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GIS Education News Weekly: HistoryPin, LearnGIS, New Masters in GeoTech

Thursday, May 1st 2014
By Adena Schutzberg

Teaching and Learning Resources and Ideas

HistoryPin in the Classroom

Dr. Aaron Cowan’s history course at Slippery Rock University uses HistoryPin as the platform to publish student collected historical images of the county. This is a great way to inject spatial literacy and historical research methods into an authentic experience for students. The student's work is here.

UArk Makes CORONA Data Explorable and Usable

Remember CORONA? It's the United States’ first photographic spy satellite mission, in operation from 1960-1972. The images were unclassified in 1995, but are rather hard to use. But now, the University of Arkansas has orthorectified the images, made them searchable and provided them for download at the CORONA Atlas. The imagery is valuable in a number of areas, notably archeology. It's also a great chance to teach students about the early days of remote sensing.

Visioning GIScience Education

Matt Wilson recaps a panel session at the AAG meeting last month titled Visioning GIScience Education. Among the topics:

- emerging curricula in online and open-sourced cartography and GIS,
- opportunities and costs associated with GIScience MOOCs,
- shifting compositions of faculties and departments of geography,
- tensions in the training and development of undergraduate and postgraduate learners,
- implications for 'relevance' and 'utility' amid increasingly student-funded higher education, and
- the role/responsibility of GIScience in rebuilding an enlarged and significant public image of Geography and geographic literacy and education in North America (and beyond).

Cartography Slide Deck

What's especially interesting about this slide deck (Cartography – plotting the world) recommended ("decent") by Gretchen Peterson? It's by a fellow from Pitney Bowes!

Ontario Government Gives Schools Treaty Maps to Highlight First Nations

Ontario will send a First Nations and Treaties map to every elementary and high school in the province as a first step towards raising awareness about treaties. The map, it's hoped, will help teach students about the significance of treaties and the shared history of First Nations and non-Aboriginal Ontarians.

Intro GIS at Washington State Moves from ArcGIS to QGIS

Rick Rupp is the GIS Coordinator at Washington State University in Pullman, WA. He explains why this summer he'll be rewriting his intro GIS course for QGIS. He's moving it off of ArcGIS in part because students who take just one GIS course should not have software that "times out."

History of the World with Google Earth

The new book History of the World with Google Earth (review) offers cartoon-y maps and puzzles and encourages readers to key in lat/long combinations into Google Earth to see locations on their computer screen. Is this an innovation in education?

GIS Degree Programs/Courses/Training Opportunities

UWT Master of Science in Geospatial Technologies (Residence)

The Urban Studies Program at UW Tacoma is launching a Master of Science in Geospatial Technologies starting Autumn 2014, pending approval of the Regents. The first cohort of 20 will begin the autumn quarter. Students take eight courses in a one year period, two per quarter. Pre-requisites include either a GIS certificate or one year of experience. No details on software, but apparently the school's certificate program still uses something called ArcEditor.

University of Maine at Machias Summer Hybrid GPS and GIS Courses

Each course has an online component and a few days on campus. The courses can be taken individually or as part of a certificate program. Details in this pdf.

Saint Mary's University: National Player in GIS

The Winona Daily News (WI MN) has an article on student research at two local universities. One that's new to me is described as a national player in GIS.

Saint Mary’s GeoSpatial Services office is another example — it’s a national player in GIS systems, data collection and research.

From working on developing GIS systems for local governments to groundbreaking research into environmental and cultural impacts on the country’s national park systems, the office’s faculty, staff and undergraduate student workers have pioneered new methods, not only making the office marketable but also the students who work in it.

MundoGeo Offer Education and Training

MundoGEO, the Latin American leader in integrated solutions for media and communication for the geospatial and location industries, is pleased to announce the creation of anInstitute focused specially on education, which will provide online, on-site and In Company courses, as well as market research.

It went live on Apr 30 and best I can tell the courses/training are in Portuguese.

