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Thank you to everyone who celebrated GIS Day 2019.  I invite you to share your experiences and continue the celebration by sending in your GIS Day memories to this survey and view the many events displayed on this map.  As of this writing, a total of 1,583 events have been registered.  The 5 free ArcGIS personal use licenses offered to each event host to distribute and the resources on the www.gisday.com website all appear to have been of high interest.  This essay reports on just a few of the many inspiring stories coming in from government agencies, universities, schools, nonprofit organizations, and private companies that clearly demonstrate how GIS is making a positive difference all around the world.

 

Agrobiotechnical Sciences, University of Osijek, Croatia: Over 100 attendees attended a field day of UAV imaging and a workshop on the processing and interpretation of collected data. The workshop titled “Mapping of agricultural land using an unmanned aerial vehicle” was organized by the members of the Chair of Geoinformation Technologies and GIS and the AgroGIT research team. Visitors were presented with a method of point cloud, digital elevation model, and digital orthophoto generation using the collected images. The role of UAVs in the current scientific work of the research team is presented, as well as all the benefits of using precision agriculture in practice.

GIS Day event

University of Osijek, Croatia.

 

Bangladesh Conservation GIS (BCGIS) and Wildlife Conservation Society:  Mohammad Shamsuddoha, SCGIS Scholar 2017 and Program Officer, Wildlife Conservation Society, organized a GIS Day event in Dhaka, that included a series of events and activities for conservation professionals.  These professionals came from a background in marine biology, Chiropteran biology, ornithology, fisheries, biology, and other fields. This was the first event under BCGIS which was formed by the SCGIS scholars in Bangladesh with a dream to spread the mission and vision of SCGIS.  The event included information sessions, a geospatial quiz, and a hands-on mapping session, where a portion of the participants made their first maps. 

 

GIS Day in Bangladesh

Conservation focused GIS Day event in Bangladesh.

 

Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas:  This event was billed as the largest GIS Day event in the world, with over 40 speakers, 30 sessions, and more than 500 attendees.  All of the events were streamed and recorded for later viewing.  This year's events brought geospatial computing sessions on GeoAI, the geospatial internet of things (IoT), frontiers of geospatial data science and data science applications with campus data, and geospatial social media data mining to the schedule.  Event highlights included over $1,000 in prizes and awards, over 20 sponsoring organizations, over 10 organizations looking to hire, a career fair, and a crowdsourcing competition (gisday.tamu.edu).

 

Guatemala City, Guatemala.  Silvia Paola Forno Lima organized a GIS Day held by the Municipality of Guatemala, Dirección de Información Geográfica Municipal.  See attached flyer for more details on their event. 

 

Academy of Sciences, Bulgaria:    Professor Vanya Stamenova, other professors, and students participated in the GIS Day organized by Esri Bulgaria that included an exhibition "Capitals" devoted to the 140th anniversary of the establishment of Sofia as a capital of Bulgaria.

Bulgaria GIS Day event.

GIS Day event at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences.

 

Paris Training Center, Sudan:  750 people attended an event sponsored by the Paris Training Center in Sudan.  The event began with seminars about GIS applications and the importance of GIS in our daily lives, as well as using GIS to achieve sustainable development goals. Workshops were conducted about GIS application with students, followed by a tour of the GIS posters, finishing up with a photo session and musical party.

 

GIS Day in Sudan

GIS Day celebration in Sudan.

 

On the Pakistan-China border:  Survey123 and GIS were celebrated by creating awareness and work the study areas of Himalay, Karakoram, and Pamir.  Students and specialists from different organizations and educators traveled from Islamabad to Khujerab to a point on the China border at 16,000 meters in elevation. During the journey, tourism points, wildlife species, disaster prone areas, landslide hot spots, check points, and other important points were captured using Survey123. On the border between Pakistan and China, a one-day workshop was conducted. 

GIS Day on the Pakistan-China border.

Way up high--GIS Day on the Pakistan-China border.

 

Weld County Colorado:  Weld County, the Cities of Greeley and Evans, and the University of Northern Colorado teamed up to organize and invite local middle and high school students for a complete GIS experience. The organizing led by Geography, GIS, and Sustainability Professor Jieun Lee  team created a Zombie Apocalypse Emergency scenario using Survey123, ArcGIS Online (for locating and neutralizing zombies), and an operations dashboard so students can excitingly submerge themselves in GIS experience. Their event was featured in the newspaper The Greeley Tribune.

Weld County GIS Day

Weld County GIS Day 2

Images of Weld County Colorado's GIS Day event.

 

Fayetteville State University, North Carolina:  Organized by Professor of Geospatial Science Dr Trung Vinh Tran, the third Annual GeoWeek and GIS 2019 Fayetteville State University included multiple activities. See the attachment for the program or visit this website. This year's multiple day program included speakers from the City of Fayetteville, Esri, the NGA Support Team – Army, 18th Airborne Corps, FT Bragg, the university History Program, and the Drone company Nine Ten Drones LLC, among others.

 

Clemson University Center for Geospatial Technologies:  Clemson University's GIS events spanned two days, attracted over 100 people, and featured a series of lightning talks, a 3D printed model of campus coloring contest, a VR topographic sandbox, exhibitors, and much more. I participated in the Clemson University event by giving a lightning talk on 5 forces in GIS, 5 trends in GIS, and 5 skills for GIS, meetings with faculty from across the campus to support their work in GIS, and conducting two hands-on workshops for students in spatial analysis in ArcGIS Online and in Business Analyst web.  I was joined by two Esri colleagues and was inspired by everyone I met and learned from.  See attached for flyer for this event.

GIS Day at Clemson University

GIS Day event at Clemson University. 

GIS Day at Clemson University

Painting contest at Clemson University where participants painted 3D models of campus that were printed on a 3D printer and made from UAV imagery. 

