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Thursday, February 25, 2021

GIS Ed Weekly: Are cities responsible for both innovation and inequality?

Black History 

"This map is the first known city sanctioned
document associating 'NEGRO' with redlining." 
CNY Central: The Map: Segregated Syracuse - See first documented association of race and redlining - "The Onondaga Historical Association has confirmed it as an historical find. It is evidence of officially redlined neighborhoods isolating Black families in the poorest pockets of the city."

The Conversation: How Black cartographers put racism on the map of America - "Cartography is a less documented aspect of the Panthers’ activism, but the group used maps to reimagine the cities where African Americans lived and struggled."

Resources for Teaching and Learning

UCL Press: Geographic Citizen Science Design - The new book (open access PDF) by Artemis Skarlatidou and Muki Haklay "takes an anthropological and Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) stance to provide the theoretical and methodological foundations to support the design, development and evaluation of citizen science projects and their user-friendly applications."

Flashes of Insight - An exercise using flash cards (from Draw the Lines PA) helps students learn about the different values prioritized in drawing congressional district borders. Via @theAAG.

CityLab (Bloomberg): Inside the ‘Wikipedia of Maps,’ Tensions Grow Over Corporate Influence - "As Apple, Facebook, Amazon and other private companies play larger roles in OpenStreetMap, some volunteers worry that the open-source project is losing its way." 

Skilled Nursing News: Advocates Push Back on Geography as Driver of Nursing Home Outbreaks — and Detail Drastic Measures for Keeping COVID at Bay - "'Though the level of infection found in the surrounding community does undoubtedly create additional challenges for nursing homes battling to keep COVID-19 at bay, as this data makes clear, a facility’s location does not equate to a facility’s fate,' the report argued."

Data and Maps

Google: As of March 31st, Google's stand-alone Crisis Map will no longer be available. The features it included will appear in other map products and search.

Mapping as Process (blog): A radically different world map? - Matthew Edney (Osher Professor in the History of Cartography, at the University of Southern Maine and Project Director of the History of Cartography Project at the University of Wisconsin-Madison) responds to last week's "new" flat projection. Via @vWMaps.

Our World in Data - "Our World in Data is about Research and data to make progress against the world’s largest problems." Via Jason Sawle.

  • Visualizations and text are licensed under CC BY that you may freely use for any purpose. 
  • The data is available for download. 
  • All code we write is open-sourced under the MIT license and can be found on GitHub

On Cities

New Things Under the Sun: Proximity: More Important for Meeting than Collaborating? - "Innovation disproportionately happens in cities. What is it about packing people together that makes them so innovative? " Matt Clancy offers a podcast and article. Via @0mgould.

Complexity Science Hub: (Re)Shaping cities to combat inequality - "Geography can become a root cause for inequality when cities are built in a way that fragments social networks, finds new research with Hub participation, just published in Nature Communications."

Visualizing 500,000 U.S. COVID-19 Deaths

NBC: 500,000 lives lost: Tracing Covid-19 deaths across the country - Each dot on the map represents a person who died from Covid since Feb. 2020 to Sunday.

NY Times: On the Front Page: A Wall of Grief - "It began with one dot. Then it grew to nearly half a million. A graphic on Sunday’s front page depicts the totality of Covid’s devastation in the country."

WaPo: Interactive: COVID Deaths Visualized - Three ways to illustrate 500,000 deaths in the U.S.

Programs and Courses

Geo-Python 2020 - "The Geo-Python course teaches you the basic concepts of programming and scientific data analysis using the Python programming language in a format that is easy to learn and understand (no previous programming experience required). Each lesson is a tutorial with specific topic(s) where the aim is to gain skills and understanding how to solve common data-related tasks using Python. Geo-Python is organized by the Department of Geosciences and Geography at the University of Helsinki." Via Stephanie Long.

Meanwhile in Education

NBC: Map: Which counties are ready for schools to fully open? - The U.S. illustrates suggested opening based on CDC guidance. The article states the map is updated weekly on Fridays; at press time the map includes this text: "Data as of Feb. 21, 12:30 a.m. ET."

UCGIS: What worked well and what didn't, teaching in Fall 2020? Results from the Education Committee's Survey, available in PDF. Via UCGIS on LinkedIn.

