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All Places > Education > Blog > 2017 > December

The Esri education outreach team and GLOBE have been working together for over 20 years.   It makes sense given the commitment that both organizations have for meaningful educational experiences, including the collection and analysis of field data.  I recently conducted a webinar for GLOBE educators--my presentation is here and the video is here.  In each, I focused on key ways that GLOBE data can be easily imported, mapped, and analyzed in ArcGIS Online, including the mapping of spreadsheets of student-collected data about weather, water, soils, and other phenomena downloaded from the GLOBE website. The latitude-longitude values along with the attributes are almost instantaneously able to be displayed on maps in ArcGIS Online.  I also discussed field apps such as Survey123, which can be used by GLOBE students and their instructors to gather data in the field in a survey form in citizen science mode, the results of which are instantly available on a web map. 


Once mapped, the data can be analyzed in many ways.  For example, statistically significant hot spots can be derived for specific variables describing soil chemistry in a field near a school campus, a surface can be derived from pH or dissolved oxygen from specific points in a river or lake, or a 3D map can be generated of snow depth over a region.  In another example, layers from the Living Atlas of the World such as land cover or average date of first frost can be brought into the map for comparison against the field-gathered data.  How does the dew point or date of first frost vary by latitude, altitude, or proximity to coasts?  Do north-facing vs. south-facing slopes differ in terms of vegetation height or soil moisture?


The data that students have gathered can be compared in map and table form to data gathered by other students halfway around the world.  Students can create multimedia web mapping applications such as story maps to present their data to their peers, teachers, or the community. 


More capabilities exist, but it is my hope that the presentation and video resource I am sharing here will inspire GLOBE teachers and others to get into the field, gather data, map it, analyze it, and communicate the results.


Mapping and analyzing GLOBE data

Mapping and analyzing GLOBE data. 

The inspiring stories about what people did for the most recent GIS Day and the positive difference their efforts are making in our world continue to flow in.  For example, see the essay I wrote recently highlighting some of these.  Did you host an event in 2017?  If so, feel free to add it to the "How did you celebrate GIS Day" story map.  


Did you miss out?  It is not too early to start planning for the next GIS Day, 14 November 2018.


Professor Vanya Stamenova at the Department of Remote Sensing and GIS organized an event held in conjunction with the Space Research and Technology Institute at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. Since 1976, this department has accomplished more than 60 research projects using Earth observation technologies, GIS, and ground-based methods, including the validation of satellite data, development of aerospace test sties, geo-ecological study of hazardous materials and risk assessment, tourism, cultural and historical heritage, crop assessment, minerals, freshwater, and in other areas. This year marked their first GIS Day for Education on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the National High School of Mathematics and Sciences (NHSMS) in Sofia, Bulgaria, and held at the school organized under the Space School Educational Initiative.  I filmed a welcome video for the event, which was followed by presentations from Esri Bulgaria, DigitalGlobe, the European Association of Remote Sensing Laboratories, faculty, and students. 


Collage of Bulgaria GIS Day event.

Some scenes from the GIS Day event organized by the Space Research and Technology Institute at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and held at the National High School of Mathematics and Sciences (NHSMS) in Sofia, Bulgaria.


The City and County of Denver, Colorado, USA, has been hosting GIS Day events since GIS Day began, in 1999.  This year, more than 250 people attended their event, held on 6 December and organized by GIS analyst Doug Genzer.  It featured exhibits showing what planning, community resources, schools, police, and other departments in the city are doing with GIS, speeches by Denver Mayor Hancock and members of his GIS staff, and representatives from universities, the US Census Bureau, and other organizations.  I gave the keynote (available here) focused on key forces and trends in GIS, with recommendations on the most important skills for GIS professionals. 


Collage of Denver GIS Day photographs.

GIS Day has been celebrated at the City and County of Denver, Colorado, USA, since 1999.  Here are some highlights of this year's event. 


Chris Highfield, Amy Mathie, and their colleagues at the US Forest Service in Oregon organized an event that even attracted attendees from the Bureau of Land Management, US Forest Service, Portland State University, and elsewhere, for lightning talks on publication mapping, aerial photography, Python and ArcPy scripting, climate change, mobile GIS, and the geospatial platform direction, plus a raffle drawing, cake, and even an appearance by Smoky the Bear!


Oregon USFS GIS Day collage of photographs.

Some scenes - including an appearance by Smoky the Bear - at the GIS Day event organized by the US Forest Service.


Lucie Kendall and her scientists at Halifax Water in Canada hosted an event at Halifax Water's facility.  Lucie wrote, "In honor of Geography Week and International GIS Day, GIS staff at Halifax Water hosted students from the Centre of Geographic Sciences (COGS) for a morning of presentations, breakout sessions, and cake (of course).  Students learned about the various GIS roles at Halifax Water; including Engineering Information Technicians and GIS Analysts, divided into Technical, Updating, and Product delivery teams.  Students walked through the GIS updating process using engineering record information.  Staff also presented hard copy mapping products and demonstrated custom built form and view/query applications, recent ventures into Cityworks, and some of the Utility’s latest ArcGIS Online solutions.  Additional Halifax Water GIS consumers joined in on the fun as the event was topped off with a GIS Day cake and GIS swag giveaways, generously sponsored by Esri’s GIS Day team.  Yet another great GIS Day at Halifax Water!" 


Halifax Water GIS Day collage of photographs.

Some highlights of Halifax Water's GIS Day event in Canada.


Professor of Urban Geography Nashwan S.H. Abdullah from the University of Duhok in Iraq sent these photographs in of their GIS Day event.  Their workshop featured theoretical foundations of GIS, elements of GIS, application areas of GIS, the potential of the GIS program, and projects that students have completed during their 2017 studies.  


Collage of Duhok Iraq University GIS Day event.

Some photographs from the University of Duhok in Iraq's GIS Day event.  I especially like their GIS shirts!

Thanks to Dr. Ming-Hsiang Tsou at San Diego State University for sharing his thoughtful vision of ways to enhance geospatial technology curricula with big data analytics and spatial data science concepts. Thanks to everyone for the great questions and discussion. 


  • The recording and slides are located  here


Further events of interest and resources mentioned:

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