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At the 2018 Esri User Conference, two teachers received the "Making a Difference" award. They teach social studies and English at the Math, Science, and Technology Magnet Academy of Roosevelt High School, in Los Angeles. Watching the 11-minute award video, which included the premier of a brief video about the research project, provides a quick glimpse of the power of GIS in instruction and the impact of a meaningful project. But for those of us who watched class after class engage in this fashion, this video is the proverbial tip of the iceberg.

 

Students engage deeply, powerfully, in a justice-based topic they choose. They conduct authentic research, seeking patterns in the data, and relationships between the topic and the lives of those around them. These "maptivists" invest many hours learning GIS technology, struggling with data, establishing time management habits, designing effective presentations for public display, growing team sense while gaining a sense of self, becoming empowered.

 

MSTMA Maptivists mapping data with ArcGIS Online

 

A new YouTube playlist presents a quartet of videos: (1) the quick synopsis from the 2018 Esri Conference, (2) a profile of a single student a year after the experience, (3) an interview with entertainer and entrepreneur will.i.am who introduced Esri to the school, and (4) a deep dive into the design and conduct of the research project. Watching the full award ceremony video and then playlist segments 2, 3, and 4 will show the immense power of good tools and methods in the hands of good teachers.

 

Any school can have these GIS tools for free. Any teacher can learn these approaches. Every student deserves the chance to immerse in such rich learning, often. Please watch, learn, and share.

Welcome to this series of GIS Workshops!  These are designed to help you become excited about and enabled to use web GIS tools to solve problems and analyze spatial patterns, relationships, and trends.

 

(1)  Telling your story with Esri Story Maps - concepts and hands-on activities:

telling_your_story_with_esri_story_maps_final.pdf - Box 

Digital Humanities Collection:  Story Maps and the Digital Humanities  

 

(2) 5 Converging forces catapulting spatial thinking to the world stage, 5 trends in geospatial technology, and 5 skills important in your data science career.

https://denverro.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapJournal/index.html?appid=fb060544d4bc4d15a1b8bed38048859b 

 

(3) The Power of ArcGIS Online

(3a)  Spatial Joins to the ArcGIS Online Living Atlas of the World

A spatial join is a GIS operation that affixes data from one feature layer's attribute table to another according to its location. Spatial joins begin by selecting a target feature and comparing it spatially to other feature layers.  Spatial joins have been used for years, for example, to determine how many water wells are in a drainage basin, or businesses in a census tract, or the number of earthquakes that fall within specific countries over specific time periods.  Let's take this last example and apply it to the changing paradigm that Web GIS represents.  You can now join data to the cloud!

 

Let us say that I want to determine how many earthquakes occurred in the past 30 days according to the USGS National Earthquake Information Center.  The way I have done this for years in ArcGIS Desktop was to gather two data layers - a point layer for earthquakes, and a polygon layer for world countries, and perform a spatial join.  Nothing is wrong with that method, and it continues to work well in ArcGIS Pro, for example.  But let's say I want to do that in ArcGIS , and I don't want to download anything.  This is accomplished with an analysis tool in ArcGIS --Join Features.  To use the analysis tools, you have to be signed in to ArcGIS  and have a publisher role.  

 

To begin, start with my web map:  

http://denverro.maps.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=63a6261d7afa48878a52a4c7127f624e - the 

Earthquakes starting point map.  It contains data layers that are streaming from the USGS earthquake center, in this  case, the last 30 days of earthquakes. 

 

Sign in to ArcGIS Online > Analysis > Summarize Data > Join Features.  Once the Join Features analysis tool is engaged, I find World Countries (generalized) in the Living Atlas of the World.  This is your target layer, so named because my goal or "target" is to create a choropleth map by country polygons.  The layer to join to these polygons is my earthquakes layer that is streaming from USGS.  The type of join is "intersect"--if an earthquake is inside or "intersects" the country polygon, you want it to be considered.

