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Thursday, January 30, 2020

GIS Education Weekly: Coronavirus Teachable Moments

Resources for Teaching and Learning

LinkedIn: Tom Backhouse is working to get a hard copy of a 'GeoScience for the Future' poster to classrooms. The poster has a nice representation of geoscience jobs, including those in GIS and remote sensing and their connection to one or more millennium development goals.

Can you point to Ukraine on a map?:  Chris Zubak-Skees wrote some code to give visitors to the site a chance to try. This was after the U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo challenged Mary Louise Kelly of National Public Radio to do so on an unlabeled map.

Twitter: Jed Kolko, Chief Economist at Indeed offers a thread (with references) about the "old death-of-distance argument" which claims "that the Internet will let us do everything from anywhere so place doesn't matter." Via Brian Timoney.

City Roads: A tool built on OpenStreetMap draws only the roads/streets/highways of a city or town. You can customize road color and label colors. Via a tweet from a fifth grade teacher (via @geteach). The thread includes some possible educational uses.

Fortune: When GPS Goes Wrong - This series of articles by Katherine Dunn highlights "a recent wave of disruptions" described as "a crisis of navigation."

GE Teach Blog: Decade of Google Geo EDU - jwilliams, aka @GETeach, shares some favorite posts from the last decade of work on the "Free site dedicated to help teachers educate and engage students using Google Geo Tools.”

Pupperish: Take A Look At These 21 Maps That Show The World Around Us From A Different Perspective - This undated collection from a website meant to waste your time with cute animal stories includes a few maps that are not authoritative. Still, the maps are entertaining and many reveal patterns that are likely new to students.

Google: OpenStreetMap is now hosted on Google's BigQuery. - It's a public dataset and Josh Livni (@jlivni) says it's updated weekly.
African Territorial Campaigns as mapped by NAVCO.

Harvard: Mapping Nonviolent and Violent Campaigns and Outcomes (NAVCO) - "The Nonviolent and Violent Campaigns and Outcomes (NAVCO) Data Project is a multi-level data collection effort that catalogues major nonviolent and violent resistance campaigns seeking government overthrows or territorial independence around the globe from 1900–2014."

LinkedIn: I was interviewed by a colleague (and Esri MOOC student, before he joined Esri) who is a member of the URISA Vanguard Cabinet about education.  The quote that seems to be noteworthy: "If you find yourself really not engaged with what you’re reading, watching or doing, move on."

Twitter: An interactive map made by McGill researchers indexes sprawl. Via R. E. Sieber, my Canadian connection.

Twitter: Kiri Carini asked: "Everyone is doing storytelling apps, scrollytelling, storymaps type apps. Can we do a round up?" There's a nice list of different technologies to explore. One is called Scrollama!

Coronavirus Teachable Moments

Fox 26: Neighbors confused as coronavirus map lists outbreak in Fresno County - The source of the confusion? The news site reports: "The coronavirus map tracks cases by state, not by city, in the united states. The location of the dots on the U.S. map are computer-generated based solely on state information." More from the Sacramento Bee

Asia Times: US geographic illiteracy may be security threat Christina Lin, a foreign and security policy analyst, makes the argument. Her examples include both recent challenges in the Middle East and the coronavirus.

Twitter: Ken Field makes some suggestions for better coronavirus maps based on some from the BBC.

Got more? Share them and I'll include them next week!

Question of the Week

The Claremore Daily (OK): Which Streets are the Worst? - Claremore Engineer Garrett Ball describes a new contract to tackle pavement issues, which reveals that GIS is a verb:
What this proposal includes is they will have someone come in and GIS all our streets, lengths, widths, pavement material, and they will also come in an analyze each section of pavement which allows them to put all this into a program and come up with a Pavement Quality Index.
On and Off Campus

FIU News: GIS experts help visualize threat of sea level rise - "In the Tech Insider video above, 'How Artists and Scientists are Tackling Miami’s Rising Sea Levels,' researchers Jennifer Fu and Levente Juhasz from FIU Libraries’ GIS Center join artists and scientists to discuss the creative ways they are crafting a more visual, compelling and often-times grim story of sea level rise in Miami."

