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Thursday, January 29, 2015

GIS Education Weekly: Landsat, JMU, QGIS Course

Landsat image Finder Libra
Tool to Find and Download Landsat Images

Libra, from DevelopmentSeed, "allows you to browse, sort, and download more than 275 Terabytes of open Landsat imagery as easily as booking an Uber." Note that there's no "help"but you can probably figure how how to use it. That's a slick UI!

JMU's Geospatial Semester Recognized by State Math and Science Coalition
A James Madison University outreach program that gives high school seniors an experience similar to what they will face in college or on a job has been recognized as a "2015 Program that Works" by The Virginia Mathematics and Science Coalition. 
JMU's Geospatial Semester was one of 10 programs recognized by the coalition at events this week in Richmond. The awards recognize exemplary science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs that make a positive impact on student or teacher learning. To be considered for the award, programs must be at least two years old, must include an evaluation component, and must demonstrate that they are sustainable and can be replicated by others.
USGIF Scholarships

Doctoral, graduate, undergraduate or graduating high school senior studying geospatial intelligence or related topics can apply for the USGIF Scholarship Program. Applications are due April 20.

Online Course News

Digital Earth MOOC Coming in March

Elmhurst College's Skills for the Digital Earth MOOC is scheduled to run from March 1 to March 28, 2015 with registration beginning on February 2, 2015.

North River Geographic Takes its QGIS Course Online

It's a self-paced course from R. J. Hale. You can read details but here's the short version:
It’s priced at $140 and it should take you a day to get through it. The entire goal of this class is to be familiar with QGIS when you are done.
Meanwhile,  On Campus


The Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s Minnesota Crop Research Grant Program awarded Northland Community & Technical College nearly $250,000. The project titled, “Digital Imagery, Precision Agriculture”, will use tech and unmanned aerial systems to increase yield efficiencies and promote “green” agricultural practices.

Research: How Twitter Impacted Ebola Perceptions

Kent State's Eric Shook, assistant professor of geography in the College of Arts and Sciences and director of the school’s High Performance Computing and GIS Lab, is principal investigator for  a $41,200 National Science Foundation grant. The study will explore what social media activity on Twitter reveals about perceptions of last fall’s Ebola scare and how perceptions influenced behavior.

ArcGIS Textbook

Dr Bradley Shellito from Youngstown State University authored a new textbook: Discovering GIS and ArcGIS. It's roughly 600 pages and costs $120. Esri's Joseph Kerksi explains what comes with  the book:
  • exercise data "conveniently hosted" on the publisher’s site
  • high resolution images for instructor use
  • a test bank
  • solutions to exercises
Amazon Textbook Solution

A bit late to the party, Amazon announced a solution last week.
Retail giant Amazon wants to attract more academics to self-publish their textbooks through the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) program, and on Thursday, the company announced KDP EDU, a division of that program focused on education. 
The textbook self-publishers will use the Kindle Textbook Creator to convert work into Kindle app readable files. The app runs on most smartphones, tablet and computers. Students cab highlight text, add notes and look up definitions. I wrote about the future of textbooks earlier this week.