 

 

Spatial Join 2

Here is how I found the Living Atlas content, after searching on World Countries, I selected the generalized data set:

 

Spatial Join 1

I filled in the remainder of the Join Features dialog box as follows:  I chose the one to one operation; I added statistics so I could determine average magnitude and depth by country, which I thought would be interesting (as I explain in this video, always be curious!) my resulting layer and I unchecked "use current map extent" just in case my current extent happened to be cutting off any outlying islands in the South Pacific, for example, and then > Run Analysis:

 

Spatial Join 3

 

The results are below, with all countries defaulting as single symbol. 

Spatial Join 4

You will change the style shortly, but before you do, let's examine the new table of data.  The "join count" field contains the number of earthquakes by country:

 

Spatial Join 5

The average magnitude and average depth have been saved as fields in the new layer:

 

Spatial Join 6

 

Next, use Change Style to symbolize the countries on Join_Count, as follows:

 

 

Spatial Join 7


Because the USA contains so many earthquakes, the default Counts and Amounts symbology lumps most countries into one category.  The reason why is in part because the USGS earthquake center is in the USA.  It is in Golden Colorado; I used to give tours there as a USGS employee; a fascinating place that I recommend highly for you to take a tour in next time you're in Colorado.  The earthquake center receives transmitted signals of information from the global seismic network, but it also senses ground motion from nearby earthquakes in the western USA.  So, it senses more small earthquakes in the USA than it does for other countries, resulting in a higher number for the USA.  This is all a critical part of knowing your data, as I write about weekly on the Spatial Reserves data blog.  So, under Options, I changed the classification to Quantile with 5 classes, as follows:

 

Spatial Join 8

 

The result is below.  Now I have a better sense, with a choropleth map, of the frequency of earthquake by country.  Given a ocean polygon layer, I could even map oceans by earthquake frequency.

 

I would like to make just a few adjustments.  Because over the last 30 days, according to the USGS, earthquakes had occurred in only 42 countries, and 254 polygons exist in the generalized world countries data set, countries with no earthquakes have no symbol or color:    

 

Spatial Join 8b

 

This looks a bit odd.  My goal is to show countries with no earthquakes over the past 30 days with a pale yellow color.  This is easily remedied with a few keystrokes.  The easiest way to do this is to use the Add Data button, add the generalized world countries from the Living Atlas of the World, and change its style to pale yellow with a yellow outline.  Once done, I moved its position to be located underneath my joined earthquakes layer.  I also moved the earthquakes to the top of the contents so that my map users could more clearly see them.  I also labeled the countries with the number of earthquakes that occurred within each one.   The resulting map is here. 

Spatial Join 9

 

Try the Join Tables to ArcGIS  on other data sets.  It can be accomplished in just a few steps but the results are powerful.  Think of ArcGIS  and the Living Atlas as a vast storehouse of data that you can join your own data to for rich analysis.

 

(3b)  Cholera investigation:  

http://esrit3g.maps.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=87c0f79108e246d49f97a6cfe4fce157  

Steps:

1--Style data on number of cases.

2--Create heat map.

3--Buffer wells by 500 ft.

4--Summarize within - cholera cases within buffer.

5--Calculate route to each water pump.

 

(3c)  Use Arcade expressions on the following data set to enhance your capabilities in ArcGIS Online: 

https://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?useExisting=1&layers=c2d611adace94b488bfbf280dd591a7c 

 

(4)  Survey123 Workshop:

Survey123_university_of_michigan.pdf - Box 

 

(5)  Careers in GIS

career_advice_joseph_kerski_short.pdf - Box 

(with Python, the Python Imaging Library, and the ArcGIS Online API for Python)

 

Using geotagged images can be a great way to capture verifiable data in a project-based learning or citizen science exercise. Students can collect data with photographs, share their images to a common folder, and then use this script to map the pictures.