GIS Day at Clemson University

The Where in the World map contest at Clemson University was particularly challenging because many of the images were of fictitious places created for movies or books.

 

Central Idaho:   Kara Utter and the Central Idaho GIS User's Group organized this year's GIS Day with raffle prizes sponsored by Esri and other items sponsored by the Northern Rockies Chapter of URISA. The diversity in
backgrounds of attendees provided for great discussion and awesome networking opportunities. Lines of communication were opened between GIS entities throughout the Central Idaho Region from local city and county governments to the US Forest Service, Surveyors and the DOD's Environmental Management Office.  A committee was formed and tasked with determining how multiple jurisdictions can come together and create authoritative datasets.  Enterprise Portal sharing through Sites or ArcGIS Online Sharing through Hub was introduced as a way that they can all collaborate more efficiently.  Ideas for bringing GIS to the classrooms and for the planning of GIS
community projects were discussed, and finally, thank you cards were written and sent to mentors, which was an idea given in the 101 things to do on GIS Day blog essay. 

Central Idaho GIS Day

 

The University of Illinois at Chicago:  Dr Moira Zellner, professor in the department of urban planning and policy and director of the Urban Data Visualization Lab, organized an event at the University of Illinois at Chicago that was held at the Richard J. Daley Library, open to the public, and featured a range of techniques exploring different aspects of Community and Global Disparities. It included a keynote speaker, presentations, a panel, a poster session and competition, and a hands on-workshop. GIS Day brings an opportunity to learn about innovative techniques and impactful applications, and network with others interested in or working on a range of visualization approaches to classwork, research or professional activities.

 

The University of Southern California's Spatial Sciences Institute:  An event organized by Dairon Caro of the Spatial Sciences Institute at the University of Southern California brought Tom Vo to speak at USC's 2019 GIS Day celebration.  The Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) is charged with creating a dynamic growth vision for Southern California. At SCAG’s Research and Analysis Department, Tom Vo is utilizing GIS to solve local and regional issues and promote more housing, transportation accessibility and sustainability of cities in Southern California.

USC GIS Day event

GIS Day event at the University of Southern California.

Finally, shared by Esri Canada is this GIS Day cake from the land where GIS began--Canada (eh!).

 

GIS Day Cake

Which would you prefer?  Newfoundland or Baffin Island? 

The updated Education Institution Agreement enables more students, faculty and staff to leverage ArcGIS technology, such that any ArcGIS product can be accessed on any device and in any location.

 

ArcGIS has grown beyond the confines of a single desktop GIS application, and ought to be managed as an institution-wide system available to everyone, similar to a learning management system (LMS) or cloud storage. More importantly, it must be managed at scale to take full advantage of the Institution Agreement benefits - maximizing access and minimizing administration time.   

 

To successfully deploy and manage ArcGIS in a sustainable and secure manner, please follow the below recommendations. These recommendations are designed to help you take full advantage of the Institution Agreement benefits, but they also apply to Site Licenses and K-12 Schools licenses.

 

  • Single ArcGIS Online organization – use a single ArcGIS Online organization for the entire institution to avoid impeding collaboration and minimize management workload.
  • Enable enterprise logins (Single Sign On, SSO) – leverage your institution’s identity provider to eliminate manual management of users and to prevent unauthorized access when student graduates or faculty/staff leave. Make sure to enable “Automatically” join for new users.
  • Configure New Member Defaultsauto-provision new users with everything they will need, which eliminates manual administration:
    • User Type (GIS Professional)
    • Role (Publisher) – empower users to do most tasks
    • Add-on licenses – such as Business Analyst, Community Analyst, Insights, ArcGIS Pro Extensions, GeoPlanner
    • Credit Quota – set it high enough that most users can get their work done, there is ample amount of credits available with your new Institution Agreement
    • Enable Esri Access – enable users to help themselves by providing access to Esri Training (e-Learning), GeoNet.
  • Software distribution – provide executables and provisioning files via your institutional file share system (Box, OneDrive, GoogleDrive, etc.). The same provisioning file can be used by everyone in your organization. ArcGIS can be accessed on any device.
  • ArcGIS Pro licensing:
    • The new GIS Professional Advanced User Type provides ArcGIS Pro licensing. ArcGIS Pro Extensions still need to be set in New Member Defaults as an Add-on license. Bottom line, ArcGIS Pro licensing is provided via named user in ArcGIS Online.
    • We discourage single use or concurrent use licensing – why maintain a license manager? Single Use licensing is recommended for offline use.
    • Disable “offline” licensing for ArcGIS Pro, as it often results in inquiries to recover the license.
  • Monitor Usage – demonstrate to stakeholders the breadth and depth of GIS on campus. The ArcGIS Online Usage Reports (Organization>Status) are a start and provide easy access to total usage data. Further analysis and efforts are needed to provide information for ongoing, repeat usage, as well as daily reporting.
  • Inactive users and stale content – if you are in the early stages of deploying ArcGIS to your entire institution, the recommendation is that you DO NOT delete users and content, as deleting users and content takes time and effort, it breaks the audit trail of ownership, and may break dependencies that others may have on that content. Deleting content cannot be recovered! Over time, you can work on best practices for your institution on how to manage inactive users and stale content.

Many higher education institutions are already using ArcGIS Hub for teaching, research, projects, or campus operations.   ArcGIS Hub is a cloud-based engagement platform that lets organizations work more effectively with their communities.   With ArcGIS Hub, you can create sites and pages to share your data, projects or initiatives.  Take a look at this initiative created by West Chester University Geography and Planning, about their student project with the city of Malaga, Spain

 

 

Sharing content with Hub makes your website and pages look focused, easy to navigate, responsive, and effective.   Check the Hub Gallery for other example sites created with Hub. Common ways people use Hub sites is to:

  • Share catalogs of data as open data
  • Create gallery sites (think of a gallery for your class projects)
  • Create narrative/storytelling sites
  • Create dashboards (e.g. performance dashboards)
  • Create initiative websites to rally supporters
  • Encourage action. (to sign up for something, to make a pledge, to register for an event, etc.)

