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Thursday, March 5, 2020

GIS Education Weekly: Faculty from Two Georgia Schools to Write OER GIS Text

Coronavirus Mapping

NPR (Shots Blog): Map: US States With Coronavirus Infections - How helpful is this map in the context of Ken Field's discussion from last week?

The Conversation: Coronavirus outbreak: a new mapping tool that lets you scroll through timeline - I only this week found this article and map from Edward Parker, Research Fellow in Systems Biology, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. Via Google Maps Mania.

NASA: Airborne Nitrogen Dioxide Plummets Over China - Remote sensing shows, "NO2 amounts have dropped with the coronavirus quarantine, Chinese New Year, and a related economic slowdown." Some really nice change detection! Via author Joshua Stevens, who I follow on Twitter.

The Daily Orange (Syracuse) Map: See how coronavirus threatens SU Abroad programs - "SU Abroad’s Florence program was suspended last week after an outbreak in northern Italy. The university has directed all programs to develop contingency plans as cases of the virus are reported in countries of four remaining SU Abroad programs."


University of Minnesota: The Edge of ImpossibilityAn Interview with Eric Shook - "Eric Shook, assistant professor in the Department of Geography, Environment, and Society, is using geospatial computing to make data on cropland a usable resource for research, policymaking, and uses yet to be uncovered." "This interview is part of a series that highlights faculty research at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities College of Liberal Arts." Via @mmdolbow.

Montana Kaimin: Uncharted Territory - The school paper offers a profile if big cat habitat mapper and University of Montana GIS instructor, Kevin McManigal, who I've noted before in this newsletter. He came back to UM in 2018 with an agreement to do so for three years. "UM isn’t fully out of its budget crisis, and changes are still happening. The entire geography department was absorbed into the forestry school in fall 2019. The GIS certificate is being reduced from 20 credits to 18. Regardless, McManigal thinks things are heading in the right direction, and he’s happy to be teaching."

Illinois State University News: Aondover Tarhule named vice president and provost - Dr. Aondover Tarhule will serve as the vice president for Academic Affairs and provost, effective July 1. Tarhule is a physical geographer who works on how climate impacts water scarcity and security who currently serves as vice provost and dean of the Graduate School at Binghamton University.

Virginia Association of Surveyors: VAS Awards Honorary Member to Dr. Gladys West - "On Saturday, February 22, (fittingly, on George Washington’s Birthday and the last day of National Engineers Week), a delegation from VAS presented a certificate of Honorary Member to Dr. Gladys West, a mathematician and native Virginian known for her contributions to the mathematical modeling of the shape of the Earth, and her work on the development of the satellite geodesy models that were eventually incorporated into the Global Positioning System (GPS). Representing VAS was President Gary Faulhaber, Second Vice President Alison Hanson, Dave Doyle (Honorary Member of VAS and former Chief Geodetic Surveyor of the National Geodetic Survey), and Executive Director John Palatiello." Via GIS User.

UC Berkeley: Meet our new faculty: Clancy Wilmott, geography - "Research interests: I research space, media technologies and mapping between digital and analog systems of representation and everyday life."

COGS: The 2020 grads are featured in the school's Graduate Profile booklet, a PDF with mini-students resumes, but no contact information, stored in ArcGIS Online organization. Via Dave MacLean on LinkedIn.

On and Off Campus

WDTN.com: Card makes way from Alaska to West Carrollton for lesson in geography - This is an old-fashioned "learn geography by mail" story, but the sender is 90 and in remote Alaska. Further, she was "first in all of the U.S. for the 2020 census count." The grade one students in an Ohio town received the letter, a Valentine's Day card.

Resources for Teaching and Learning

BuzzFeed: Can You Find The 14 States Voting On Super Tuesday On A US Map? - A set of rainbow maps challenge you to find specific states. Buzzfeed suggests you "Make your geography and civics teachers proud." The map image, at right, is apparently from Getty Images

EuroGeographics: The full report, Authoritative Data in a European Context, from October 2019, is available for all for free. "EuroGeographics is an international not-for-profit organisation and the membership association for the European National Mapping, Cadastral and Land Registry Authorities. It currently brings together members from 46 countries, covering the whole of geographical Europe." Via press release.

Class Central: 1400+ Coursera Courses That Are Still Completely Free - The vast majority of Coursera courses provide only a limited free audit part, but others offer everything except the certificate (including graded assignments) for free. Dhawal Shah is both the CEO of Class Central and a programmer, so he found them all and listed them. Among them is still the classic Maps and the Geospatial Revolution from Pennsylvania State University ★★★★★(11).

Class Central: One Course, Three Platforms: How a Popular Programming MOOC Differs on Coursera, edX, and FutureLearn - What if the same course were offered on three different MOOC platforms? How would you determine which was "best?" Pat Bowden answers that by highlighting the differences in the three popular platforms. I agree with her comments on Coursera and EdX as I've taken a few MOOCs on each. Interestingly, her highest praise is for FutureLearn, where I have yet to venture.

Programs and Courses

UMass: The Geography Program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is offering two GIS courses for the summer term. Both can be taken online or in person at our Mt. Ida campus in Newton, MA:
- Cartography and Geovisualization (Geography 493A) Online  In person
- Introduction to GIS (Geography 593G) Online   In person 
Via Joe Kopera on Esri HigherEd-L.


News at UNG: USG awards $30,000 to UNG and Kennesaw State to write New Open-Source Textbook: "The University System of Georgia recently awarded faculty members at the University of North Georgia (UNG) and Kennesaw State University with an Affordable Learning Georgia (ALG) Textbook Transformation Grant. The $30,000 grant will allow five faculty members to create no-cost or low-cost course materials similar to a textbook for geographic information science (GIS) courses at the two schools. Currently, the textbook costs $85 to $99, according to the proposal. The total projected savings per academic year is more than $31,000."

Opportunities and Contests

SPAR3D: Submissions Open for Younger Geospatial Professional of the Year - "SPAR 3D Expo and Conference and Lidar News are pleased to announce that video submissions are now being accepted for the 2nd Annual Younger Geospatial Professional of the Year Award (YGP of the Year Award) competition. ... The award will be presented at the SPAR 3D Expo & Conference 2020 taking place in Chicago, IL, June 3 – 5." Submission are due March 31.