 

Geotagged images are taken constantly, usually by people with smartphones, perhaps even by people unaware that latitude-longitude information is embedded in the header of the images.  For many casual users, seeing these images in a smartphone’s built-in Photo app with a simple map feature is all the mapping they’ll want.  But, for the carto-literati ...

 

Read more >>

Simply sharing 3D/Lidar resources - huge thanks to Geoff Taylor (Esri) and Christine Wacta (SCAD) for their inspirational presentations in a webinar focused on 3D and Lidar workflows and tools, and for their willingness to share content. Below are the resources we discussed:

 

A wonderful new web mapping service from our colleagues at NASA SEDAC (the Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center) and CIESIN (the Center for International Earth Science Information Network, a research center within the Earth Institute at Columbia University) provides the educator and researcher with an incredibly valuable, easy-to-use, and fascinating tool to examine the distribution and demographic characteristics of the world's population.  I have been a great admirer of the folks at SEDAC and CIESIN since my days at the US Census Bureau, and write about them frequently in our data blog, and this population service is the latest in a set of data and tools that can be used in multiple ways and at many educational levels and settings.  It also makes use of some innovative Esri technology.

 

Once you access the web mapping application--(see my video for some guidance) - available without logging into anything, and available on any browser or device, you can examine global population distribution.   Through toggling the maps on the right between country boundaries, roadmap, and terrain, you can examine the relationship between the distribution of population at scales from local to global and the relationship of the population density and amounts to terrain, landforms, climate zones, river systems, coastlines, and more.  You can also view a layer called "settlement points" (which come from http://sedac.ciesin.columbia.edu/data/set/grump-v1-settlement-points-rev01).  You also have the option to dive deeper into the population data by accessing the polygon, circle, or point tools on the left side of the map, as shown below.  Note that for 2010, you have even more detail on the age breakdown.  

 

SEDAC CIESIN population web mapping service

 

The point buffering tool allows you to obtain population data for circular areas of the exact radius you choose, as I do below for Mumbai, India.  I obtained the latitude and longitude for Mumbai by accessing ArcGIS  > Map > and using the Measure--Point Location tool.

 

SEDAC CIESIN population web mapping service

 

The results of my point buffer are shown below.

 

SEDAC CIESIN population web mapping service

I can run the same procedure for other parts of the world, or simply use the polygon or circle tool, and the map holds all of my areas until I clear them.  With these areas, I can then compare the number of people, age of the population, and change over time.  Which areas of the world contain the fewest people? Is it southern Algeria in the Sahara, as I investigate below, or is it northern Siberia or central Australia?  Why are some areas experiencing a high rate of population, growth, while other areas are experiencing slower rates, and still others are decreasing?  What are the implications of growth and decline for those areas?

 

SEDAC CIESIN population web mapping service


There is still more!  One of my favorite tools as a geographer is population age pyramids.  This mapping service provides these as well.  For example, see the older population predominating on the Great Plains of Colorado.  

 

SEDAC CIESIN population web mapping service

 

This same pyramid is shown at right, below.  But at left is the data for roughly the same geographic area in the southeast part of the Denver metropolitan area.  The numbers in metro Denver are much higher (thousands in each age category vs. only a few dozen on the Great Plains), but also the age structure is much different--with 30- to 50-somethings raising kids, and not as many people over 65 or 20 year olds.  What do these neighborhoods look like?  You can change the base map to imagery, zoom in, and find out. 

 

 

SEDAC CIESIN population web mapping service

 

Where are the 20-somethings?  Look at neighborhoods near light rail lines in central cities, or college towns, or, in the case below, military bases. Here I am examining Fort Riley, Kansas, a large military base; note the age structure and also the slightly higher number of males than females (though they are fairly similar in number!) 

