software ArcView 3.x through to the use of ArcGIS Online in the classroom in more recent years.

Anne not only made sure that the software was available in the classroom to teach GIS she and Stephaine, through their company, provided resources and professional development workshops for teachers throughout New Zealand. Many of the resources they developed were released in CD form under the title IMAGIS, and provided the basis for current resources freely available to teachers today at the GIS in Schools Resources Hub

In life, Anne’s contribution to geographic education, especially her work promoting spatial technology in education was recognised when she received a NZ Geographical Society Distinguished Service Award in 2015. In death, her contributions live on in the ongoing work of the GIS in Schools Programme which would not be where it is today without her contribution.

We are sure she will be missed in the education industry, by her friends and, most especially her family. Kia Kaha

Rest in peace Anne

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