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Thursday, April 7, 2016

GIS Education Weekly: Geo for All Plans to Expand Reach, What Students in GIS are Doing

Geo for All to Work with other GIS Education Proponents

Geo for All Logo
A thread on the newly renamed Geo for All mailing list addresses concerns about the group's singular focus on open principles and software to the exclusion of proprietary ones. It's worth reading but the upshot is that there is indeed an opportunity for Geo for All to reach out to, communicate with and perhaps work with organizations such as Esri and AAG who are helping to grow GIS and geography education. As of today, Geo for All is looking for some leadership for this effort. The phrase “More People Making Maps That Matter,” was a suggested rallying cry.


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What GIS Students are Doing

GIS is required of all juniors at West Career and Technical Academy in Las Vegas, NV. Instructor Jeff Gromny limits the class to 30 and uses ArcGIS. The students seem to like that learning GIS is not "book work" but rather, "hands on." The school district gave the magnet school $17,000 to cover the GIS licensing fees. It also sends the students school district projects to tackle.

Stokes Nature Center hosted a spring break camp called Mapmakers. The seven boys (ages 8-11) who attended learned about using GPS receivers, went geocaching and were expected to complete a story mapping activity.

Map of "dropouts" built with
Kore's online tool
Akshay Kore, a design student design at Indian Institute of Technology Bombay created MumbaiData.in "a map-based, interactive tool that helps you visualise the city’s spaces through a number of different lenses, with land use data from the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM)." It's built on Google Maps. Per an article on the project, he got the idea as an intern who had to overlay data "by hand."

The University of Redlands service learning project “Mapping Redlands Neighborhoods,”made the front page of the local paper.

The Front Range Community College (FRCC) Boulder County Campus GIS Department is sponsoring a Humanitarian Mapathon on April 13. Volunteers from the FRCC student body, faculty and the public will map buildings, roads and waterways in Binga, Zimbabwe to support flood resilience projects.

AAG 2016

Jack Dangermond highlighted this year as the International Year of Global Understanding. The designation was made back in 2013 and the kick off was in February of this year. I confess that I've not heard of the organizations behind the event: The International Council for Science (ICSU), the International Social Science Council (ISSC) and International Council for Philosophy and Human Sciences (CIPSH).

Andrew Shears curated content about the costs of the AAG meeting. I noted the petition to the AAG he started to host the annual meeting at less expensive cities last week.

Esri's Dawn Wright (‏@deepseadawntweeted from the AAG conference:
Jack Dangermond announces another $1 million from @esri for geoinquiry activities, another $100K grant to @theAAG #AAG2016
Teaching and Learning: Resources, Tools and Deadlines

The Geo4All Webinars page has been updated.  Links to archived webinars are here (click on the "download" button to view). There is currently one webinar archived on the Geo4All YouTube channel. It'd be great if there was a single page with links to all the videos.

The Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH), the Big Cities Health Coalition (BCHC), and partners offer an introduction to the new Big Cities Health Inventory (BCHI) data platform built on Socrata, in a webinar today at 1pm EDT. The platform, a resource for the public health research community, holds more than 12,000 data points covering more than 30 health indicators.

The CartoDB map gallery now offers a map of Percent White by County for the U.S. It's an interesting map to have students explore and analyze.

The deadline for the 2016 Undergraduate Geospatial Technology Skills Competition is April 29th.

The deadline for USGIF scholarship applications is April 22.

via Alice Keeler, CC
As of April, all Earth imagery from the complete 16-plus-year database of Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) instrument is available to users everywhere at no cost.

Depth of knowledge, DOK, is a concept in education related to how students can apply new ideas. I think this discussion and graphic will be very helpful for educators and students.

Jeff Howarth, from Middlebury College, keeps popping up. This week Diana Sinton noted his article in Cartographic Perspectives, Learning by Solving Problems: Cognitive Load Theory and the Re-Design of an Introductory GIS Course. Worth reading.

Quartz looks at the home states of accepted college students. It turns out: "a student’s home state can be the deciding factor between who is in and who’s out." Sadly, there are no maps, but basically, the fewer folks in your state, the better your chances.

A new study looks at faculty compensation. None of the authors were geographers. Bottom line per Inside Higher Ed:
In the end, full-time faculty members at large urban institutions made the most in monetary compensation, at $104,624, and those at rural, medium-size institutions made the least, at $84,720. Faculty members, regardless of location, also benefited from collective bargaining, to the tune of $21,010 in one year, on average.
Rebeckah Flowers of Directions Magazine recaps a presentation from its Drone Flying Free event by Chris Cruz about teaching with UASs.

California State University, Chico's Geographical Information Center and the Department of Geography and Planning hosted a GIS fair on Tuesday (press release). SUNY Cortland held a recruitment event this week, too. These are examples of how schools are marketing their geospatial education offerings.

Quote of the Week

This request to "cheat" in a GIS course from Reddit/GIS could be a hoax. Still, I'm pleased to report (as I go to press) no one has taken the bait and several have noted the request is unethical and prevents the individual from learning. Interestingly, this person confirms current GIS employment. 
I have this final lab due for my GIS class and i don't understand any of the assignments (there are 4 listed you just have to do 1). looking to pay someone $100 bucks to complete the assignment for me. It makes no sense and is a total headache. im sure any GIS expert can knock it out real fast for some easy $. let me know!
Esri Education GIS News

A special Science Symposium will be held Tuesday afternoon of the 2016 Esri Education GIS Conference and Esri User Conference. The Science Symposium will include a keynote address by Margaret Leinen, Director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Q&A and a reception.

The latest edition of GIS Tutorial 1: Basic Workbook (10.3.x) is now available in digital format; the print version is available for pre-order and will be available in May. If I understand correctly, this version includes a new chapter on Network Analyst but does not include trial software.

Esri's Charlie Fitzpatrick blogged about Minnesota's middle and high school ArcGIS Online map competition and suggests it might be a model for other states and GIS education proponents. Sponsors include Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium, Minnesota Department of Education, Minnesota Alliance for Geographic Education (MAGE),  and Esri. Ten individual or team winners will each receive $100. All participants (and their teachers) will receive t-shirts. Maps are due May 27.