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Thursday, October 8, 2015

GIS Education Weekly: Investment in Location-based Learning, AAG GIS&T Course, Student Awards

Investment in Location-based Learning

A press release from Ambient Insights, "an integrity-based market research firm that uses predictive analytics to identify revenue opportunities for global learning technology suppliers," suggests mapping is hot this year:
Another interesting trend is the investor interest in digital cartography and mapping companies. These companies develop what Ambient Insight defines as Digital Reference-ware and Location-based Learning. Maps are inherently related to procedural learning in the same way recipes, product manuals, flowcharts, periodic tables, architectural diagrams, star charts, and schematics are related to learning. In the first three quarters of 2015, $72.0 million was invested in ten cartographic and mapping companies. This is significant considering that there were no companies of this type funded in 2014. 
"Some of the most extraordinary mapping innovations are now emerging around so-called indoor mapping and Indoor Positioning Systems (IPS) that work inside locations where GPS does not function," comments Adkins. Six of the ten mapping companies funded in the first three quarters are selling new IPS products. "Museums, galleries, and tourist venues are now avid adopters of IPS systems. For example, the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and the Royal BC Museum in Victoria have both installed IPS for their patrons."
A white paper on International Learning Technology Patterns (pdf) identifies some of the companies: Mapbox, CartoDB, Mapsense (recently acquired by Apple) and IndoorAtlas. Of these I know CartoDB is actually marketing in education, Mapbox started to do so, but then went rather dark. IndoorAtlas (with a US$10M infusion from Baidu) offers indoor tools for museums and exhibits but best I can tell malls and airports are more interested thus far than museums.

Geo-Literacy Projects Build Students' Understanding of Our Complex World

The article appeared in September on Edutopia. It's by the same woman who wrote a post titled Students Map Real-World Issues with (Free) Geospatial Tools on Edutopia last summer. There's nothing too earthshattering or different in this post: discussion of Geospatial Semester, Big Fork High School in Montana and links to Story Maps, NatGeo tools (via Gooru, of which I'd not heard), EAST and GeoMentors.

Monday, October 5, 2015

GIS Education Briefs: #GISed, Water on Mars Story Map, Geography Textbook Spat


Esri's Joseph Kerski (@josephkerski)  made a suggestion this week regarding the hashtag #GISED and the Esri twitter account @gised.
Keep in touch with all that is happening in GIS education via #gised @gised
I find the hashtag and account quite valuable. The most active users of the hashtag are Esri folks (Kerski, @trbaker, and @GISEd), AAG GeoMentors (‏@AAGGeoMentors) and me (@adenas). I use the tag to highlight content of interest to those involved in GIS education, using any technology. I'd love to see more GIS education tweets tagged!

Questions About the Mars Story Map

You know what didn't get the #GISED hashtag on Twitter this past week? The Discovering Liquid Water on Mars story map. It got a lot of praise including these terms I found in tweets: "fantastic, " "awesome," "stunning," and "amazing."

The story map prompted lots of questions for me. What questions? I wrote them down as I worked through the story map. Each number below is a "dot" in the story map table of contents.

1) I really liked the opening time series from Horowitz Crater that shows the changes in the streaks made by water over time. I guessed that the MY had something to do with the Martian Year and looked up the details. The data shown in the time series are from 2006 through 2011. 

Location of Horowitz Crater
I clicked where indicated to "see Horowitz Crater on a satellite map of Mars." Since I have no specialized knowledge of Mars' geography the locator map didn't mean much to me. I wanted to see where the crater was on the globe of Mars. For example, was it northern or southern hemisphere? 

2) Next was a video of similar streaks on Hale Crater. I wanted a link to the source video so I could get more information about the time frame covered. I think I found the video source here. I also wanted to know where Hale Crater was relative to Horowitz. I tried a few online Mars maps including NASA's Mars Trek and Google's Mars Map but didn't find an answer.

3) The  next image showed Garni Crater with multiple streaks "many of them several hundred yards long." I found it cool to know how long they were! I wanted a scale so I could perhaps see how long they were in relation to other features. I found more information on the image in a NASA image of the day post

4) Palikir Crater, like Horowitz, includes a time series. Did Esri create the two time series? I can't tell from the credits/sources. 

The story map collects a lot of interesting images and animations and raises many geographic questions that require additional research to answer. That makes it a great starting point to learn about spatial thinking. The story map reinforces the value of time series imagery to show change over time.

What questions did the story map prompt you to ask? Did you follow up to try to find answers? Did you/would you use the story map in a geography or science class? How?

Slavery and "Workers" in Geography Textbook

World Geography is a textbook from McGraw-Hill Education. It includes a section called “Patterns of Immigration.” A caption of a map reads:
The Atlantic slave trade between the 1500s and the 1800s brought millions of workers from Africa to the southern United States to work on agricultural plantations.
A ninth grade student found the wording and his mother took the issue to Youtube. McGraw-Hill agreed something was amiss on its Facebook page . The company plans to remedy the situation by immediately updating the online version of the book and including the change in the book's next printing. The Chronicle of Higher Ed offers other choice quotes from the text. Update: Reuters  reports the company will send stickers to cover the errant caption. (Read more: CNN, Buzzfeed)

Thursday, October 1, 2015

GIS Education Weekly: NSF, OSGeo and MacArthur Awards and How to Win a Map Contest

Freshman Year for Free

If you missed it, a number of colleges and universities are aligned with Modern States Educational Alliance. The Alliance  which will organize more than 30 EDx developed freshman level courses and materials prepping students to take AP or CLEP tests. The idea is that using the free materials students can in fact gain credit via the (fee-based) tests at these institutions. AP Human Geography is not yet listed.

Face to Face  and Online Events (Two Online Ones Today!)

Safe Software Grant Program Webinar
Every year, over 4000 FME licences are donated to individuals and organizations who need it for research, education, [emphasis mine] conservation, and humanitarian efforts. Learn how 5 of our grant program recipients used FME to unlock their data and transform our world. 
The webinar is today at 8 am Pacific Time.

Sleepwalking into the Future? A World without Spatial Thinking

Esri's Joseph Kerski speaks on the subject (pdf flyertoday at the University of Redlands at 11:30 am PT or later (no actual time for talk is provided) via livestream (link to be here at time of event). A recording is expected to be available for later viewing.

AAG to Tackle Disruption in Higher Education

Thriving in a Time of Disruption in Higher Education will be a theme at AAG 2016 Annual Meeting set for San Francisco, California March 29 – April 2, 2016. Papers and sessions are welcome.

Clarion University GIS Conference

Clarion University will host the 10th anniversary Northwest Pennsylvania Geographic Information Systems conference Oct. 15 and 16. University community is free and everyone else pays a minimal fee for one or two days. Keynote topics: (1) Esri and (2) Ushahidi. Sounds like a great, small event.

Free ConnectED Webinar from Esri and NCGE

Wed, Oct 7, 2015 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM EDT, free
This webinar is designed for those just wondering how to start, with a special ConnectED offer from Esri for US K12 schools. Register now!: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2311089148719287297
GIS in Education & Research Conference, Toronto, Nov 30

The University of Toronto and Esri Canada are hosting the one day event with keynoter Mike Goodchild as the keynote speaker. The event is free.


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