 

ArcGIS Hub Basic License

 

You can start creating Hub sites right now, since the basic license level of ArcGIS Hub is already included with ArcGIS Online.  Hub (basic) gives you the ability to make websites and pages and share your data either openly with the public or keep it private to your organization.  Any user with at least one Creator user type and Publisher role can create Hub sites.  Recommendation before jumping into ArcGIS Hub, is to ask/answer these key questions:

  1. What is the purpose?
  2. Who is your target audience(s)?
  3. What issues, stories or facts to raise?
  4. What kind of feedback do you expect (if any)?
  5. What is the pledge or call to action needed (if any)?

 

Once you have a clear idea, you can start creating your site or initiative in ArcGIS Hub. 

 

ArcGIS Hub Premium License 

 

If you have a plan to have a Hub site that involves community engagement,  you will then need an ArcGIS Hub Premium license.  Premium licenses provide an easy-to-configure community engagement platform with the ability to:

  • Take surveys
  • Collect feedback
  • Organize events
  • Gather and contribute data from followers   

 

The Premium license will also give you access to well-curated initiative templates and provides community identities for your crowdsource followers. 

 

ArcGIS Hub Premium License is included in the new Higher Education Institutional Site License.  Contact your Esri Account Manager, or Customer Service to request the license.  You need to include your organization ArcGIS Online Subscription ID when requesting an ArcGIS Hub license.  Each Institutional site license entitles for two ArcGIS Premium license instances, one for academic use and one for campus operation use.  You need to specify the use when requesting the licence.

 

Visit this site to understand the differences between the Basic and Premium license levels of ArcGIS Hub.

 

 

Get Started with ArcGIS Hub

 

You can get started by watching the Training Seminar, Engage Your Community with ArcGIS Hub, and by reading the how to Launch a Website in Five Steps blog.

 

You can start using ArcGIS Hub by opening https://hub.arcgis.com and sign in; or by selecting Hub from the application switcher in ArcGIS Online

 

Once you get started with ArcGIS Hub, the best way to keep track of product updates, new capabilities, tips and tricks, and to see new Hub site examples is by subscribing to the ArcGIS Hub Newsletter.

And here’s a list of other helpful ArcGIS Hub resources:

 

When activating the premium ArcGIS Hub license, we have noticed it is common for customers to miss some important steps.  We recommend you request a short, complimentary session online with an Esri Solution Engineer, email me at ckurnia@esri.com. This will help to speed up the getting started process.

 

There is a lot of potential using ArcGIS Hub in higher education, especially for student capstone projects that involve communities, projects in collaboration with local government and cities, or projects within the campus.  That said, we are looking for more Hub sites created by higher education communities to add to the ArcGIS Hub Gallery.  Send us the link to your exciting public Hub sites/initiatives to highered@esri.com.

The idea behind Mapillary is a simple but powerful one:  Take photos of a place of interest as you walk, bike, drive, or however else you move across the landscape using the Mapillary mobile app.  The app takes photographs automatically, which you then upload to the Mapillary database.  Once there, they are wonderfully combined into a ground photo view that is a bit like Google’s StreetView, showing you a digital virtual path of how you traversed the landscape.  Mapillary is part of the rapidly growing crowdsourcing citizen science movement, which seeks to generate “volunteered geographic information” content from ordinary citizens.  In fact, Mapillary is helping to generate critical infrastructure and natural resource inventory in places around the world that have no national mapping agency or local GIS data.  Mapillary is therefore helping to create a data-informed citizenry that can more effectively plan resilient, safe, and thriving communities.  As part of the growing set of artificial intelligence tools, Mapillary can also automatically extract map features from images—light poles, trees, benches, curbs, and so on.  While I have written about Mapillary in the past, and regularly include Mapillary in my field workshops, in this essay I wish to provide an update for people already familiar with this tool, and introduce new people to these exciting capabilities.  

 

Mapillary is much more than a set of tools–it is a community, with its own MeetUps and ambassadors, and it is an Esri partner.  At the time of this writing, over 710 million images have been contributed, covering over 8.6 million kilometers.  Currently, the site’s leaderboard shows that the top 50 users have submitted over 1 million images each, with the leader at 18 million images and nearly 300,000 km.  I currently have submitted 2,400 images covering 24 km.  I have a long way to go: Ah!  More fieldwork!

 

There are many uses for Mapillary in education, and I have explored all of the following with students at the secondary, university, and informal education (libraries, museums, after-school clubs) level over the past few years in a wide variety of settings and institutions.  First, I use Mapillary to help students explore places of interest from thousands of users around the world.  The Mapillary map page linked to images allows instructors and students to play sequences of images in a flowing video style that provides a powerful immersive experience of thousands of landscapes and places around the world.  What clues do the vegetation, land use, building type, weather, and place names give about the climate, ecoregions, biomes, history, and culture of the area?  These images and maps can be powerful sources of inquiry, prompting investigations using other sources and drawing on content knowledge in history, environmental studies, geography, earth science, and even language arts, as I explain in this video.

 

To examine the map and images, from the main page, under the Imagery tile, select “Explore coverage.”  A global map will open with the Mapillary data collected shown in green.  For example, if you zoom to Melbourne Australia, you will see a large circular feature that I collected in Royal Park, shown below.  You can see the photographs I took on a fine late winter day as I was walking to the University of Melbourne to teach a GIS workshop.  Look at those fantastic Australian trees!  You can also tick the “Play” button in the image to “travel” around the circle as I did, in your case, virtually, using the images.  Note how each image indicates where on the map it was captured and what direction from straight ahead I took it.  You can also play the sequence in full screen mode with the map in the corner, turn on object detection, or filter the view.  