 

SEDAC CIESIN population web mapping service

 

One of the key concepts when teaching with web mapping applications such as this is helping researchers and students get into the habit of examining the metadata.  The values for this mapping service are calculated using Zonal Statistics on 1km rasters from the Gridded Population of the World (GPW4) data, described here: http://sedac.ciesin.columbia.edu/data/collection/gpw-v4   The GPW data has been refined, curated, and is updated with the highest attention to quality and detail with an expert staff of statisticians and rigorous methods.  The age data specifically references the Basic Demographic Characteristics Dataset here: http://sedac.ciesin.columbia.edu/data/set/gpw-v4-basic-demographic-characteristics-rev10.  Another way to focus attention on the data and methods is to examine the Mean Area of Geographic Units on the right side of the mapping service.  This clearly shows that the data collection units are different for central Kazakhstan than for, say, Vietnam.  Note that the settlement points layer referred to above are there for reference and are not used in the Zonal Stats Calculations.

 

This web mapping application fits nicely into the other web mapping applications that I describe here.  Use these to teach about the key issues of our 21st Century world--population, natural hazards, oceans, climate, energy, water, and much more. 

Many educators, researchers, students, and analysts regularly want to examine changes-over-space-and-time with imagery and GIS.   Recently, 81 different dates of historical imagery for the past 5 years were placed inside ArcGIS via the World Imagery Wayback service.  For more information, see this essay.

This imagery is accessible in ArcGIS , ArcMap, and ArcGIS Pro.  The best place to start is the World Imagery Wayback app.  This app, available simply through a web browser – https://livingatlas.arcgis.com/wayback/  - can be used by way of introduction in a university or community college course, or all by itself in a primary or secondary school.  A fascinating and an incredible resource for examining land use and land cover change, the wayback image service covers the entire globe.  That means you can examine coastal erosion in England, deforestation in Indonesia, urban sprawl just about anywhere, reclamation of mine lands, changes in water levels in reservoirs, agricultural expansion in Saudi Arabia, glacial retreat in Alaska, and much more. 

Plus, in keeping with the theme of being critical of the data in GIS in education, and the focus of our book and blog The GIS Guide to Public Domain Data, this app and imagery create a useful "teachable moment."  The dates shown on the left side of the app represent the update of the Esri World Imagery service, fed by multiple sources, private and public, from local and global sources.  Thus, the date shown does not mean that every location that you examine on the image is current as of that date.  I verified this where my own observations in my local area show construction as of June 2018, for example, but that construction does not appear on the image.  In addition, several other places I examined from wintertime in the Northern Hemisphere were clearly “leaf-on” and taken during the summer before.  Therefore, as always, get familiar with what you are working with.  Despite these cautions, the imagery still represents an amazingly useful resource.

wayback1wayback2

Sample from this imagery set for 30 July 2014 (top) and four years later, 27 June 2018 (bottom) for an area outside Denver, Colorado USA. 

How can the use of the Wayback image service be extended for education and research purposes?  One way to do so is by creating a web map in ArcGIS  from the Wayback app.  Doing this will thus enable the user to use all of the functions in ArcGIS  with the imagery, such as adding additional map layers (such as hydrography, land use, ecoregions), saving and sharing, using the measurement tools, and creating web mapping applications from the map.  To do this: 

 

  1. Go to the app:  https://livingatlas.arcgis.com/wayback/
  2. Navigate to an area of interest.
  3. Check on Only updates with local changes.(shown below)
  4. Click the cloud icon to “add to cart." (shown below at right).
  5. Click the clear all icon top left to create a web map (shown below at top left).
  6. Save the web map.

 

Wayback imagery tool

Done!  Open your web map.  Now you can add layers to your map, including additional Wayback layers.  To add the historical wayback imagery to this existing web map, you cannot at the moment add it from a URL as a WMTS layer, but you can use ADD DATA and search in ArcGIS  (not Living Atlas), as follows:

 

 Wayback imagery

The default sort order is relevance, but you can change it to sort by title or by oldest/newest.   See my resulting map with 3 historical layers in it, along with the current image as a basemap, below.

