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Thursday, November 21, 2019

GIS Education Weekly: Mapping Homeless Female Vets

Programs and Courses

Press Release: ShareSpace Education Donates Giant Mars and Moon Map to Challenger Learning Centers Across the Country - "ShareSpace Education, a key program of the Aldrin Family Foundation (AFF), partnered with Challenger Center, a leading science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education organization, to donate three Giant Mars Map and one Giant Moon Map Interactive education packages promoting STEAM education" in four Challenger Learning Centers across the country.

Trimble: Texas A&M University to Establish Trimble Technology Lab for Geosciences - "Texas A&M University has received a gift from Trimble (NASDAQ: TRMB) to establish a state-of-the-art Trimble Technology Lab in the College of Geosciences. The Lab will provide an integrated field and classroom experience that will empower geospatial education at the University."

SUNY: Cortland: SUNY grant opens campuses to online geospatial technology - SUNY Cortland and Monroe Community College landed a $54,000 New York state grant to be used to make GIS software more accessible to online students via virtual machines. Cortland's tree mapping project was also featured in the school's news this week.

Resources for Teaching and Learning

MIT Tech Review: Where do humans live? A new map offers more detail than ever before. - "Human settlements are the cause and consequence of most environmental and societal changes on Earth. The World Settlement Footprint pinpoints them with unprecedented accuracy." The map was created by a team from the German Aerospace Center.

The Current (UCSB): The GPS in Our Brains - "Neuroscientist Sung Soo Kim zeroes in on the mechanism that allows us to navigate new and different environments."

Open Access Government: Jisc gives academics access to millions of open data maps - "Jisc is pleased to announce the launch of the improved Jisc Geospatial Data service providing universities and colleges easy and free access to more than 1.6 million geographical datasets from around the world, including the most comprehensive index of maps ever brought together."

Ars Technica: Google Earth gets content creation tools for geography-focused presentations - "You'll now be able to make presentations using Google's vast 3D Earth imagery and point-of-interest information. It's sort of like a geography-focused Powerpoint [sic]."


Greeley Tribune: 'Zombie invasion' gives Weld students opportunity to learn about GIS data use in emergencies - "Weld, Greeley and Windsor departments, as well as the University of Northern Colorado, hosted the daylong event to teach students about the county’s geographic data and how it can be used." The students entered data, did field work and flew drones.

Pipe Dream: BU geography department celebrates student work at fifth-annual GIS Day - That's Binghampton University, where GIS Day celebrated student work and highlighted GIS to the university community. Of note: "'All our GIS classes are typically full, with a waiting list,' [Associate Director of GIS and Remote Sensing Core Facility, Kevin] Heard said. 'I know some other departments have started to develop some GIS classes as well … It is a tool which can be used across many disciplines.'” A BU graduate student's work was profiled on a local TV station this week.

Education and Tech News of Note

Forrester: Mapping Trends, Part One: Opportunity And AngstMapping Trends, Part Two: Indoor Positioning And Mapping Standards - The latest trends in our industry per Ted Schadler, VP, Principal Analyst at Forrester.

Class Central: IEEE Learning with MOOCs VI: Meeting the People who Make the MOOCs - I wrote this at the request of Dhawal Shah, the founder of Class Central. Esri sent me to the conference where I presented my paper and talked MOOCs for three days.

NYTimes Magazine: So the Internet did not turn out How we Hoped - A series of essays on the state of the Internet. Via Dan York on FIR. Podcasts that consistently deliver content of value continue to be on my iPod shuffle. This is one I've been listening to for more than 10 years!  These points are noteworthy for those involved in online education:
  • The quality internet content you get will depend on how much you pay.
  • There's still a significant broadband gap in the U.S.
  • 5G means different things to different people. The U.S. has very little "real" 5G.
  • Chinese mobile phone users run apps for everything. Will the rest of the world go that way, too?
  • Fans of (insert topics here) are creating key relationships with individuals/brands/schools/etc. They are voting with their clicks and dollars to build the content and the world they want.


BC Local News: Courtenay teacher wins prestigious national teaching award - Andrew Young teaches geography at Georges P. Vanier Secondary. "For his significant contributions to geographic literacy, Young has won the 2019 Alex Trebek Medal for Geographic Literacy." Young is contributing his winnings to a cancer charity and cycling in its fundraiser in Trebek's name. 

On and Off Campus

Purdue: Drones, lasers to help unravel the mysteries of a Mediterranean island - "Purdue researchers used drones and LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) mapping systems to better understand the history of Dana Island, located off the southern coast of Turkey. "

University of Hawai'i: Hawaiʻi CC, UH Hilo duo maps traditional Hawaiian landscape - "University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo senior geography student Kaylyn Ells-Hoʻokano, with mentor and Hawaiʻi Community College geography instructor Drew Kapp, co-created a map that details the ahupuaʻa (traditional land divisions) of Hawaiʻi Island’s moku (district) of Puna."

Penn State: Homeless female veterans: Out of sight, out of mind - Penn State graduate student and U.S. Air Force veteran Elizabeth Elsea " conducted a geospatial analysis of veterans for final project for her master of professional studies in homeland security (geospatial intelligence option). Her analysis showed that VA services, originally established in locations meant to support a nation of young men drafted to fight two world wars, are no longer optimally situated to serve a shifting veteran population and female veterans specifically."

Credentials and Careers

AAG: Finding your Parachute or The PhD is Not Just for Academics - AAG president David Kaplan looks at the options outside academia for geography masters and PhD holders. I'm going to reference two very smart people who pretty much pointed me away from a PhD. The first, who had a geography PhD, told me before I headed off to pursue my masters: "Don't get a PhD unless you want to be an academic." The second, who best I recall had an MBA, told me as an intern, that he'd selected me (with my master's in hand) to work on a consulting project with him because I knew how to "read, write and think." I have to be honest; both of those pieces of advice have served me well. I did teach a good bit, but never became an academic. I've had lots of good jobs, including perhaps six different ones (and counting!) at Esri and a good many others I "created" for myself.

Education Next: A Certificate, Then a Degree - BYU is doing it by requiring career focused courses leading to a certificate first in a student's march toward a bachelor's degree. The argument goes like this: the student can immediately earn a credential (certificate) and start to make money in their chosen field. That in turn, keeps the student on track and with enough cash to earn a degree. Should we try this within geography or GIS bachelor's programs?

Inside HigherEd: Interview with IBM official about the company's 'new-collar' push to look beyond college degrees - "IBM's view is that 'new-collar' jobs in cybersecurity, cloud computing and other high-demand fields don’t necessarily require a traditional college degree."

Reddit GIS: Easy Certificates to Obtain - "So, I'm an idiot and set a year end development goal of obtaining a certificate. Which I never got around to. Fortunately I didn't specify which one. ... Does anyone have any suggestions of certificates that are crazy stupid easy to get? ...Is there an easy SQL certification anyone knows about? I've gotten much better at that this year."