 

Mapillary image

Try walking along my route through Royal Park in Melbourne by clicking on the forward and backward arrows in the above immersive view collected with Mapillary!

 

Mapillary image

Example set of Mapillary points and images I collected in Royal Park in Melbourne Australia. 

 

Second, I use Mapillary with students in the field to create data, and encourage faculty reading this to do the same with your own students.  You will need to register for a free Mapillary account to do this.  After obtaining your free account, download the Mapillary app for your phone.  You can use this Mapillary app to create photos and maps to document a field trip to your local wetland, rainforest, prairie, or urban neighborhood, and if you cannot get off campus, use the tools to walk every pathway on campus.  The Mapillary app is free and fun to use, and can spark discussions such as “how does the app determine my location?” and “how does the app know what direction I am pointing my phone?”  As you collect tracks, they will be visible on the web map along with the global community’s tracks, and also, your own tracks will be visible as “uploads” on your phone app (shown below).

 

Mapillary image

My set of Mapillary images currently online.

 

For students who become familiar with creating Esri ArcGIS Online maps and Esri Storymaps, Mapillary images can be embedded in these types of multimedia maps.  Start simply by downloading one image from Mapillary, such as mine, here, in Melbourne, using the Download Image while logged into Mapillary:  https://images.mapillary.com/VdjXFuVzWX9Y1se9qN89rA/thumb-2048.jpg Add this into a Map in ArcGIS Online.  Make a story map and experiment with this image.  Or, link to the image online.  See below for example.

 

Mapillary image

Example Mapillary image embedded in a map note in ArcGIS Online.  Try it yourself with my image:  https://images.mapillary.com/VdjXFuVzWX9Y1se9qN89rA/thumb-2048.jpg

 

Mapillary provides map data as a subscription and downloads are requested through Mapillary for Organizations.  Mapillary for Organizations is a workspace that anyone with a Mapillary account can create. Within an organization, there can be multiple individual accounts. Thus, it provides a way to organize capture projects and request data for your area of interest, rather like putting together a team for mapping purposes.  To use data for educational purposes, you should focus on data that you or your students have collected. 

 

You can download your Mapillary map data and bring it into ArcGIS Online.  The data gets extracted as a GeoJSON file, which you can add to your ArcGIS Online map as I will explain below.  Go to your sequence in the web mapping app >  click the three dots in the bottom right corner, as shown below:

 

Mapillary image

The 3 dots on your collected track that allow you to download your data for use in ArcGIS. 

After clicking on the 3 dots, select: > Advanced options" > "Download lines" to get the trace of your track:

 

Mapillary image


Downloading your Mapillary track.

 

After selecting Download Lines, a GeoJSON file will open up in a web browser tab.  Right click somewhere on in the white space where there is no text, and > "save as." Change the filetype to "all files" and then add the ".geojson" extension to the file name. Alternatively, in a web browser where you are displaying the GeoJSON file, copy all of its contents, paste it into Notepad, and name the file appropriately, such as Melbourne_track.geojson.  Your system will likely add “.txt” to the end of the file name.  If so, rename the file and take off the “.txt” extension. 

 

Once you have your GeoJSON file, go to ArcGIS Online > Add Data > Add from file, and point to your geojson file.  Symbolize the tracks in the area on user name so you can determine which track is your own, as I did, below:

 

Mapillary image

Alternatively, you could add your GeoJSON file as a file to your ArcGIS Online content, thereby creating a feature service from it.  Then, you can add it to your map, and filter on the user name to only see your own track, as shown in this web map of mine, here.  Now that it is a feature service, it is an even more powerful layer than simply a map element, that you can now use as input to your spatial analysis tools, such as buffer, overlay, and more. 

 

Next, for enhanced geo-visualization, try bringing your Mapillary track into the 3D scene viewer in ArcGIS Online, as I did here; see below.

Mapillary image

Mapillary track in a Esri ArcGIS 3D scene.

 

Mapillary image

Close up of Mapillary track in 3D scene viewer using a hiker as the symbol.

 

Want to dig deeper?  You can even extract features from the images; see more information here on map features, and the help page about how to bring data to ArcGIS Online.  When you do so, you are using Artificial Intelligence in action!  See an example of features in the benches example below, along with my track.  The benches have been extracted with the Mapillary algorithms from the images on my track.

 

Mapillary image

Example set of Mapillary features in ArcGIS Online.   Mapillary uses computer vision, a form of artificial intelligence, to automatically identify and extract map objects like these benches.

 

Next, use these guidelines to start building story maps with Mapillary sequences.  Essentially you will get the embed code for the Mapillary image, its thumbnail, and the geographic coordinates.  As they are working through the procedures, show them this example set of stories and this story map of a refugee camp for inspiration.

 

Mapillary image

For students who become familiar with using Esri’s Web App Builder, you might also encourage them to try the Mapillary Widget, which allows for the viewing of Mapillary street-level images.

 

I encourage you to use these Mapillary tools to enhance your fieldwork, teach about apps, Web GIS, and crowdsourcing, and to improve the spatial thinking of your students.

 

For more information, see my related essay on the Mapillary blog.  

ArcGIS is a platform, which means that (1) applications can be built upon it, which offer powerful capabilities for educators and students, and (2) the tools within the platform are connected.  When these ArcGIS connected tools are used in tandem, complete experiences are easily realized.  One example is fieldwork:  Planning > Collection > Mapping > Analysis > Communicating > Monitoring.   GIS enhances each step in this process.  The attached activity I created guides you and your students through the following 10 steps: 

  1.  Considering why and how to conduct fieldwork.
  2.  Understanding the scope and purpose of Esri field and office apps.
  3.  Understanding some of the most popular ways to map field-collected data in ArcGIS Online.
  4.  Creating a field survey using one of these apps, Survey123.
  5.  Collecting data into the survey.
  6.  Creating an ArcGIS Online map from the survey data.
  7.  Symbolizing, classifying, and examining the data in the ArcGIS Online map.
  8.  Conducting spatial analysis using the ArcGIS Online map.
  9.  Creating an operations dashboard from the survey data.
  10.  Creating a story map from the ArcGIS Online map, operations dashboard, and survey.

