I am pleased to report that the registration link on https://www.gisday.com/ is working and is ready for you and your colleagues to add the event(s) that you are planning for this year. This year, 2018, GIS Day is officially on Wednesday 14 November. However, holding your event on another date that better meets your needs is perfectly fine, as I explain in this video.
GIS Day provides an international forum for users of geographic information systems (GIS) technology to demonstrate real-world applications that are making a difference in our society. You can hold an open house, conduct a presentation or workshop, or be creative and hold some other sort of event, that showcases what you are doing with GIS and why it matters. Your event can be open just to your own organization, to the general public, or to a specific audience.
The first 300-ish organizations that register on the above URL will receive 1 free box of specially prepared GIS Day items, so be sure to verify your shipping address when you register your event. Also check the map and make sure your event appears in the correct location with the correct information. Location matters!
In addition, I have added some new items to the GIS Day resources pages recently with more to come.
Thank you for being a GIS Day champion!
We often get asked “I’d like my students, staff or faculty to use ArcGIS Pro, what is the best way to distribute the executable to them”? This applies to any other Esri application that needs to be downloaded and installed, such CityEngine, ArcGIS Enterprise, etc. There are a few ways to accomplish this, and our recommendation is to use the institutional shared file system (same applies for distributing single use provisioning files, though the recommended way of licensing ArcGIS Pro is through a named user account in an ArcGIS Online organization).
Feel free to share feedback.
My new article in Geospatial World magazine is entitled Why GIS in Education Matters. My goal was to reach a global audience of readers through this magazine with a message that they would be able to take to their own communities, schools, colleges, and universities to encourage the deepening and widening of spatial thinking through GIS in those educational institutions, and beyond those institutions, to libraries, museums, and after-school clubs and university clubs. I begin the article with a reminder and a brief history of why mapping has long been valued. I then discuss the chief reasons why GIS merits inclusion as a framework and a toolset, not just in GIS programs, but in sociology, mathematics, geography, engineering, health, business, environmental, planning, and other programs and subjects. I focus on how using GIS as an instructional tool opens the door to inquiry, content, skills, and perspectives.
After reviewing the progress of how GIS is used in education around the world, the article returns to the essentials: GIS is a powerful tool for analyzing the whys of where, and for understanding our changing Earth: Students use GIS to understand that the Earth is changing, think scientifically and analytically about why it is changing, and dig deeper: Should the Earth be changing in these ways? Is there anything that I should be doing or could be doing about it? This captures the heart of spatial thinking, inquiry and problem-based learning. It empowers students as they become decision-makers to make a difference in this changing world of ours.
It is my hope that the article will be useful to many throughout the educational system, to geomentors, to GIS professionals, and beyond.
All photos by Joseph Kerski.
Esri Fall 2018 and Winter 2019 MOOC News
Change is afoot! I want to update you about changes to how you register for our courses and the latest course schedule. That map above? It's one of the maps you make in the Cartography. MOOC.
Registration: Smoother than Ever
Esri MOOCs are now managed like other Esri training courses. You’ll find them in the Esri training catalog. Here’s a link for MOOCs by date www.esri.com/training/Bookmark/P3D53EERX.
Once signed in to Esri training site with your Esri credentials, you can find your course and register with a single click. I encourage you to check which e-mail address is associated with your Esri credentials. Many e-mails sent to MOOC students bounce due to inactive e-mail addresses. Most individuals can review and change your e-mail address by clicking on your name at the top right to open the menu and then selecting Profile and Settings. If you are part of an ArcGIS Online organization you may need to contact your organization’s administrator.
Remember that registration closes at the end of the second week of each course. We cannot enroll students after registration closes. My advice: when in doubt, register! There are no downsides to registering: it’s free and no notation is ever made on your training record unless you complete the course. If you do not start the MOOC or complete only part of it, the MOOC will simply disappear from your My Schedule page after it closes.
Earth Imagery at Work and Cartography. require ArcGIS Pro. All students registered for those courses should have a computer that can run the software. MOOC students are provided with software and a named user license; the license is revoked when the course closes.Here’s a test to see if your computer can run ArcGIS Pro http://links.esri.com/run-arcgis-pro.
