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Thursday, March 11, 2021

GIS Ed Weekly: The first woman with a Geomatics PhD in Kenya

On and Off Campus

Vermont Biz: Park Burlington launches interactive parking map - Park Burlington, a public-private partnership between Burlington Business Association and the Department of Public Works, has announced the release of a new interactive parking map covering downtown Burlington. The map was created by Lauren Grimley, Lee Peters, Jon Russell, and Michael Muzzy, as a capstone project at Burlington Code Academy. 

West Liberty University: Geography & Planning Students Visit with Pros - West Liberty University students visited with Wheeling Mayor Glenn Elliott and Herb Faulkenberry, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Oglebay Resort and Conference Center.

Heidelberg: Successful PhD Defense by Amin Mobasheri on OSM quality enrichment for wheelchair routing - "The thesis was related to work done in the EU H2020 CAP4Access project and dealt with methods for analysing and improving OpenStreetMap data quality for routing services for mobility impaired persons." Via Alexander Zipf.

SUNY Cortland: Faculty engage students in drone startup pitch contest - "During the fall 2020 semester, SUNY Cortland students in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and GPS technology courses collaborated with others in Computers & Society classes to pitch a business startup that uses drones. ...Students formed teams and met virtually to collaborate on how they would use drones to improve society and solve problems. The teams conducted research, accomplished learning outcomes, submitted proposals based on the National Science Foundation's Innovation Corps STEM entrepreneurship education model and ultimately pitched their ideas to a panel of alumni judges."

Programs and Courses

Brainerd Dispatch: Non-farm students are growing student base in ag program at this Minnesota college - Attracting students without a farm background is becoming more common for Ridgewater’s Ag Department, so while they teach precision ag, they also have to teach some basics.


Edex Live: Women's Day: Here's how Dr Anjana Vyas became a pioneer in starting the first-ever Geomatics course in Gujarat - Interviewee Dr Anjana Vyas from CEPT University in Gujarat is a geospatial pioneer in India.

The Nation: Meet Kenya’s first woman to attain a PhD in Geoinformatics - Prof Faith Karanja, Head of Department of Geospatial and Space Technology at the University of Nairobi, holds a number of firsts.

University of Manitoba: Meet Dr. Juliana Marini Marson, Assistant Professor in the Department of Environment and Geography - "Dr. Marini Marson is fascinated by icebergs, their role in ocean dynamics and primary productivity, their patterns of drift, and how they can affect marine transportation and other offshore activities. She has specialized in iceberg modeling, and parts of her scientific efforts are dedicated to improving the numerical representation of icebergs so we can better predict their environmental impacts and trajectories."

The Current (UCSB): Bicycling Safety Meets Citizen Science - Professor Trisalyn Nelson holds the Jack and Laura Dangermond Chair in Geography at UC Santa Barbara and is a cyclist. She launched BikeMaps.org in 2014 to try to increase safety for cyclists and founded another crowdsourcing effort to document barriers for others on wheels.

NrCan: Interactive Map Recognizes Canadian Places Named for Women - "Today, on International Women’s Day, the Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, unveiled a new interactive map entitled Recognizing Women with Canadian Place Names, which showcases locations across Canada named after women."

Sun Journal: Thomas College student’s digitized snowmobiling map service a ‘win’ for riders - Jake Warn, a Thomas College junior from Winslow, ME launched SledTRX.com, a website offering digitized, interactive, maps of snowmobiling trails across Maine. A free mapping course in 2020 started it all.

Resources for Teaching and Learning

NY Times: Lesson of the Day: ‘Can This New Map Fix Our Distorted Views of the World?’ - The Times created a lesson on the new disk map and provides a lesson exploring projections and the "best map."

Axios: "Fludemic" model accurately maps where COVID hotspots will crop up a week out - Data Driven Health made a version of its flu and COVID-prediction model available last week. It includes predictions of COVID-19 hot spots down to the neighborhood level with 92% accuracy.

NPR: The Pandemic Pushed This Farmer Into Deep Poverty. Then Something Amazing Happened - A Berkeley researcher used remote sensing to identify who in Togo deserved COVID-19 support payments. "Blumenstock, an associate professor at the School of Information at Berkeley, has been researching new and different ways to measure poverty. His lab showed that computers can detect levels of wealth just by satellite imagery, and that the way people use their cell phones can be a pretty good indicator of how rich or poor they are."

Hidden Brain: The Snowball Effect — "Why do some companies become household names, while others flame out? How do certain memes go viral? And why do some social movements take off and spread, while others fizzle? Today on the show, we talk with sociologist Damon Centola about social contagion, and how it can be harnessed to build a better world." There's quite a good discussion of diffusion, core and periphery and other geospatial concepts.

Union of Concerned Scientists Blog: New Maps Highlight Inequitable Rollout of COVID-19 Vaccines - The post provides a deep dive into the situations in Chicago, Seattle, and Cleveland. 

Meanwhile in Education

Education Week: How to Expand Home Internet Connectivity for K-12 Students Over the Long Haul - Palm Beach County Florida covers a 2,300-square-mile area with many students unable to get online at home. The IT director worked closely with "GIS folks" to determine how to spend $16 million from last year’s allotment of CARES Act stimulus funds. The result should mean some 50,000 students get connected by this May. 

Copy Editor's Holiday


NiCHE (Network in Canadian History and Environment) Canada: Web-based HGIS for Storytelling of Environmental Histories and Connections across the North Atlantic - "This article explores several Historical Geographic Information System (HGIS) modules created by Nipissing University’s Centre for Understanding Semi-Peripheries (CUSP), written from the perspective of the organization’s GIS technician. My role was to showcase the research of several interconnected environmental history projects in an interactive and engaging way using two web-based GIS applications created by Esri: Story Maps and Web AppBuilder. This article will examine key features of each module and discuss how they were built. Our HGIS modules combine narrative with interactive maps and multimedia (images, audio, and video) to engage a wider audience than traditional forms of academic publication. In addition to introducing these modules, we seek to demonstrate ways in which other environmental history projects can leverage these same GIS tools to visualize and showcase their own research." Via Adam Carnow.