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Thursday, December 5, 2019

GIS Education Weekly: FOSS4G Teachable Moments

Resources for Teaching and Learning

Fake image of a September 3rd, 2019,
fire in Central Park, New York City
Medium: It’s a faaaake… — Or not? - Pierre Markuse discusses how to identify fake imagery in the media. Via SE Sieber.

Bloomberg: Apple Maps Gives Crimea to Russia, Gets Angry Ukrainian Reaction - "Ukraine’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Vadym Prystaiko accused Apple Inc. of insensitivity for having some versions of its Maps application depict the Crimean peninsula as being part of Russia." Via Dave Murray.

Fortune: What Makes People Love Waze More Than Google Maps and Apple Maps? Its Army of Unpaid Human Editors - "...editing Waze maps can be like having a second full-time job. But there's one big catch. 'We don’t get a pay check from Waze,' Richey says. 'But there are some great perks.'”

OldMapsOnline.org: "The search engine for historical maps. More than 400,000 old maps, browseable by location." Via Reddit/r/GIS. During a quick visit I found maps from the Boston Public Library, Rumsey and other online collections.

The Denver Post: Map: Colorado has more than 400 “high hazard” dams, and 27 of them are deficient - What questions does the map answer? What questions does it raise? How might it be improved?

Open Source Teachable Moments

Medium: Three Models for Commercializing Open Source Software - Joe Morrison looks at open source business models: "I’ve outlined three strategies for commercializing open source software that I’ve come across in my day job [at Azevea], ... For each business model, I also picked a favorite company that I admire."

Twitter: Even Rouault calls out Pitney Bowes on its comments on open source GDAL in a Pitney Bowes community thread started back in July. Concludes Rouault: "This attitude towards open source software should stop. One cannot expect the end result to be free (often understood as gratis) without providing a significant deal of participation and effort, and sharing the sweat."

Twitter: Jeff McKenna notes a position is available at FOSS4G company Cadcorp. That prompts the question, "What is a FOSS4G company?" I suspect it'd be hard to come to agreement on that. I want to highlight to educators that students should know enough to ask what that might mean as they choose where and how to develop or use open course software. Disclosure: I worked at Cadcorp. 

On and Off Campus

India Education Diary: Scottish High International School to have India’s first ‘GIS Club’ with Esri technology - "Scottish High International School announced the launch of India’s first ever ‘GIS Club’ in a school."

Hexagon Blog:  Education Team Participates in Georgia School’s Speaker Series - "Hexagon’s Geospatial division had the pleasure of participating in the Speaker Series Day on 14 November at the Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, and Technology (GSMST). The STEM high school, located in Lawrenceville, Georgia,  is currently the number one high school in the state of Georgia and number six in the United States. It has been ranked based on state-required tests, graduation, and how well they prepare students for college." It seems an alum from the school works at Hexagon.

The Link (Concordia University, Montreal): Undergraduate Geography Students Hold Climate Strike in Hall Building - "GUSS [Geographic Undergraduate Student Society] is demanding that Concordia be held accountable for its divestment plan. This includes a student-faculty body to oversee divestment, and that all measures taken by the University are directly communicated to the student body and are completely transparent."

Jamaica Observer: Education Ministry ramps up use of GIS for school mapping, educational planning - "While the ministry has used GIS technologies over a number of years to plan for new schools, determine land mass for expansion, infrastructure development programmes and school location in relation to natural hazards and population pecularities, there is a greater push to use current enhanced technology to fine-tune the process."

The Advocate: Lafayette students using cell phones, geographic data mapping to tackle parish litter - A "cohort of students from Carencro High, David Thibodaux STEM Magnet Academy and The Clearport Learning Center, a non-profit tutoring and mentorship organization" are helping catalog litter around Lafayette Parish. They are using Survey123 and StoryMaps and perhaps Google Maps.

Press Republican: Business Briefs - "The Lake Placid Land Conservancy hired Carolyn Koestner to be its strategic conservation planner. ...Koestner earned a B.A. in Environmental Science from Skidmore College and a Certificate in Geographic Information System, or GIS, from Pace University." That's great! I'm a bit confused since to my knowledge Pace University does not offer a certificate in GIS. It did however offer a GIS MOOC which awarded a certificate. 

The Cavalier Daily (The University of Virginia): Mapping Cville Project launches crowdsourcing phase to create map of housing discrimination origins - "During an event last Saturday for the project’s public release of its next phase, volunteers learned how to assist in the project’s data compilation by identifying and recording these racial covenants in an online database."

ASU: Grand Map Giveaway - "The Map and Geospatial Hub will soon be moving to the newly renovated Hayden Library building. As much as we love all our maps, we unfortunately cannot take them all with us." So, there are free maps for the taking on Dec 6.

WaPo: These students make maps for the Philippines and Belize. They never leave campus to do it. - Two dozen students at George Washington University participated in a mapathon hosted by YouthMappers. Via Eddie Pickle.

Exploring Ethics

UC Denver: Do businesses have an ethical obligation to protect user data? - A panel of three from sports data website Strava spoke about "GIS, Data Privacy & Ethics" back in October. This is a recap of the event which was funded by the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative at the Business School.

CNET: Ring let police view map of video doorbell installations for over a year - "For more than a year, police departments partnered with Amazon's Ring unithad access to a map showing where its video doorbells were installed, down to the street, public documents revealed."

BuzzFeed: People Are Doing Weird Stuff At Trump Properties On Google Maps - "We reviewed the user-contributed content on Google Maps for every Trump property that we could identify, plus other Trump-related locations such as the White House and his childhood home. Here are the strangest things we found."

Education News

The Independent: Geography is a 'soft option' for posh students who cannot do other subjects, says Oxford Professor - "Studying geography at university is a 'soft option' for school leavers who are not good at other subjects, says a professor from Oxford University. Professor of geography, Danny Dorling, says departments like his need to do more to address the fact the student demographic for the subject has the 'narrowest and poshest' social profile." Basically, he suggests, it's for the privileged, who are not that smart, who may in fact make the world a worse place.

MOOCLab: First Ever World University Rankings Based On MOOC Performance Unveiled - I've not heard of "MOOCLab" but this is its first press release in three years. The methodology focusses on the number of MOOCs offered and credentials and degrees available plus the universities' ranking in the non-MOOC world. I'm pretty sure this list will mean little to MOOC students, but it does reinforce the rankings of platform providers since only the top three are represented: Coursera, Edx and FutureLearn. FutureLearn already had a press release out on how it did in the rankings.

CNBC: The 10 most in-demand soft skills to master if you want a raise, promotion or new job in 2020 - This list is from Udemy and includes "a growth mindset" which I'd describe as having active learning skills. Do you teach these soft skills?

Programs and Courses

Guidon: Geospatial-intelligence future written at training conference - "The conference is intended to coordinate the geospatial-intelligence training conducted by the services and to infuse with them advances that we’re making at our own main schoolhouse at the NGA headquarters" said Dr. Steve Stuban, the director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s college in Springfield, Virginia.

Makes My Brain Hurt

@EsriTraining retweeted a tweet from @USC_SSI referencing an article from Geospatial World reprinted from the Esri Canada website.

New York Times: Map Quests - Tina Jordan offers a list of atlas appropriate for holiday gifting. She starts the article noting she's the daughter of a geographer. She's the daughter of Terry Jordan. This makes my brain hurt because after reading her name in the byline I said to myself, "she must be the daughter of Terry Jordan." Why do I know who Terry Jordan is? I can't even remember my office phone number!

Big Think: A map of London’s fried chicken obsession - This map of London's chicken restaurants will make your brain hurt, too!