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Thursday, April 9, 2020

GIS Edu Weekly: Beyond the Default COVID-19 Maps

Beyond the Default COVID-19 Maps

Scientific American: Map Reveals Hidden U.S. Hotspots of Coronavirus Infection - " ...a team from the University of Chicago has mapped confirmed COVID-19 infections per county—and has adjusted for population sizes. The researchers’ findings reveal significant clusters in parts of Georgia, Arkansas and Mississippi, among other areas. Even though the involved populations may be smaller than those of New York or Seattle, they could be disproportionally hit by the disease." 

wnky.com: Program pairs high-risk residents with low-risk volunteers to help them - "Using geographic information systems (GIS) to help find and arrange matches between elder or high-risk residents requesting assistance and low-risk volunteers who can help, this project is a collaboration between Western Kentucky University geography staff and students, the City of Bowling Green, Warren County government and the Warren County Sheriff’s Office."

CNBC: This map shows which states are seeing the most job losses due to the coronavirus - "Claims for state unemployment benefits were most concentrated in Hawaii, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Rhode Island with claims of 73, 63, 62, 54 and 50 per 1,000 workers, respectively."

NY Times: Where America Didn’t Stay Home Even as the Virus Spread - "People in Florida and elsewhere continued to travel widely last week, potentially exposing more people to the coronavirus, phone data shows."

K12 School Status Updates Dashboard: MCH Strategic Data created a dashboard to visualize schools closures in the U.S.

University and Student-made COVID-19 Maps and Dashboards

WCYB: ETSU lab creates interactive COVID-19 tracking map for Tennessee - The Geoinformatics and Disaster Science (GADS) Lab at ETSU created an interactive tracking map to show the spread of COVID-19 across the state of Tennessee.

Vanderbilt University News: Vanderbilt geospatial researchers fill unmet need for real-time maps of COVID-19 spread in Tennessee, Peru - "... Natalie Robbins, a staff researcher with the Vanderbilt Initiative for Interdisciplinary Geospatial Research (VIIGR), was curious to see where the cases were across the state—and how they would spread.." so she built a map. "Inspired by Robbins’ efforts, anthropology Ph.D. student Gabriela Oré—who normally spends her days as an archaeologist studying the Andes—decided to build a similar map for her native Peru."

Rice News: Rice researchers create interactive map of COVID cases in Texas - "A team of researchers in the Center for Research Computing’s Spatial Studies Lab at Rice University has created an interactive map showing all cases of COVID-19 across Texas utilizing public health data. The map is now online at coronavirusintexas.org."

Cranfield University: Cranfield student creates COVID-19 map for Nigeria - "A student from Cranfield University in the UK has created a dashboard giving information on the spread of Covid-19 in Nigeria. Nnenna Nkata, 27, is from Abia State in Nigeria and is studying for an MSc in Geographical Information Management."

UNCO News: Central GIS Mapping Visualizes Real-Time Data on Coronavirus - Jieun Lee, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the UNC department of Geography, GIS, and Sustainability created her own interactive map called, "Colorado Coronavirus COVID-19 Cases Dashboard By University of Northern Colorado Department of Geography, GIS, and Sustainability" that tracks confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Colorado.

Case News: Mapping the COVID-19 risk - "A team led by Yanfang (Fanny) Ye, the Theodore L. and Dana J. Schroeder Associate Professor in the department of Computer and Data Sciences and the Institute for Smart, Secure and Connected Systems (ISSACS) at the Case School of Engineering, has developed and is testing an online risk-assessment tool that would give the user updated location-specific information about the relative risk of going to any location in the United States."

Gillette News Record: Coalition channels tech community to find creative solutions for COVID-19 - The Wyoming Technology Coronavirus Coalition was formed March 17 and includes a variety of high tech "makers" including some making maps.

Teaching and Learning

Penn State News: Students keep learning communities alive virtually - "The halls and classrooms of Walker Building are empty and silent but undergraduate and graduate students in the Department of Geography are finding ways to connect and support each other during remote learning."

KNAU: University Students Struggle With Technology Access During Pandemic - "Students without high speed Internet or reliable computers at home are struggling with their online coursework. Jeff Jenness teaches a GIS lab at Northern Arizona University. He says NAU has a 'virtual desktop' with the GIS software, but not all of his students have been able to access it."

City Times: Geography professor brings comfort to students despite campus closure - Lisa Chaddock has been teaching physical geography at San Diego City College for 14 years and now she's using tools like Canvas and Zoom to do so online.

RIT University News Services: RIT researchers create serious games to teach disaster management and resilience skills - "A group of RIT professors, students and National Science Foundation-funded college students from across the country have developed serious geographic information systems (GIS) games for disaster resilience research. The games aim to teach general audiences, emergency managers and first responders about spatial thinking skills and how they can help communities withstand and recover from disasters."

