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Twelve Free Tools, Events and Publications for Geospatial Educators: 2013 Edition

Thursday, October 3rd 2013
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Summary:

Educators and administrators are always looking for professional development opportunities, tools and publications to enhance their teaching of geospatial topics. What could be better than free options? 

1. Map Projection Selection Tool
The Map Projection Selection Tool was developed to help cartographers pick the best map projection for making maps in a GIS software program.  
Bojan Šavrič, a Ph.D. student in geography at Oregon State University, developed the tool which runs Leaflet (an open-source JavaScript library for Web mapping) and uses map tiles from Esri.
 
2. Making the most of the ArcGIS platform in higher education
 
Esri responded to a query from Aaron Addison, Director of Data Services & GIS at Washington University in St. Louis, in a blog post titled, Making the Most of the ArcGIS Platform in Higher Education . The question, posted to Esri’s “highered-l” listserv (a valuable resource, registration required) was essentially, “What should we teach from the ArcGIS platform?” Esri provided a starting point for an answer and requested feedback on the blog and its Higher Ed Facebook page (also valuable). Look for a webinar series on the topic in October. 
 
3. India’s syllabus for geospatial education
 
India's Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has a syllabus for geospatial aimed at the certification exam that educators might find interesting.
 
4. Geospatial Historian tutorials for using GIS in history
 
Geospatial Historian offers a tutorial-based open access textbook on using GIS for history. The key tools are free: Google Maps and QGIS.
 
5. Free Summer 2014 remote sensing professional development for educators
iGETT-Remote Sensing is an 18-month professional development program for faculty who teach Geographic Information Systems (GIS) at two-year colleges, and at high schools and four-year institutions that are interested in collaborating with two-year programs.
Hands-on instruction at two summer institutes and in monthly webinars will enable participants to:
  • Identify, download and analyze appropriate federal land remote sensing data 
  • Integrate remote sensing data with GIS to solve practical problems
Most expenses will be covered, and all participants will receive personal stipends and software for their labs. For more detailed information and an application to join the project in February 2014, see http://igett.delmar.edu and click on APPLICATION FORM [the link is on the left side menu and is titled, "Application"].
 
Integrated Geospatial Education and Technology Training-Remote Sensing was funded in 2012 with a grant (DUE 1205069) from the National Science Foundation (DUE# 1205069) to the National Council for Geographic Education, in collaboration with the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, the U.S. Geological Survey Landsat Project, and the GeoTech Center.  It builds on the success of the first iGETT project, conducted 2007–2012.
Applications are due December 20, 2013.
 
6. Digital humanities toolkit for WordPress
 
There are new tools for digital humanities out of the University of North Carolina.
Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have developed an easy-to-use website-building tool that puts previously complex digital programming into the hands of historians and researchers. The new tool, called the Digital Humanities Toolkit or DH Press, provides a way for historians, researchers, teachers and others to create interactive websites, virtual tours, data maps and multimedia archives with a WordPress platform. It also organizes data in more easily searchable and intuitive ways, such as mapping.  UNC-Chapel Hill’s Digital Innovation Lab (DIL) and its Renaissance Computing Institute (RENCI) collaborated on the new tool.
7. Citizen science tool from the Cornell Ornithology Lab
YardMap is a citizen science project designed to cultivate a richer understanding of bird habitat, for both professional scientists and people concerned with their local environments. 
But it's more than just data collection:
YardMap is also the world’s first interactive citizen scientist social network. When you join you are instantly connected to the work of like-minded individuals in your neighborhood, and across the country.
8. GeoWebChat
GeoWebChat is a tweetchat on GIS and the Web and often, GIS education organized by Alan McConchie @mappingmashups. Here's what you need to know to participate in tweetchat. Check the #geowebchat hashtag for upcoming topics.
9. Canadian education GIS event (Toronto)
In the spirit of fostering collaboration within the Canadian GIS education and research community, Esri Canada, in partnership with the University of Toronto, invites you to attend a one day conference hosted at the University of Toronto.  The day will consist of a plenary address; paper sessions focused on GIS in research, GIS in higher education instruction, and GIS use at the K-12 level; a series of lightning talks, technical workshops and roundtable panel discussions.  The day will also feature a display of posters submitted by students, including submissions for this year's Young Esri Canada Scholar award.
Thursday, October 17, 2013 - 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
10. Report on using GIS to improve student safety
 
A new SRTS report titled A Framework for GIS and Safe Routes to School (pdf) was designed to help school administrators better understand GIS tools and maps that work to improve student safety.
 
11. Esri’s SpatiaLABS shipped to Esri education site licensees
 
The SpatiaLABS DVDs were mailed to Site License Coordinators during the second week in August. Esri announced they’d be available to educational site licensees at no additional charge back in July.
 
12. Free e-books
 
Several free e-books may be of interest to educators and students.
Is content like this valuable to you? Keep an eye on the Directions Magazine Education Channel for the latest GIS education news.
 
 
 
 

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