2018 Third and Fourth Quarter MOOCs
Do-It-Yourself Geo Apps: Sept 5 – Oct 3, 2018 (four weeks; all content opens on the first day)
John Shramek, who helped develop and has been teaching The Location Advantage MOOC, will teach this offering. While much of the course has not changed and focuses on building apps without any programming, John enhanced the exercises to introduce students to Survey 123 and Operations Dashboard. http://arcg.is/2kqHWz6
Cartography.: Sept 5 – Oct 17, 2018 (six weeks; new content opens each week)
This is the second offering of the course from Ken Field, Edie Punt, John Nelson, Wes Jones and Nathan Shephard. Student feedback suggests this course, which highlights ArcGIS Pro’s cartographic features, is also a great introduction to the software. http://arcg.is/2teM7VN
Earth Imagery at Work: Oct 31 - December 12, 2018 (six weeks; new content opens each week)
Kevin Butler leads students through scenarios highlighting how imagery is used in a variety of disciplines including disaster response, agriculture and commercial business. Students are often surprised at how many imagery exploitation tools are available in ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Pro. http://arcg.is/2jMPFoQ
2019 First and Second Quarter MOOCs
Going Places with Spatial Analysis February 6 - March 21, 2019 (six weeks; new content opens each week)
Linda Beale,the very first Esri MOOC instructor returns for “Season Two” of this spatial analysis course. Students will use Insights for ArcGIS and tackle new hands-on exercises. http://arcg.is/2kUAeRi
Do-It-Yourself Geo Apps: February 6 - March 6, 2019 (four weeks; all content opens on the first day)
Cartography.: April 10 - May 23, 2019 (six weeks; new content opens each week)
Earth Imagery at Work: April 10 - May 23, 2019 (six weeks; new content opens each week)
The training site includes MOOC Common Questions and a form where you can ask specific questions. http://bit.ly/2EpE3XB
Educators can contact me directly via GeoNet or e-mail at email@example.com.
I’ll see you in class!
MOOC Program Manager
The 2018-19 school year marks the third year for Esri's "ArcGIS Online Competition for High School and Middle School Students." It is also the second year for Esri's "Teacher Video Challenge." Both "tests" deserve serious consideration.
The student competition offers a lot of opportunity. In participating states, students (singly or as a team of two) do research and submit a presentation in the form of a Story Map or other web app. This can be done as part of school or outside of school (e.g. individually or through a club), but gets submitted through the school (high school for grades 9-12, middle school for grades 4-8). A school can submit up to five entries to the state, which chooses up to five each HS+MS projects to receive $100. These ten get national recognition, and one each at HS+MS get entered into a final competition, and a trip to Esri's User Conference in San Diego, CA, to present to GIS users from around the world.
The teacher challenge lets K12 educators describe their use of ArcGIS Online. Teachers create and share their own one-minute video as an entry, and Esri chooses one story per month for a more in-depth video interview, with a $500 honorarium. This collection shows the breadth of content areas, grade levels, teaching styles, school environments, and implementation strategies through which teachers can engage ArcGIS Online. Past awardees range from more traditional to decidedly non-traditional situations, but all teachers demonstrate real craftsmanship as educators.
ArcGIS Online has vast capacity, but even at its most basic it can be enormously powerful. In both the student and teacher challenges, what matters is implementation. It's far more impressive doing powerful things with basic tools than basic things with powerful tools. Learners and leaders who understand their focus area deeply make impact. See how by looking at the collection of student winners and teacher challenge awardees. Then plan your entries!
The Esri MOOC team has transferred the certificates of completion earned during 2014-2017 from the Udemy platform to the Esri training website. MOOC students can visit their My Learning Activity page and sign in with their Esri credentials to view them.
Our programmers transferred nearly 30,000 certificates, but some are not yet linked to the correct student's Learning Activity page. If you believe a certificate for an Esri MOOC you completed on the Udemy platform is missing from your page, contact us via the form at the bottom of this page. Please include your name, your username and the name and date of the course. We'll find it and add it to your page.
In addition to printing the PDF certificates, the MOOC team encourages educators and students to link to them from CVs, resumes, portfolios and LinkedIn profiles via their unique public URLs. For example, here’s the certificate for the first Esri MOOC I completed back in 2016.
We look forward to awarding more certificates of completion in the third and fourth quarters of 2018!
We often get questions by academic users on how to teach with ArcGIS Enterprise, especially by those who have been teaching with a standalone ArcGIS Server. For anyone new to ArcGIS Enterprise - ArcGIS Server was renamed to ArcGIS Enterprise as of the 10.5 release, to reflects its functional capabilities and a modern Web GIS pattern. ArcGIS Enterprise is how we do Web GIS in an organization’s infrastructure.
We wanted to outline a couple of possibilities in terms of teaching and deployment in the classroom. They are simply scenarios, and we welcome any feedback if anyone has utilized any of these, or other, patterns. Choosing an option will depend on your purpose:
Note that there are a number of System Requirements that we need to keep in mind as we teach with ArcGIS Enterprise, specifically the need for Domain Name Service (DNS), Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) and SSL certificates – items that we didn’t necessarily have to think about with the older standalone ArcGIS Server pattern.