 

This workflow touches several key tools and methods for collecting, mapping, analyzing, and communicating the results of fieldwork.  It is my hope that through this lesson, you will consider what data you would like to collect, and be empowered and confident that you can use these tools in your own work in education and beyond.

 

--Joseph Kerski

 

One of the messages of the activity--don't just map it--analyze it and understand it!

One of the messages of the activity--don't just map your field-collected data--analyze it and understand it!

 

Workshop workflow

Part of the attached lesson showing the workflow that touches on several key tools and methods for collecting, mapping, analyzing, and communicating the results of fieldwork.  

Getting out into the field.

Collecting data in the field is important--plants, animals, weather, soil moisture, water quality, condition of trails, and much more, and can be done through these connected tools in the ArcGIS platform.   Photo by Joseph Kerski.

As I frequently give short courses and presentations focused on GIS in education, and as I receive requests for this content on a regular basis from the education community, I thought it would be helpful to post a collection of my most recent content here.  

 

Why GIS in Education Matters:  My presentation with a research focus.

Why GIS in Education Matters:  Article in Geospatial World.

History of GIS in K12 Education:  Article in xyHT magazine

 

Short course on useful apps in teaching and learning and 10 things you can do with ArcGIS Online.

Short course on ways you can teach with modern web-based GIS tools and data. 

Short course on 10 key skills to grow in ArcGIS Online.  

Short course on fieldwork > map > analysis > storymap > operations dashboard. 

 

Presentation on what geography is and why geography matters.

Presentation on why data quality matters more now than ever.

Presentation on the modern web GIS paradigm.

 

Presentation and short course on exploring your world through geography and beyond.

The Lakota Language Story Map and the reasons it was created.

The storymaps and the digital humanities collection.

 

Short course on GIS for beginners and intermediates.

Short course on predicting the weather.

Short course on fieldwork > map > analysis > storymap > operations dashboard. 

 

Short course on story maps - slides and short activities - the #2 link here. 

Short course on story maps - detailed activity.

 

Keynote address on 5 forces, 5 trends, and 5 skills critical in GIS as we look to the 2020s. 

Keynote address on geography--key for resilient communities and a healthy planet.

 

Lifelong learning

I hope and trust that these items will be useful in your own work.  Feel free to use and modify them and I look forward to hearing how you have used these resources. 

 

--Joseph Kerski

 

 

One of the educators I have been working with over the years, Mark Bushman, at Denver Public Schools, works tirelessly to develop ecoliteracy in young students with the use of GIS technology.  An example of their work can be seen in the following richly detailed story map, one of the most powerful stories I have ever seen highlighting the work of young students:

https://www.arcgis.com/apps/Cascade/index.html?appid=c314079720964f2c8685e97c81531016

 

The projects -- most from Grade 2 (8 year-old) students, are fascinating on many levels – (1) They incorporate fieldwork and map trees, birds, and much more; (2) They wonderfully combine art, science, geography, and other subjects.  (3) Rather than having to be "busy" the entire duration of the project, they spend time thinking and reflecting. (4) They engage young students in conducting research.  (5)  They embrace intercultural teaching.  (6)  They use a combination of tools and develop a variety of skills--GIS, writing, sketching, observing, and much more.  (7)  The project includes a citizen science component (eBird) and a community service component (building and deploying bird houses).  (8)  The teacher incorporates the work into a research project with some fascinating findings about the effectiveness of this ecoliteracy project and the utility of using GIS within it. 

 

Upon Mark's invitation, I had the pleasure of visiting this school to teach a workshop on mapping technologies.  The students and their teachers whom I met were just as inspiring in person as their story map shows.  I salute them and encourage you to consider and incorporate some of what they have done, combining it with your own interests and setting to make these tools and methods work for you. 

 

Ecoliteracy project.

Ecoliteracy project.

Ecoliteracy project.

Ecoliteracy project.

Ecoliteracy project.

Ecoliteracy project.

Additional screen shots from the ecoliteracy story map.

Students in many states are finding patterns, puzzles, and projects in the world around them, and turning these into adventures in learning, as part of the ArcGIS Online Competition for US High School and Middle School Students. After doing their research, they put together a Story Map or a web app. Five who do this well in their school advance to the state level, and those in the top handful at the state level win 100 bucks. And two students (or teams) from across the US get chosen to display the best in high school (grades 9-12) and middle school (grades 4-8) at the Esri Conference in San Diego, CA.

 

The ArcGIS Online Competition for US HS+MS Students

 

The competition is underway again, for school year 2019-2020. Teachers can start introducing students to the technology and the opportunity. But the teachers need also to pivot and point to state leaders, urging them to sign up the state. This is a binary event: Either all students get to participate or none do, and what ensures the former is a team of education-friendly, GIS-savvy, doers who step up and make it happen. In states with few student participants, high percentages have been award winners at the state level. And at the national level, even states with few participants have had winners. It just takes curiosity, vision, gumption, and tenacity … someone who is part Sherlock Holmes, part Jane Goodall, and part Katherine Johnson.

 

Winning teams meet Jack Dangermond at 2019 Esri Conference

 HS and MS student winners and their teachers chat with Jack Dangermond at the Esri Conference

 

The task for students is to research a topic of their choosing, within the bounds of their state, and present what they learn in the form of a web app or Story Map. Whether singly or as part of a team of two, this is a chance for unfettered exploration, observation, analysis, and tinkering, wrapped up in a presentation. The long-term rewards can be impressive. The short-term rewards could include sharing with 20,000 GIS users at the 2020 Esri Conference in San Diego.

