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Thursday, July 29, 2021

GIS Ed Weekly: The Olympics teach us geography

Resources for teaching and learning 

A map depicting forest management history
 in the Bootleg Fire burn zone.
Oregon Public Radio: The Bootleg Fire grew fast. Did forest management play a role? - "The footprint of the Bootleg Fire includes a history of commercial logging, thinning, clear cutting, prescribed fire and other intensive management practices, according to Bryant Baker, conservation director of Santa Barbara, California, nonprofit Los Padres ForestWatch. Baker says those management activities contributed to the fire’s spread." And, he's got the maps to prove it. 

BBC: Stinky Bay? Local names added to map to aid coastal rescue - Ordnance Survey, the official national mapping agency of Great Britain will add local "nicknames" nationally with the goal of helping emergency response. "Ideally those in need of rescue should submit co-ordinates to make it easy for emergency services to locate them, but because not everyone has access to a device or a map, that is not always possible."

Globe Trender: British Airways creates digital ‘heat map’ of global travel restrictions - "The British Airways heat map has been created partnership with global tech company Sherpa, which has developed an online tool that provides travellers with the latest travel rules for inbound and outbound destinations."

Jacobin Magazine: Amazon Is Creating Company Towns Across the United States - A look at how Amazon changes the geography of local employment. 

CBS Sunday Morning: A sense of direction: Finding your way without GPS - CBS News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook explores how humans and animals navigate. 

Bloomberg CityLab: Putting the World’s Slums on the Map - A roundup of HOT OSM work including some by university students in Peru. You might use this article to explore a few "open" concepts: open-source data vs. open source software vs. "open-source data tools." 

Army Research Lab: Bird’s-eye view could be key to navigating without GPS - "A bird’s-eye view may take on new meaning thanks to Army-funded research. Scientists found that a protein in bird’s retinas is sensitive to the Earth’s magnetic field thus guiding its migratory patterns. That finding could be key to Army navigation of both autonomous and manned vehicles where GPS is unavailable."

On and off campus

Inside NJ (press release): Hopeworks and Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC) Support a Healthier Camden through Sidewalk Inventory Project - "Hopeworks... and Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission (DVRPC), ... announced the completion of their sidewalk inventory project in Camden. The goal of this project was to support a healthy Camden, specifically focusing on addressing pedestrian infrastructure that enables City of Camden residents to access healthy amenities such as healthcare providers, healthy food retail, fitness facilities, and clean open space."

Pitt: Visualizing Our City's Energy Use - "Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering and the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation used the City of Pittsburgh to create a model built upon the design, materials and purpose of commercial buildings to estimate their energy usage and emissions. While other models may be hindered by a scarcity of data in public records, the researchers’ Urban Building Energy Model (UBEM) uses street-level images to categorize and estimate commercial buildings’ energy use."

WTKR: New interactive planning map helps better serve environmental justice -  The Elizabeth Rriver Project, William & Mary, and Molly Mitchell, Research Assistant Professor for the Virginia Institute of Marine Science "helped create the Interactive Environmental Justice Tool. The online map helps planners target vulnerable areas in Hampton Roads and brainstorm ways to make lasting, positive change."

Ohio State: COVID-19 made unequal access to food worse, study suggests - "When COVID-19 hit, affluent Columbus residents responded by taking significantly fewer trips to large grocery and big-box stores, apparently ordering more online and stocking up when they did go out to shop. With fewer options available to them, low-income people had to double down on what they had always done: regular trips to the local dollar stores and small groceries to get their family’s food. That’s the conclusion of a new study that analyzed traffic to Columbus grocery sellers before, during and after the COVID-19 lockdown."

CIProud: Students partner with University of Illinois PD to create crime map of campus - "Yu and his [hackathon] team created a crime map using the University Police’s crime log. Police track crimes like theft and battery, and now the map shows exactly where they’re happening."

UNCG: UNCG research: Charged up for EV equity - Dr. Selima Sultana, professor in the Department of Geography, Environment, and Sustainability at UNC Greensboro, "is focused on not only if EV charging stations are established across the United States but how and where, so that they are accessible for everyone."

USC: A group’s moral values may help determine the likelihood of hate-motivated acts - "The study suggests that the prevalence of specific moral concerns is predictive of the number of hate groups per capita in that county..."

Programs and courses 

Islands Weekly: Get certified in Eco Restoration with new course offerings - "The new Ecological Restoration Certificate in the San Juan Islands is provided in partnership with the San Juan Islands Conservation District (SJICD) and Huxley College of the Environment at Western Washington University. The program combines academic coursework and hands-on implementation of the fundamentals of ecological restoration. The program is delivered via a series of quarterly online courses plus paid, field-based practicums in the San Juan Islands, integrating hands-on restoration activities, online activities, and in-person learning." There's GIS in there, too!

UWO: Teaching innovation tackles climate change - Katrina Moser, one of this year’s teaching fellows is crafting a new way for students to learn the science of climate change and explore what they can do about it. The course, “Connecting for Climate Change Action,” focusess on "building relationships between Euro-Western and Indigenous scientific approaches and knowledges." 

GEO Jobe Blog: GEO Jobe Announces Relationship with Mississippi Coding Academy - The company is contributing funds to the  MS Coding Academy to be used to purchase hardware needed for a new Biloxi location that will begin offering courses later this year. The Academies invite recent high-school graduates, those with some college, and mid-career professionals to "join the Mississippi Coding Academies to become a trained junior developer in just 11 months—at no cost to you."

