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Thursday, January 4, 2018

GIS Education Weekly: Best Visualizations of 2017


One of many "subway" maps you can see stretched
into geographical space in a GIF at ArchDaily
ArchDaily: These GIFs Compare Cities' Metro Maps to Their Real Life Geography - The GIFs are from Reddit.

Ars Technica: Why experts believe cheaper, better lidar is right around the corner - Timothy Lee explains the state of lidar. Via @nickrsan.

Consortium Info: Open Source or Open Standards? (Yes!) The Future has Arrived - Andy Updegrove, a lawyer, explains the current relationship between open source and open standards. He suggests we are now in a situation with "'open hybridization,' by which I mean the well-considered marriage of open source software and open standards in an effort to reap the benefits of both worlds." Via OGC Update.

Digital Geographies Working Group (RGS): Teaching resources - A page of resources for teaching digital geographies, mostly syllabi. The resources were shared after an appeal by the DGWG Committee in November 2017. Via @GeographyUGA.

University of Michigan: New Map Offers Snapshot of Poverty, Well-Being in Michigan - A new online map of Michigan has been developed to make large volumes of data about poverty and well-being easier to understand. The map was developed as part of Poverty Solutions, the University of Michigan's initiative dedicated to the prevention and alleviation of poverty.

eSpatially New York: Sam Wear profiles the GIS Certificate Program available at Purchase College.

The Washington Post: The surprising thing Google learned about its employees — and what it means for today’s students" - "Project Oxygen shocked everyone by concluding that, among the eight most important qualities of Google’s top employees, STEM expertise comes in dead last. The seven top characteristics of success at Google are all soft skills: being a good coach; communicating and listening well; possessing insights into others (including others different values and points of view); having empathy toward and being supportive of one’s colleagues; being a good critical thinker and problem solver; and being able to make connections across complex ideas."

Cartonerd Blog: Favourite Maps from 2017 - Ken Field shares his favorites. One of them even won a NACIS award.

Flowing Data: 10 Best Data Visualization Projects of 2017 - Nathan Yau highlights some of the best. Esri's John Nelson is in there.

Courses and Programs

According to an e-mail from Coursera, the University of California Davis specialization in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) was among the top rated specializations (by students) overall and in the top three in data science in 2017.

The University of Minnesota Spatial workshop schedule is now available. Of note: GIS 101 will be taught three different ways: with ArcMap, ArcGIS Pro and QGIS.

University at Buffalo Reporter: New collaboration makes it easier for students to earn dual MUP, MPH - "The School of Architecture and Planning and the School of Public Health and Health Professions have collaborated to make it easier for graduate students to receive both a master of urban planning and master of public health in a shorter period of time." Why do I note this? "A key component of the curriculum [of the combo program] is training in geographic information systems, or GIS..."

Arizona State News: Mapping out success for GIScience at ASU - Michael Goodchild is now associated with the program helping to grow the Spatial Analysis Research Center — also known as SPARC - which launched Dec 7.

Sentinel Tribune: For BGSU professor, lake algae fight is up in the skies - A feature on Anita Simic, Bowling Green State University professor in the School of Earth, Environment and Society, who runs the Geospatial Laboratories called the G-ECO Remote Sensing Lab.

GetEducated.com: The 6 Most Affordable Online GIS Master's Programs - If money is a major decision point, you may want to start here. A plug: Northwest Missouri State is the cheapest for those in-state and among the cheapest for out-of-staters. (Hi Patty!)

Herald Palladium: An education in screen time - Lake Michigan College, in Benton Harbor, MI, offers face to face and online access to many of its courses, including those in a geospatial certificate program. The program "includes a course on operating drones and surveying gear. “Those, you have to show up for,” he [Jay Keeler, lead faculty in application development and geospatial technology] said."

Events and Opportunities

Directions Magazine: Explore Why Data Quality Matters - Webinar by Esri's Joseph Kerski on Thursday, January 11th, 2018 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST.

UCLA: Thousands of citizen-scientists help researchers map kelp forests - "With new funding from NASA, the team recently relaunched Floating Forests, a website that enables volunteer citizen-scientists to scan hundreds of thousands of satellite images for places where the tops of kelp forests skim the ocean surface."

As part of the UK government’s response to a shortage of geography teachers, the Royal Geographical Society was funded by the Department for Education to run a new Geography Teacher Training Scholarship program. The second year of the program is open for applications for students who want to start studies in Fall 2018.

SEDTA: How Online Mapping Activities Shape Learning Experiences for K-12 Students - Wednesday January 24, 2018 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm EST, with Charlie Fitzpatrick, K12 Manager, Esri; and Mike Wagner, Teacher, Loudoun County Public Schools, VA. Free.

On and Off Campus

Cape Breton Post: Why are right whales dying? Cape Breton high school students tackle question through map project - "If you ever want to know where and why right whales are dying in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, a group of high school students from the Cape Breton Highland Education Centre/Academy might have the answers [in a story map]."

Arizona State: Google Earth Engine workshop gives ASU students way to see world differently - In November the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning hosted guest lecturer Ran Goldblatt from the University of California, San Diego. He taught a weeklong workshop on Google Earth Engine. The School is developing its own course for the Fall 2018 semester.

ArcWatch: A Winning Idea A California High School Teacher Brings Massive Open Online Courses on GIS into Her Classroom - "Dominique Evans-Bye's Environmental GIS class at Clark Magnet High School in La Crescenta, California, won $25,000 in scholarship money in the Lexus Eco Challenge." An Esri MOOC helped. (Disclosure: I manage Esri's MOOC program.)

For Job Seekers

USGIF Job Fair - The event is Jan 8 in Fairfax, VA and GEOINT jobseekers get in free. USGIF is offering headshots, too.

URISA: 2017 URISA Salary Survey - The Executive Summary (pdf) is free, the full survey will be available later this month for a fee.


Last call for NEGIS Scholarship! Applications are due Monday January 8. Available to juniors and seniors at New England and New York schools studying GIS who plan an internship for 2018. We want to give students money! (Disclosure: I'm on the board.)

Industry News

GovTech: GIS Company Mapzen to Shut Down, but Users Can Still Grab the Open-Source Code and Data - "The reasons for Mapzen’s closure aren’t clear, and Meech declined to comment on why the company is wrapping up its business. It belonged under the umbrella of Samsung Next, which provided funding, and in its privacy policy Mapzen described itself as a division of Samsung Research America."  Per a Redditer: "It looks like Valhalla - the library/team that powered Mapzen's driving/mobility tools was acquired by Mapbox." Here's an exit interview with a senior software engineer.

Press Release: Intel to Acquire 15 Percent Ownership of HERE - "Intel has agreed to purchase a 15 percent ownership stake in HERE, a global provider of digital maps and location-based services, from HERE’s current indirect shareholders: AUDI AG, BMW AG and Daimler AG." Plan : "Companies plan to jointly develop a highly scalable proof-of-concept architecture that supports real-time updates of high-definition (HD) maps for highly and fully automated driving as well as explore opportunities in IoT and machine learning."