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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

GIS Education Weekly: Geo Edu Supply/Demand Study, Women in GIS, QGIS

Distribution of respondents for "demand" survey
Note from Adena

I'm publishing the usual Thursday weekly recap a day early due to the New Year's holiday tomorrow. This weekly education GIS recap, and other musings, will appear on this blog. 

New EU Reports on Supply and Demand of Geospatial Education and Training Education

There are two new reports from a European Union project Geographic Information: Need to Know (GI-N2K). One is about the results of a survey of organizations that teach and train in geospatial areas (pdf), the other provides analysis of the workforce demand, again via survey for those services (pdf).

There are interesting data from the 234 responding organizations who supply training:
  • 54% are not aware of the GIST Body of Knowledge
  • 61% of those who are aware of it, use it.
  • Why do some not use it? The most common response boiled down to: "No need, no wish” 
  • Of the 430 courses offered by respondents, 62 (14%) are available online. Spain has the most at 14.
There are also interesting findings in from the demand assessment from 435 completed surveys:
  • Current workplace tasks include "maps" and "management."
  • Competencies gaining importance in the future include "Web" and "mobile."
  • Competencies the respondents would like to gain include "programming" and "Web."
  • Table 11 Gap analysis lists terms in the free-text responses that are not mentioned in the GIS&T BoK: API, python, geoprocessing, geoportal, UAV, OSM, VGI, augmented reality.
These PDFs are very detailed documents worthy of a complete read for those making decisions about geospatial education in Europe and likely, elsewhere.

Colton, CA GIS Students Make Maps

GIS students from Colton High School, just up the road from Redlands, CA, celebrated the school's second annual GIS Day. It's the seventh year of GIS instruction.
The students had multiple projects including a Storymap [sic] which covered the 100 years of the school’s history. Attendees at the event included students from the high school, Colton Middle School, educators and administrators.
The students get college credit for the GIS course.

Lobbying on Behalf of Colleges who want to use Drones
Two associations that together represent more than 200 American universities are complaining that the Federal Aviation Administration's confusing policies on commercial drones are harmful to academic research.
The associations made the complaint in a memo they submitted to the White House's Office of Management and Budget earlier this month, in which they argued that universities need access to drones for a wide variety of academic research. Universities have used drones for gathering data from storms, inspecting crops, mapping terrain, and recording sports practices.
Marketing Geo via  MOOC: Elmhurst College's Digital Earth MOOC

Donna Gardner Liljegren, director of the Elmhurst College Online Center and manager of instructional support for the School for Professional Studies at Elmhurst College and Lisa Trombetta, marketing manager for the School for Professional Studies at Elmhurst College share the details of the school's first MOOC taught earlier this year. Skills for the Digital Earth, a marketing effort, yielded nine applications for the college's geospatial programs and two students already enrolled.

VGI  in Rural Areas

The Journal of Extension (extension is officially, the U.S. Cooperative Extension System) published an article in October titled Crowdsourcing Rural Data Collection.

Results of a small project in Minnesota were disappointing and raise important questions about sustainability of the practice. Abstract:

The rise of geospatial information on popular websites and its comparative lack in rural areas prompted the pilot project described here to apply crowdsourcing techniques to community mapping. The 3-month project yielded many valuable lessons to apply to future endeavors, but did not yield enough point-of-interest (POI) data to merit an analysis of its accuracy. Results were disappointing in that few POIs were collected, despite participants' initial enthusiasm and hours of training. Key questions for the future are the following. Is it feasible to sustain volunteer-based community mapping efforts in rural areas? And, if so, what kind of incentives should be offered?
Update on QGIS MOOC

As of Dec 30:
500+ enrolled with 7 weeks till launch. Can we not break a 1000? 
Registration here.

ArcGIS v QGIS: An Educators Perspective

Best I can tell the piece is by Andrew Miles, a UK-based PhD student "studying coastal processes with a passion for GIS, cartography and all things spatial." The author makes no mention of the ICA-OSGeo "Geo for All" initiative nor the free materials developed to teach QGIS from FOSS4G Academy.

Student Leaves Kinesthiology, Chooses Geomatics Engineering

The Weal, a school newspaper, profiles a woman studying geomatics engineering at its home, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, SAIT.
It took three years of university for [Erin] Terpstra to discover her unknown talents, which would lead her to SAIT’s geomatics engineering technology program.
Terpstra is in her first semester of the program, where she is one of five females in a class of 60 students.
When asked how it felt to be part of a minority that makes up less than 10 per cent of the program’s population, Terpstra said that she was not surprised there were only five females in the program.
She said that the geomatics engineering program is not well known to women, and she thinks that there are misconceptions surrounding what one can pursue after completing post-secondary schooling.
Do articles like this help "sell" our field to students?