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Thursday, October 8, 2020

GIS Ed Weekly: Should SLU faculty train spies and warfighters?

COVID-19 Mapping 

College Crisis: Davidson College started  The College Crisis Initiative (C2i) "to learn how colleges and universities innovate in a crisis mindset." First up is a dashboard covering college education delivery plans during the pandemic. I first heard about the initiative via NPR, which has its own set of visualizations on college COVID-19 testing.

LinkedIn: Tanya Berger-Wolf, the director of the Translational Data Analytics Institute at OSU notes on LinkedIn that the Ohio State University was the only institution to receive an “A+” for its COVID19 dashboard according to We Rate Covid Dashboards, a website that rates college and university COVID dashboards. The team includes a number of students and faculty from Yale and other schools though it's unclear to me if they created the rubric or assigned the scores. I'm curious who is behind the site. If I had to guess I'd say tableau.

Resources for Teaching and Learning

GIS OpenCourseWare: The content is now hosted on platform: Moodle. IHE Delft is behind this resource. "An IHE-OCW is typically (but not necessarily) a by-product of an existing face-to-face or online course of the Institute. The IHE-OCW educational resources are organized in a course format which contains the non-interactive copyright-free parts of IHE courses to form a coherent set of educational materials that allow for free online self-study. " Via @GISOCW.

Yelp Blog: Yelp Partners with Zillow to Name Top Affordable U.S. Suburbs With a City Feel - "Today, Yelp announces a partnership with Zillow to name the Top Affordable U.S. Suburbs With a City Feel, using a new “Cityness Index” to pinpoint U.S. suburbs that best strike a balance between indoor and outdoor space, affordability and urban amenities that have long drawn Americans to cities." Tops in my geography? Lowell Mass.

Teaching Ethics?: @MapesGeog suggests this website as a starting point. "I Know Where Your Cat Lives iknowwhereyourcatlives.com is a data visualization experiment that locates a sample of one million public images of cats on a world map by the latitude and longitude coordinates embedded in their metadata. The cats were accessed via publicly available APIs provided by popular photo sharing websites. The photos were then run through various clustering algorithms using a supercomputer in order to represent the enormity of the data source."

UW: A Workbook for Interactive Cartography and Visualization on the Open Web - "This [OER] workbook introduces the practical skills needed to develop interactive maps and visualizations on the open web. Compared to a traditional textbook, this workbook utilizes a 'spiral' curriculum of short but interconnected lessons that incrementally build proficiency in interactive cartography and visualization." The  discussion on Reddit focus on why there is no Chapter 1. Via Reddit/GIS.

Medium: A Career-Pivoter’s Perspective on Professional Certifications - Micah Babinski offers "stories of pursuing, failing, gaining, and reflecting on certifications, but won’t bother discussing or comparing any particular certs, because that’s been done to death, and I’m no expert on it anyway." One conclusion: "... I pursue certifications because I love (and need) to learn, and it makes me better at my job."

NBC News: Map: Where President Trump went the week he was diagnosed with Covid-19 - "From Ohio to Minnesota to New Jersey, and back to Washington, D.C., the president crisscrossed a chunk of the country this week."

Programs and Courses

UConn:  UConn has just launched  a new four course online graduate certificate program on  Remote Sensing and Geospatial Data Analytics. Interested students can apply for Spring admission. Via Chandi Witharana.

New Maps Plus: There's an updated Map of Student Projects. Via @newmapsplus.

University of New Mexico: New Geography class will examine COVID pandemic - "Professor Chris Duvall, chair of the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at The University of New Mexico, announced a new course will be offered about COVID-19." "The new course is Geog 499: Environmental Security: The COVID-19 Pandemic. The course is about how emerging infectious diseases pose risks to societies and about how societies respond to them."

ASU: ASU's School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning launches new ‘fast-track’ programs - "The School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning has launched two new accelerated (4+1) degree programs, offering students the unique opportunity to advance their careers quickly and receive both their undergraduate and master’s degrees in as little as five years."

Activities and Events 
The Louisiana 4-H Tech Club: The club is collecting data on food sources across the U.S. via a survey form. The project is called "Where's the food?" You are invited to contribute. Via Fran Harvey on LinkedIn.

USGIF: Special Edition of the Geospatial Gateway Forum - "The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) and Saint Louis University (SLU) have joined forces to bring the GEOINT community a virtual special edition of the Geospatial Gateway Forum coupled with Geo-Resolution this fall, Oct. 19 to Oct. 21, that will showcase emerging location science capabilities including the potential to aid vulnerable populations and improve overall community resilience." The job fair is free to academics (and I suspect students though I didn't see that specifically indicated) who register before 10/14.

UCGIS: Two webinars are on the calendar in November: The Importance of GIS and Spatial Information in Open Innovation Efforts, Thursday November 5, 2020, 2 – 3pm Eastern / 11am – 12pm Pacific, Presenter: Dr. Sophia Liu, US Geological Survey and Shared Knowledge in a Democratic Society and Connected World, Wednesday November 18, 2020 (GIS Day!), 1 – 2 pm Eastern / 10 - 11:00 am Pacific, Presenter: Dr. Josh Lieberman, the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC). Via @dianamaps.

