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Thursday, March 21, 2019

GIS Education Weekly: NC State Launches Geo-IDEAS to Grow Spatial Data Use in Wake County

On and Off Campus

University of Miami: Solving Miami-Dade’s affordable housing shortage with LAND - A new, free, online mapping tool developed by the University of Miami’s Office of Civic and Community Engagement (CCE), identified more than 500 million square feet of vacant, unused, or underutilized land across Miami-Dade County and its 34 municipalities. The tool is called Land Access for Neighborhood Development, or LAND.

The Miami Student: Miami Learns to Map Police Violence Across the U.S. - A Stanford grad spoke at a geography hosted lecture. Samuel Sinyangwe, now a grad student at Stanford, is a team member at Mapping Police Violence. The site, started in 2015, "uses interactive graphics and maps to present various data sets related to police violence, including a map that pinpoints every victim in the past year and a chart demonstrating national trends in police killings."

Frederick News Post: Frederick News Register: Serious about girl power: Montgomery student maps out day to recognize Girls - The private school student, with a mentor from The Red Cross, went to the Maryland General Assembly to encourage support for a bill to have an annual Day of the Girl. Her real passion is maps: "In particular, Kana [Walsh] is passionate about creating opportunities for girls to be able to participate in geospatial mapping, which is when people look at satellite images of landscapes to identify what is actually on the ground."

NC State: Partnership with Wake County a New Think (and Do) Tank for Harnessing Spatial Data - The experimental project between NC State’s Center for Geospatial Analytics and Wake County government is called “Geo-IDEAS: Geo–Innovation, Developing Analytics Solutions for Wake County.” The goal is to improve how "Wake County analyzes and uses spatial data, by sharing expertise between academia and government."

India Post: American geography professor interacts with LPU Students - The professor, Ramesh Chandra Dhussa, is from Drake University in Des Moines.

Citizen Science Salon (Discover Magazine Blog): Fighting Alzheimer’s Disease During the Megathon: Spotlight on Three Citizen Scientists - One the scientists profiled is Victor Sunday, YouthMappers leader in Nigeria. He even turned his mappers on to the Alzheimer's project.

Wicked Local Rockport (MA): Gloucester Police and Fire Departments attend municipal drone training - The daylong workshop was hosted at Salem State University. "The city of Gloucester is currently exploring the possibility of drone usage as a resource and shared asset to the Police and Fire Departments as well as the Department of Public Works."

The Castlegar Source: Employers Enthusiastic About Selkirk College Co-op Students - GIS students are highly sought by local organizations.

Shawnee News Star (OK): Shawnee Middle School: Geo Team to compete in April - Students are presenting and competing at the National Geographic Geo Challenge (more on that, over in Iowa, here), the National American Indian Science and Engineering Fair and the online Globe Symposium.

Directions Magazine: County GIS Internships Empower High School Students, Community Pride - Monroe High School students have paying county GIS jobs; they learned GIS through Michigan's GRACE project.

Programs and Courses

Western Currier: Western Illinois University announces 132 faculty layoffs - "The geography department lost four to five faculty members" which I understand it about half of the department.

Sentinel and  Enterprise: Fitchburg State to begin environmental health, education studies programs - Fitchburg State University (MA) will offer the only undergraduate degree in environmental public health offered at any public institution in New England. The degree includes a geospatial component.

QGIS Academy - A company out of Norway, I think called QGIS Academy, offers an intro and advanced course on QGIS. Each costs with a bundle of both for $490. The content (exercises, videos and sample data) is downloaded and completed independently by the student. There is no mention of support of any kind. Each course, the website suggests, takes about a full day. The individuals behind the offering:"Strutz Mapmatix and Christopher Haakon Strutz. Christopher has more than 20 years of experience within GIS from amongst others the National Norwegian Mapping Agency, NavTech/HERE, Asplan Viak Internet and has been teaching QGIS to a wide range of professionals for the last several years. Christopher is also a co-founder of the QGIS local user group in Norway. "

Three Interview Questions

This week I saw these three questions posted on various discussion boards and forums. They are not bad ones to give to a prospective job candidate, along with a computer with a browser. I'd give them 30 minutes to document their answers in fewer than 500 words.

1) How do you zoom to a box in ArcGIS Online?

2) Read the following query. How would you respond? Why?
I am looking to open source software to draw indoor maps.

Basic requirements: easy to use for non architects, fully visual (no code), import of standard file formats like DWG, GeoJson or similar, export/publishing for online tools
3) Read the following query. How would you respond? Why?
Hey y'all I'm coming to the end of my contract for my current position [at Apple], and I'm looking to improve my skills with open software, since my current position is all proprietary, do y'all have any recommendations on where to get started? (free courses, videos, software, etc.) [I'm actually also really interested in books too]
For Students

GIS Colorado: 2019 Scholarship for grad and undergrad full and part time students studying in the state. Project and essay required.


Geckoboard: Common Data Mistakes to Avoid - A nice reference tool. Via @KennethField.


UCGIS: The organization announced the 2019 cohort of TRELIS Fellows. Via @UCGIS.

University of Michigan Flint: Alumna maps out a path to beautify Flint- GIS Certificate student Melissa Hertlein is now a community planner with the Genesee County Land Bank. Her work involves reducing blight and improving vacant properties throughout the region.


"Power of Data" is an NSF funded effort to educate instructors in geospatial inquiry. The workshop is for middle and high school educators. There's a stipend of $700 for the five days. If participants update a lesson, there's an additional $200 stipend. The workshop runs twice in Rhode Island later this year: June 24-28 in Woodward Hall at the University of Rhode Island and August 12-23 at ASF Middle School, Coventry, RI. Applications are due April 26, 2019.