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Thursday, January 15, 2015

GIS Education Weekly: Esri ConnectED Update, Geodesign, International Map Year

Esri ConnectED Schools: 1000

States and Districts in the Conterminous U.S.
with Esri Education Licenses. Alaska and
Hawaii both have statewide licenses.
In a blog post Esri's Charlie Fitzpatrick provides an update on Esri's ConnectED program which promises ArcGIS Online for Organizations accounts to most every K-12 formal or informal educational organization in the U.S. Fun with GIS 171: Lighthouses shares that since launch in mid-2014 about 1000 educational organizations are on the map. The "lighthouses" in the title refer to what I'd call "reference implementations" or "cases studies" where those new to the use of ArcGIS Online might get some inspiration or guidance. All of the organizations, lighthouses, GeoMentors, requests for GeoMentors and more are on a story map. Fitzpatrick walked through resources for ConnectED users and supporters in a previous post.

Geospatial Projects High Schoolers to Intel Science Talent Search Semifinals 

Two Sayville (NY) High School students who used geospatial technology in their projects are semifinalists in the Intel Science Talent Search.

Nicholas Robert Cowan's and Emily Grace Faughnan's projects are, respectively “Geospatial Modeling to Predict Potential Natural Range Expansion of the Eastern Coyote, Canis latrans, in Suffolk County, New York” and ”A Geospatial Trends of Missing and Exploited Children in the New England and New York Metropolitan Region, USA”

GeoTech Center News

Introduction to 3D Web Scene Creation with LIDAR Data
In this introductory workshop [30 min Wednesday, January 21 at 2:00 PM Eastern]
, we will introduce the National Map Viewer as a way of acquiring LIDAR data. Participants will learn how to manipulate LIDAR data, create 3D visualizations using LIDAR data, and publish visualizations to ArcGIS Online as 3D Web Scene. Participants need an ArcGIS for organization account and ArcScene (with 3D analyst extension) in order to complete the exercise.
The National GeoTech Center will be presenting monthly free webinars on the third Wednesday of each month at 2:00 PM Eastern time.

2015 Undergraduate Geospatial Technology Skills Competition

This year finalists will go to the GIS-Pro & NWGIS 2015 Conference as URISA is a sponsor. New this year (see last year's rules in PDF):
  • no test, projects only
  • longer videos
  • two and four year geo students welcome
  • Esri and other tech welcome in projects
  • winners go to URISA GIS-Pro Conference not Esri UC
Last year's contest was ultimately cancelled. I for one asked for a fresh start for 2015 and am happy to say this is a fresh start.

GeoMOOC News

From Phil Davis re QGIS MOOC:
We are at 1000+ now enrolled and one month to go. The geographical distribution is literally all over the map (globe) with entries from all continents. The majority from North America and EU followed by South America and Far East.
Going Places with Spatial Analysis MOOC

Registration is open for the Esri MOOC (March 4–April 15, 2015) via @JospehKerski

More UK Students Study Geography
Student numbers for geography have been rising for the last five years with 225,000 sitting a GCSE in the subject and 55,600 taking an A-level in 2014
Among other things, the suggests, studying geography helped the students get into college!

Wanted: $500,000 Geodesign Professor
Given our [Geography, Planning & Recreation] department’s initial efforts with geodesign education and research, we are spreading the word about an amazing opportunity for an accomplished researcher who may wish to relocate to Flagstaff, Arizona. Northern Arizona University is asking for nominations for a “$500K Candidate” who might fit well with “existing faculty research programs and/or centers”.
For the naive like me, the descriptor refers to someone who can bring in $500,000 for research funding per year.

It's International Map Year
International Map Year is supported by the United Nations Initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) and the UN Regional Cartographic Conference.
It's another opportunity to tell the world about the value of maps - sort of a longer and more international GeoWeek/GIS Day. It's even got a hashtag:

Grants for FOSS4G NA

These are not travel grants but do offer free registration and hotel for those who otherwise could not attend. A good percentage (60%) are set aside for women and minorities. I should thinks students and educators are good candidates.

Vermont High Schoolers Map to Respond to Ebola

Jarlath O'Neil-Dunne of the University of Vermont shares his experience involving high schoolers in OpenStreetMap work supporting ebola response efforts.