 

Explore the opportunities, the guidance from 2019 winners and their teachers, and the whole collection of three years of award winners, at http://esriurl.com/agoschoolcomp.

Esri and the GLOBE program (Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment - www.globe.gov) have been working together on initiatives and educator training for decades.  Globe was one of the first major education-focused citizen science programs, and it offers a wealth of data on soil chemistry, water quality, weather, and much more, as well as rigorously tested methods to have your students collect and contribute data, and a network of educators with which to collaborate.  Recently, two GLOBE educators asked me to conduct a webinar for their educators and students, and I documented the highlights in this video.  I have written about this topic before, documented on the GLOBE site here, and as an essay in GeoNet here, but in this recent webinar, I expanded and updated these explanations to include what I consider to include key elements of a project-based workflow:  (1) Obtaining the data > (2) mapping the data > (3)  Analyzing the data, and > (4) creating communications tools from the data.

 

To gather citizen science data, you can use the Globe Observer app, iNaturalist, Survey123 from Esri, or another app.  You can use probes such as those from Pasco, Hanna Instruments, Vernier, or another company; or you can even go "old school" and use clipboards and pencils.  I believe all of these tools have value in education, and in this essay, I describe 6 ways to gather and map your field data.  The most important thing is that you end up with a spreadsheet of data, generated from your app or probe, or one you generate yourself from your clipboard notes.   This spreadsheet becomes the "I", or "Information", part of your GIS. The spreadsheet needs to contain some sort of location, such as street address, or ideally, latitude-longitude values.  In the video and webinar I obtained the data from the Advanced Data Access Tool (GLOBE Advanced Data Access Tools ) and selected the region, time frame, and theme--in my case, mosquito larvae data.  Download the data; in the case of GLOBE data, it is offered as a CSV (Comma Separated Value) table. Oftentimes, data tables need to be edited slightly for ease of use in your mapping software.  In my case, I brought the data into Excel, I removed the second header line, as only one is required, removed extraneous records at the end of the table, and formatted the numeric data for be "integer" or "floating point" numbers as needed.  Once done, I saved the spreadsheet as a CSV file, shown below, linked here, and attached if you would like to use it. 

 

Globe data table

 

Now for the fun and fascinating part!  In ArcGIS Online (www.arcgis.com), I signed in to my organizational subscription, went to my content, and added the CSV, creating a feature service from the data.  After giving it some tags and other metadata so that I could more easily find it later, and if I share it, so others could be more informed about my data, I then opened up the feature service in the map viewer. Once in the map viewer, I can now symbolize the points by elevation, date collected, number of eggs found, whether larvae were found or not, and on other fields in my data table.  I could make a heat map showing density of the collected points. I can also change the base map and zoom into and study specific locations on a satellite image, or at a regional or national scale, add data such as precipitation, ecoregions, population density, river systems, or other layers from ArcGIS Online and the Living Atlas of the World.  I can add fields, sort fields, and select specific data points to study further.  While doing all this, I am thinking about patterns, relationships, and trends of my data.  I can also use the spatial analysis tools, such as proximity, map overlay, routing, creating maps of statistical significant difference, and summarizing.  In my case, for example, I added a point as a map note on Minneapolis St Paul, and then summarized the number of data points within 250 km of that location.   Once done, I saved and shared my map and layers so others can examine them.  See screen shot below and also this link for the map

 

Map in ArcGIS Online of Globe Mosquito Data

Map in ArcGIS Online of Globe Mosquito Data.

 

Next, I created communications tools from this data.  Many such tools exist, and I chose to focus on story maps and operations dashboards.  The ones I created are shown below and linked here (story map) (Operations Dashboard).  ArcGIS story maps are multimedia web mapping applications, and Esri Operations Dashboards allow you to create graphs, maps, widgets, and other tools for you to monitor your data in real-time.  These were straightforward to make--once I shared the data in ArcGIS Online, I selected these two tools, choosing a map series story map, with different tabs showing different attributes of the data.  In my operations dashboard, I created a gauge that pointed to the number of points currently in my data set, along with the ArcGIS Online map, and graphs indicating where the mosquitos were found and if eggs were discovered.  If I add to my map in the future, the data in my dashboard automatically updates. 

 

Story map of Globe mosquito data

Series story map of Globe Data showing spatial analysis results.

 

Operations Dashboard of Globe data.

Operations Dashboard of Globe Data.

 

I encourage you to do even more wonderful things with spatial data, such as that from citizen science portals including Globe.gov, and elsewhere, to better understand the patterns, relationships, and trends, and to consider how you can contribute to the scientific community through your efforts!

Explore and share the new storymap, Getting to Know GeoInquiries from the Esri schools team.  The storymap walks new educators through the basics of GeoInquiries, including the anatomy of the teacher guide, accessing student worksheets, and interacting with GeoInquiry maps.  It's a great one-stop for learning about GeoInquiries and how to effectively use them in classrooms!  Share the short URL: http://esriurl.com/GeoInquiryStoryMap 

Fellow Educators:

 

ArcGIS Online User Types have been in use for some time now as a way of providing apps and privileges to ArcGIS users. The Creator User Type has been available for Education program licenses.  

 

With recent updates to the Education Institution Agreements, the GIS Professional Advanced Use Type was added as the default option, versus Creator. GIS Professional Advanced User type differs from the Creator User type in the fact that it provides ArcGIS Pro Advanced licensing.

