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Several new content pieces invite you to do hands-on work with Esri web GIS technology:


[1] 10 Things you can do with ArcGIS Online in education.  These include: (1) Use web mapping applications.   (2) Make your own map.  (3) Get a school, club, or university organizational account in ArcGIS Online.  (4) Use and modify existing curricular resources.  (5) Explore the Living Atlas of the World.  (6) Modify and ask questions of maps.  (7) Conduct spatial analysis on mapped data. (8)  Add multimedia to maps.  (9)  Explore your world in 3D, and (10) Map and analyze field-collected data.


[2]  Introduction and Advanced Work with Story Maps:  Slides with core content with activities.  These activities and exercises include how to build a story map from a web map, and how to build map tours, map journals, swipe, series, and other types of story maps.  This activity has been updated Fall 2019 with the new ArcGIS story maps!


[3]  Teaching with Web Apps.  Set of resources and activities.  These include examining Pacific typhoons in 3D, demographics of Zip Codes, creating viewsheds and buffers, and much more.  These apps are easy to use and yet very powerful. 


[4]  Spatial Analysis in Human Geography.   These include the 1854 cholera epidemic in London (activity), a Boulder County hazards analysis (map), and an examination of the Human Development Index around the world (map).   Focus is to highlight the powerful analytical capabilities available in ArcGIS Online. 


I created this content and keep it updated for workshops and courses that I teach, and I hope and trust that it can also be used to support your own professional development or for your own instruction.  

At the 2017 Esri User Conference, Esri launched its boldest offering ever for schools and clubs. The new "ArcGIS School Bundle" includes three products:

This combination has provided the highest level of service for the greatest number of users in schools and clubs, and offers enormous utility, from elementary level exploration to in-depth localized projects to full-scale professional career training. It is available in sizes that work well for home school or small club settings on up to large district-based configurations.


The Schools Bundle is available, for instructional purposes only (not administrative use or commercial use), to all K12 (primary and secondary) schools, public or non-public (including home schools). It is available also to youth-serving clubs, such as 4-H, Scouts, Boys and Girls Clubs, and so forth. And … the Schools Bundle is available worldwide, for free (in USA click here; outside USA through local Esri distributors).


ArcGIS School Bundle


This is a huge investment in education of youth globally. But, from even before the launch of Esri's formal programs for both K12 schools and higher education in 1992, Esri has been on a mission: to help more people grasp why and how to understand the complex patterns and relationships in a vast array of data about the world, at scales from global to local, exploring situations and solving problems, by thinking geographically, using GIS.


Education is a core ethic of Esri; it's in our DNA. This new "ArcGIS School Bundle" is free for schools and clubs across the globe, to use anytime, anywhere, on any connected device. Making informed decisions is essential for everyone. Learning to do that takes time, and can happen in both formal and informal settings. Education that engages The Science of Where can save the world.


Charlie Fitzpatrick, Esri Education Manager

I have been receiving questions from schools that have become "Google Schools" as well as universities and individual researchers who want to use Google Sheets in ArcGIS Online.  What are the advantages of using Google Sheets (spreadsheets, really, is what they are) over using an Excel spreadsheet on your own computer? Google Sheets live in the cloud, just like ArcGIS Online, so they can be edited from any device, anywhere, and the author of the Sheet can invite others to add data to it, so they can accept input from multiple collaborators, students, and faculty. Some educators want to map data that they have input into Google Sheets.  Others want to go to the next level, where multiple students or researchers edit Google Sheets in a participatory mapping or citizen science environment, and the resulting data is mapped and automatically refreshes as the data continues to be added.


Both of these scenarios are possible with ArcGIS Online.  To illustrate, I created a form where students are asked, "What country have you visited?", shown below.


Google Form - Country

After students fill out the form, I go to the "responses" zone in Google Forms, and access the spreadsheet that is created from the data.  Now that my data is in my Google Sheet, I access > File > Publish to the Web > and change "Web Page" to "Comma Separated Values (.csv)" file > Publish.  

Saving Google Sheets

Then, I copy the resulting URL:

Publishing to the web

Then, I access my ArcGIS Online account, open a new or existing map > Add > Add Layer from Web - CSV file > paste your URL for my Google Sheet here.  

Adding layer from the Web

Next, I > Add Layer > I indicate which fields contain my location information (address, latitude-longitude, city/state/country combination).  


That's really all there is to it! 


My results are in this map linked here, and shown below:

Map from Google Form and Sheet


Note that I used one of the fun new basemaps in ArcGIS Online that I wrote about here.


In another example, this time using cities instead of countries, see this map of the 10 most polluted and 10 least polluted large cities of the world.  Students examine spatial patterns and reasons for the pollution (or lack of it) in each city using the map and the metadata here.  I created this map by populating this Google Sheet, below.  My students could add 10 or 20 more to this sheet and their changes would be reflected in my ArcGIS Online map.


