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Thursday, October 22, 2020

GIS Ed Weekly: Is data availability the reason to select a GIS platform?

Resources for Teaching and Learning

U.S. Elections Project: 2020 General Election Early Vote Statistics - A map and database from Michael McDonald, Professor, University of Florida. Via FastCompany.

Five Thirty Eight: Explore The Ways Trump Or Biden Could Win The Election - In this interactive, visitors can "[p]ick the winner of each state to see how FiveThirtyEight’s presidential forecast would change." There's further discussion in this article.

Bored Panda: 30 Unusual Maps People Shared On This Group That Might Change Your Perspective On Things - This is a roundup of maps from Reddit's MapPorn subreddit. You may have seen some of these, but probably not all of them.
The News Wheel: How to Navigate Using a Paper Road Map - This is new content on an automotive website. 

New York Times: Red and Black Map - This Times Learning Network article asks students to look at a picture, this time of a picture map and to try to determine the nature of the article it was meant to illustrate. I didn't get it!

Medium: Back To School with Planet: There are six posts in this series "for K-8 students interested in learning more about the science we do with Earth and Space." Each one has activities (most are STEM-y but not geography-y) and suggested related books and movies.

Brandman: Geospatial experts helping women build careers as geographic information systems analysts - Brandman University and Women in GIS have been hosting a webinar series, "in which GIS practitioners discuss their experiences entering their field and acquiring proficiency as geospatial analysts." It's unclear if there will be additional webinars. 

Museum of Science (Boston): How Can Artificial Intelligence Help Create Maps? - In this podcast "Benjamin Clark and Saikat Basu from Facebook tell us about their initiative to help identify roads in satellite images using deep learning..."

Geospatial World: Geospatial Python: Do you need to learn it? - This is an interview with Anita Graser who's active in the python an QGIS communities. There is no solid answer, as this introductory sentence acknowledges: "Let’s hear from her why Python may or may not be a good option for your GIS project." I stand by my writing on the "Should all GIS Users Learn to Code" article from 2012. As I write this, my current work with the Learn ArcGIS Team has me putting around with Python. 

Twitter: Abeba Birhane on Ethics - The cognitive science PhD student at University College Dublin discusses some ethical dilemmas she shared with students and their responses.

Fast Company: NYC’s new subway tool settles the biggest debate in maps - "Designed by the digital agency Work & Co with support from the Transit Innovation Partnership, the MTA’s new digital map is an ever-changing, living entity that combines the best features from two famous maps that have come before." 

The Guardian: The maps that show life is slowly getting better - Part of the paper's series called "The Upside," the article is based on a new book, Terra Incognita: 100 Maps to Survive the Next 100 years by Ian Goldin and Robert Muggah." Here's the EarthTime website, the source of the maps. Via @re_sieber.

Data News

MapBox Blog: Global Movement data for mobility insights - "Mapbox Movement is a living data set generated from 30+ billion daily location updates and drawn from an underlying data panel of over 700 million monthly active users of Mapbox-powered apps worldwide. This data set captures significant mobile device activity aggregated into geographic tiles of 100-meter resolution (approximately one city block) and various Mapbox boundaries. Use cases include retail analysis and site selection, disaster rapid response, POI busy hour tracking, and transportation planning. Movement Data is now available in public beta to all Mapbox developers." At one time having unique data helped distinguish GIS software offerings. Is that coming back?

GIS Lounge:  Find Public GIS Data with Google’s Earth Engine Catalog - "The Earth Engine Data Catalog lets users search and discover Earth observation public datasets. The collection includes standard Earth science raster datasets as well as derivative products." Per the catalog, "You can import these datasets into your script environment with a single click." Is this another example of "data leading the choice of platform situations?"
Prius Intelli: Prius Intelli Offers Free Access to* Aerial Imagery and GIS Services to Help Companies Make Business Decisions  - The press release seems to be from a company that launched its imagery business in April. What's the *? "*Offer subject to discretion of Prius Intelli." Another example?


Penn State: Penn State alumna reflects on how geography influences her filmmaking - Megan Ruffe, a Schreyer Scholar who graduated in 2013, earning degrees in film production and geography is behind short documents about the 19th amendment found on The New York Times website and national monuments on The Washington Post.

AAG: Geographers Recognized for National Research on COVID-19 - "Geographers have been recognized in 16 research and educational fellowships from The Geospatial Software Institute (GSI) Conceptualization Project. The fellowships support 14 projects that tackle COVID-19’s challenges for public health, social networks and contact tracing, housing stability, and disparities due to age, race, and disabilities, using geospatial software and advanced capabilities in cyberinfrastructure and data science. A full list of the fellows, with biographies and project information, is at https://gsi.cigi.illinois.edu/geospatial-fellows-members/."

