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Thursday, February 1, 2018

GIS Education Weekly: Some Coursera MOOCs are Still Free!

Courses and Programs

Loma Linda University: LLU School of Public health intensifies focus on geoinformatics with GIS certificate, cognate courses - The school will offer a certificate in health geoinformatics (CHGIS) and a "series of cognate courses in GIS technology and applications for students working toward a master of public health (MPH) degree. " Both offerings begin summer quarter, June 18. 

TeachMeGIS will be releasing a GISP Test Prep course this spring. Via LinkedIn.

Geo for All Resources

Geo for All: GeoForAll teaching and research resources - Some links for teachers, researchers and class projects. "Every one of you are also the owners of all these software and you have full freedom to use as you wish for your education needs and also donate it to your students as you wish without any vendor permissions!"

Geo for All: The video and slides of a webinar on YouthMappers hosted by Dr. Patricia Solis have been published. For more on the relationship between the two organizations, see this post.


The Friendly Orange Glow - Audrey Watters reviews this history of an early interactive computer teaching and learning system, PLATO. Wired suggested it was among the best tech books of 2017. I was a huge fan of PLATO in college, circa 1983; it helped me pass physics.

GIS Companies Support Education

Press Release: SuperGeo Offers Educational Site License at a Competitive Price - The license is available to universities in North American and Europe. Licenses for other countries are coming soon. "The price of the whole package is at a very competitive level, which approximately equals to the charge of technical support offered by Supergeo." The release indicates the license is "permanent," rather than a subscription.

Fulcrum updated its education webpage. It has a lot of university logos on it.

Industry News

State Scoop: Expect 'flat' budgets, even more turnover for state and local IT in 2018 - Alan Shark, CEO of the Public Technology Institute, spoke at a National Association of State Chief Information Officers meeting and reviewed what's in and out for 2018. "Geographic information systems (GIS), robotics and converged infrastructure were in the 'out' column, not because they're going away, but because he said they're evolving into new forms. GIS is being overshadowed by 'interactive visualized information systems...'"

On and Off Campus

Calvin College: New Online App Empowers Returning Citizens Transition Out of Prison - "After two years of working on a solution to this issue, CPI [Calvin Prison Initiative] and the Henry Institute at Calvin College have created the Returning Citizens Resources online application: a user-friendly, interactive, spatial map of resources and services in the Grand Rapids area to empower returning citizens in their transition out of prison and into society." It started out as a student project, and the student involved was a biology major!

Birmingham Business Journal: Birmingham-Southern to repurpose planetarium - The Meyer Planetarium at Birmingham-Southern College, which closed in 2009, will be reborn as a high-tech video presentation site. The college’s Southern Environmental Center designed, created and found founding for the project. The Geodome Visual Arts Theatre "will use interactive 4K videos that blend GIS mapping, drone footage and IMAX-quality sound to allow visitors to learn, in detail, about Alabama’s ecology and waterways."


Class Central: 1150+ Coursera Courses That Are Still Completely Free - Most MOOC providers are moving away from completely free courses. I understood full access to any Coursera courses for free was no longer available. Dhawal Shah proves me wrong. He was surprised, too at how many there are and how hard they are to find! He writes, "Imagine my surprise (rather shock) to find more than 1,150 Coursera MOOCs (1,174, to be exact) that are still completely free (including the graded assignments, minus the certificate)." He had to do some programming to identify the free ones and generously shares a categorized and full list for exploration. I found two with "map" in the title, but none with "GIS."

EdSurge: EdX Quietly Developing ‘MicroBachelors’ Program - The new credential, a sibling of the MicroMasters, is expected in the next year or two.

Esri: The Earth Imagery at Work MOOC (six weeks, free) begins Feb 7. Esri will be hosting the course, alongside other Esri courses, on the company's training site.


To celebrate the opening of its Software and Data Marketplace Pitney Bowes is hosting a Data Duel, where teams compete by producing a visualization with the company's GIS tools. "Three winning teams will receive $500 cash (each person on a team, up to 3 members per team), software licenses (MapInfo Pro Advanced) and a $20,000 voucher for data licenses." Submissions are due April 11. Via LI360 post.

Education News

Have you Heard Podcast: This podcast is a year old, but I just found it. Each week Jack Schneider and Elizabeth Jennifer Berkshire explore education in the time of Trump. Highly recommended.


GeoTech Center Regional Workshops - These workshops will be held in Dallas, San Diego, Salt Lake City, and Gettysburg June through August. They are open high school educators and 2-year/4-year college faculty.

Penn State Libraries - On Wednesdays this February and the beginning of March the Libraries will offer informational sessions relating to foundational map and geospatial topics. "The sessions, which do not require registration, are open to all Penn State students, staff, faculty and visitors, and remote viewing is available online using Zoom." Topics include QGIS, ArcMap, PolicyMap and others.