Google Sheet of the 10 most polluted cities


Here is the map from the data, below.  For those explanatory labels, I used this custom label expression:  
$feature.City + " is the #" + " " + $feature.Rank + " " + $feature.Variable and set the text color to match the point symbol color for clarity.  For more about expressions, see my blog post here.

Polluted and Clean Cities Map

In another example, my colleague created this google sheet of some schools in India by latitude-longitude. Then she added the published content from Google to her map


Let's explore a bit deeper.  Let's say that I wanted to visualize the most commonly visited countries among my students.  I can certainly examine the statistics from my Google form, as seen below:


Google Form statistics


However, my goal is really to see this data on a map.  With the analysis tools in ArcGIS Online, this too is quickly done. The Aggregate Points tool will summarize points in polygons.  For my polygons, I added a generalized world countries map layer, and then used Aggregate Points to summarize my point data within those countries.  The result is shown below and is visible as a layer in the map I referenced above. 


Map showing the frequency of countries visited by students from Google Form and Sheet


Another point worth noting is that you can adjust the settings of how your map interacts with your Google Sheet.  Go to the layer's metadata page, and under “Published content & settings”, select "Automatically republish when changes are made." You can set the refresh interval to, for example, 1 minute, but the actual refresh on your map may take somewhat longer because Google’s “Auto re-publish” isn’t quite "real-time".  Then do the following for the layer:


Refresh Layer


Note that if you are geocoding by address (such as city/country, as I did above, or street address), the automatic refresh option is not available:

Google Sheets by Address note

To get around this challenge, I manually added the latitude-longitude values to my cities spreadsheet.  Thanks to the Measure tool in ArcGIS Online, this took less than 1 minute per city.  I simply typed in the city name in ArcGIS Online, and used the Location button under the Measure tools, clicked on the map where the city was located, and entered the resulting coordinates into my spreadsheet.


For more information, see this blog essay.  

When 4-H youth take on a challenge, they engage head, heart, hands, and health. So it was with three teens from Tennessee, who spoke to about 15,000 GIS users at the 2017 Esri User Conference. Austin Ramsey (recent high school grad), Elizabeth Sutphin (rising senior), and Amanda Huggins (rising junior), collaborating with other 4-H youth from California, New York, and North Carolina, tackled a big issue during the 2016-17 school year.


They chose health as a year-long topic, focusing on obesity across the US. They followed the "geographic method" step by step: they asked a significant geographic question, gathered data, explored it, analyzed it, and acted on it. Awash in variables from, they chose four and examined the relationship of each to obesity. Their initial work was in ArcMap, but in prep for the stage, the Tennessee trio stepped up into ArcGIS Pro. The powerful statistical analyses available in Pro added important clarity.



An appearance by Roxana Ayala reinforced that youth who build GIS skills have worlds of opportunity. In 2013, Ayala presented on stage as part of a ground-breaking high school team. Now a rising college senior, she is putting her GIS skills to work in a summer internship that combines her two majors of environmental science and urban planning. Learning GIS in school changed her trajectory, and she, in turn, is focusing on changing it for others.


Young people with passion, commitment, and the chance to use GIS can make a big difference, in a short time and for years to come. Engaging The Science of Where, these youth embody the 4-H pledge, building a better future for themselves, their community, their country, and the world.


Charlie Fitzpatrick, Esri Education Manager

I created a mobile field data collection set of activities recently for the Esri EdUC, and wanted to share it with the wider community.  The activities include two main approaches:  (1)  ArcGIS Pro and the Collector for ArcGIS app, and (2) the Survey123 tools and app.  Both are useful for educational purposes and far beyond--in natural resources, transportation, public safety, and in many more fields.  The ArcGIS Pro and Collector section starts with adding data to an editable feature service that I set up, publishing a spreadsheet and making it editable in ArcGIS Online, using ArcGIS Pro to create a feature class with domains, publishing it to ArcGIS Online, and adding data to it in the field using the Collector app.  The Survey123 section starts with adding data to an editable feature service that I created with Survey123. The next activity involves creating a Survey123 using the Connect method involving Excel, followed by another survey along the same theme (campus infrastructure and vegetation) using the Survey123 web tools.  The activity ends with using Survey123 to collect data in the field.  


The activity is here.  

The Flickr album containing the sample images for the tree mapping exercise is here.

The Tree Collection sample CSV is here.

The example map for adding data to using Collector is here.

The example Marriott campus map for adding data to using Collector is here. * 

The example Survey123 campus vegetation map is here and the form is here.  *

The resulting Survey123 Marriott campus vegetation map from the Connect Excel method from the activity is here. * 

The resulting Survey123 Marriott campus vegetation map from the web form method from the activity is here. * 

Note that the items marked with * are shared only with those who attended the workshop at the EdUC, but you can use the activity to create your own forms and maps using the procedures provided. 

Part of the activity that uses ArcGIS Pro to create a geodatabase and a web map for field data collection.

Part of the activity described here, where ArcGIS Pro is used to create a geodatabase and a web map into which field data can be collected. 

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