One Year GIS Masters on the Beach

The Masters of Science in Geographic Information Science (MSGISci) at California State University Long Beach (CSULB) is a 1-year 30-unit program geared toward working professionals. The application period has been extended through June 1st. Usually, when schools make such statements they have spots open! Details at: www.beachgis.com.

URISA Survey on GIS Community Education Needs

The questionnaire addresses educational topics of interest, education delivery preferences, and questions which will help categorize responses according to organization, job, experience level, etc.  Input requested by May 12.

Location University (A Marketing Effort, not a University)

xAd announced an education program, Location University, to teach marketers about using location tools. So far there is one course: LU 101: Understanding Mobile-Location Advertising. You have to give up your e-mail address to gain access to the list of articles/white papers (Forrester, Hubspot, etc.) and one video (Mobile Marketing Association). I don't consider this a course exactly.

Esri GIS Education News

Using ArcGIS Online on Campus: Coaching Points

David DiBiase and Angie Lee discuss "Coaching Points" a document being developed by Esri with input from users to guide institutions of higher learning in using ArcGIS Online. DiBiase expects a session on the topic during the unconference component of the Education GIS Conference. 

LearnGIS: A Novel, Top-down Approach to Learning About GIS

This new approach was outlined by Aileen Buckley, Research Cartographer at Esri at the AAG Annual Meeting. It seems to be an inquiry-based approach that takes advantage of existing Esri resources. It seems to be aimed at self-motivated students, educators and librarians. It's an "interactive and engaging social environment." Whatever it is, it will be released prior to the User Conference. I've got a meeting planned to discuss LearnGIS, so look for further details soon.

Story Maps Covering U.S. Education Statistics

The National Center for Education Statistics offers four "Story Maps" showing data on bullying, eligibility for free or reduced lunch and other education stats. Per Michael Gould, Blue Raster was involved. A few observations:

  • I'm not sure why the term story map is in use here. To most people, these are "just maps." On the other hand, I guess this is a branding and marketing effort for Blue Raster and Esri.
  • In several maps, pop-ups were "off screen" and I had to scroll to read them. I wonder if there's a solution for that.
  • Map legends were titled "Legend." I was taught not do to that. Perhaps it's back in vogue now?
  • Down near the "esri" logo, the word "none" appears. I guess that means there is no citation for the background data used? It looks weird.

Awards

Use of GIS Key in Finding Victims of Massacre in Illinois

In the 1922 Herrin Massacre, 16 non-union miners, or “scabs” as they were bitterly called, were buried in a potter’s field in the local cemetery. In 2014 several geoloists, with help from GIS found and identified those in the graves. Historian Scott Doody started things off when he was looking for one of the victim's graves. He recruited help from Eastern Illinois University. Vince Gutowski, a retired Eastern geology professor; Steve Di Naso, current geology professor; and Grant Woods, a geology graduate student, were among those honored with the Superior Achievement Award from the Illinois State Historical Society for their work in uncovering the burial sites. GIS was used to bring together conflicting data about who was buried where to guide in the search.

Penn State GIS Education News

Penn State Geodesign MOOC Announced

From the Coursera webpage:

What happens when creativity and science come together? The power to design our world is unleashed, providing tools to inform choices about how we live! Geodesign is the glue—it’s a process that deploys creativity to connect information to people, using collaboration to better inform how we design our world.

The course runs for five weeks and starts in August. No software is noted. Penn State offers a certificate in geodesign, so my sense is this course is aimed at both introducing geodesign and finding new certificate students.

A Look at PSU's Online Geospatial Programs

Trajectory Magazine (USGIF) has an overview of Penn State's online four geospatial programs including its GEOINT offerings.

Other Topics

American Sentinel Grant Program

It's open to students in the undergraduate degree programs including the GIS ones, and provides up to about $10,000 over the completion of a degree. The details are here.  I wonder what the rationale for this program was; I wonder why the school didn't just lower tuition across the board?

Renaming Geography Departments

Julie WInkler, AAG President, ponders the changing names of geography departments in What’s in a Name? The Renaming and Rebranding of Geography Departments.

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