 

Everyone who has migrated to the new Institution Agreement (and has the GIS Professional Advanced user type as an option):

 

  •        Please switch all ArcGIS Online users to GIS Professional Advanced User Type. Instructions are listed here, and further info is below.
  •        If you do not assign GIS Professional Advanced User Type licenses, you will likely get a message “The number of user types and licenses assigned exceeds the number available”. The reason for this message is that users are now all GIS professional User Type licenses instead of Creator, while you may have Creator User Type licenses assigned.  

 

Please ensure that you utilize the New Member Defaults to auto-provision licensing for new users, preferably with Enterprise Logins (SSO). Note that the GIS Professional User type does NOT include all ArcGIS Pro extensions. When you set your add-on licensing on New Member Defaults, please note that you will have to add the extensions (and not ArcGIS Pro, since it is now part of the user type). Extensions count as one of the 5 add-on apps.

 

Note: If you have any ArcGIS Pro licenses who have been taken for "offline use", they will have to be recovered prior to making the switch from Creator to GIS Professional User type (for those specific users with offline licenses). All other users can be converted. We generally encourage administrators to "disable" taking ArcGIS Pro offline: Organization>Licenses>"Prevent Members from Taking ArcGIS Pro Offline".

 

How to Change User types – documentation here:

 

  1.       Login as an Administrator – Organization>Members tab.
  2.       On the left, filter by User Type – Creator.
  3.       Ensure that you are showing 100 members per page (maximum default currently), bottom right.
  4.       Check the box to in the upper Left to select all Members.
  5.       In the Upper Right, Manage User Types.
  6.       Select GIS Professional Advanced and Save.

 

Changing User Types can be done in an efficient manner via an ArcGIS API for Python script, such as:

 

from arcgis.gis import GIS

 

# Update these values for your ArcGIS Online organization orgURL = "https://your-organization-here.maps.arcgis.com"

orgUser = "an_admin_user"

orgPwd = "admin_password"

 

gis = GIS(orgURL,username=orgUser,password=orgPwd)

 

# Enumerate and iterate over all users

users = gis.users.search(max_users=9999) for user in users:

     # Change user type for each user

     print ("Changing user type for " + user.username +" to GIS

Professional.")

     user.update_license_type('GISProfessionalAdvUT')

 

Further feedback is welcome!

My colleagues and I have had numerous inquiries over the years from educators asking, "How do I teach a specific topic with the expanding variety of web GIS tools and data sets?" and these inquiries also exist on GeoNet, in the National Geographic educators network, and elsewhere.  Let's take one specific example, a set of resources I sent to an educator who is putting together units on the history, colonialization, and geography of Africa for her social studies course.  My list of 10 tools included the following:

  1. Examine the interactive David Rumsey 1787 map of Africa:   Discuss:  How much detail was included? What was left off?  What lands did local people know about? https://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=d00c929a180b43fa9cc3ea32892edbbc     Then examine the 1790 Cassini map cast on an Esri 3D globe:  https://ralucanicola.github.io/JSAPI_demos/cassini-globe/  Discuss the differences between the 1787 and the 1790 maps.  What modern countries occupy where “Nubia” and “Abissinia” were in the past?
  2. Study the ecological tapestry map. In Africa, compare the bioclimates, landforms, rock type, land cover:  https://livingatlas.arcgis.com/ecoexplorer/   For more on ecological units, see story map: https://story.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapJournal/index.html?appid=dc91db9f6409462b887ebb1695b9c201&webmap=dd6f7f93d54341a69a47002696cf5744 
  3. Examine the Esri international migration map in the "cool maps" gallery:   https://coolmaps.esri.com/#10    Examine the metadata:  Where did the data come from?  What time periods does it cover?  How accurate is the data?  Stop the animation.  Select South Africa and examine incoming and outgoing migration over the 5 time periods.  Compare to another country in Africa, noting the differences in numbers and spatial patterns.  How many emigrate to the USA from each country?  Change to Somalia and discuss reasons the total numbers are so much lower and why outgoing is much more than incoming.  Discuss challenges there (food security, political instability) and what causes people to decide to stay vs what causes them to emigrate, and - what hinders them from emigrating.
  4. Access the Esri Water Balance app:  https://livingatlas.arcgis.com/waterbalance/  Go to > “precipitation” >  compare regions in Africa, especially Sahara versus the topical regions.   Change to “soil moisture” and discuss relationship.  Change to “snowpack” – make sure graph is on Monthly Normal.  Does it snow anywhere in Africa?  Go to Atlas Mountains in Morocco and then examine Mt Kilimanjaro on the Kenya Tanzania border where some snow exists (for now, anyway, but perhaps not in the future).  Supplement this activity with the seasonal change in snow cover map and animation, that I describe in detail, here:  Seasonal Changes in Snow Cover Map.  
  5. Go to ArcGIS Online (www.arcgis.com) and search for Baltimore Maryland.  Pan north and south along the east coast of the USA, noting the abundance of harbors.  Then search for Mombassa Kenya.  Pan in both directions along the coast and note the absence of good harbors, with Mombassa being one exception, and discuss the implications of the lack of harbors and the table-land geography of Africa, and the implications on the patterns and amount of exploration and development and colonialism.
  6. Use MapMaker Interactive from National Geographic:  https://mapmaker.nationalgeographic.org/#/    Add data > add climate, language diversity, religion.  Discuss language and religion influence from colonialism and other forces.  Show legend and discuss the patterns, relationships, and trends. 
  7. Go to Google Maps, and zoom to Kenyatta Ave & Uhuru Hwy, in Nairobi > Street View (drag street view person to map) > discuss influence of the British colonialism on:  architecture, the roundabout, the side of the street people are driving on, the manicuring of the parks, and more.  Examine French and other colonial influences elsewhere in Africa.  Where StreetView does not exist, you can use the Mapillary citizen-science generated images on www.mapillary.com.  
  8. Study the pattern and amount of urban growth in Cairo using the Esri Wayback imagery app:  https://livingatlas.arcgis.com/wayback/ > go to Great Pyramids >  Check “only updates with local changes > pan to the area to the west of the pyramids, observing  the 2014 to 2018 changes. Discuss the implications of urban growth on society, schools, and natural resources.  Using the same app, examine the impact of urban growth in Tunis, Lagos, Johannesburg, and selected small villages of your choice.  Using the same app, determine if you can detect other changes on the landscape, whether from political instability, expansion of agriculture or energy exploration, encroachment of the Sahara on the Sahel, tourism infrastructure growth, the impact of national parks and preserves on the return of forested land, and other changes.  
  9.  Use a selection of the GeoInquiries collections to investigate physical and cultural themes in Africa:   GeoInquiries | Standards-Based Inquiry Activities for Teaching Map-Based Content .  For example, examine population growth as part of the "Growing Pains" unit under the World History collections.  These lessons were built for primary and secondary school instructors, but if you are instructing at the university level, you can still use the interactive maps tied to these lessons and insert your own questions. 
  10. Investigate the world's largest cities, including those in Africa, via the 3D ArcGIS Globes here:  Get creative with globe visualizations . Next, examine global population density and compare to world cities.  Why are zones sparsely populated in Africa a short distance away from heavily populated zones, such as in Nigeria and in Egypt?  Next, examine the population density filter tool on the same site and slide the filter tool so that you are only examining high density population areas across the continent.  What are the physical, cultural, and historical reasons for the population settlement patterns in Africa? 

