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Thursday, July 30, 2015

GIS Education Weekly: MapLift, GeoAcademy, Programming Languages

MapLift: Enhance your Resume and Do Good
This summer, we want your help in building maps for Wikipedia! Join mapmakers from around the planet for the first ever MapLift, organized by NACIS and the FixWikiMaps Project. From August 28th through September 4th, our collection of volunteers will be contributing their skills to upgrade existing Wikipedia maps and make new ones. It’s a great way to celebrate International Map Year!
This sounds like a great project for individuals, classes and others to use to enhance skills and help make Wikipedia maps better. Details of who, what, when etc. are on the NACIS project page.


If you'd like to receive the GIS education news weekly via e-mail, sign up here! And, please share the link with others involved in GIS teaching and learning! To my knowledge this is the only resource of its kind.

Top Programming Languages

The IEEE Spectrum offers a list of the current top programing languages based on data from GitHub, CareerBuilder and eight other sources. Among the top ten are C (1st), Python (4th) and R (6th). There's also a Web app (99 cents) that will change the weightings and offer filters for specific uses/industries.

Chicago's Harper College to Launch GIS Certificate Program 
Starting in September, Harper [College] will launch a Geographic Information Systems certificate program that can be completed within a year.
The community college on the northside of Chicago offers a hybrid certificate program: a mix of in-person and online instruction. William Rainey Harper, I learned, was one of the pioneers in the junior college movement. I know him as the first president of the University of Chicago, where the undergraduate library bears his name. While Harper College has a geography department, the University of Chicago closed its department in 1986, the year I graduated.

ArcGIS for Home Use Edition Now Includes All of ArcGIS Platform

I saw several tweets about an expansion of the ArcGIS for Home offering last week during Esri UC. The product page details that for $100 (one year license, noncommercial use, U.S. only, download only) users receive:
  • ArcGIS for Desktop Advanced (ArcMap and ArcGIS Pro)
  • The most popular ArcGIS for Desktop extensions
  • ArcGIS for Desktop software updates
  • ArcGIS Online Named User Account
  • 100 service credits for data storage, premium data access, and geocoding and analysis
  • A suite of ready-to-use apps for use anywhere, on any device
  • A Living Atlas of the World with maps and data, including access to foundation content from Esri, on thousands of topics
  • Installation support
The full details are here. Physical media cost another $20.00 (U.S. only). If you are teaching yourself or teaching a MOOC, this license could be a cost effective way to go.

New Maps Plus Advisory Board

The University of Kentucky graduate program called New Maps Plus starts this fall. The newly appointed Advisory Board includes lots of familiar academic and professional cartographers names!

Open Source Story/Tour App
The Battle of Atlanta: History and Remembrance is a collaborative project of the Emory Center for Digital Scholarship (ECDS) and Robert W. Woodruff Library. It is built using OpenTourBuilder, a free and open-source software developed by the ECDS in partnership with a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
OpenTourBuilder's underlying technology includes Django, Twitter Bootstrap, jQuery Mobile and the Google Maps APIs.

The software, and this implementation, is meant to be used on a phone while traveling to the sites, so it's not as slick on a desktop.

An Educator Makes an Esri UC Story Map

Don Boyes from the University of Toronto made a story map of his trip to San Diego for Esri UC and Esri EdUC. I (@adenas) challenged him to reflect on the effort via Twitter.
.@donboyes #Reflection assignment: What did you learn making this story map? What do you want viewers to learn? #gised
I think those are important questions to have students consider when creating any sort of map. Boyes offered his reflections via this blog post.

Reminder: story map is two words. I have to check each time, but I'm learning.

GeoAcademy GIS Certificate Launches in September

The GeoAcademy GIS training program announced a new Fundamentals in Geospatial Technology Using QGIS Certificate beginning in September 2015. It's all online and consists of five courses, offered in 8-week semesters over a total of 10 months (September 2015—June 2016). The project-based activities tap open source software including QGIS, GRASS, Inkscape, and others.

Each course is US$336; the complete certificate is US$1680. Course grades are documented as workforce education units (CEU) but graduates can petition Del Mar College to convert them to academic credit for a fee of $55 USD per course. You must contact the organizer directly to enroll; the e-mail address is on the website.

Intro to GitHub for GIS Webinar

The Mid-America GIS Consortium (MAGIC) offers a free webinar July 31, 2015 from 9:00AM - 10:30AM.
GitHub is a primary tool in today's coding landscape for managing and sharing files, typically code. Developers across the world use GitHub to share projects and work collaboratively to create original work and also to improve upon the work of others. This webinar will describe the main features of GitHub and demonstrate how it can be used inside a GIS Department to share code, documents, and geographic data. The webinar will last about an hour with time afterwards for questions.
UW Madison Details Drone Policy
UW-Madison has established a new policy for the use of aerial drones (unmanned aircraft, also known as UAS and UAV) on UW-Madison property or where university-affiliated activities occur. Administration of the policy is coordinated through the Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration, with support from University Relations, University Communications, the Office of Legal Affairs, Facilities Planning and Management, Risk Management, the UW-Madison Police Department, and University Marketing.
via Wisconsin State Cartographer's Office

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