ABS Consulting Group, Inc.: Home | Blog | Resume | Speaking | Publications

Thursday, August 25, 2016

GIS Education Weekly: Two Free Courses on Remote Sensing, Eastern Kentucky May Lose Geography

Programs, Degrees and Courses

There's a nice write-up on GIS at Tufts University (just down the street from me). "Originally, GIS courses were offered almost exclusively to graduate students within the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning. Since [Patrick] Florance arrived at Tufts in 2006, the demand for GIS instruction has increased dramatically, especially in the last four years. Today, more than 500 undergraduate and graduate students use GIS mapping and data analysis in courses offered in departments including environmental studies, earth and ocean sciences; public health; urban and environmental policy and planning; civil and environmental engineering; international relations; biology; and many others. Introduction to GIS fills to capacity every semester and is offered within the international relations and environmental studies departments, but allows students to pursue research in any area of their choice. Other GIS courses explore the environment, catastrophes, agriculture, medicine, public health, food, and more."

Thursday, August 18, 2016

GIS Education Weekly: Teaching GIS in Every School in the County; New Geo Journal, Podcast and Video Series

Degrees, Programs and Courses

The 16-month Professional Science Master’s Program in Geographic Information Science from the University of Illinois focuses on GIS and business. "'Students who come to the program benefit from high-level, cutting-edge GIS training from leading people in the field, and they also gain from the U of I’s business program, which is very highly regarded and also cutting-edge,' said Sara McLafferty, head of the Department of Geography and Geographic Information Science. 'So we think we have a very exciting combination where we've got two really strong programs that are being merged.'” The first cohort started last fall, a second one starts soon, and applications are open for the 2017 cohort. It's interesting that the program name is generic and does not mention business.

Lawrence Stipek, director of the Loudoun County, Va., Office of Mapping and Geographic Information, details the county's use of GIS over the last 30 or so years in an article at GovTech. Among the tidbits of note: "Today, GIS is taught in every county high school."

Trajectory Magazine profiles NOVA IMS, USGIF’s first international school to be accredited. That announcement was made earlier this year. The first students will graduate with a certificate in 2017.

The University of Cincinnati's Geography Graduate Student Organization and Libraries will host an organizational meeting Aug 31st to discuss the formation of a cross disciplinary Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Learning Community. Excellent!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

GIS Education Weekly: Open Source GIS Educator Perspectives

From Open Source Educators

Kurt Menke describes his understanding of open source at his Community Health Maps blog. He's the author of two books on QGIS, co-authored the GeoAcademy, and runs a GIS consulting firm, Bird's Eye View. I can share two of my pieces on the topic: Ten Things You Need to Know about Open Source Geospatial Software (Directions Magazine) and Proprietary vs. Open Source Licenses (Penn State OER).

Dr. Suchith Anand described what he learned lecturing students around the world. He's the founder of Geo For All and on the faculty at the University of Nottingham.
One of the important things I learned during my lectures to students in universities worldwide (from USA to India) is that the digital natives are very smart. They have a very global outlook and are keen to contribute to building a better world for everyone. I remember talking to a student and asking her what GIS software she uses and her reply was "We use all different platforms to learn GIS but no one can trick us to pay to buy GIS software when there is [a] lot of free and open software now available." This empowerment of students is exactly what we want. It is now not possible for any proprietary GIS vendor to put "Iron Curtains" on freedom on education tools.
Philip Davis reports the GeoAcademy site just passed 100,000 page views in 24 months.