 

Wayback imagery

 

Another way to dig deeper into change-over-space-and-time analysis with the Wayback image service is to create a swipe map.  A swipe map is a type of story map application that is perfect for examining change, because it allows the map user to swipe across a map that has, in our study, images with 2 different dates.  To create a swipe map, in ArcGIS  > Share  > Create a web mapping application > choose Swipe map.  Select one of the historical image layers for your swipe map, and make sure the basemap is Imagery or Imagery with Labels.  The swipe layer (the historical image) will appear on the right with the more recent image on the left. 

 

But let's say your goal is to have the left side be the older imagery, and the right side be the newer imagery.  Is that possible?  Yes!  The swipe map template only allows you to swipe one layer, which by default is the right side.  So, you need to make the left side, the basemap, a historical image rather than the default new imagery basemap.  To do this, go back to your ArcGIS  map and Add > Add from ArcGIS  > enter "Wayback" > choose a historical image (in my case, I chose 2014) > Add as basemap.  Save your map.  In the configuration panel for your story map, change the settings so that you are swiping one of your newer image layers.  I did so, and my swipe map is shown below.  Here is the URL of the swipe map.

 

Swipe map from Wayback Imagery

Many other possibilities exist for the use of the Wayback imagery, including using it in 3D scene for a historical perspective on the landscape, using them in a tabbed series story map, using them as a base for advanced analytics in ArcGIS Pro (see my colleague's blog post here about bringing the data into Pro), and in many other ways.  

 

I hope that these ways I describe above encourage you to use and think creatively and spatially with this amazing set of images.

I would like to announce a poster session and competition for the 2019 American Association of Geographers annual meeting focused on:

Innovative Applications of Esri GIS Technology

For more information, and for the 5 categories that will serve as criteria, see:

https://aag.secure-abstracts.com/AAG%20Annual%20Meeting%202019/sessions-gallery/23055

 

Cash prizes will be awarded, but even more importantly, this is an opportunity for your students and colleagues to showcase the innovative things they are doing with Esri GIS technology to help understand and solve the most pressing local-to-global problems of our time.

 

Please consider entering a poster, or encouraging a student or colleague to do so. 

 

--Joseph Kerski

We often get asked about the differences between My Esri and ArcGIS Online accounts in educational settings, and how the two are related. We wanted to document a few items to keep in mind - indeed, they are two different accounts, which could bring confusion.

 

My Esri - portal to manage your customer account information:

  •      Update contact and account information.
  •      Review order history and maintenance status.
  •      Access license information and generate provisioning files for users.
  •      Access software downloads.
  •      Create technical support cases.
  •      Manage conference registrations.
  •      Add users with customizable access levels, including adding users for Esri Training and GeoNet access (though not necessarily recommended to add students/faculty/staff for purpose of providing access to Esri Training, GeoNet, etc., more below).
  •      Your My Esri account is your identity to My Esri – this is your customer record.

 

ArcGIS (ArcGIS Online or ArcGIS Enterprise) named user account:

  •      Your ArcGIS account is your identity in the organization/portal, it is how you get access to ArcGIS Online and are provided various privileges and capabilities to work with ArcGIS, depending on your role (User, Publisher, Administrator, etc.).  
  •      If you enable Esri Access for an ArcGIS Online account, users can access Esri Training and GeoNet with their ArcGIS Online credentials. Hopefully those are enterprise accounts – i.e. your organization in Educational setting has enterprise logins enabled (SSO).
  •      If you are an Administrator, this ArcGIS account is used to grant entitlements for SAAS products (apps, ArcGIS Pro, etc.), also to enable Esri Access, and a number of other functions.
  •      This account stays with your institution, however, you may transfer any Training History to a personal (or other) account by reaching out to Esri Customer Service.

