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Thursday, July 7, 2016

GIS Education Weekly: Geo for All and the United Nations, Parrot's Drone Education Program

United Nations Explores GeoAcademy Curriculum with Help from Geo for All

Two weeks ago news crossed my desk describing uptake of the GeoAcademy curriculum for training UN staff in its move from proprietary to open source GIS. Maria Antonia Brovelli, Vice Rector for Como Campus and GIS Professor, Politecnico di Milano who leads a UN capacity building working group, which has support from Geo for All volunteers, made a statement.
...a voluntary team of people of our GEO4ALL network are working in a capacity building project related to a migration of UN staff from proprietary to OS software. The team revised the tutorial and will start the first experiment with the QGIS GeoAcademy tutorial.
I contacted Brovelli to get some context. She explained that the "UN OpenGIS Initiative aims at developing an enterprise GIS system using free and open source geospatial solutions in support of UN Peace Operations." The Geo for All volunteers are working to provide "suitable training packages for UN staff on open source geospatial technologies." The news, then, is about the first step in this capacity building:
As the first step, it was decided to conduct training program as a virtual class for UN Staff, which is an on-line course as self-training with the help of G4A tutors, using some free and open source selected tutorials. The virtual class training courses will cover various subjects such as QGIS, PostGIS, GeoNode, GeoServer and OpenLayers. UN Staff will directly access training material through the free and open source ‘Beep Platform’ of Politecnico di Milano and could also be communicated with Tutors. The first course for the virtual class is chosen for QGIS GeoAcademy. The virtual class will be started in the second half of September 2016.

Parrot Announces Drone Education Program

On June 27, Parrot Drones announced Parrot Education, which "supports accredited academic and non-profit institutions to enable the adoption of drone use in the classroom, lab, and field. Resources include educational discounts, multi-drone teaching bundles, software applications, curriculum partners for instructional resources, educational news, and sponsorships." (press release on LinkedIn)

It's also worth noting that the company teamed with other education players on the initiative:


The National Council for Geographic Education is offering a one-day "AP Human Geography Teacher Workshop for New and Experienced Teachers" Thursday, July 28, 2016 in Tampa. It's $200 stand alone or $99 if you are also attended the annual conference.

PBS' American Experience offers an Engineering Map of America (powered by HistoryPin, powered by Google). h/t Josh from SRR

GST 101 Completion Badge
Those who complete a GeoAcademy course can now claim the respective GeoBadge from the American Geographical Society.

Teachers Take Flight With the DaVinci Challenge is an effort to teach teachers about building drones. The educators then take their knowledge back to their students. Among this year's class is Jon Caris, Spatial Analysis Lab Director for Smith College.  Registration for this year (course is July 11-15 in Virginia) closes Friday if all twelve slots are not yet filled. Caris is featured in a local TV exploration of the current regulations and uses for drones.

Calestous Juma (‏@calestous), Professor of the Practice of International Development at the Harvard Kennedy School and friend of GIS, will host a Twitterchat on July 8 on the topic of his forthcoming book: Innovation and Its Enemies: Why People Resist New Technologies.

Profiles in GIS

The Press-Enterprise profiled the University of Redlands GIS program as part of its User Conference coverage.

The Times-Call profiled Ian Feinhandler, a geography professor at Front Range Community College in Longmont, Colorado.


Stace Maples (@mapninja) tweeted:
w00t! I can allocate credits as I invite new users in @ArcGISOnline now! #badass

Discussion on Esri's HigherEd-L (subscription required) highlighted when to upgrade to a new ArcGIS for Desktop release for classes and past and future changes regarding site licenses. On the latter, Ann Johnson shared:
The meeting at Esri on Site Licenses said it [StreetMap Premium] was not included. The same for the Drone2Map.  Coming over the next 18 months is Modernization of Licenses with a huge increase of credits. There should be a letter and other info coming soon. 
Worth Reading