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Thursday, July 21, 2016

GIS Education Weekly: Future Geography Curriculum Leaders

Contests and Competitions

URISA is hosting a student competition with the finals at its Toronto GIS Pro event this fall. College students (enrolled in geo courses spring, summer or fall 2016) can compete for prizes of money ($500, $300 and $200) and free registration to the event (but no travel funds) and paid Young Professional dues upon graduation. The first round of the competition involves the creation of a video; the top three from that round will go to Toronto for the final. Videos are due September 2. The conference is Oct 31- Nov 3.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

GIS Education Weekly: Is Pokemon GO Educational?

Is Pokemon GO Educational?

Pokemon GO debuted this past week in the U.S. New Zealand and Australia. The goal, using the augmented reality app on the phone, is to visit locations and catch the pocket monsters from the 1980s card game. The game is from Niantic, a Google spinoff, which debuted Ingress, back in 2012. Data collected by those who played Ingress power Pokemon GO.

Gavin Shrock, editor of xyHt suggests the game may be a significant geospatial education opportunity. "Something like the shared experience of this kind of activity would make a great ice-breaker and provide a common frame of reference from which to explain how asset mapping and hunting for survey markers works – many of the same elements are there in this little app."

Thursday, July 7, 2016

GIS Education Weekly: Geo for All and the United Nations, Parrot's Drone Education Program

United Nations Explores GeoAcademy Curriculum with Help from Geo for All

Two weeks ago news crossed my desk describing uptake of the GeoAcademy curriculum for training UN staff in its move from proprietary to open source GIS. Maria Antonia Brovelli, Vice Rector for Como Campus and GIS Professor, Politecnico di Milano who leads a UN capacity building working group, which has support from Geo for All volunteers, made a statement.
...a voluntary team of people of our GEO4ALL network are working in a capacity building project related to a migration of UN staff from proprietary to OS software. The team revised the tutorial and will start the first experiment with the QGIS GeoAcademy tutorial.
I contacted Brovelli to get some context. She explained that the "UN OpenGIS Initiative aims at developing an enterprise GIS system using free and open source geospatial solutions in support of UN Peace Operations." The Geo for All volunteers are working to provide "suitable training packages for UN staff on open source geospatial technologies." The news, then, is about the first step in this capacity building:
As the first step, it was decided to conduct training program as a virtual class for UN Staff, which is an on-line course as self-training with the help of G4A tutors, using some free and open source selected tutorials. The virtual class training courses will cover various subjects such as QGIS, PostGIS, GeoNode, GeoServer and OpenLayers. UN Staff will directly access training material through the free and open source ‘Beep Platform’ of Politecnico di Milano and could also be communicated with Tutors. The first course for the virtual class is chosen for QGIS GeoAcademy. The virtual class will be started in the second half of September 2016.