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2015
One of the resources that I frequently use in instruction, and make publicly available in the hopes that it will be useful to other teachers and learners of GIS, remote sensing, geography, STEM, field methods, environmental studies, and related fields is my video channel, Geographyuberalles, or "geography is all".  I started the channel in 2008, and due to its current size, the best way to find something on it is to use the channel's search tool to search on terms such as Esri Maps for Office, ArcGIS Online, rivers, transportation, deserts, smartphones, geocaching, weather, population, professional development, or something else.  I also have provided an index of some of the most popular titles under categories such as "why geography matters", "oceans", and many more.

Another way to find categories of videos there is to browse the channel's playlists.  The channel's playlists include a series on GPS-to-GIS, several courses I teach such as GIS and Public Domain Data, Creating Story Maps for education, Scale Matters, A Day in the Life of a Spatial Thinker, and A Deeper Dive into ArcGIS Online. There is even a series of geo-related song parodies that are truly awful, just for fun.  Some of these videos are mirrored on the Esri Education Team's video channel.  Keep in mind that a much more comprehensive and professional set of videos exists on the Esri Video Channel.  The Esri video channel includes new developments in Esri's technologies, the complete plenary presentations at each year's Esri User Conference, and much more.

Give some of these videos a try and let me know what has worked for your instructional goals.  Also, if there are videos that you are particularly in need of that I might be able to create, I am happy to consider doing so.
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Over 2,600 GIS, GPS, STEM, Geography, Place, videos now online. This series of GPS to GIS is one of the many series' of videos available on the channel Geographyuberalles.

I am teaching a course this coming semester at the University of Denver entitled "Why Maps Still Matter--Geotechnologies for a Smarter Planet".  I would like to describe the course here with a larger purpose:  To start a discussion on the best approaches for teaching spatial analysis, mapping, and GIS for the "non-GIS community."

Because my course is a part of the university's enrichment program, which is designed for the "love of learning" for the general public, I deliberately focused the title on something that everyone is familiar with--maps.  I also wanted to make a point about the relevancy of mapping, and that spatial analysis can help people make smarter decisions.  A partial version of the course description follows; the full description is here.Have you ever used your smartphone to locate the nearest coffee shop? Do you wear a fitness tracker? Have you played with Google Earth? What’s the common element among these helpful (and fun!) tools? Geotechnologies, such as GIS, GPS, Remote Sensing—all examples of the growing field of mapmaking. The impact of these technologies goes way beyond locating your favorite retailer; today’s maps can actually help to make the world safer, healthier and smarter. Join geographer and educator Joseph Kerski for a journey through some of the major issues of our 21st-century world to discover how maps are changing the ways we understand our planet. From natural disasters to global warming, from immigration patterns to transportation, from agriculture to epidemics, today’s maps not only provide location information, but also trends, projections and analyses. How exactly do today’s maps work? Each class features animations, videos and live web-based maps to illustrate advanced capabilities. Why are scale, resolution, data quality, projections, datums and other fundamentals of mapping still important? What impact are crowdsourcing, cloud-based computing and privacy having on mapping? How are maps being used to create a smarter planet? Map everything from real-time airplane locations to your last hike, explore some of the major challenges facing our 21st-century world, and discover why maps still matter. Recommended but not required: Internet access outside of the classroom; laptop or tablet for use in class. To get psyched about the course, watch the video:  Why get excited about web maps?

What is the benefit of teaching mapping, spatial analysis, and/or GIS for the general public?  I know that many of us are quite passionate about sharing what we do and why it all matters to others, but, what are your goals in doing so?  Is it worth the effort? How have you taught these concepts and skills for the general public, or faculty or students outside your own discipline?  What are the approaches that you and your students have found to be the most helpful?  What activities have you included?  I will include a wide variety of topics and themes, including population change, water, lifestyles and demographics, business locations, energy, current events, natural hazards, and health, to name a few.   I will include a variety of tools, including ArcGIS Online, the Change Matters viewer, WorldMapper's cartograms, Esri Maps for Office, and the Urban Observatory.  What is the most suitable length for a course like this?  In the above case, I am teaching for a total of 7.5 hours, over three Thursday evenings.   This one is face-to-face, but since ArcGIS Online is the main tool I will be using, it could easily be taught online.
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Teaching "Why Maps Matter" for the General Public.



I look forward to hearing about your experiences in this area of teaching to an audience outside of your own community.
What's it like on Planet Earth at the spot where you are located right now?  Use the new Field Notes - Earth to find out.  The app, available on iOS and Android, uses the power of three new global maps to help answer important questions about the current and future conditions on Planet Earth.

The three maps in the app include people (world population), life (ecological land units), and oceans (world seafloor geomorphology).  The app is an example of some of the rich content available from the Esri Living Atlas of the World and was built using Esri's AppStudio for ArcGIS.

To use the app, either choose your current location, or any place on the planet that you are interested in, and start learning.  I used the app last week in Washington DC while I was there for the National Conference on Geography Education, which I thought was the perfect venue for using it.  In that location, the climate is predicted to be much warmer by 2050; it is 1,038 miles to the nearest volcano, but it is only 74 miles to a location that experienced a recent earthquake.  I can find out about the terrain, the nearest available farmland and fresh water, and much more.  The best part:  I can also add a second location to compare and contrast the two locations side-by-side.
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Using the Field Notes Earth app--some screens and information that you will discover.



For another reflection on this app, see the article from Time magazine.

In instruction, you could use this app to spark meaningful conversations about physical geography, cultural geography, environmental science, and much more, with themes including change over time and space, human-environment interactions, and others.   Use it but also get outside and observe using your five senses.  I daresay that this is the type of tool that you could also use in your "elevator pitch" when you are asked in your everyday experience, "What is GIS?" or "Why does geography matter"?

I look forward to your reactions and comments.

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