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Thursday, August 13, 2015

GIS Education Weekly: Authoritative Story Maps, GIS in Ecology, Michael Jordan

Authoritative Story Map?

Early this week I read about a story map via a tweet.
http://gmattis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapJournal/index.html?appid=f14a2db655df43d7b213e61d09e91818 … Climates of Africa as an @EsriStoryMaps Incredible teaching resource! #maps #esri
Part of map and legend from the story map
It looks great and I'm sure educators will think of interesting ways to use it both in and out of class. Still,  I'm uncomfortable with the story map because I do not know who created it and why. There is no "About" tab or metadata. I try to teach my students to evaluate websites and data and to use those considered "authoritative." I try to do so, too.

I'm Web savvy, so I did some digging on the story map. I know the prefix in the URL (in this case "gmattis") in ArcGIS Online is typically the owner's name. Some searches led me to a bio for a Greg Mattis, an Academic Sales Representative at Esri. I guess he made it. But why? And when it was first published?

Later in the week I saw another tweet pointing to an educational story map.
Students can learn all about Iran with this @EsriStoryMaps Story Map : http://www.arcgis.com/apps/MapTour/index.html?appid=bfab514df6b3441ebb93d673aa647323 … #geography
That one, I'm pleased to report included not only the author's name, but also his e-mail address. He's an MGIS student at Chicago State University. Cool!

I really hope vanilla ArcGIS Online and the story map templates provide easy to populate fields to publish this sort of information. And, I hope anyone teaching Web map creation emphasizes putting one's name on one's work!


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Wealthiest Geographer?

The old joke when I started working was "Who's the richest geographer?" Most folks thought it was Jack Dangermond. Most likely it's Michael Jordan. He reminded the world of that during a Q & A at his basketball camp this week. The questioner asked what he'd do if he couldn't play basketball or baseball. His reply:
Great question. I went to college. I got my degree in cultural geography, and everybody wanted to know what is cultural geography. It's an introduction to meteorology. I always wanted to be the weatherman. Don't laugh, it's funny but, that's what I really wanted to do. So if I wasn't playing basketball or baseball, I was going to tell you what the weather was going to be like tomorrow.
Other sources covering the story suggest his degree is in coastal geography.  I think it's a transcription error.

Education Master Site License holders -- My Esri and AGOL named user accounts

A lengthy set of questions from Stuart Foote, Univ of Texas at San Antonio, are answered on GeoNet by Esri customer service. The Esri Ed team comments, too.

GeoMentor Count: 500

The AAG GeoMentors twitter account announces 500 people have signed on to the Esri/AAG effort. There is no word on how many have teamed up with a teacher or after school program.

GIS in Ecology
Graphic illustrating GIS layers from the Intro book

I read on Twitter about gisinecology.com, described as "GIS-based lessons in #gis #ecology." Indeed it is!

It offers some basic Q&A about GIS and method of teaching GIS referred to as Task-Oriented Learning (TOL). The key bits for educators are an intro book (An Introduction To Using GIS In Marine Biology (2nd Edition)) and seven other books of marine biology focused GIS exercises. Most are based on ArcGIS but the latest book, published in May of this year, uses QGIS.

National Conference for Geographic Education Recap

I mistakenly asserted last week that the hashtag for the NCGE event was #NCGE2015. Lots of people were using #NCGE100 and others tagged @NCGE1915. I checked all of those for recaps detailing what attendees learned or hoped to implement in their classes. I posted a request for such posts on Twitter. Sadly, I did not find anything to share... yet.

I did find lots of tweet about "great speeches" and who won which awards. Ralph Nader apparently gave a great speech  and honored Jack Dangermond.

Seven Steps to Finding the Right Geography PhD Program

Justin Holman offer the steps in a blog post. The request was about finding a GIS PhD program, but perhaps the issues are the same. After reading the steps and thinking back on it, I'm very happy with my MS. H/T to Joshua S Campbell (disruptivegeo).