Eco RI: Art and Science Meet at Nature Lab to Inspire Students - A look at RIDS Nature Lab: "During the past century, Bissonnette said the Nature Lab has been purpose-built to prioritize students’ “direct, unmediated access” to natural objects in the name of inspiration. Students are encouraged to lift specimens from the shelves, lug them back to their design studios or dorm rooms on lend and scrutinize them as a historian might a leather-backed tome." Students use a variety of tools to explore the collection, including geospatial ones: "Geographic information system (GIS) software and global positioning system (GPS) tools, too, give students another vantage point and help them understand shape and pattern on a landscape scale."


Crestview News Bulletin: Meet Crestview cartographer Nick Schwend - His first job was with another town. "He found a job working for the city of Fort Walton Beach as a GIS analyst, a position he got thanks to having taken AutoCAD and Autodesk Inventor certification classes at Crestview High through the vo-tech CHOICE program, and thus beat out another candidate." Autodesk Inventor was first released in 1999 and is, per Wikipedia, "a computer-aided design application for 3D mechanical design, simulation, visualization, and documentation developed by Autodesk." 

Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette: Faculty at UA Monticello gets new member - Hamdi Zurqani, an assistant professor will teach remote sensing and geospatial analysis for the College of Forestry, Agriculture Natural Resources. "Zurqani is from Libya, in the middle of North Africa, between Egypt and Tunisia."

Penn State: Wildfire helicopter pilot steers project to honor former geography professor - Last week I noted a survey of SDSU geography grads that indicated one alum is an animal trainer. Well,  a 1973 Penn State geography grad is a wildfire helicopter pilot. 

City AM: Three's a party: Isle of Wight triplets all receive first-class degree in geography - "The triplets, Charlie, Harry and Thomas White, from Wootton Bridge, all chose to study geography at the University of Portsmouth without discussing it with each other."

Rebekah Jones: She's running for Congress.

Meanwhile in our industry

MarTech Series: Geosite Raises $5M Series A to Build the Google Docs and Slack of Spatial Data - "Female Stanford Ph.D. and Pentagon veterans lead the charge to help companies harness spatial data from many sources including satellites, drones, and IoT so they can use resources more efficiently"

Meanwhile in Education

University World News: Study shows geography is key driver to university access - Rebecca Simson, a research fellow at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, published the study, titled "Regional inequality in university attainment in seven African countries since 1960," in the July edition of the International Journal of Educational Development. "In her study, Simson argues that inequalities in access to university education in Sub-Saharan Africa are no longer embedded in historic ethnic boundaries, but have shifted to regional geographic areas, with most access to higher education occurring in non-rural areas."

Martinsville Bulletin (Editorial): Don't misunderstand Patrick & Henry - It seems the suggestion that administrators review the name of Patrick Henry Community College, who suggested a change to a name reflecting the names of the two counties ("Patrick & Henry"), included some misunderstandings.

Daily Hive: "The Trebek Initiative" launches to support emerging Canadian explorers - The Trebek Initiative from The Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS) and the National Geographic Society (NGS) launched (press release) on July 22, which would have been late Jeopardy! host’s 81st birthday. The initiative will provide more than $400,000 in grants each year to individuals with projects that “unveil the unknown stories hidden from coast-to-coast,” such as scientific research on wildlife and photographic expositions of unique geography.

Olympics and geography

ASU: 5 things to look for when watching the Summer Olympics - ASU lecturer [a lecturer of Japanese in ASU’s School of International Letters and Cultures] says Japan is rich in history, diversity, geography and fun facts.

Quartz: The world has 193 countries, so why are there 205 teams in the Olympics? -  The short answer: there are more teams than there are countries officially recognized by the United Nations.

LA Times: The Sports Report Olympics Edition: A great, big geography lesson- Ben Bolch, who maintains the paper's Olympics newsletter admits his lack of geographic knowledge: "A private-school education apparently doesn’t guarantee mastery of the globe. I just hope that Northwestern doesn’t try to revoke my degree." In this article, he tackles Burkina Faso, Vanuatu and Sao Tome and Principe.

Awful Announcing: South Korean broadcaster apologizes for Olympics broadcast filled with cultural stereotypes - The article cites two examples, among others: a picture of the Chernobyl disaster introduced Ukraine, while one of Dracula illustrated Romania. 

US News: Russia Fires Back at Olympics for Correcting Ukraine Map to Include Crimea - "Russia on Friday fired back at the International Olympic Committee after it appeared to change a map previously showing the Crimean Peninsula as separate from Ukraine hours before the games’ opening ceremonies were scheduled to begin."

The Daily Beast: China Goes After NBC for ‘Incomplete’ Olympic Map - "The Chinese consulate in New York and a state-controlled newspaper both slammed NBC for showing a map of China that did not include self-ruled Taiwan or the disputed South China Sea, Reuters reported. The graphic, displayed during the Opening Ceremony as the Chinese athletes arrived..."

ABC: Tasmanians issue Olympics warning after map muck-up at Brisbane Commonwealth Games - Brisbane won the bid for the 2032 Olympics. That's prompting reminisces of a 1982 map situation. At the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Brisbane, individuals marched to form the shape of Australia without the island state of Tasmania.


Esri Technical Certification Giveaway - The raffle to win one of four free technical exams is open for registration until August 6.

Esri: I've been noting how St. Louis' efforts to build a business hub around geospatial is impacting local universities. It's been a year since the announcement and the St. Louis Dispatch in this video says there's progress. This week Esri announced (press release) it's got an office in the T-REX building. 

Esri Community: What are the10 most important skills to nurture in ArcGIS Online? - Joseph Kerski asks and answers the question.

Esri: Job Application Resources | Application FAQs, Tips & Guides - This new set of resources looks pretty nice and does reflect what goes on at my company. Do be aware, Esri is a big company and there is quite a lot of variation in culture from division to division and team to team.