 

A few additional facts:

  •      If you already have Esri account for training, enabling Esri Access on ArcGIS Online account is not going to link that ArcGIS Online account to any existing Esri account (and to the training history, support, event registration, etc. associated with it)
  •      An individual could have Esri account tied to a personal email address, so that they can retain their training history after they leave the institution.
  •      If you are a student or faculty/staff, you can be linked to your institution’s My Esri (customer record). Note that we don’t necessarily recommend this, unless this individual will be helping with management of downloads files, generation of provisioning files, calling Technical Support, and other similar functions.
  •      If you have purchased a license from Esri (Personal Use, Student Use), you will have your own Esri organization.
  •      Therefore, you may have multiple Esri accounts.
  •      A single email address may be tied to multiple ArcGIS Online accounts, but to only one Esri account (Exception: ".edu" and ".esri.com" emails may have multiple).
  •      When logging to Esri Training or GeoNet, one must use (a) an Esri Account, or (b) an ArcGIS Online account with Esri Access enabled.

 

Recommendations/Considerations:

  •      There are various approaches for management, but we typically don’t recommend adding students to the My Esri organization, as this would impose manual admin work to grant such access, and work for students to accept email invitations the correct way and with the correct account, and to keep track of which account is used for what. This may appear to be an acceptable option for managing a class or two, but not for empowering your whole institution to use ArcGIS.
  •      We do recommend enabling Esri Access via ArcGIS Online accounts – if an institution has implemented enterprise logins, this is an automated process for anyone joining the organization (no additional work for admin or students).
  •      Additional information for recommended way to share downloads/executables/provisioning files is here, so that it does not have to be done through My Esri for everyone in an institution.
  •      Any of the above options make it challenging to retain Training History (certifications from courses, etc.) – the solution for now, for whoever wishes to preserve their training history upon leaving the institution, is to reach out to Customer Service and request their training history be transferred from their institutional ArcGIS account to a public one.

I worked with our fabulous Urban Observatory team here at Esri to add another theme that will be very useful in teaching geography, geology, environmental science – the Ecology theme.  This data comes from the amazing Ecological Land Units data set (another excellent teaching and research tool) and allows you to compare the bioclimate, landform type, lithology, and land cover for any city you would like to examine, thus providing a very useful land connection for each urban area. Having it in the Urban Observatory provides the interface to compare the ecoregions for over 100 cities, which can be compared to the other variables provided, all  with nothing to install. 

 

To access this new theme, go to the Urban Observatory:  http://www.urbanobservatory.org/compare/

On the left side, you will now see the ECOLOGY theme.  Select it, and choose from the cities listed at the top.  In which ecoregions do cities tend to be the largest?  How does the ecoregion influence the land cover in and around that city?  Name the chief environmental challenges for the cities you are investigating, based on the ecoregion they are in.  How do you think the landforms and lithology impact construction in the area, or traffic patterns?  

 

Another feature that is very helpful about the Urban Observatory:  If you copy the URL while examining a specific theme and send it to someone (or yourself to access it later), then the application will open with those themes and cities that you were examining, just as you left it:  For example, this URL opens with 3 cities and the ecology for each, as I had been examining the last time I taught this content:  Rotterdam, Rio de Janeiro, and Delhi.  Rotterdam is in the cold wet bioclimate, while Rio is hot wet and Delhi hot semi-dry.  The landforms are hills, plains, and plains, respectively, while the lithology is mixed sedimentary for Rotterdam and unconsolidated sediment for the last two.  The land cover is grassland, shrub, or scrub for Rotterdam but mostly cropland for Rio and Delhi.  

 

See the graphic below.  The Urban Observatory, in my opinion, is still one of the best examples of a web mapping application that is ready-to-go for teaching and learning.

 

Teaching note:  You might need to click outside the urban area when you are examining the cities.  If you just click on the urban area itself, everything comes up as Cold Wet hills.  Therefore, click outside or zoom out once and click outside and you will be fine.  

 

Urban Observatory

Huge thanks to Ryan Danzey (Esri), Richard Tsung (USC),  Duffy Chisholm (UCR) and Hoori Ajami (UCR) for sharing their experiences in virtualizing ArcGIS Pro!!!

 

  • The recording and slides are located  here

 

Below are a couple of resources for what we discussed - be on the lookout for a blog and further resources coming up on AWS AppStream!

