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Thursday, February 18, 2021

GIS Ed Weekly: Alexa knows where I am

Resources for Teaching and Learning 
The double-sided disk map minimizes
all six types of distortion.

Princeton: Princeton astrophysicists re-imagine world map, designing a less distorted, ‘radically different’ way to see the world - "Princeton professors J. Richard Gott and Robert Vanderbei worked with Drexel professor David Goldberg to create a revolutionary new map: a two-sided disk that can slip inside a textbook or be stacked neatly for storage. It provides more accurate distances than any existing flat map, while keeping visual distortions at a minimum." 

SF Gate: New map shows which California school districts are open - The map, in beta, is "continuously updated." I didn't get a sense of what "continuously" actually means, but perhaps that's part of the beta moniker.

The Tribune (India): India deregulates map-making, huge push to self-reliance plan, says PM - "The plan is to allow the Indian private sector to make and publish maps with geospatial features and help in the application of the space technology in improving outcomes in a range of sectors from farming and infrastructure to disaster mapping."


2021 Barbara Petchenik Children’s Map Competition - The event aims "to celebrate the creativity, imagination, artistry, and wisdom of child mapmakers!" Postmark entries by April 10 to meet the April 15, 2021, deadline. Via @NACIS.

On and Off Campus

William and Mary: Mapping campus love stories - "As students, Kira Holmes ’17 and Colleen Truskey ’17 heard a rumor that 25% of William & Mary students end up marrying someone else from the university. Later, as post-baccalaureate fellows at William & Mary’s Center for Geospatial Analysis (CGA), they wondered: Where are all these people meeting each other and falling in love? The result was the 'Where W&M Couples Meet' map, where students and alumni can plot where, when and how they met their significant other."

Austin Community College: The Drone Demo Day Story Map from Sean Moran includes images, data, and video from the event.  Via Stephanie Long on LinkedIn.

University of Heidelberg: Global mapping projects aid humanitarian organisations - "Heidelberg University is studying the evolution of humanitarian mapping and its repercussions on OpenStreetMap."

DroneLife: USC Spatial Sciences Institute Offers the Education You Need to Use Drones in GIS Mapping- In small text you'll see the byline: "Posted By: Sponsored post." Sponsored Post writes quite a bit for this publication.  DroneLife calls itself "The Trusted Source for the Business of Drones."  

Data Point  

Alexa:  I've got an Echo and listen mostly to National Public Radio on it. Here in Boston WBUR offers a three minute daily podcast titled Coronavirus, Briefly covering the latest regional information. 

A few weeks ago, a "pre-roll" appeared providing the latest statistics for Medford, MA, a neighboring city. I figured either Alexa thought I was in Medford or the algorithm didn't have access to data for my city and this was the closest data available. A few days ago the "pre-roll" gave me the data for Somerville before the podcast. 

I'm hopeful WBUR will do more this in the coming weeks and months, including providing local information about who qualifies for a vaccine and where appointments are available. I agree with those who argues that Alexa and her siblings are going to be a key interface to location-based data going forward. 


ArcGIS Blog: ArcGIS Living Atlas News (February 2021) - The details of what's new since December.

Webinar: On March 4, 2021 at 11:00 am (PST) there's a webinar for the Higher Education community on Resources for Teaching Imagery & Remote Sensing. It's great to see folks from the Education Team, the Learn ArcGIS Team and the Imagery Team working together on this content.