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Thursday, July 20, 2017

GIS Education Weekly: A Lot About GIS at Universities and a Little About Esri UC

Articles and Resources
It turns out that Maryland is hard to draw!
Time: Americans Are Really Bad at Drawing These 3 States - The results are based on a challenge to readers from the previous week. Via @dianamaps.

NY Times: When You Should (and Shouldn’t) Share Your Location Using a Smartphone 

Forbes: Four Emerging Misconceptions On Social Media About The Upcoming Great American Eclipse - Marshall Shepherd offers some "teachable moment" content.

gvSIG Blog: The gvSIG team offers a free book (pdf) called “Learning GIS with Game of Thrones“. "The objective is that anyone, without previous knowledge and through a series of practical exercises, learn to handle a GIS in an entertaining and funny way." It's built from past blog posts to the blog.
Carto Blog: 80 Beautiful Data Visualizations Using Location Data and Maps  -The maps are organized into six categories: Conflict ZonesConnectivityEnvironmentalSites, Sounds, and Smells of City LivingSocial Media MapsTransportation

Esri Blog: Esri User Conference Map How-to-a-palooza - Ken Field and Jon Nelson share resources from their session at Esri UC. They are part of the team teaching Esri's upcoming Cartography. MOOC.

San Bernardino Sun: Working toward greater diversity in STEM fields - Esri is among those helping increase the level of diversity in STEM-related fields. 

NPYL: Surveyor - "Today, we’re proud to release Surveyor, our new website for crowdsourced geotagging of NYPL’s photo collections. With Surveyor, we invite everyone who is interested in the history of New York City to try and determine the locations depicted in these mostly unlabelled photos."

AAG: The American Association of Geographers released a new edition of its Guide to Geography Programs in the Americas. There's a map, too.

University of Denver: Geography Student Launches Interactive Map of Denver's Historic Streetcar Line - Ryan Keeney, a graduate student in the Department of Geography and the Environment developed an interactive digital map of the city's streetcar history.

OchTamale Magazine (University of Redlands): Digital disruption #1: Mapping the past, present, future - "University of Redlands faculty and students are using digital spatial technology to explore the past and present—and help shape the future."

University of Wisconsin: Online GIS and web mapping master’s pays off for National Geographic employee - Rosemary Wardley entered UW-Madison’s online master of science program in GIS to advance her career.

Illinois State: Humanitarian Map Symbology Resources and Scorecard: "The purpose of this project is to promote 'best practices' for map symbology design through several practical, 'hands on' resources that may be used by humanitarian relief organizations to assist in evaluating or developing new symbology for their mapping needs."

Tufts Daily: On the Trail of Boston’s Black History - Inspired by a beloved professor, a team has built an interactive map that catalogs African-American historical sites in and around campus.

EdSurge: What Schools Can Learn From a Science Museum That Makes Learning Irresistible for Kids - Marisa Kaplan looks at educators can learn from how one museum tackles learning.

NPR: This New MIT Master's Program Doesn't Require A College Or High School Degree - MIT is experimenting with free online courses (pay only for the exam) that can provide a pathway to an on-campus graduate degree.

Reddit: Women in GIS - There is now a Reddit for Women in GIS.

Directions Magazine: The GIS&T BoK: Where is it now, and where will YOU take it tomorrow? - The state of the The Geographic Information Science & Technology Body of Knowledge.

GeoNet: 2017 Esri User Conference Quick Thoughts - Adrian Welsh, who per one of my colleagues, "answers all the questions" on GeoNet, offers a colorful personal take on the Esri User Conference.

Esri published an updated version of The ArcGIS Book: 10 Big Ideas about Applying The Science of Where. The company also released the Instructional Guide for The ArcGIS Imagery Book It's a companion book to the The ArcGIS Imagery Book. All are free online.

ArcNews: Sowing Real Geography in Online Gaming - An agriculture game, built on ArcGIS helps engage students.


Roane State Community College’s Pat Wurth, an associate professor at the Tennessee college for nearly 19 years, received the accolade of appreciation for her “distinguished career developing GIS professionals.” Via local paper.

Data Point

One session I attended at the Esri Education GIS Conference was about sampling tweets for social research. I'd not heard about the stats on what percentage of tweets was geotagged in a f ew years. I asked the presenter and he said about 15% were geotagged. The last data I recall was that it was less than 1%! So I did some Googling and found two sources that put the number at 2% as of 2016. Bloomberg cites Twitter as providing the 2% number and a team from the University of Melbourne confirmed it in their research. That said, there seem to be many companies that assign locations to tweets based on IP addresses or textual clues. Some boast that they can geotag up to 80% of all tweets.

Programs and Events

Northeastern University now offers a Masters in Geospatial Services, with remote sensing, geospatial analytics and GIS concentrations. Trajectory details the "refresh."

UC Davis Extension shared its fall GIS schedule. There are discounts for members of acronym organizations: APA, AEP, ASLA, BIA, and CAAA. Registration.

Esri and UCSB offer a Leadership workshop on Location Analytics in Business set for December 10–14, 2017, at the Upham Hotel in downtown Santa Barbara. This 4-day workshop will prepare selected early-career researchers to work in location analytics.

On and Off Campus

Back in June, Salisbury University hosted Girls Innovation Academy (GIA), a three-week summer camp for middle school girls and focuses on technology (GIS), communication, and leadership.

USGIF young professionals discussed GEOINT with summer program students from George Mason University.

My Favorite Conversations at Esri User Conference

I spent a number of hours at the education booth at the Esri Expo at the User Conference last week. My two favorite conversations were not about software or licenses, but about teaching and learning techniques.

One faculty member bemoaned not having enough resources to teach and how students needed so much support. I asked how she supported her students and it sounded like she was the main "answerer." I asked if she'd ever used "Ask three before me." She'd not heard of the phrase (which I picked up at a (mostly K-12 focused) EdCamp. I explained how it works: Before students could ask her a question, they'd have to already have consulted three sources (documentation, Google, GeoNet, another student, etc.). She thought I was brilliant!

Another query came from a local government GIS person. He wanted some resources to help him teach other staffers in his municipality to use the city's GIS site/app. He described his vision; it  sounded to me like PowerPoints of "What is GIS?" That sounded deathly boring! I countered with, "Did you want them to do something hands-on?" He noted he didn't have a classroom with computers. I asked about phones. His face lit up. I suggested a little mini-lesson showing the interface, then a challenge back the audience to find the answer to a question using the app. "How far is it from Joe's Pizza to the high school?" "On what day does Maple Street have trash pick up?" He thought I was brilliant!

These are good examples how "getting away from how you've always done it," can be an exciting way forward! I hope there were many other conversations like this during our conference and others like it!