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Thursday, February 4, 2016

GIS Education Weekly: Has All the Buzz Gone out of Geo-MOOCs?

Response to Coursera GIS Specialization

I was excited to learn of the Coursera GIS specialization I wrote about last week. I thought it was big news. But at least with my community of readers, it isn't. Web and social media searches turn up few mentions and suggest either the news has not reached too far or it's just not worth sharing.

I wonder if we are post Geo-MOOC. I wonder if other MOOCs are sucking the oxygen out of this program. I wonder if the lack of marketing from Coursera and/or UC Davis limited reach of the news. I wonder if there is less demand for an ArcGIS for Desktop specialization than expected. I wonder if the "fee" is making this a non-starter. I wonder if the potential for the credential to help with job prospects is slim.

Another Look at the Future of Geospatial

NGAC, the National Geospatial Advisory Committee, identifies key trends that will define the geospatial industry in the future. It's a 10 page PDF from December titled The Changing Geospatial Landscape: A Second Look.


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GIS in the News: Flint Mapping its Lead Pipes

UMichigan Flint is doing the work of mapping the city water lines to address the lead issue. The data will also help identify potential areas with higher lead concentrations which may in turn be linked to worse health outcomes. 

In sea of satellite images, experts' eyes still needed

Raechel A. Bianchetti, Assistant Professor of Geography, Michigan State University wrote about moving from beginner to expert in photo interpretation at The Conversation. It's interesting material about teaching and learning and remote sensing.

It's also a nice introduction to the U.S. pilot of The Conversation, a "an independent source of news and views from the academic and research community, delivered direct to the public." I know the UK version, and quite like it. All the content is under CC. Penn State is as founding partner.

World Population History

Vox introduced the  interactive map at WorldPopulationHistory.org this past week. It's a complex resource that enables zooming in time and space. The data are updated for 2015. Educators will want to check out this page with some teaching resources including lesson plans.


Geolode is a collaborative catalog of open geodata websites around the world. It was launched at FOSS4G 2014 to help bring order to the chaos of the web by collecting and organizing information about websites that distribute geospatial data.

A List of Visualization Tools
Datavisualization.ch Selected Tools is a collection of tools that we, the people behind Datavisualization.ch, work with on a daily basis and recommend warmly. This is not a list of everything out there, but instead a thoughtfully curated selection of our favourite tools that will make your life easier creating meaningful and beautiful data visualizations.
Via @geoparadigm

UGA Community Mapping Lab is Online 

The University of Georgia's Community Mapping Lab now has a website up and running!
We are a collaborative group of students and faculty focused on visualizing spatial data in ways that empower communities, shape understanding of important issues, and have an impact on public policy. We do so by engaging in collaborative research with groups outside the university, participating in broader conversations on emerging trends in cartography, and designing pop up classes for GIS and mapping software. The lab is housed within the Department of Geography at the University of Georgia. We also have ties to the Housing and Demographic Research Center and the Center for Community Design & Preservation at UGA.
Lots of cool tools to play with!

Mapping Zika

Educators might find these valuable to explore the disease or cartography.
Where Zika was first identified,
 and named: Uganda (Frontline)

There's some commentary on these and others from Maps Mania and The Map Room.

Geo for All News

Geo For All is now officially the educational outreach initiative of OSGeo.

The group announced labs 108 and 109:

Geo for All is looking for "strong global participation for the fourth edition of the NASA Europa challenge. The aim of this challenge is to inspire ideas for building great applications that serves the INSPIRE Directive and uses NASA’s open source virtual globe technology World Wind." The challenge:
Simply build a great application that serves some aspect of the OpenCitySmart design and uses NASA's open source virtual globe technology, WebWorldWind.
Deadline: July 1. Via Geo for All listserve.

Esri GIS Education News

MAGIP includes GIS Education Track

The Montana Association of Geographic Information Professionals (MAGIP) is hosting the 2016 MAGIP Intermountain GIS Conference, April 4 – 7 in Great Falls, MT. Joseph J. Kerski, Ph.D., Education Manager with Esri, will be speaking on the theme "Why GIS? Five Converging Trends." There's a special education track as well as special student pricing.

ArcGIS Online/LMS Integration

There's a thread on the topic of integrating ArcGIS Online into learning management systems on HigherEd-L. Bottom line: At this time Esri is not actively looking at integration via Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) but is open to input.

New Esri Canada Centres of Excellence
Esri Canada... named the University of New Brunswick (UNB) and York University (York) to its growing network of GIS Centres of Excellence in Higher Education.
According to the press release both schools will use it within engineering, among other areas. I did a Q&A about the centres in 2014, when the initiative was announced.

Esri DIY Apps MOOC Stats Update

22,000 registered via @m0gould It started Wednesday.

New Learn ArcGIS Lesson Features ArcGIS Pro for GEOINT
Actionable Intelligence is a new Learn ArcGIS lesson that shows you how military intelligence analysts, during their first field training exercise in California, use ArcGIS Pro to identify and locate the insurgents firing rockets at their base.
Via blog post

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