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Thursday, September 16, 2021

GIS Ed Weekly: A new Hopkins dashboard maps COVID behaviors

Resources for teaching and learning 

A screenshot from The Geography
The Pitch: The Geography is both a video game and a ~vibe~ generator -  A new video game based on real world data ("geographic data from Svalbard, Norway rendered into low-poly landscapes") may help calm active minds. 

Johns Hopkins: Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs Launches Comprehensive Global COVID Behavior Dashboard - The new dashboard "captures knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors around vaccines, masking, and other mitigation measures from respondents in more than 100 countries." Via @URISA.

Twitter: European civilization is built on ham and cheese ... which gave us hardback books. Were you a fan of James Burke's book and TV series Connections? You'll love this thread! Via @timoreilly.

GISP Exam Study Group: A series of online meetups hosted by the PHXGeo Meetup group starts in October. Via Bill Hodge on LinkedIn.

Axios: School boundaries often reflect 1930s-era housing discrimination - "Today's school boundaries in many cities are still linked to a history of housing segregation that goes back to the 1930s, a new study has found."

WREG: Map: Resettling Afghan refugees - "AP digital embed map shows the distribution of the first group of about 37,000 Afghan evacuees to be resettled in the United States. The Biden administration is notifying state officials how many evacuees are slated to come to their states."

The Denver Post: “They were just everywhere”: Map of Denver Ku Klux Klan addresses in 1920s shows members in every corner of city - "Members of the Ku Klux Klan lived in every corner of Denver during the racist, anti-immigrant hate group’s brief reign in the 1920s, a new map of the members’ addresses shows."

ASU: Geography and urban planning students share advice from summer internships - "From remote positions with private firms to destination internships across the globe, we spoke to four students ranging across ASU’s geography and urban planning degree programs about their recent internships, what they’ve learned and how it’s preparing them for their future professions."

Public Policy Institute of California: Geography of College Enrollment in California - The takeaway: "large disparities in college access remain—limiting upward mobility and exacerbating the state’s economic divide."

Visual Capitalist: A World of Languages -  A map of the number of native speakers of different languages in each country. It's not a new visualization, but it's really interesting! N.B. Julia!

On and off campus

UCONN: Get Your Daily Dose of the Great Outdoors with NatureRx at UConn - UConn Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) researcher Cynthia Jones and a team of faculty, staff, and students have created a resource called NatureRx at UConn to help others realize the benefits of being out in the environment, and where around campus they can experience nature. Among the contributors is EEB Ph.D. candidate Henry Frye, who relied in part on his GIS certificate studies to help build the app. 

The Hindu: Safer Access to School tool launched - "A web based GIS (Geographic Information Systems) tool ‘Safer Access to Schools’ (SATS), which is touted to help civic agencies in designing infrastructure to ensure safer commute for schoolgoing children — one of the vulnerable roads users — was launched here [Bengaluru] on Tuesday, by the World Resources Institute (WRI), India with support from Underwriters Laboratories."

George Washington: Milken professor creates online map tracking nationwide contraceptive care access - "Researchers at the Milken Institute School of Public Health published an online interactive map earlier this month to measure the accessibility of contraceptive care service providers throughout the country. The U.S. Contraception Workforce Tracker – an online map released by the Fitzhugh Mullan Institute for Health Workforce Equity which studies health care disparities – breaks down the types of contraceptive service providers like gynecologists and nurse midwives on the county and state level."

UCF: UCF Researchers Awarded $4.5 Million to Develop Non-GPS Location Finder "The Army Research Lab-funded project will help ground vehicles navigate complex terrain when GPS is not available by using computer vision and artificial intelligence."

STL Today: SLU, Harris-Stowe double-down on geospatial industry with new programs, efforts to bolster NGA - "St. Louis University has created new academic programs to recruit and train the next generation of geospatial and data science experts, and Harris-Stowe State University is devising plans to give students of color and other underrepresented groups access to those opportunities, leaders of both universities said on Tuesday at a geospatial conference at SLU."

Rowan University: Geography prof’s Appalachian experience makes many teachable moments - Rich Federman, a senior lecturer in the department of Geography, Planning and Sustainability within Rowan University’s School of Earth & Environment,  finished his 19-year quest to hike the Trail in its entirety this summer. The trip has been, and will continue to be, part of classroom lessons.

Opportunities and changes

Patrick Meier, who I first learned about when he lead efforts to map and translate messages during the 2010 hurricane that devistated Haiti, is looking for support for a children's book series about Drones for Good. His company, WeRobotics, is partnering with Flying Labs to write the series of true stories, have them translated into Spanish and have the books distributed in the Spanish-speaking countries where Flying Labs operates. The Kickstarter launched Sept 13.

Nat Geo: Update on the Future of GeoBee - "After many conversations and reflections with students, educators, and community members, we’ve made the decision to permanently discontinue the National Geographic GeoBee to make way for new, transformative, and innovative geography education opportunities in which students around the globe can more equitably participate."

Meanwhile in education

Phil on Ed Tech: The End of Blackboard as a Standalone EdTech Company  - "Today Blackboard and Anthology – a company created by combining Campus Management, Campus Labs, and iModules – announced an agreement to combine the two companies. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year, just over one decade after Providence Equity Partners took them private."

A loss

The community is saddened to learn of the death of Martin Isenburg, who created the popular LiDAR processing software LAStools. This thread from Howard Butler remembers his contributions. For more on Martin, see this GeoHipster interview from 2015.


My colleague Tom Baker (@GISEd) introduced an experimental tool that assesses StoryMap readability data in several different readability scoring frameworks. The results look like this:

Title: Mapping Favorite Color
URL: https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/d51f8ab5d4b84a8d8208a369fad5f520
Flesch-Kincaid grade level score: 5.7
Lexile-approximate: 848L - 868L
DRA level: 56 - 58
F&P score: V

Video: Using GIS to teach biomes - Alistair Hamill, GIS educator, illustrates how to use ArcGIS Online to teach students about biomes. 

ArcGIS Blog: Playback Your Wayback - There's a "new Wayback animate mode. With the click of a button, the app loads a collection of images and begins sequentially playing them back, revealing progressive changes over time." Via Bern Szukalski.

ArcGIS User: ArcGIS Learning Available through Your LMS - "Esri Academy LMS Integration subscriptions are available at levels that support organizations of varying sizes. Subscription levels range from 50 to 100,000 users. To purchase a subscription, organizations must have an active Esri maintenance subscription, a high-speed internet connection, a Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM)-compliant LMS, and an LMS administrator familiar with procedures for ingesting SCORM files into an LMS."