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What is a spatial citizen?  It has been defined as "An individual who has the motivation, knowledge, skills, and competencies to access and reason with geo-information in order to participate in democratic processes."  (Adapted from  I. Gryl, T. Jekel, and K. Donert, 2010).   Are we as the geospatial education community, encouraging students to become spatial citizens? Emerging research on spatial citizenship seeks to understand how the education community can best do that.

But how can the geospatial education community best equip educators so that they can promote such participation?   Most researchers agree that helping students to develop geotechnology skills is only part of the solution.  Skills in spatial thinking, coping with geospatial information, communicating with that information, and developing critical thinking skills with regard to problem solving and to data are all just as important as the technical skills.  Indeed, all of these are skills we have written about in this blog.  How can educators new to the field develop competencies to teach these skills, and how can experienced educators continue to sharpen their skills?

To help answer these questions, researchers Uwe Schulze, Inga Gryl, and Detlef Kanwischer developed a spatial citizenship competence model for teacher education and training.  It includes instrumental competence (such as methodological and technological skills), interpersonal competence (such as interaction and cooperation skills), and systemic competence (such as how to teach these skills most effectively).  The model contains six major dimensions:  1.  Technology and methodology.  2.  Reflection.  3. Communication.  4.  Spatial domain. 5.  Citizenship education.  6.  Implementation strategies.

The authors argue that such a model shifts from focusing on subject-specific GIS content to the use of geospatial technology and spatial representations within everyday digital geomedia environments in a multifaceted, reflective way.  They go on to say that digital geomedia is a new interdisciplinary language that is spoken in a variety of subjects.  I don't think we are quite to the point where this is universally recognized throughout education and society, but there are encouraging signs.

For more information, see the review we wrote about the book Learning and Teaching with Geomediawhich includes chapters about this topic, and the Spatial Citizenship website.

Spatial Citizenship.
Like many of you, I frequently create Esri story maps and ArcGIS Online presentations for events, workshops, webinars, courses, and curricula.  Then I often want to modify those story maps and presentations for a different purpose, but yet preserve the original version so people can still access it.  The ArcGIS Online Assistant is the perfect tool for this.  It can be used for copying web mapping applications such as story maps, ArcGIS Online maps, layers, scenes, and other items from one folder to another, or between organizations, or even to the same folder within an organization.  It can also be used to view the underlying JSON for any item in ArcGIS Online or Portal, and to modify the URLs for services in web maps and registered applications.

Another very helpful feature about the ArcGIS Online Assistant is that it quickly lets you scroll through all of your content your organizational account.  If you have a lot of content in your organization, saves a great deal of time over the standard method of going through each page of your standard “My Contents” zone in ArcGIS Online.

Note that the copying procedure does not copy all of your data that your web mapping applications may refer to, but just the application or presentation that points to them.

If you need even more functionality, look into the tools created by Geo Jobe.  In the free version of their tools, there is a tool labeled "Copy Items" that acts like the AGO Assistant tool.  Their tools also allow for a filter that can select multiple items at once.  In the Pro/Portal version of their tools, you can "Clone Items", which not only copies the selected item, but also copies and rewires all the data and content that the selected item depends on.  As noted above, the AGO Assistant does not do this, but Geo Jobe allows you to truly copy everything, including the source data.

For more information, see the GeoNet discussion on this topic, and for best practices and tools related to ArcGIS Online organizations, see the ArcGIS Organization Administration Wiki on GitHub.

After using the ArcGIS Online Assistant, I now have a copy of my original item in ArcGIS Online, which I can now rename and modify.

Mapillary is a tool that allows anyone to create their own street level photographs, map them, and share them via web GIS technology.  The idea behind Mapillary is a simple but powerful one:  Take photos of a place of interest as you walk along using the Mapillary mobile app.  Next, upload the photos to Mapillary again using the app. They will be connected with others’ and combined into a street level photo view.  Then, explore your places and those from thousands of other users around the world.

Mapillary is part of the rapidly growing crowdsourcing movement, also known as citizen science, which seeks to generate "volunteered geographic information" content from ordinary citizens.  Mapillary is therefore more than a set of tools--it is a community, with its own MeetUps and ambassadors.  Mapillary is also a new Esri partner, and through an ArcGIS integration, local governments and other organizations can understand their communities in real-time, and "the projects they’re working on that either require a quick turnaround or frequent updates, can be more streamlined."  These include managing inventory and city assets, monitoring repairs, inspecting pavement or sign quality, and assessing sites for new train tracks.   Other organizations are also using Mapillary:  For example, the Missing Maps Project is a collaboration between the American Red Cross, British Red Cross, Médecins Sans Frontières-UK (MSF-UK, or Doctors Without Borders-UK), and the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team. The project aims to map the most vulnerable places in the developing world so that NGOs and individuals can use the maps and data to better respond to crises affecting these areas.

On the discovery section of Mapillary, you can take a tour through the ancient city Teotihuacán in Mexico, Astypalaia, one of the Dodecanese Islands in Greece, Pompeii, or Antarctica.  But if you create an account and join the Mapillary community, you can access the live web map and click on any of the mapped tracks.

Mapillary can serve as an excellent way to help your students get outside, think spatially, use mobile apps, and use geotechnologies.  Why stop at streets?  You or your students could map trails, as I have done while hiking or biking, or  map rivers and lakes from a kayak or canoe.  There is much to be mapped, explored, studied, and enjoyed.  If you'd like extra help in mapping your campus, town, or field trip with Mapillary, send an email to Mapillary and let the team know what you have in mind.  They can help you and your students get started with ideas and tips (and bike mounts, if you need them).

For about 18 months, I have been using Mapillary to map trails and streets.  I used the Mapillary app on my smartphone, generating photographs and locations as I hiked along. One of the trails that I mapped is shown below and also on the global map that everyone in the Mapillary community can access.  I have spoken with the Mapillary staff and salute their efforts.

I look forward to hearing your reactions and how you use this tool.

Mapillary tool for generating and sharing street level photos and maps.

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