Visualoop's Favorite 100 Maps of 2014

The list from Visualoop the authors point out, is not really the best maps, but their favorites of the ones the website covered in 2014. The list and some other highlights from the year are interesting to explore, nonetheless.
It sure took us some time, but here it is: the list with our 100 favorite interactive maps of 2014. And as it happened with our selection of interactive visualizations, you’ll see here projects that were chosen among the thousands highlighted week after week, in our Digital Cartography round ups. So, this is not the “best maps of 2014″, since we are not taking in consideration the ones that we didn’t feature on Visualoop.
MapStory is Finalist in Connected Learning Challenge on Trust

MapStory is a finalist in the The Trust Challenge, the fifth Digital Media and Learning Competition. I've not heard of it, but  I've heard of the supporter: the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The challenge is
an open, international invitation to museums, libraries, school districts, schools, community organizations, app developers, researchers, colleges and universities, and other institutional/organizational partners willing to create collaborations or alliances that address existing real-world challenges to trust in connected learning environments.
MapStory's proposal is titled Establishing trust and civility within the MapStory ecosystem and it was selected as a finalist, along with more than two dozen others. There's $1.2M in grants available, including small $5K ones for people's choice winners. MapStory asks that you vote for its project by January 20th. You vote by clicking a heart icon; it's one vote per proposal per IP address best I can tell.

GIS Money via Energy Grant
Casper College will work to address Wyoming’s energy industry workforce needs, according to Lesley Travers, dean for the Casper College School of Business and Industry after receiving a recent grant totaling nearly 2.5 million. The eight programs to receive funding from the grant are welding, extractive technology, diesel power, geology, electronics, GIS, process technology, and renewable energy, specifically wind.
The grant is part of the Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training from the U.S.  Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration. There were six applicants for the grant.

Esri Edu Busy in South East Asia

Singapore high school students used mobile devices with ArcGIS to gather data on what makes their region important as a tourist destination. The success of the project is encouraging further use of GIS.
Due to the success of their inquiry-based activity, Mdm Rosmiliah said there were plans in place to extend the use of ArcGIS beyond the topic of tourism in geography, to other topics such as weather, climate and plate tectonics.
And, in Indonesia:
Several of the country’s most respected universities have signed a landmark agreement with leading geospatial solutions provider Esri Indonesia to provide students with broad access to advanced smart mapping technology.
New Rice University Geolibriran 

Kathy Weimer is the new head of the Kelley Center for Government Info, Data & Geospatial Services at Fondren Library at Rice University says Twitter and the org chart.

New USGIF Accredited University GEOINT Programs

USGIF announced this week that Fayetteville State University (FSU) and the University of South Carolina (USC) are now among its accredited GEOINT programs. That means the schools are accredited and students who complete the degree programs receive a USGIF certificate. To date 477 students have such certificates. FSU is one of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the U.S.

ASU Team Evaluates Navajo Chapter Planning Efforts
In 1998, the Navajo government passed the Local Governance Act, a piece of legislation that for the first time gave significant governing authority to the nation’s local jurisdictions, called chapters.
A key provision of the act was to allow the chapters to administer and manage the lands within their jurisdictions, and produce community land use plans. This was an innovation – a first effort among U.S. Native governments to decentralize their planning efforts while still linking planning to the central tribal government.
In 2012, ASU’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning received a contract to evaluate this new planning approach, and after two years of work a final report was distributed in December 2014.
Among those involved were seven students. Among the report recommendations: the use of GIS.

PolicyMap at Delaware
The University of Delaware Library has announced the availability of PolicyMap, a cloud-based data and mapping platform that facilitates the analyses of large amounts of data and quickly displays the data through maps, tables, charts and reports.
PolicyMap is available from the library databases web page or directly at this site.
I've been a fan of PolicyMap for some time.

Clark State OK'd for Drone Flight

Clark State Community College in Ohio is the latest school to get the OK from the FAA to fly drones as part of its precision agriculture program.
Locally, Sinclair Community College, Wright State University and Ohio State University have all received permission from the FAA to fly drones in research and testing missions in Springfield, Wilmington, Fairborn and other places.
Yale Digital Humanities Grant
Yale University Library has received a $3 million award from the Goizueta Foundation to launch a Digital Humanities Laboratory in Sterling Memorial Library.
The award, which the Library received in late November and announced mid-December, will fund the lab’s facilities and new equipment, such as a small lab of computers, specialized software such as a technology that identifies the language of scanned text, Geospatial Information Systems and digitization equipment to turn out-of-copyright books into digital texts for research purposes. But the new equipment is “secondary” to the increased collaboration among expert faculty from various fields which the new space will foster, said Peter Leonard, librarian for digital humanities research. 
Yale recently lost its GIS guy, Stace Maples, to Stanford.

Rankings of Graduate Geography Departments

Justin Holman is at it again with his 2015 Rankings – Top Graduate Geography Programs for Spatial Careers. My suggestion on picking a program: talk to lots of folks teaching in, learning in and who have graduated from the programs of interest.