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Thursday, April 29, 2021

GIS Ed Weekly: How long are COVID-19 mobility restrictions effective?

Resources for Teaching and Learning

Stamen: Introducing Scale-a-Tron - The new scale comparison tool promises "the clipped image will always* be accurate in terms of area." Really fun app to explore! I compared the area of my childhood swimming pond (Wedge Pond, outlined in pink) with a lake I ran around 20 times one night (Lake Quannapowitt). Via @stamen. 

Medium: The Rhetoric Behind the Coronavirus Propaganda Maps - Author Mathieu Guglielmino writes: "In this piece, I analyze about 30 maps related to the COVID-19 pandemic produced with an intent to persuade. They have been selected on a variety of topics such as lockdown protests, environment, inequality, spread, or even faith. Taken together, they draw the design space which can amount to much of the visual rhetoric of persuasive geocommunication. Doing so, I hope to promote maps as the storytelling device so that they are an advocate for a critical attitude towards media and data visualizations. The following maps can be either inaccurate or highly biased. Please do not use these as examples of what to do. I present them so that we may learn how to make more equitable work in the future."

On and Off Campus

Illinois: COVID-19 mobility restrictions effective for short duration, study finds - Junghwan Kim, a graduate student in geography and geographic information science co-led a study exploring the effectiveness of mobility restrictions in the U.S. during the pandemic. “We found that, overall, mobility declined sharply in March and April but quickly recovered to the pre-pandemic mobility levels from April through June, forming a V-shaped data curve,” Kim said. “During the second wave that occurred between June and September, we saw very little change in mobility despite the COVID-19 pandemic becoming more severe.”

UNM: Calling all local residents and UNM community to participate in City Nature Challenge - "Local residents are invited to join The University of New Mexico R.H. Mallory Center for Community Geography in the City Nature Challenge. The City of Albuquerque will take on Phoenix, Ariz., to see which city can log the most uploads of local plants and wildlife."

NC State: Where There’s Smoke: Reducing Downwind Impacts of Prescribed Burns - "New research at North Carolina State University led by Geospatial Analytics Ph.D. student Kate Jones will use geospatial modeling and interactive data visualization to help ensure that decision-making about prescribed burns also considers the vulnerability of communities to smoke downwind."

Cleveland.com: History students transform Lakewood High School classroom, one map at a time - A few years ago, two sophomores painted a world map on one wall of a history classroom. This year, another pair is painting a U.S. map on a second wall. Said one of this year's painters, "I wanted to continue the art and history combination in Mr. Rinehart’s room because I wanted to help create an almost interactive learning tool." 

TES: Can geography field trips recover from Covid? - "We should seek improved learning outcomes, promote more environmentally sustainable activities, provide more numerous experiences, be they near or afar, and – not least – ensure that fieldwork is a positive experience for all young people."

Events and Opportunities

UCGIS: Funding and Support Models of GIS - The webinar is on Wednesday May 5, 2021, 11-12:30 PDT.  Five educators from different U.S. institutions tackle the topic. "We have heard many questions from the education community surrounding funding and support models for GIS across campuses. What is a successful model to support people doing GIS across the institution? How is GIS support funded? How is staff funded? How are costs of licenses funded? How many people do GIS support for the campus, and what does success look like? What activities are done to provide support? Join us to hear from peers discussing variations of approaches and lessons learned."

OSGeo: 2021 OSGeo UN Committee Educational Challenge - "Proposals are invited for developing open geospatial educational material for two challenges with a prize money of USD 3,000 each, sponsored by OSGeo." There are two topics: Challenge 1: Training on Satellite Data Analysis and Machine Learning with QGIS (Satellite_QGIS), Challenge 2: Workshop material for pgRouting. Proposals are due June 14.

Meanwhile in our Industry

Reuters: SoftBank-backed SPAC to take Mapbox public in $2 billion deal -  I've only worked for private companies, so the idea of "going public" has always been interesting to me. I've been advised over the years that a publicly held GIS company hasn't been, and may not yet be, a good idea.

TechCrunch: Snap has acquired Pixel8earth, a 3D mapping developer, for $7.6M - "Snap has confirmed to us that it has acquired Pixel8earth, a company developing 3D mapping technology, specifically based on crowdsourced data. Pixel8earth is based out of Boulder, Colorado, and four employees from the startup are joining Snap to work on map product development. Specifically, they will be building out tools that will work with Snap’s location-based augmented reality experiences..."

Press release: Kickstarter Launches for GPS Enabled Social Media App  - "Now with Roomsend, users can use the app's GPS function to see everyone in the area, and for whichever social media accounts that are linked to the app, you can send a friend request to everyone who is logged onto the Roomsend GPS feature."

People

Winona Daily News: WSU Class of '21: Impacting local water quality with GIS research - "[Megan] Otten, a 2021 spring graduate, is graduating next week a year early with a degree in Geoscience along with a number of experiences that have skyrocketed her career prospects forward. Otten said she accredits the professors in the geoscience department that made her realize her potential early on in her college career." 

Audubon: Audubon Spotlight: Lotem Taylor is Everywhere in Audubon - "For a GIS and data analyst for Audubon’s Migratory Bird Initiative and Science team, placing yourself in context with your surroundings is what makes mapping so powerful."

Technical.ly Philly: How I Got Here: Jenny Fung’s tech career path from environmental science to Azavea apprentice to full-stack software engineer -  Jenny Fung discovered GIS and was intrigued. Now she works at Azavea.

Programs and Courses

Monroe Community College: Monroe Community College in Rochester, NY has a brand new 3 class (9 credit) GIST microcredential geared towards GIST professionals and covering skills in database acquisition, data management, Python for GIS, and web mapping. Via LinkedIn.

University of Minnesota: "In celebration of EarthDay, we're UMN Proud to announce a site license for Planet Labs, giving UMN students, faculty & staff access to Planet's global daily satellite imagery data & insights. Contact U-Spatial for access, & tell us how it will enhance your research & discovery!" Via @USpatial.

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