Northern Virginia Daily: Students help map rediscovered former slave, freed slave cemetery -  "Students from Shenandoah University and John Handley High School on Friday afternoon helped map gravesites at The Henrico Baltimore Family Cemetery/West Africa Community Graveyard."

reddit/GIS: I will pay you to help me keep my job - "I'm an undergrad student with a brand-new internship.... [I don't remember much from my one GIS course and they want me to do a GIS project.] ... I'm willing to pay someone (venmo/cash app/paypal) to listen to the parameters of my project and guide me on how to approach it." I hope this is a hoax, but I'm not sure it is.

Community Mapping Lab Blog (UGA): CML UPDATE: SPRING 2020 - Students have been involved with mapping projects involving social services, bike routes and rural housing. 

WMU News: WMU Libraries unveils digital campus history map: A campus story map "showcases the history of its buildings and growth of Western Michigan University's campus. The project draws on the extensive WMU Archives collection and expert knowledge of archivists and librarians."

Education News

Vox: New surveillance AI can tell schools where students are and where they’ve been - "Appearance Search allows school administrators to review where a person has traveled throughout campus — anywhere there’s a camera — using data the system collects about that person’s clothing, shape, size, and potentially their facial characteristics, among other factors. It also allows security officials to search through camera feeds using certain physical descriptions, like a person’s age, gender, and hair color. So while the tool can’t say who the person is, it can find where else they’ve likely been. For some, this raises big concerns."

The Educational Opportunity Study at Stanford: "The Stanford Education Data Archive (SEDA) aims to harness data to improve educational opportunity." Here are the maps! Via Nick Santos.

Chronicle of Higher Education: Maine Moves Ahead on Plan for Systemwide Accreditation - The idea of a single accreditation for all the state campuses could save money, should it be approved. Noteworthy too, are comments from Matthew Bampton, professor of geography at the University of Southern Maine from his viewpoint as part of the Maine Geospatial Institute, a collaboration that involves professors on every campus in the system.


Deseret News: Clayton Christensen, guru of disruptive innovation and Latter-day Saint leader, dies at 67 - Clayton was my Mom's boss.  When I was in high school, he was the CEO at Ceramics Process Systems, a startup in Cambridge. He hired her to build and manage the Experience Center (library). She thought the world of him and stayed with the company even when it moved out of town, to a town an hour away. My brother and I helped in the Experience Center when we were in college. I liked that when Clayton got famous I could say "I knew him when..," but now I'm happy my Mom got to have a job she really loved for so long.


GeoTech Center: Several Regional GIS Workshops  are coming up starting in June for middle/high school, two year, four year and "other" educators. To apply, you have to include among other things, a photo of yourself and your Esri user name. There are stipends for those who (1) develop curricular materials that can be used for teaching purposes and (2) attend each day of a workshop.

Esri (GeoNet): Fun with GIS 258: The Esri 2020 Education Summit - K-12 educators with Esri's K-12 Bundle can attend for $100.

A Library Story

Last week I received an e-mail from my colleague Dawn Wright noting a review of Alexander Murphy's book Geography: Why It Matters. Since I'd not yet read it, I figured this was a good time to do so. I visited my local library website to get to our regional network (The Minuteman Library Network). It was not listed! That seemed weird to me since the argument is surely for non-geographers, not only academics. Further, I was confident academic libraries, of which there are several in our network, would have the 2018 publication in their collections.

I "zoomed out" to our state network (ComCat, the Commonwealth Catalog). It was not listed!

It was time to "zoom out" one more time, to WorldCat, the catalog of some 10,000 libraries. The site includes a location tool to find the nearest copy. The nearest copy of Murphy's book? It was 100 miles away at Springfield College. The next closest ones were in New York and New Jersey.

The fine folks at my library made the request and I am now reading a copy from Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic, CT. I love that the card inside notes, "THIS ITEM TRAVELED MILES TO REACH YOU."

I want to put this effort in context. I just read and returned Alberto Cairo's How Charts Lie to my library. Why did I read that? I'd new about it from Twitter and when I saw it in my library's new non-fiction (where I typically browse to find my next read), I picked it up. Had it not appeared there, would I have read it? Not likely.