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Thursday, September 24, 2020

GIS Ed Weekly: How many GIS software packages does a professional use?

Resources for Teaching and Learning

Visual Capitalist: 3D Map: The U.S. Cities With the Highest Economic Output - The map is from HowMuch.net and ranks the top 10 metro area economies in the country in 2018.

YouTube: Magical Van Gogh Exhibit - "Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings come to life at this magical exhibit located at Atelier des Lumières, Paris, France. Song 'Vincent' covered by Jim van der Zee." Via Ilkka Suvanto.

GIS Lounge: Survey of GIS Professionals - Of the 1129 respondents, 469 responded that they use ArcGIS and QGIS. I suspect other respondents selected two or more of the choices as well, though that's not reported. It's more important than ever to be comfortable with more than one GIS package. Does your teaching prepare students for this situation? I feel strongly that students should "learn how to learn" new software and programming languages rather than try to master whatever is "hot" at the moment. Data point: I'm currently learning a "new to me" content management system (CMS) as part of my job. It's the third different one I've used in my career.

Vicksburg Post: It is embarrassing just how bad we are at geography - Yes, you've read articles like this before. This one cites a Directions Magazine article from 2006!

Fantasy Mapping: Drawing Worlds - This is a new book by Wesley Jones, one of Esri's top cartographers. There's a companion site, too! 
The Corvallis Advocate: “Justice by Geography:” The Importance of Location for Young Offenders - "Sypher and Wallace explained that depending on where a young person lives, the way they are punished for their crime can vary greatly. Even if the crime is lesser, like assault or gun possession, a young person can be subjected to multiple forms of discipline, from rehabilitation programs and group homes to 'prisons for kids.'"


GISCI: GISCI Announces New Executive Director - The Board of Directors of GISCI selected Dr. Candice Luebbering as its new Executive Director, effective October 1, 2020. She most recently served as Director of Outreach and Membership Services at the American Association of Geographers and holds a PhD in geography from Virginia Tech. 

GoGeomatics: David MacLean – COGS GIS Instructor: Recipient GANS 2020 Award of Distinction - The Geomatics Association of Nova Scotia (GANS) presents its 2020 Award of Distinction to a true champion and pioneer of Geographic Information, David MacLean of Bridgetown, Nova Scotia. Congratulations David!

UW-Oshkosh: In NY Times, UWO alumna climatologist imagines if leaders listened to experts before hurricanes - University of Wisconsin Oshkosh alumna Jill Trepanier wrote an opinion piece for the Times. She graduated with a degree in geography before moving on to earn a master’s and doctorate from Florida State University. Now she’s an associate geography and anthropology professor at Louisiana State University.
Johns Hopkins: Lauren Gardner among 'TIME 100' most influential people in the world - "Johns Hopkins civil engineer recognized for her work developing the COVID-19 Dashboard, which has become the leading source of centralized data on the coronavirus pandemic."

Meanwhile in Education

Class Central: Eight Countries Offer Online Degrees - "Our goal was to identify countries which offer fully online degrees provided by accredited higher education institutions. For the purpose of this project, we excluded universities specially established to offer distance education i.e Open Universities across the world." And, there's a map!
The Conversation (Australia): If we want brilliant English, history or geography teachers, why are we making humanities courses so costly - "The [government] plan would see fees for some humanities degrees rise by as much as 113%, while fees for courses in fields such as teaching, nursing and STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) would drop."
Fresh Air (NPR): COVID On College Campuses - Theis insightful interview with Scott Carlson of The Chronicle of Higher Education explores how colleges were faring before and adapting during the pandemic. There's quite a lot of discussion related to the geography of higher education.
Meanwhile in our Industry

Autodesk: Autodesk Joins Open Design Alliance to Fast Track Improvements to Interoperability - While many read this as Autodesk working with ODA to provide support of DWG, that's not what's happening. Here's Randall Newton, one of a number of CAD watchers I've been reading for the last 20 years, on LinkedIn: "In a surprising move, Autodesk becomes a partial member of the Open Design Alliance. Carl Bass once called ODA 'the arms merchant to my enemies.' Now they are linked by their common interest in BIM and IFC -- but not DWG." Read Randall's take here. (Disclosure: Esri is a member of ODA.)
Philadelphia Inquirer: Bentley brothers take their 4,000-person Exton software firm public. It’s worth $8.7 billion. - "In a warm welcome from investors hungry for new tech stocks, shares of newly public Bentley Systems Inc., an Exton maker of software for construction and engineering industries, opened at $22 a share Wednesday, then shot up 50% to $33.49 in its first day of trading." (Disclosure: I worked at Bentley very briefly in 1995.)