Fall CUE 2020 Virtual Conference - Jerome Burg will offer two session that might be of interest: "Google Earth's New Content Creation Tool" 10/24 @ 3 pm PST and "Google Lit Trips: New Horizons" 10/25 @ 11 am PST.  The event is not free, but volunteers can get a free registration. CUE originally expanded to "Computer Using Educators." Via @jburg.

Black Voices: More “Black Girl Magic” – Ignite Leadership Academy for Girls Welcomes New Facilitators for 2020 Session - Beginning Saturday, October 3, the Ignite Leadership Academy for Girls (Ignite), got going. Designed for girls between the ages of 11 and 14, introduces participants to STEM topics including GIS along with life skills such as leadership development, team building, social media etiquette, presentation skills and more. This article introduces two of the facilitators, including a GIS student at the University of Redlands.

Penn State: Student Profile: Adam Lee - "Adam Lee recently completed the Postbaccalaureate Certificate in GIS, and is a current student in the MGIS and Geospatial Programming/Web Map Development Certificate programs. In this profile, he shares his experiences and also offers advice relevant to prospective and current students."

USGIF: Student Diversity Awards and Best Student Poster Award -  The Most Promising Female GEOINTer Award was presented to Mia Poynor, University of Sothern California. The GEOINT Woman of Color Award was presented to Alejandra Rubi Marquez, Fayetteville State University. The 2020 Best Student Poster was also awarded at the GEOINTegration Summit. The recipient for this award was Yinan Wang, Johns Hopkins University for his poster on “Applications of Satellite Imagery in Paleontology.” See also:  Fayetteville State University Student Wins GEOINT Women of Color Award.

EuroNews: Hidden faces: Why I launched a movement for Black people in geography  - ".. Francisca Rockey, founder of Black Geographers, explains why she launched a movement to diversify her field and the hidden faces of geography." Black History Month is in October in the UK.

On and Off Campus

NAU: Quantum Spatial Kicks Off Accessibility Mapping Project for Northern Arizona University - Quantum Spatial, Inc., started "a project in coordination with Northern Arizona University to develop a campus accessibility map that helps individuals with mobility issues easily navigate the campus. Quantum Spatial, working in partnership with the university’s GIS and astronomy departments and the Commission on Disability Access and Design, is conducting a lidar survey across the Flagstaff, Ariz., campus and will develop high-resolution maps that are programmed to work with assistive technology, such as screen readers." 

The University News (St. Louis University): GeoSLU to Train Members of U.S Intelligence Community - The paper's associate news editor explains that SLU’s Geospatial Institute (GeoSLU) was awarded a five million dollar grant, called the GEOINT Learning through Academic Programs (GLAP), which promotes the training of members of the U.S intelligence community by SLU faculty . She then notes: "For some members of the SLU community, this grant, which explicitly asks SLU faculty to train spies and warfighters, raises ethical concerns about SLU’s collaboration with the U.S military and the U.S intelligence community. "

Meanwhile in our Industry

Placekey: This week marked the launch of Placekey, another potential solution for an open addressing system. This FAQ tries to explain how it works and why it's better than other solutions including What3Words.

Meanwhile in Education

Critical Voter: "Just in time for the 2020 election, this new edition of Critical Voter by best-selling author Jonathan Haber, will help you turn this year’s news into learning experiences that can help you (or your kids) hone the vital thinking skills needed to succeed in the 21st century." I'm just getting to know Haber's work; we went to high school together.

Class Central: Learning Excel with a Remote Study Group - Pat Bowden writes about how a team from Class Central formed a study group and took an Excel MOOC together. I've suggest the use of study groups within schools or businesses for Esri and other MOOCs for some time, but I don't think they've caught on. Perhaps today's students need to read or watch The Paper Chase.

Wired: Many Top AI Researchers Get Financial Backing From Big Tech - "A study finds that 58 percent of faculty at four prominent universities have received grants, fellowships, or other financial support from 14 tech firms." Via @re_sieber.


GeoNet: Fun with GIS 277: 2021 Student Competition - It's time to start thinking about getting middle and high school students to build some stories for next year's competition.
Esri Canada: Back in September, the Young Professionals Network hosted a discussion between students and professionals." There's a one hour video for those who want to check out "some great tips for people in the early years of the GIS careers." 
Esri Canada: Spatial Interpolation Lab - "In this lab, you will learn the fundamental concepts of spatial interpolation and apply them in ArcGIS Pro." There's a video and three tutorials. Via @GIS4HEd.

Investigaciones Geográficas: Teaching tourism: urban routes design using GIS Story Map - "This paper provides the design of a teaching activity for students of tourism degree. With it, it is intended that students, through collaborative work methodology and through the use of geospatial technologies, especially the GIS Story Map, acquire essential competencies in their training and are capable of creating a tourist product according to the characteristics of the destination." Via @mlazaroto.
GeoNet: 2020 Education Summit recordings available! - Recordings of the the 2020 Education Summit sessions are now available in this YouTube playlist.  In addition, chat logs of select sessions are available as noted below. Slides from the sessions will be available from the Esri Proceedings site soon.