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Thursday, January 5, 2017

GIS Education Weekly: How to Determine the Center of North America and How Police Learn the Geography of Cities

Resources and Articles of Interest

Reddit/r/GIS: PSA: Codecademy is not for learning how to program - The difference between learning how to program and learning how to think like a programmer.

From Tim O'Reilly: The urgency of digital transformation and 5 tips on how to do it right - I met Tim O'Reilly some years ago; he's smart and seems to see and understand things before the rest of us.

XYHt: 40 under 40 2017: Remarkable Geospatial Professionals - This is the second year the magazine has published such a list; it's drawn from reader nominations and its staff's interactions with those in the field. There are two paragraph bios of these "young people" identified as "leaders." My suggestion to make the list more valuable: Ask each one to contribute a piece of advice for aspiring geospatial professionals.


Pulse: Geospatial industry burgeoning amid high demand for location-based business - This was tweeted quite a bit. I did not see on tweet that noted the article was about the market in Korea.

University at Buffalo: Where’s the center of North America? UB geographer’s new method finds a new answer - One of the questions that's never answered rears its head again!

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In and Out of the Classroom

Two University of Toledo graduate students, Michael Chohaney and Kimberly Panozzo, published their analysis of the leaked Ashley Madison data in Geographical Review.  This is an interesting case study in ethical geospatial research. I noted that the data was mapped quite a bit when it first appeared in 2015.

Madison Wisconsin's Police Department teaches its new recruits the city's geography in a a four-hour block of training that takes place in a computer lab. "In the classroom, the recruits learned how to use a few different navigation tools including a paper map and an interactive web map."

Alan Parkinson (Head of Geography (Junior) at King's Ely School among other things) has committed to sharing ideas for materials and connections that would be useful for geographers and geography educators on his blog. He'll offer one per day for the year 2017. h/t @jamesgis

Middle schoolers in one Virginia school are learning collaboratively. "Andy Dojack, who teaches GIS mapping, said he has other teachers asking to use it in their core curriculum classes. 'It’s made me a much better teacher,' Dojack said. 'Student engagement is much better. We’re not teaching necessarily the information they need to be successful but the skills to be successful. That’s much more important than just knowing the information. You need to have those critical thinking and analytical skills.'” There's a video that includes a discussion of GIS.

Programs, Degrees and Courses

Matt Young, professor of history at Marietta College, got "certified in GIS from Penn State" so he could teach the subject. Now he's looking to grow the number of courses at the school.

Cal State Bakersfield will offer a Geographic Information Systems certificate beginning January 23. Per an article based on a press release, applicants must have a high school diploma or GED. Registration ends today.

I took the one week Coursera MOOC A Crash Course in Data Science I mentioned last week over the holiday break. With Coursera's new push to monetize, students who audit can only view four videos per week and can't even do multiple choice quizzes. Thus, Coursera is no longer a MOOC platform for those looking for free courses.

Geo for All News

Geo for All founder Suchith Anand noted in his January 1 post that Geo for All is supporting the "2017 the Year of Open, and we want the global open community to lead the way" in making "people aware of the benefits of openness." The official launch on 1.17.17. The event is lead by the Open Education Consortium and is "a global focus on open processes, systems, and tools, created through collaborative approaches, that enhance our education, businesses, governments, and organizations."

Lori Rubino-Hare, the Professional Development Coordinator at Northern Arizona University introduced a professional development opportunity for U.S. secondary school educators that made its way to Geo for All. The National Science Foundation funded effort uses Esri tools to teach educators to teach other educators about geospatial technology careers through Geospatial Inquiry. The folks at Geo for All had some questions and suggestions.

For Students

I just grabbed this from a job posting for a position at Strava, the company that athletes use to show off, I mean track, their performances. This is not an entry level position. While it's unlikely students will have worked with all the technologies noted, I wonder how many students know what most of them are? And how they would you find out? How They might  teach themselves one of the languages or databases? Via NEARC-L.
*Requirements*
   - B.S. in computer science or equivalent experience plus at least 5
   years industry experience.
   - Experience with large reliable and scalable distributed systems and
   data pipelines.
   - Experience with cloud-based services such as Amazon AWS.
   - Experience with a relational database such as PostgreSQL and ideally
   one or more NoSQL data stores such as Cassandra.
   - Experience building both internal and customer-facing web applications.
   - Experience leading and growing engineering teams.
   - Excellent programming skills with at least one language such as Ruby,
   Python, or Scala.
*Desired*
   - Experience with open-source technologies like Docker, Finagle, Kafka,
   Mesos, Spark, and ZooKeeper.
   - Experience with GIS concepts, tools, and frameworks.

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