These maps, data layers, tools, and questions can be applied to other areas of the world, as well.  By using these tools in a problem-solving, inquiry-driven educational environment, students become investigators, thinking spatially and critically, and asking even deeper questions than the ones posed here.  

 

How are you using these tools in your courses and classrooms? 

 

Ecological Land Units of AfricaEcological Land Units map focused on central Africa.

Two excellent apps were released in summer 2019: ArcGIS QuickCapture and the Attachment Viewer web app template. Educators can use these powerfully! To test both, I decided to record notables on my morning walk.

 

iPhone showing QuickCapture display

 

Electric scooters have sprouted like fairy rings in my neighborhood. QuickCapture lets me capture the location (click#1) and a photo (click#2) and confirm the data (click#3), which auto-sends while I move poorly parked ("strewn") scooters out of the path of others. I created a point feature service with 8 elements to choose from, essentially converting an 8-item pulldown into 8 big buttons, which I laid out in two columns ("pain" or "joy") for each of four items (scooters, bikes, other human things, and natural things). With a little exploring and experimentation, I was able to configure the buttons and ensure each permitted a photo.

 

QuickCapture project

 

QuickCapture lets you tweak your "project" setup after creation, so I tested and adjusted things a couple of times, optimizing for data sufficient to play with behind the scenes, but not display on the map. Because I wanted to share the results focusing on the photos (with the map simply as context until I get enough data), I used the new Attachment Viewer web app template. This meant creating a view of my feature service (to protect the source data; create item 3 from item 1, below), building and configuring a map (item 4), and sharing it by creating and configuring a web app from a template (item 5). Ta-da!

 

ArcGIS Online contents of the project

 

The Attachment Viewer will work with any feature service used for data collection, so think Survey123 and Collector as well. The rather minimalist display gives enough space for map, context, and image. This will be ideal for educators and students after a data gathering experience! (See my neighborhood scooters!)

 

Attachment Viewer app

 

The GIS toolkit for educators keeps getting better and better. Take some time to try these apps. I have updated a document about Survey123 and Collector to include QuickCapture as well.

 

My morning walk has a new appeal for me, and even the irritation of hazardously placed or strewn objects now has a slight silvery lining for me.

I invite you to explore the Community Walkability map I created, here:

https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/1e4847f78ec94fd89e960adfabb5ac5c

 

This is a new ArcGIS storymap, and it also includes a button linked to a survey (created with Survey123), plus an Operations Dashboard that provides real-time information on what has been thus far collected. The message I wish to convey through the creation of this resource is that the combination of these connected tools, all part of the ArcGIS platform, offers amazing capabilities. I have created a video on these procedures, here.

 

Feel free to contribute to this map, ideally, along with a photo, in your own community or another place you have visited.   As you do so, think about the kinds of things YOU and your students, colleagues, stakeholders, friends and family in your communities could be collecting, mapping, and analyzing with these same tools—water quality, graffiti or blight, weather, noise, albedo, types and amount of trash, cell phone signal, historical points of interest, tree height/species/condition, pedestrian or traffic counts, and much more.  Start with these procedures, presented as a story map, that will guide you through the process. 

 

Walkability images submitted to the storymap.

A selection of walkability images submitted to the storymap.

Walkability storymap.

Static screenshot of the walkability map as it appeared in late August 2019; look for more points on the above storymap link, and I encourage you to submit your own point. 

Operations Dashboard of walkability data.

Static screenshot of the walkability operations dashboard as it appeared in September 2019. 

The long-awaited World Geography GeoInquiries collection has released 15  "Level 1" activities and ArcGIS Online maps, based on the content from the award-winning book, Mapping Our World.  The activities are designed for middle and lower-high school geography classrooms, are based on the C3 Framework for social studies, and tied to leading world geography textbooks.  All activities are licensed under Creative Commons for easy reuse by educators.

World Geography GeoInquiries

Currently, the collection includes "no-login" activities studying:

 

  • urbanization
  • temperature factors
  • seismic and volcanic activity
  • population density plate boundaries
  • political boundaries
  • population growth
  • standards of living
  • the Arabian Peninsula - culture
  • growth of global communications
  • the Arabian Peninsula - physiographic
  • monsoons of South Asia
  • GDP and development
  • Central America
  • sea level rise
  • North American trade

 

 

Explore the activities and maps >>

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