 

 

Please post any questions or further follow up here. 

Simply sharing, if you have not seen the following resources, covering a great variety of capabilities and topics with Esri platform.

 

  • YouTube - 50 Tech Workshops are publicly available to share with your faculty/staff/students
  • Slides - PDF versions of the PowerPoint slides from each workshop (Esri Events Proceedings page)

 

Along the same lines, the 2018 Esri Developer Summit offerings are here.

ArcGIS Online Organizations can accrete user accounts over time for a number of reasons. Bulk CSV based creation of user accounts or single sign-on or simply orphaned accounts from last year's classes all contribute. For bulk user management in ArcGIS Online, no tool is more powerful than the ArcGIS API for Python - however, it should be noted for the non-scripter, GEO Jobe Admin Tools are ....

 

Read more >>

The International Statistical Institute (ISI) and Esri are pleased to announce and are co-sponsoring a Student Poster Competition for 2018-2019.  The competition aims to promote research, encourage spatial thinking, and inspire curiosity.  The competition details are here.   We will accept applications for the international competition beginning September 1, 2018, with the application deadline being November 30, 2018. Final judging will take place during the ISI World Statistics Congress in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, August 18–23, 2019. Cash and GIS software will be awarded to the winners. 


Applicants to this Contest must be enrolled as full-time students at a university.  All Applicant entry(ies) will be submitted to an international panel for selection.  Recommended application areas include, but are not limited to, economy, environment, crime, transportation, climate, urban planning, land use/land cover, sustainable development, health, and disasters of all kinds.

 

Resources have been posted on the site to help you get started on your integration of statistical methods and GIS applied to a problem or issue you are concerned about. 

E-book market growth continues to climb.  E-books, as a share of the worldwide textbook market sales, is estimated to jump from 12.3% to 25.8% from 2013 to 2018 (Statista). The advancement of ebooks (including etextbooks) is nowhere more evident than in education. A projection report from Technavio suggests, 49% of “students” had purchased and used an etextbook by 2015.  

 

With the rise of ebooks on more powerful mobile devices and the continued growth of digital instructional materials in education, it's worth noting that maps can extend a wide variety of standards-based instructional content in schools (e.g. see the Esri GeoInquiry project to validate this idea). Thankfully, ArcGIS Online maps can be inserted into at least one particularly ebook format: Apple's iBook.  Learn how >>

Students love projects. They dive into challenges of their own design, following their own route, building capacity, solving puzzles, constructing answers … learning to learn. That's the magic of the ArcGIS Competition for High School and Middle School Students. Students might be able to do some work on it in class, but most students work on it outside of class, according to their interest.

 

Needing to examine a topic inside their state's borders, most pick an issue they already know something about … a local industry, town feature, watershed, or problem from nuisance to nightmare. They investigate, gather data, and build a Story Map. The best from the school go to the state, and from there to the national level. The ultimate winners attend the Esri User Conference and Education GIS Summit in San Diego, CA.

 

Winners of 2018 Competition

 

In 2018, 11th grader Keeli Gustafson from Duluth MN saw a local problem born a century back, and traced its path to today, including the intersection of cultures. 8th grader Andrew Wilson from Lincoln NH, like a modern Sherlock Holmes, spent hours tracing a historic railroad and lumber company. Together, they presented their stories in the User Conference Map Gallery, to GIS users from across the planet. They followed up by regaling mentors anxious for inspiration and ideas to help educators and students in their own communities. (See the full results from 2018 and 2017, and states already in the hunt for 2019, by clicking below.)

 

Results from 2017 and 2018

Students will face daunting challenges tomorrow. Every opportunity they get to dive deep, study the interplay of forces, analyze the patterns and relationships, and present the story, builds hope that situations can be understood, and problems can be solved. Thousands of young scholars in every state would relish the chance to follow their own course. Help the students and teachers in your community dive in as part of the 2019 competition, underway now.

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