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Thursday, December 8, 2016

GIS Education Weekly: Cutting a Globe to Teach About Projections


Andy Woodruff suggests this is the best of the recent articles (from Vox) aimed at the public about map projections. h/t @m0gould

In the U.S. cutting a globe is protected speech.

Academia.edu (open access): Concept Maps as a Tool to Analyse College Students' Knowledge of Geospatial Concepts. The study looked at the changes in student's concept maps after a  introductory-level GIS course.

arXiv: The Effect of Pokemon Go on The Pulse of the City: A Natural Experiment (pdf): "We found a significant effect of Pokemon Go on the floating population of Santiago: up to 13.8% more people being outside at certain times, even 
if they do not seem to go out of their usual way."

Washington Post: Six maps that show the anatomy of America’s vast infrastructure. The maps show electric, pipeline, bridge, airports, rail and ports/inland waterways.

Google offers Timelapse, "a global, zoomable video that lets you see how the Earth has changed over the past 32 years. It is made from 33 cloud-free annual mosaics, one for each year from 1984 to 2016, which are made interactively explorable by Carnegie Mellon University CREATE Lab's Time Machine library, a technology for creating and viewing zoomable and pannable timelapses over space and time." The Christian Science Monitor has a first look. h/t Neil Havermale on LinkedIn

The Conversation: Interactive body map: physical inactivity and the risks to your health

The OC RegisterWhat happened to geography? A CSUF expert offers some answers Brian McCabe, a Cal State Fullerton geography alumnus and lecturer in the university’s Department of Geography has the answer.

The Irish TimesGeography and third-level education: the strong link "Why do some regions send far more students to university than others?"

@theaag announces: SAVE THE DATE: #AAGChat on Careers in Geography! 1/12/17, 3-4pm EST. Learn about our Jobs in Geography Ctr & more! http://bit.ly/2gl9VQl

Programs, Degrees, and Courses

Orlando's Adventist University of Health Sciences will open the Center for Population Health Research Center focusing on the application of GIS to medical geography research. I made the connection that this university, like Loma Linda University Medical School, just up the road from Esri, is a Seventh Day Adventist school.

Rutgers Geo Logo
Western New Mexico University is offering ArcGIS, I think for the first time, next semester. Intro to GIS 361/363 course is expected to run each semester. The school is also looking for funding for access to software off-campus.

Learn ArcGIS in a four-session, Thursday-evening course in New Brunswick, NJ in February 2017. Instructors hail from Rutgers University and the NJ Office of GIS. Cost: $900.

The University of Wisconsin Cartography Lab has joined Geo For All. It's the 113th educational organization member.

Symbiosis Institute of Geoinformatics (Pune, India) notes its "100% campus placement record for all its qualified and eligible students since its inception" in a press release.

The Eastern Kentucky Board of Regents decided to cut degrees in French and comparative humanities, geography gets to stay, with a redesign to become more “marketable and efficient.”


Anthony Quartararo recaps last month's Geography 2050 hosted by the American Geographical Society (AGS). Of note:

  • "... there does not seem to be an effective critical mass moving forward, together, on any single issue" 
  • Boundless sponsored a group of AP Human Geography teachers from around the country to attend. They were enamored with OpenStreetMap. I'm hopeful AGS will follow up with them to get OSM activities into their classrooms! 
  • Quartararo and other councilors spoke to students at Hunter College.


The University of Minnesota is running its annual drive to raise money for its Master of Geographic Information Science Annual Fund.

Wallace E. “Mac” McIntyre, a Clark University graduate, this fall made a $1 million gift to the Graduate School of Geography. The majority of the donation will provide student scholarship assistance.

In and Out of the Classroom

One of the trees in LEAF Arboretum
Michael Curtis  a Penn State Behrend science major, used GPS location tools to map trees in the LEAF Arboretum, in Erie’s Frontier Park. He matched individual trees to the corresponding memorial plaques and with some guidance and programming help created a web-based map with interactive data points for each tree, bench and memorial plaque in the park.

Chris Bunin, co-author of Mapping U.S. History With GIS: Jamestown to Appomattox, is the Secondary Outstanding Teacher of the Year awarded by the National Council for the Social Studies.

Chenggang Lai, a graduate student in the Department of Computer Science and Computer Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of Arkansas, won second place at the ACM SIGSPATIAL Student Research Competition, part of the 24th ACM SIGSPATIAL International Conference on Advances in Geographic Information Systems. Lai's work may be able to save the Federal Communications Commission and other telecommunication companies a lot of money by reducing the number of FCC antennas needed to cover the same amount of terrain.

A team of Yale researchers, undergraduates and public health students singled out six U.S. counties that had unexpectedly low obesity rates despite factors which usually lead to higher rates, such as higher minority populations, lower median household incomes and education levels and higher statewide obesity rates. The team identified common themes and strategies these communities used to promote healthy living.

Georgia College geography professor Dr. Doug Oetter was tapped to help realign elementary school assignments in Baldwin County, Georgia. I'd love to see his students get involved!

Esri News

Hawaii Governor David Ige's Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Team released its working draft of the Hawai'i Public Education Blueprint using a story map. The application includes two maps and one video.

Esri announced the winners of its first Global Content Challenge. There were 550 registrations from nearly 60 countries, resulting in 70 submissions. Interestingly, all of the winners were from the U.S. or Canada, and the vast majority were from McMaster University  in Hamilton, ON. My guess is one or more educators used the contest guidelines for assigned coursework and required/encouraged the students to submit their projects.

Registration is now open for Esri Education User Conference to be held July  8 - 7, 2017 in San Diego, California.

The International Year of Global Understanding Story Maps Competition submission deadline has been extended to February 7.