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Thursday, July 2, 2015

GIS Education Weekly: ConnectED at 2, R Course, When Maps Lie

ConnectED at Year Two

The White House put out a fact sheet about its ConnectED Initiative now that it's two years old. Esri has been in the program for one year at this point (press release from 2014).

Here's how Esri was listed among the private sector contributors:
Esri: Providing $[sic] free access to ArcGIS Online Organization accounts – the same Geographic Information Systems mapping technology used by government and business – to every K-12 school in America to allow students to map and analyze data.
I'm not sure why a dollar amount was not included; it was for other companies.

Esri put out a map: the national map of ConnectED commitments from a handful of companies:



U of A Putting GIS in the Library

Staff members of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Collections and Archives division plan to create a service to improve students’ research capabilities. The division was awarded a $4,000 grant to develop GIS support for student research at Ottenheimer Library.
The grant is seed money for the library to install a GIS workstation, train librarians and staff on GIS theory and methodology, and support the development of an interdisciplinary GIS project in collaboration with faculty.

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Data Points: U.S. Federal Government Geospatial Activities June 2015

It was a big week for the federal government to announce, or for publications to find and detail, GIS-based solutions.  Only one is accessible to the public, but this recap illustrates that GIS trends in the private and consumer sphere are finding their way into U.S. federal government agencies, too. Which trends?
This roller-compacted concrete spillway dam
might be in DamWatch. Source: USDA/NRCS
  • complex online geospatial tools
  • sensors and alerts
  • openness paired with privacy protection
  • crowdsourcing
  • open source
  • open data
The announcements relate to maintaining citizen health when disasters threaten electricity, protecting dams and 
citizens and making better maps of our national parks.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

GIS Education Weekly: High Schoolers and Interns Solve Challenges, MOOCs, Essential Body of Knowledge

Bronx High School of Science Students find Use Cases for DigitalGlobe Imagery
Image by Ryan Jay Crisostomo CC BY-SA 3.0
This year at State of the Map [the OpenStreetMap US event], developers and users gathered at the United Nations in New York City to exchange information on the latest geospatial applications. Among the participants were 15 entrepreneurial-minded students from the Bronx High School of Science. The students were on hand to discuss their use cases detailing the application of satellite imagery, big data, and maps to solve problems challenging the commercial sector, particularly, real estate investment, infrastructure, and security.
Ninety students at the school were part of DigitalGlobe's Bright Ideas competition held at the top notch school. (I was in an NSF high school program one summer and the Bronx High School of Science students kicked my butt.) The good news:
The original ideas within these use cases are the intellectual property of these superb intellectual athletes, and their next step is to apply to for grants through the DigitalGlobe Foundation to further their ideas towards commercialization.
If the ideas come to fruition, DigitalGlobe will sell imagery. Is it possible this detailed imagery is still a solution in search of a problem?

USGIF Publishes GEOINT Essential Body of Knowledge

USGIF produced the GEOINT Essential Body of Knowledge (EBK, PDF). It conducting a cross-industry job analysis to identify the knowledge, skills, and abilities critical to the GEOINT positions. The document was developed in support of the upcoming Universal GEOINT Certification I discussed last week.

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