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Thursday, June 18, 2020

GIS Ed Weekly: Messages from a Geography Lecturer and Graduating Student

Resources for Teaching and Learning

Big Think: The periodic table also is a map – well, kind of - Fully 28 elements on the periodic table are named after places. This article would make a great story map!

Spatial Reserves Blog: Top 7 Satellite Imagery Sources - The list is from EOS dated April 2019.

Daily Mail: David Attenborough teaches primary school pupils geography as he finally appears on BBC Bitesize - "Sir David, 94, teaches five to seven-year-olds about the world's continents - Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania, the Americas and finally Antarctica. In a class for seven to nine-year-olds, he discusses latitude and longitude, and the different climates north and south of the Equator."

Geographical: A message to new geography undergrads from a university lecturer: - "Dr Frances Darlington Pollock, a lecturer in population geography at the University of Liverpool, shares her thoughts about the opportunities facing new geography undergraduates despite these disruptive times."

News@UofT': Give your curiosity free rein': U of T grad Michael Bol offers offers words of wisdom to incoming students - Bol majored in geographic information systems and minored in human geography and African studies and founded a campus organization, among other things.

Vox: Feminist cities: What it feels like to be a woman navigating urban spaces - "From woeful public transportation to dimly lighted streets, urban areas consistently fail women. As we rethink the safety of cities, could we rebuild them with women more in mind?"

OSGeo: The PDF draft of Third Edition of Future Trends in geospatial information management: the five to ten year vision is now available. Who wrote it? It was produced by the "Ordnance Survey of Great Britain at the request of the United Nations Committee of Experts on Global Geospatial Information Management." Via OSGeo press release dated June 12.

Public Sector Digest: A Guide to Open Source GIS for the Public Sector - Some study questions follow. Via Neil MacGaffey.

  • What does COTS mean? Is it the same as commercial software?
  • Is there a category of open source GIS software missing? (I think there is!)
  • The author lists some benefits of open source GIS software. Are there any disadvantages? Are some of the named benefits available from non-open-source software?

  • COVID-19 Mapping

    News Medical: UofSC research: Twitter could help predict future pandemics - "Zhenlong Li, a geography professor in the College of Arts and Sciences, and two Arnold School of Public Health professors, Dwyane Porter and Xiaoming Li, are studying the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak along with Twitter data that shows human movement patterns." In May, they received more than $100,000 in a grant from the National Science Foundation.

    CBS News: U.S. eyes in the sky track risks of global reopening during the coronavirus pandemic - The focus is on NGA and change detection. Via @tfraz.

    Higher Education Delivery Plans - Fall 2020 - This is my personal project - a dashboard of the plans for four your schools and how they plan to offer classes this fall. I'm updating it roughly daily from crowdsourced data data from The Daily Pennsylvanian. We are up to 288 schools! The one thing I want to point out is the emerging new definition of "hybrid." Initially, it referred to a mix of in-person and online delivery. I imagined some courses would one or the other or there'd be "hyflex," but one of the most popular combinations involves some in-person teaching and learning until Thanksgiving and with any post holiday classes or finals delivered online to students at home. Some of my college professor friends have indicated the uncertainty of exactly how things will play out, including how many students return to campus, is creating significant stress this summer.

    On and Off Campus

    UMass News and Media Relations: UMass Amherst Libraries Collaborate on Interdisciplinary Faculty Research Award-Winning Georectification Project - "The UMass Amherst Libraries, in collaboration with the College of Natural Science and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, recently received an Interdisciplinary Faculty Research Award for georectifying, analyzing, and distributing historical remotely-sensed images from the William P. MacConnell Aerial Photograph Collection, Special Collections and University Archives, UMass Amherst (SCUA)."

    Groundbreakers (press release): "A team of volunteers including students and alumni at the University of Texas at Austin has created a global COVID-19 Community Resource Map to help identify and locate essential community resources." I noted this earlier this year, but now there's an official press release.

    Hot Springs Sentinel: EAST ninth-graders create trails map app - "Three Hot Springs Junior High EAST students have taken on a project to formulate a free app that will map out biking trails in the Northwoods Trails system, adding convenience for any solo biker or family bikers visiting."

    Programs and Courses

    University of Wyoming News: UW Trustees Approve Launch of Geospatial Information Science Degree Programs - The board voted last Wednesday to approve two new interdisciplinary degree programs and five certificate programs in geospatial information science and technology (GIST). The new programs, coordinated with WyGISC, include two undergraduate certificates, one in geographic information science (GIS) and one in remote sensing; three online graduate certificates, in GIS, remote sensing and unmanned aerials systems (drones); and a Master of Science degree in GIST (online with no thesis required). In addition, a Bachelor of Science degree in GIST will be launched in fall 2022. Students may begin enrolling in the programs this fall. Applications for graduate credentials will be accepted starting July 1.

    Bluefield Daily Telegraph: Concord University eliminating geography, special education - The Athens, WV liberal arts institution "confirmed Wednesday that Geography, Recreation and Tourism Management, and the Master’s in Special Education will no longer be accepting new students. Students currently enrolled in these programs may continue coursework to compete the program and will receive their intended degree." Said the provost: The programs have "fallen out of favor with the students." I found no coverage of this breaking news on the university website.


    Women in GIS, in partnership with Brandman University, offers a virtual roundtable discussion "Impacts on GIS Careers in the Time of COVID" on June 23rd: 6pm EST/3pm PST. Via Geri Miller.

    Meanwhile in our Industry

    New York Post: Florida scientist makes own COVID-19 map after refusing to doctor state data - Rebekah Jones is back with a new dashboard.

    URISA Announces Election Slate - I noticed this when I reviewed the proposed slate: every board member has a GISP. The president elect does not have one; he's got a PE and PLS.

    Forbes: Location Intelligence Is Becoming Democratized - Another GIS company is using a Forbes paid program; this time it's the CEO of OmniSci. I applaud Forbes for doing a better job making it clear it's a paid program.


    Credly Blog: Here's how Esri saw Huge Success with Their [sic] Digital Credentialing Program - I understand Esri uses Credly to manage its badging for certifications.

    StoryMap: Teaching the Geospatial Semester - Jason Smolinski shares his experience teaching JMU's Geospatial Semester at Fairfax High School in Virginia. Via Allen Carroll.

    Cartography. MOOC: The final completion rate for the fourth offering of the Esri Cartography. MOOC was 42%.