NPR: 4 In 10 U.S. Teens Say They Haven't Done Online Learning Since Schools Closed - "A new national survey also suggests most teens are following coronavirus news closely — and they're worried."

Caliper: Maptitude Continues to Provide Students & Educators Free Software through Coronavirus Closures - "Access to the popular Maptitude GIS (Geographic Information System) supports K-12 and higher education students who can no longer access school computers during the COVID19 pandemic." I do not understand this sentence from the release: "Maptitude can run completely offline, and would be a solution for those students that have a poor internet connection, a factor that has been attributed to a lack of geographical knowledge (U.S. Students Are Really Bad at Geography)."

NASA: NASA, University of Nebraska Release New Global Groundwater Maps and U.S. Drought Forecasts - "NASA researchers have developed new satellite-based, weekly global maps of soil moisture and groundwater wetness conditions and one to three-month U.S. forecasts of each product. While maps of current dry/wet conditions for the United States have been available since 2012, this is the first time they have been available globally."

LinkedIn: GIS Location Intelligence Analysis For Business Development - PART A - Dimitris Karakostis, a Technical Manager and GIS Developer in Greece, offers a tutorial using QGIS, PostGIS and open data. Individuals will "need to have a basic knowledge of GIS and QGIS and PostgreSQL software."

Educate (American Public Media): What good is a history major? - "As fewer college students opt to major in history, there's an effort by history departments to prove the practical value of their discipline." An interesting listen especially when you insert "geography" where they says "history."

Events and Activities for All Ages

Something About Maps: How to do Map Stuff - A virtual event on April 30 discusses maps; here's the schedule.

Harvard Center for Geographic Analysis: Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic with Geospatial Research and Applications - "As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves rapidly around the globe, Harvard’s CGA is hosting a virtual forum focusing on time-sensitive geospatial research on COVID-19 related topics, on May 1st. Meeting URL will be sent to registered attendees via email. See here for more information and registering." Via Highered-L.

State of the Planet (Earth Institute, Columbia): Earth Institute Goes Live in Video Series for K12 Students and Educators - There will be twice weekly one hour lectures for different age groups. Among the topics coming in May is Get the GIS of It, offered in two forms: for grades 3-6 and 10-12.

GeoNet: Indoor mapping: Map detectives - Esri's Kylie Donia offers a geography slideshow in a storymap to keep young ones entertained.

Geographical: Free online learning for students, teachers and curious minds - Another list of resources, mostly courses, but also lectures, podcasts, career information and activities.

Programs and Courses

Kamloops this Week: TRU professor hopes to teach course on COVID-19 pandemic this summer - "Dr. Michael Mehta, who teaches geography and sociology at the [Thomspon Rivers] university, said he has received positive feedback from students looking to enroll in the potential summer course after missing out on credits when the novel coronavirus pandemic moved TRU’s winter semester courses out of the classroom and onto the internet."

Planet: McGill University Partners With Planet To Track Earth Systems Changes Daily - "McGill University, one of the oldest universities in Canada, recently signed an agreement with Planet to provide students with subscription access to Planet’s data and satellite imagery."

University of California: University of California Health Data Initiative Launches Daily Updates on COVID-19 Tests - "Today, the University of California Health will begin to distribute daily updates via its @UofCAHealth Twitter account about SARS-CoV-2 testing volume, the number of positive tests and age distribution of confirmed cases gathered from its five medical centers across the state." Yes, there are maps.


UGA Today: Three faculty members receive 2020 Russell Awards - One of the three recipients of this undergraduate teaching award is "Jerry Shannon, an assistant professor with a joint appointment in the department of geography in the Franklin College and in the College of Family and Consumer Science’s department of financial planning, housing and consumer economics."

U Toronto: A&S launches Online Learning Academy - "... the Faculty is launching the A&S Online Learning Academy to bring those professors and instructors [with online experience] together to share their expertise in providing outstanding online learning opportunities for our students. ... The Academy is led by Don Boyes, an award-winning professor from the University of Toronto’s Department of Geography & Planning who is passionate about the role of technology in teaching and how it can be leveraged to transform the learning experience for students." Via @DonBoyes.

Mississippi State: Thomasson returns to MSU as agricultural and biological engineering head - "A precision agriculture and cotton ginning expert is the new head of Mississippi State’s Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering."

AroundtheO: OU geography prof urges change in pandemic fund oversightIn a journal commentary in The Lancet - "In a journal commentary in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, University of Oregon geographer Leigh Johnson and her colleague Susan Erikson, a medical anthropologist at Simon Fraser University, explain why a World Bank fund meant to mobilize private investors’ money for pandemic preparedness and prevention has repeatedly failed to disburse money – first for the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2019 and now for COVID-19."

The Great Courses Daily News: New Geography Data Apps Track, Analyze Coronavirus Spread - A roundup of apps with insight from Dr. Paul Robbins, Director of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He offers a course on The Great Courses platform titled Understanding Cultural and Human Geography.