ASU: ASU student aspires to use passion for data, geoscience tools to support public lands - "[Margaret] Tueller, who is a senior in Arizona State University's School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning and is double majoring in geographic information science and urban planning, aspires to use her passion for data and geoscience tools to support land management and conservation, like that of the National Park Service." 

Programs and Courses
USF: USF and NOAA to launch world-class cooperative ocean mapping center - "The University of South Florida’s College of Marine Science has been awarded a five-year, $9 million cooperative agreement by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Office of Coast Survey to launch the Center for Ocean Mapping and Innovative Technologies (COMIT). The center, located on the USF St. Petersburg campus, will develop new technologies and approaches to ocean and coastal zone mapping in line with NOAA’s commitment to building resilient coastal ecosystems, communities and economies."

ASU: ASU group wins Geospatial Excellence Catalyst Award - "Arizona State University's Geospatial Research Solutions, a professional services group housed within the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, was awarded the National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) Geospatial Excellence Catalyst Award for its project, 'AZGeo Geospatial Data Hub.'"

MYGEO: Karl Donert announces two MOOCs from the MYGEO project. One, for students, is open for registration now: Geo tools for employability. It's free, two weeks long (estimated effort "50 hours"), self-paced, requires seven deliverables be uploaded and provides a certificate for those who complete it. "The aim of this course is to train students in modern tools and and the competences that can help them to find a job in the geospatial sector" per the EuroGeo newsletter. It's identified as "intermediate/advanced." A second course aimed at educators will open for registration later this fall. Via @karldonert.

Meanwhile in Other Corners
SPAR 3D: No longer a rumor: iPhone 12 Pro models have lidar - "According to Apple the iPhone 12 Pro ($999) will include a lidar chip – a first for mobile phones." And, per Daily Tech News Show, the wider use of such chips will bring prices down so that more devices and thus more apps can use them. How will having "lidar in your pocket" impact geospatial education?

Engadget: 'Pokémon Go' gets AR Mapping tasks to enable more realistic effects - A new feature of the game, available to those at a certain level (and who will have parent's permission), asks those a specific locations to scan the area. This information will be use to create a better AR experience in the future. Said another way, Niantic is having its players collect data for future releases.

Events and Opportunities

The National Academies Geographic Sciences Committee: COVID-19 and the Geography of Vulnerability - The event is the committee's fall meeting and it's free to attend Tue, October 27, 2020 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM EDT.

OpenStreetMap: Connect 2020 - "This free, virtual event [Oct 29-31] is a celebration of our community and all things OpenStreetMap. Connect 2020 will include an informal Mappy Hour Thursday evening, a scheduled half day of talks on Friday, and a day of workshops, birds of a feather sessions and mapathons on Saturday. We hope to make this an annual gathering that enables people from across the country to learn about OpenStreetMap and network with fellow mappers through a combination of curated and community-led dialog. Interested in participating in the event? Submit a talk proposal, facilitate a Saturday session, or sign up to volunteer."

UN: Volunteer position - "The Online Volunteer will participate in the projects applying GIS techniques in the context of Sustainable Development Goals under the UNDP priority areas such as ending poverty, democratic governance and peacebuilding, climate action and disaster preparedness, response, and recovery." You need to have a bachelor's degree and working knowledge of GIS.

NEURISA: Support a Teacher Initiative - The New England chapter of URISA is hosting a survey to try to find GIS professionals to support teachers as part of National Geographic's "goal of having one million GIS literate teachers in the next five years and to reach 25 million students worldwide."
Meanwhile in Education
Twitter: Cory Doctorow on Proctorio - Audrey Watters says you should read this thread. She's right.

USGIF: USGIF Path to Industry Certification: High School Industry Geospatial Intelligence Credentialing - "The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) partnered with Gateway Global American Youth and Business Alliance Academies Inc. (AYBAA), an education management and workforce solutions provider in the St Louis region, to bring Entry to Executive, an industry certification program, to Missouri high school students to encourage them to work toward a geospatial intelligence industry credential while pursuing a high school diploma....The pilot program began on June 15, 2020, as an all virtual training offered to Missouri students. For 12 weeks students endured rigorous training in GIS and GEOINT." I'm unsure if I find the term "endured" or the term "training" more disturbing.