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Thursday, November 12, 2020

GIS Ed Weekly: GPS tracking shows seagulls know where and when to steal your food

Resources for Teaching and Learning

Predictive policing across Tennessee
The Atlas of Surveillance: "...is a database of surveillance technologies deployed by law enforcement in communities across the United States. This includes drones, body-worn cameras, automated license plate readers, facial recognition, and more. This research was compiled by more than 500 students and volunteers, and incorporates datasets from a variety of public and non-profit sources." A project of the EFF. Via @audreywatters.

MapScaping Podcast: GIS education and training, online and in-person - "This episode explores GIS education online and offline with Don Boyes, professor at the University of Toronto and online educator on the Coursera platform."

GeoScientist: Tech Ethics and the Digital Citizen (pdf)- "Cutting-edge tech provides endless possibilities for data collection through digital citizen science projects. But with big opportunities come big ethical challenges, cautions Estelle Clements." Estelle Clements is a PhD researcher whose work on Digital Civics is conducted at the Dublin Institute of Technology. Via @NEURISA.

ZME Science: Urban seagulls know exactly when to strike to steal your food — we have the GPS data to prove it - A study, with GPS tracking seagulls, indicates that "birds move their foraging patters to closely match the timing of school breaks and the opening and closing times of the waste centre. In other words, they’re not foraging when they’re the hungriest: they’re foraging when they know they have the best chance to find something."

On Maps

Fast Company: U.S. election maps are wildly misleading, so this designer fixed them - You may have seen this as: “Land doesn’t vote. People do.”
CityLab: How to Spot Misleading Election Maps - "Election results often produce confusing cartography. Here’s how leading cartographers and data journalists approach the challenge of making (and reading) political graphics." 

Wired: Thinking About a Holiday Gathering? Look at This Troubling Map First - "For example, in Cook County (which includes Chicago), the chance of a Covid-positive person attending a gathering of just 10 people is around 50 percent. In Jones County, Iowa, that chance is a staggering 99 percent."

On and Off Campus

ArcNews: University Incorporates 3D GIS into Curriculum - "Five years ago, WCU started using CityEngine in its urban and regional planning master’s degree program. That inspired the Geography and Planning department to use a virtual reality (VR) model to visualize campus streets and buildings and, eventually, led a cohort of students to build a 3D model of the campus."

Bulldog Blog (University of Redlands): Multi-department team maps campus for physically distanced return - "...the President’s Cabinet requested employees from the Center for Spatial Studies, Event Services, and Facilities work together to map the maximum student capacity in classrooms and other spaces on campus in order to prepare for low-density in-person instruction."

NC State: Noise and Light Pollution Impact Songbird Reproduction - Citizen scientists and researchers collect and and analyzed 14 years worth of data.


USGIF: Contribute as a Subject Matter Expert in GeoInt Course  - The position has been filled, but the request was for subject matter experts to review the USGIF /GeoTech Center developed Open Access courses titled "Introduction to Geospatial Intelligence," "Essentials of Data Visualization" and "Foundational Data Science." The announcement indicated it was a paid or volunteer position.


CNN: Alex Trebek supported many causes. These were some of his favorites - Among them is of course geography; he supported it on both sides of the U.S./ Canada border. See also this piece from a young Canadian geographer.

Daily Bruin: Professors 101: Juan Herrera builds on personal experiences to inspire students - "Geography professor Juan Herrera said he uses his background as a first-generation scholar and immigrant as a source of pride. He applies his real-life experiences in the classroom to make his lectures more relatable to students."

UC Santa Cruz: Elaine Sullivan awarded American Historical Association prize for innovation in digital history - The award if for a project that "uses 3D technologies to enhance Geographic Information Systems (GIS)...in order to create interactive models that can be navigated through space and time to explore the ancient Egyptian burial site of Saqqara."

YEN (Ghana): 2017 University of Ghana graduate recruited as Program Manager at Microsoft  - Cyhana Lena Williams studied geography, learned GIS, and is co-founder of African Women in GIS.

Guelph Today: One man's love of maps helps Guelph residents connect during pandemic - University of Guelph geography PhD student  Abhilash Kantamneni has been making maps for his community.

Meanwhile in Education

TES: GCSEs 2021: New geography requirements 'absurd' - "Ofqual’s decision to maintain fieldwork questions but remove a requirement to conduct practical fieldwork in the 2021 geography GCSE has been criticised by a subject association leader."


I used a "blue jean" colored thematic map last week as my opening graphic. I learned via Twitter from Ken Field that my colleague Wes Jones drew it about eight years ago.  Happy to provide credit!