Programs and Courses

Virginia Space Grant Consortium: New Award Supports Partnerships to Develop the Workforce in Virginia - "Faculty and students at community colleges across the Commonwealth will continue to learn how to operate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) and collect and analyze geospatial data. The Virginia Space Grant Consortium (VSGC) is leading a statewide partnership to develop the geospatial technology and UAS workforce in Virginia. The new award of $561,977 from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program is the fifth award to VSGC and partners targeting the technician workforce in these emerging technologies."

Penn State Geodesign: The program is now part of the Penn State Open Education Initiative. The first course to be available is "Geodesign: History, Theory, Principals." Via @Geodesign_PSU.

Weber State: CARES Funding Supports Students in Geospatial Programs - "Twenty Utah residents aiming to expand their employment opportunities amid the COVID-19 pandemic will gain a new skill set in geospatial technology at Weber State University this year – free of charge. ...With the support of $139,000 in federal CARES Act funding, Weber State’s Northern Utah Geospatial Technology Education Program (NUGeoTec) awarded each of the students a scholarship of about $6,200, which will cover their tuition, fees and supplies for the year. "

COVID-19 Mapping

Mayo Clinic: Mayo creates new online map to track COVID-19 across the U.S. - "Mayo Clinic has created a new online tracking tool for the latest coronavirus date for every county in every state in the U.S. and Washington, DC." The maps are of raw counts.

University of Georgia: Smartphone GPS accuracy may affect contact-tracing apps -  Krista Merry, a research professional at the UGA Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources published a paper before the pandemic that indicated phone GPS locations are more error prone near buildings. “In the end, we found on average it was 7 to 13 meters off—not very big. But in terms of COVID-19 and contact tracing, if you’re using an app that uses GPS to notify people that you’ve come in contact with, there’s error that’s being introduced there.” 

TechCrunch: Google Maps gets a COVID-19 layer - The layer offers rates (rather than raw counts) and trends and is coming to iOS and Android platforms. Data comes from Johns Hopkins, The New York Times and Wikipedia.


GeoTech Center: Virtual GIS Day - The National Geospatial Technology Center of Excellence presents Virtual GIS Day 2020 on November 18, 2020. There are live activities, a contest and resources. For the contest: "Static maps entries may be produced using ESRI [sic], QGIS or another third-party GIS software platform." "Digital map entries may include those created with ESRI ArcGIS Online, Mapbox, or using a coding language (such as Java) to develop their digital map. Story maps are also accepted for this category." I wonder if these requirements could be opened up and simplified to encourage use of all sorts of tools. I'd love to see this: "Entries may be developed with any software tool or combination of tools. Static maps must be delivered in PDF and interactive maps via a URL."

Class Central: Esri has not one, but two MOOCs in this year's list of the top 200 MOOCs of all time. One was on a list in the  past, Cartography. This week its sibling, Esri's third MOOC which debuted in 2016, Do-It-Yourself Geo Apps made the cut. I'm no longer associated with the MOOC program, but I want to give a big shout out to my colleagues Brendan O'Neill who put together the original course, and John Shramek, who updated and hosted it more recently. 

For Students

Redo, since the link was wrong last week. Thanks to loyal reader Beth for letting me know! 

Penn State: The Founders’ Scholarship Fund in the John A. Dutton e-Education Institute provides scholarships for undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in or planning to enroll at least part-time in an online academic program offered by the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences through Penn State World Campus. First preference is given to individuals within this pool who are employees of Esri. Applications are due by Oct 15, 2020. Recipients will be announced by November 1, 2020. (Disclosure: I am currently an advisor to, and taught in, the Penn State online program and I work at Esri.)