ABS Consulting Group, Inc.: Home | Blog | Resume | Speaking | Publications

Thursday, August 20, 2020

GIS Ed Weekly: Tracking Students to Track COVID-19

Mapping COVID-19
The Spun: U.S. Map Provides A Telling Look At The College Football World - "The map shows just how segmented things are. The Western United States will have little to no FBS college football this fall, with independent program BYU as the lone holdout west of Texas right now. Meanwhile, the South is holding firm."

CBS 2 Pittsburgh: Pres. Donald Trump’s Top Coronavirus Adviser Praises West Virginia School Virus Map - "The map is based on a Harvard University model but places more emphasis on the potential community spread of the virus, rather than confirmed cases that exist in congregate settings such as nursing homes and prisons."
TechCrunch: Fearing coronavirus, a Michigan college tracks its students with a flawed app - Per the article author on Twitter: "A university in Michigan is requiring all students to install an app that tracks their location around the clock. Students can't opt-out. If students refuse, they face suspension. Worse, the app had two major security flaws that exposed private data." Via @Audreywatters who notes: "Any excuse for ed-tech to peddle its surveillance dystopia to schools. Cheating. Shootings. Suicide prevention. Radicalization. The Rona."
Cleveland.com:  Cuyahoga County launches interactive COVID-19 compliance map - "Roughly 30 percent of the reports are for 'non-compliance,' with the rest being 'fully compliant.'"
Financial Times: We won’t remember much of what we did in the pandemic - "The psychologist Barbara Tversky, author of Mind in Motion, argues that our minds are built on a foundation of cognition about place, space and movement." That, argues Tim Harford (who I know from podcasts like Cautionary Tales) is why we won't remember much from lockdown. Via @kennethfield.
World Economic Forum: Why maps matter in our response to COVID-19 - "Our understanding of and behavioural response to COVID-19 is profoundly influenced by maps."


UGA: Book seeks to locate the everyday through geography - Rob Sullivan "suggests that the everyday is where change occurs and where resistance to change can begin. By locating the everyday through geography, people can help to make change possible. Whatever the issue, the transformations required all begin with the transformation of the everyday order." Sullivan is a former lecturer in geography at the University of California, Los Angeles.

NC: State: Taking Research with Drones to New Height - Will Reckling, a PhD candidate, uses drones in his work.
Meanwhile in our Industry
Ars Technica: Google Maps gets “more detailed, colorful map” - "Google announced a rework for the Google Maps normal map tileset which will now pull in color data from satellite imagery."
Resources for Teaching and Learning
YouTube: How to get started with GIS in your teaching -  Alistair Hamill offers an hour-long "practical GIS webinar from the BlendEdNI Amplify Conference, August 2020." Via @lcgeography.
Nebraska: Links and Resources that Help Support the Nebraska K-12 Geography Standards - A list of generic resources. The geography standards are on pages 59-61 of this PDF. The "article" was distributed via a press wire
UMass: A How-to Guide for Teaching GIS Courses Online with Hardware or Software in the Cloud - "In a new paper this week, geographer Forrest Bowlick at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and colleagues at Texas A&M offer first-hand accounts of what is required for GIS instructors and IT administrators to set up virtual computing specifically for providing state-of-the-art geographic information systems (GIS) instruction."
On and Off Campus
Hawaii: Updated UH Mānoa map highlights campus features - "The map’s side menu helps users locate the closest ATM, water refill station, gender neutral restrooms and many other amenities and points of interest. Users can also explore the many features of the campus including sustainability efforts, accessibility and the thousands of plants that make UH Mānoa an accredited arboretum."

Grinnell: Grinnell assistant professor forecasting models of COVID-19 spread at colleges - Nicole Eikmeier, a Grinnell College assistant professor of computer science, and colleagues at other universities received an NSF Rapid Response Research grant for their project “Quarantined Networks and the Spread of COVID-19.” The team received $60,000 to develop network models that better capture the geographic and social complexity of the pandemic.


GeoNet: Spatial Data Science in Higher Ed  - This resource page for teaching and research includes pointers to data, tools, lessons, libraries and scripts, GeoAI and deep learning examples, and success stories.

Esri Education Summit Hub - Links to topics and videos from the event.


Random Thoughts

I was thinking the other day that all the businesses that are re-opening in recent weeks sell a strange product: proximity. Think about it. Colleges, restaurants, movie theaters, gyms, all sell proximity to a product (education, food, story, exercise equipment) and to other people.

I'm sure I'm not the only one who receives mail saying "Your tutorial is broken because there's a new version of the software.  I (or my students) can't use it." I wonder if we as educators should assign "broken" tutorials. They might be out of date for the software version, or use different data, or use different software than the students have. Students would need to read more closely, understand the concepts and figure out the new user interface.  

This American Life: Made to be Broken - This hour of radio includes the most understandable illustration of privilege ever in a story about a sixth grade class and the awarding of "Jefferson Bucks."