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Monday, July 27, 2015

Periscope at the Esri User Conference


Like many people with technology and communications interests, I've been following the evolution of the Meerkat and Periscope apps. The former was a third party real time super simple video streaming tool that integrated with Twitter. The latter is a similar solution from Twitter.

Discussions of the technology and possible uses popped up on two of my favorite podcasts (Daily Tech News Show and For Immediate Release) earlier this year. Even then I wondered about how it might be used at the largest GIS conference in the United States. I also wondered if Esri had any policy about this kind of live streaming.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

GIS Education Weekly: Esri Education GIS Conference

Esri Education GIS Conference

For the first time in many years I did not attend the Esri Education GIS (EdUC) or Esri International User Conference (EsriUC). I read that more than 700 people attended EdUC and some 16,000 attended EsriUC. Below are the highlights of both events related to GIS education.


Both EdUC and EsriUC served as recruiting events for the Esri-AAG GeoMentors program. The goal is to encourage GIS users to reach out to formal and informal educators to help integrate the technology (ArcGIS Online) into their lessons and activities. Similar kinds of recruiting date back to the 1990s with Esri's Adopt-A-School program. I recall having my badge scanned by a National Geographic person at a 2009's EsriUC for the original GeoMentor effort.

Several GeoMentors were honored. @EsriEdUC shared a picture of
Dunny Green receiving the 1st Esri-AAG GeoMentor certificate!
Green performed his GeoMentoring while aboard a U.S. Navy ship! Forrest Lamb was called out as a GIS Hero, and per Jack Dangermond "The best GeoMentor I've ever known."

AAG GeoMentors (@AAGGeoMentors) confirmed 60 new GeoMentor sign ups as of Wednesday night.

Building Apps and Coding

It's valuable to understand the kinds of apps Esri imagines (field, office and public) and three options for building these apps. Per Tom Baker (@trbaker) the creation tools to build them include:
templates, web app builder, App Studio (for native apps).
App Studio seemed to be hit with educators. Per Shannon White (@shannonwhite):
2 minutes, a web browser and it’s an app.
That said, Addy Pope (‏@GIS4HE) who heads education for Esri UK, shared this important bit:
And the message is...... GIS students should learn Python. But they are scared to pick programming option

If you'd like to receive GIS education news weekly via e-mail, sign up here! And, please share these with others involved in teaching and learning GIS! Thanks!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Off Topic: Vermont 100 2015

Basics (for those who don't want gory details)

This past weekend (July 17-19, 2015) was my second attempt at the Vermont 100, a 100 mile footrace around West Windsor, VT. I made my first attempt in 2013 and dropped out at mile 83. I've completed two other 100 mile races that were relatively flat. This one has 14,000 ft of elevation change (up and down). The race starts at 4 am on Saturday and runners have 30 hours to finish, by 10 am Sunday. There's also a horse race (distances up to 100 miles) at the same time on the same course. Runners can have a crew meet them along the way (I didn't have a crew) and/or put together drop bags of gear they meet at aid stations along the way.

We run with horses! (Not someone I know...)
Like most runners, I camped in the field near the start on Friday night. Runners woke up to soggy grass and a light rain at 3:00 on Saturday. I dressed in shorts and tech T in my tent, put on a light nylon jacket and headed to check in. While you check in the day before, including a medical checkup (weight, blood pressure, etc.), you must check in the morning of the race, too. As usual, the lines for the port-o-potties were long, so I walked back to "tent city" and used the ones there. There were no lines. I also remembered I left a banana outside of the cooler in my car. I feared it'd "cook" during the heat of the day, so I retrieved it and ate it on the way to the start.