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Thursday, March 1, 2018

GIS Education Weekly: What GIS should I Learn in Graduate School?

Education News

Chronicle of Education: Children struggle to hold pencils due to too much tech, doctors say "An overuse of touchscreen phones and tablets is preventing children’s finger muscles from developing sufficiently." (I'm a Montessori fan in part of because of the focus on building such skills.)

American Association of Geographers (AAG): Encoding Geography - The Encoding Geography Initiative aims to "increase diversity and computer science literacy among all geographers to strengthen our discipline for the future."

University Affairs: MOOCs are not dead, but evolving - I was asked to respond. I agree with pretty much every opinion stated in the article. In fact, the Esri MOOC team was just talking about low-stakes quizzes as learning tools, something Esri has included since the start of our program. I was not familiar with this publication. "University Affairs is Canada’s most authoritative source of information about and for Canada’s university community."

The Guardian: QS world university rankings 2018: geography - The top 50 universities for geography in the world are ranked by higher education data specialist QS.

Quote of the Week 

From @KellyKapsar via Twitter.
I’ve decided to invest time learning only non-proprietary software like #qgis #python and #r during #gradschool. I feel like it will make me a more attractive job candidate in the nonprofit world if employers don’t have to pay for expensive software licenses!
Do check out the replies; they are interesting and varied. Here's mine:
I  encourage you to spend time teaching yourself many software packages. Employers are always happy to hire individuals who can identify and learn whatever the right tool is for the task at hand. Do bear in mind that the tools (or versions of existing tools) you are most likely to use in a year or two, do not yet exist! You will need to learn them, no matter if they are open source or proprietary.
On and Off Campus

Pipe Dream: Geography department holds third annual GIS Day - Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger opened the school's third annual GIS Day last Friday. Sadly, the school paper didn't quite get the definition correct in the original article. "GIS, a technological system that uses geological information to collect and interpret data, can be utilized across a wide range of fields including archaeology, anthropology and communications."

Washington College: Faculty Focus: Helping Women in Crisis - Sociology professor Rachel Durso lead an effort that linked the school's GIS program to the Mid-Shore Council on Family Violence (MSCFV). A $1M Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant paid the bill to help local victims of domestic violence.

Penn State: Geospatial intelligence students boost careers with online program - The article profiles a few students from the Master of Geographic Information Systems (MGIS) program working in GEOINT and homeland security.

Clarkson: Arbor Day Foundation Honors Clarkson University with 2017 Tree - "Clarkson University was honored with 2017 Tree Campus USA recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation for its commitment to effective urban forest management." Part of the reason: there's a GIS that includes every tree.

Industry News

The Atlantic: A New, Democratic Tool for Mapping City Streets - Last Thursday, the National Association of City Transportation Officials and the nonprofit Open Transport Partnership launched a new open data standard and digital platform for mapping and sharing city streets called SharedStreets. Here's the press release (pdf).

Windows Report: 5 best map design software for Windows 10 [2018 List] - The graphic for the article, at right, is interesting.

Maryland Daily Record: GPS requires no expert testimony, Md. high court says (pay wall) - "Saying everyone knows what a GPS does, Maryland's top court has ruled that an expert did not need to testify about the tracking device at the trial of a state transit police officer who was convicted of assault and misconduct in office."

Programs, Courses and Professional Development

Training drone pilots is big business. What's the going rate for Part 107 test prep training? At DartDrones it's $250 for an online course (accessible for six months) and $600 for that plus an eight hour in-person experience. There's a "money back guarantee" which states that if you get 85% on three practice exams and then fail the Part 107 exam, the company will pay for you to take the exam again. The two-hour sixty question exam costs $150.

Esri's Teachers Teaching Teachers GIS (T3G) opens for registration March 1. The goal is to equip teachers to take GIS out to other teachers. Two four-hour Saturday sessions will held online July 28 and Aug 4. There are 40 slots for new participants and 20 for returnees. There is no charge but participants need to be familiar with GIS and technology.

National Geographic: The Geo-Inquiry Process - National Geographic is gearing up for workshops in all fifty states, DC and Canada during 2018 to teach teachers about its version of the Geo-Inquiry Process. Teachers from each geography were trained last summer at Nat Geo headquarters. Here's the story of the two from Rapid City, South Dakota.


GISCI map contest 2018 submissions can be made until the end of March.

For Job Seekers

LinkedIn: GIS Careers: A collection of advice and advisors - Nathan Heazlewood recaps suggestions and sources.


Peirce Lewis died February 18. He was not a fan of how I wrote when I was a graduate student. He described one of my papers as "Germanic." I've been trying to get better ever since.

Waldo Tobler died February 20. He's famous for, among other things, his first law of geography.