ABS Consulting Group, Inc.: Home | Blog | Resume | Speaking | Publications

Thursday, March 30, 2017

GIS Education Weekly: Does your Campus Map Reveal Accessible Parking, Sustainability Projects and Napping Locations?

Articles and Resources

MathBabe: Guest Post: In Praise of Globes - A guest post by Ernie Davis, Professor of Computer Science at NYU, explores the reasons for, and the math behind, the Mercator and Gall-Peters projects. It was prompted by last week's news about the latter replacing the former in some Boston classrooms.

The Guardian: Yes, Facebook, I am safe – no thanks for asking - Facebook's Safety Check has some geographical issues.

Penn State News: New research suggests location-based games influence our perception of culture - Anthony Buccitelli, professor of American studies and communications at Penn State Harrisburg, suggests that location-based gamers are building communities and connecting with their local cultural heritage. He studied PokemonGO.

Press Release: The USGS Landsat standard (Level-1) product inventory is now structured by data quality and offers improved calibration. Data designated as Tier 1 provide the highest accuracy and can be reliably used to analyze changes to Earth’s surface over time.

The Spokesman Review: How we calculated pavement quality for Spokane’s neighborhoods - How the staff massaged data for its pavement quality assessment. I could not find any maps.

Press Release: SuperGeo announced the release of Online Tutorials for SuperGIS Network Analysis

Press Release: A new book celebrates pictorial maps, tracing their development and proliferation from the 1920s to the 1970s. It's published by the Library of Congress in association with the University of Chicago Press and titled Picturing America: The Golden Age of Pictorial Maps.

EurakAlert: Satnavs 'switch off' parts of the brain - A small study (24 participants) at UCL suggests using a GPS doesn't get the brain to fire, while not using one while navigating, does.

Penn State News: Using geodesign for Major League Baseball stadium development - The school's geodesign program students explored the design of the new Atlanta Braves stadium last fall.

TechDay Educators: Kiwi schools to get free access to geographic data analysis software" - New Zealand primary and secondary schools now have free access to Esri’s ArcGIS Online software, as part of a multimillion dollar enablement programme to schools across the world."


UCGIS announced its 2017 awards: Ann Johnson for the 2017 UCGIS Education Award, Bhudu Bhaduri for the 2017 UCGIS Carolyn Merry Mentoring Award, and Dan Griffith for the 2017 UCGIS Research Award. Ann worked on Esri's education team for 12 years.

Nine teams of students enrolled in surveying and geomatics programs across the country recently participated in the final component of the National Society of Professional Surveyors (NSPS) Student Competition. They prepared projects on the topic “high-precision vertical control applications.”
In the four year category, first place went to the team from Texas A&M Corpus-Christi, second to Oregon Institute of Technology, and third to Pennsylvania State University-University Park. In the two year category, first place went to Central New Mexico Community College and second to Dunwoody College of Technology. Other competitors included teams from New Mexico State University, Michigan Technological University, Kennesaw State University and the University of Akron.

Booz Allen Hamilton was awarded "a five-year, $86 million contract by NGA-NGC to lead the Learning Management and Advancement Program (LMAP) that will provide high-quality learning solutions to equip a diverse workforce with the knowledge and skills necessary to meet current and future GEOINT mission requirements."

Esri announced the winner of the International Year of Global Understanding student story map competition in a story map.

Low Code/No Code

I've seen a few marketing efforts related to low code or no code platforms for GIS. Forrester, which coined the term back in June 2014 describes "low code" as "platforms that enable rapid application delivery with a minimum of hand-coding, and quick setup and deployment, for systems of engagement." Mendix adds three requirements: (1) a visual environment, (2) an app store with templates, widgets, plug-ins and even complete business components, and (3) lifecycle support (for the apps created). InfoWorld offered a list last August of such platforms; I've heard of one: Microsoft PowerApps.

In GIS, I saw this announcement from TerraGO last August about its zero code offering. This recent FedTech article positions low/no code platforms in contrast to open source development. It reports "The U.S. Geological Survey, for example, has relied on open-source platforms for 30 years and started using low-code software on select projects in 2014." My team at Esri just finished teaching a MOOC titled Do-it-Yourself Geo Apps earlier this month. The platforms we used sure seemed to be "low code."

Are students aware of these platforms in GIS? Should they be?

Quote of the Week Redux

Last week I noted Suchith Anand, of Geo for All, had a question: “Is it possible for properitery GIS vendor to market thier properitery product as Open ?”[sic]. This week, Steven Feldman, responded.

For Students

Azavea is offering summer fellowships for U.S. students to work on open source GIS projects in its Philadelphia office. The company is a B Corporation. Not sure what that is? Please look this up; it's important! The fellowship program is 12 weeks and pays $6K. Applications are due April 14. I will say without hesitation this is one of the coolest companies around.

The University College London (UCL) Geographical Information Science (GIS) Careers Event 2017 is May 22, 3-9 PM on campus. And, it's free for all!

GeoWomen, founded at the National States Geographic Information Council’s midyear conference, will encourage more women to work in a technology field traditionally dominated by men.

Campus Maps

"Washington University in St. Louis has launched a new campus map that will help users find accessible parking, the closest place to buy a cup of coffee and the nearest bus stop as well as a number of university buildings and points of interest. Available through the university’s website (click on the image of the Danforth Campus map and zoom in), the map will change with the campus, providing up-to-the-minute information about construction zones and parking changes." It is expected in the school's mobile app by the fall. via WUSTL news

The University of Arizona launched a beta version of its campus sustainability map earlier this month. It features more than 600 projects, programs and features that illustrate sustainability efforts.

RIT has a nap map. I do not believe students need maps to find such locations. I found the cushy chairs at Regenstein Library (Nuke the Reg!) without any help at all as a first year student! Further  details:  Inside Higher Ed h/t @dianamaps

Per Robert Roth: "Facelift just released for the @UWMadison campus web map: http://map.wisc.edu/ ."

On and Off Campus

"High school students of Wichita Christian participated in Map Madness this past week, testing their world geography skills in a tournament situation similar to the March Madness college basketball tournament. Each student picked a college or university to represent and then competed two at a time to spot countries on the map as they were called out. This was the second year for the event." I have no issue with such efforts so long as we equate it with learning ones addition facts or multiplication tables.

Over in Wanaka, New Zealand, a different sort of geography madness occurred. Year 11 students were in fact studying geography and trying to find the best location for a McDonald's. The city has made its opposition to such an addition known, so there was some commotion when an outlet appeared on Google Maps in Wanaka.

In Wofford College (South Carolina) students now have an up-to-date map that they can use for their “Russia and its neighbors" course. Thanks to College junior Jake Brice, and $800, the class has a map that does not include the USSR.

Lea Vargas, used her CareerEdge’s Internship Reimbursement Program internship as a path to a full-time position after graduating from the University of South Florida. When Vargas received an internship with the Manatee County Government. Among other things, she learned GIS and will be joining another intern to present at the Esri User Conference. Per SQR paper: "She and a fellow intern have also been nationally selected to present a report at a GIS software conference in San Diego that they worked on and submitted during their internship program."