India Education Diary: Lt Governor e-inaugurates 607 Vocational Labs, Vocational Education Portal and GIS Portal developed by Samagra Shiksha, J&K [Jammu and Kashmir] - "Dr. Arun Manhas, Project Director, Samagra Shiksha informed that GIS Portal has been developed in collaboration with National Institute of Electronics & Information Technology, to identify Geographical location of Educational institutions and un-served habitations. The Portal is to be used as an MIS tool for viewing infrastructure details, enrollment details, ICT facilities, smart classroom facilities, Vocational labs, resource rooms etc."
On and Off Campus

University of Southampton: Sustaining world-leading undergraduate geological mapping skills during a pandemic - The University of Southampton used the pandemic limitations to reboot a required field experience. It created a  "hybrid mapping project that incorporates sophisticated geospatial analysis coupled with local fieldwork.”

Missouri University of Science and Technology: Missouri S&T students create digital story map to trace Trail of Tears journey through Missouri - Students in Dr. Justin Pope’s Native American History course at Missouri S&T developed the story map last spring as a research project that was supported through a grant from the Missouri Humanities Council (MHC). The MHC grant paid for technology and touchscreens that exhibit the story map in Missouri S&T’s new Collaboratory. The story map is now hosted online.

Wesleyan - Students Use GIS-Based Maps, Apps to Study the Effects of the Pandemic - "During the 2020-21 Winter Session, held Jan. 4–20, 17 Wesleyan students who enrolled in Diver’s E&ES271: Mapping the Pandemic course developed spatial thinking and visualization skills relevant to COVID-19. Students learned to critically evaluate existing maps and apps related to the current pandemic, explored how to use ArcGIS Online software to analyze and visualize data spatially, and created their own maps, stories, and apps. Class meetings, held over Zoom, included case study lectures/discussions, instructor-led skill-building workshops, studio work sessions, and critique sessions. The course was aimed at students with limited or no prior GIS experience."

Technical.ly (Philadelphia): Geospatial data science education is meeting market demand - "Temple University’s College of Liberal Arts developed the United States’ first professional science master’s degree in GDS. Here's why tech career changers should consider it." Sponsored content.

Johnson City Press: Unicoi County 4-H GPS team mapping local businesses - "The GPS team is working on creating a map of businesses in the area to highlight some community favorites and help encourage those visiting the region to patronize the locations."

University of Birmingham: Increased green space in prisons can reduce self-harm and violence - "The study is the first to attempt large-scale mapping of green space within prison environments and link it to well-being in a robust, statistically significant way."


Geographic Data Lab (Liverpool): Brown Bag events include one today from Marynia Kolak (U. Chicago) on Integrating Geographic Data Science into Public Health & Policy. These are free and recordings are available on YouTube. Via @darribas.


University of Maine: Cassandra Quintal: Professional land surveyor and online graduate student - Cassandra Quintal is a Maine-based licensed land surveyor and GIS professional who founded the Maine Young Surveyors Group and serves as current vice president of the Maine Society of Land Surveyors (MSLS). 

University of Georgia - New research grant program fosters diversity, inclusion - The University of Georgia has awarded 12 grants to faculty-led teams from 17 academic units to support research that promotes diversity and inclusion. Among them: "Marshall Shepherd is leading a team of researchers from the department of geography that will explore the connections between race-based segregation and increased exposure to dangerous heat levels."


2020 ArcGIS StoryMaps Competition for the Sustainable Development Goals Winners Gallery - "To learn more about the winning stories, visit the ArcGIS StoryMaps blog. Visit the competition story to explore the work of all twenty finalists."

ArcGIS Blog:  Explore Mars with GIS - "We’ve recently developed the ability to use other planetary coordinate systems with a 3D globe, and the timing couldn’t be better as we anticipate the landing of the Perseverance rover." Here's the app. Via Bob Booth.

ArcGIS Blog:  A Deep Dive into Predicting Urban Growth using ArcGIS and R - A team that included Jian Lange and Witold Fraczek from Esri and Carsten Lange, a professor in the Department of Economics at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, worked on a project to develop and build a machine learning model to identify locations with a higher probability of urban development.

University of Manitoba: ESRI Canada provides student GIS scholarship - "ESRI Canada has awarded UM with a student GIS scholarship to recognize the work being done using GIS technologies at our institution. The  competition is open to UM students in any faculty using ESRI technology to visualize their work."