Note that to deploy ArcGIS Enterprise for teaching, licensing will be needed for the ArcGIS Server component as well as the Portal for ArcGIS component. For the Portal for ArcGIS licensing, you will likely need to reach out to your Esri Account Manager and specify the number of named users you’d like to have in your portal. For the last described pattern (each student having their own ArcGIS Enterprise deployment), licensing for the Portal for ArcGIS component would need to be obtained for each student through the ArcGIS Developer Subscription, documented here. Students will get a portal with 5 named users.
If anyone has used the above scenarios, or others, please do share what worked, if any challenges were encountered.
"Web mapping? Sure, I use digital maps!" is a statement I hear fairly often. On the surface, it seems that these two concepts are the same. Indeed, for nearly 20 years, since the 1990s with MapQuest and in the 2000s with maps on mobile devices, interacting with maps in digital form rather than paper has been the more common everyday experience. But I submit that "web mapping" is not the same as simply using maps on the web, whether in health, energy, city planning, or, as is the focus here, in education.
In my view, using maps on the web includes looking up a place name, examining thematic maps such as ocean currents, world biomes, or demographic characteristics by neighborhood across your city, finding the distance between two points on a map, finding the route between two points, mapping locations that you have visited in the field, and so on. Nothing wrong with any of those tasks. Using maps on the web focuses on the "What's Where?" question.
But web mapping's purpose is for examining patterns, relationships, and trends. It examines change over space and time at a variety of scales, and across themes. For example, what is the relationship between the location of mines and water quality across a mountain watershed, or between median age and median income across a city? How does the land use change across a region over time, or the precipitation across a mountain range? All of these questions end with, "And why?" Charles Gritzner wrote a great article about geography being about what is where, why there, and why care. Web mapping focuses on the "Why there"? and "why care?" part of Gritzner's framework.
To summarize in tabular form:
|Maps on the web||Web Mapping|
|Creating web mapping applications|
|Collecting and exploring field-collected data|
|Where are the field sites I visited?||Why does the water quality vary across the field sites I visited?|
|Where are the younger and less affluent neighborhoods in this city?||Is there a spatial and attribute relationship between median age and median income in this city, and if so, what is the relationship, why does it exist, and does it change over time?|
|Where is the mountain range in a region and what is the precipitation regime across them?||How and why does the precipitation regime change across the mountain range?|
Using maps on the web is a stepping stone to web mapping, but is not exactly the same as web mapping. They are not exactly the same thing, but there is overlap between them to be sure.
In short, web mapping uses the concept of GIS as a platform, including web, mobile, and desktop, with its analytical, multimedia, and application ability, to its full potential.
The educational implications of this are many. How do we teach in this new paradigm of web mapping? What concepts should we teach, and what skills should we seek to foster? What tools and data sets should we use? How should we incorporate new field techniques and apps? How should we assess student work given the ease of creating web mapping applications such as story maps? How should our primary, secondary, community college, and university courses and programs change to encompass this new world?
In addition, Web GIS is not just "more and better" GIS, it also requires new ways of managing GIS.
All of this is part of the continued shift from desktop-only GIS to web GIS. This shift involves the movement:
If all this seems like mere semantics, this is why I believe this matters: Like all of you, I care deeply about meaningful student learning with geotechnologies. To foster spatial and critical thinking with geotechnologies requires more than looking up place names on a map, or routes from a certain point to another point. It requires that we be purposeful about using maps as the analytical, exploratory tools that they are.
Using the Web GIS paradigm in education and society offers a brighter future for students and the entire planet.
In a recent Ed Summit 2018 workshop on “Best Practices for Administering ArcGIS in Education” we shared a number of recommended workflows applicable to academic setting. Some of the key ideas are below:
We welcome any feedback on the above recommendations!
Peter Knoop (University of Michigan)
Geri Miller (Esri)
"It's the work of freedom." These words by history teacher Mariana Ramirez near the end of the education section of the 2018 Esri User Conference plenary summarize the power of teachers helping students investigate their world. The Math, Science, & Technology Magnet Academy at Roosevelt High School, in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, presented their work on Esri's stage in 2013, and two teachers (Ramirez and English teacher Alice Im) were brought back in 2018 to receive the "Making a Difference" award, because the work their students do is such a powerful model.
Theirs is not a "simple research project" that could be replicated immediately in any given week, or even a month. Teaching under-privileged youth in an inner city public high school sometimes involves helping students facing serious personal responsibilities and family distress, working with English language learners, overcoming difficulties in reading and math, wrestling with layers of "administrivia," coping with inadequate resources, all while covering classroom content. How then does one help students build substantial background knowledge and long-term life skills?
Amid exploding reams of data, often conflicting or unbalanced sources, and shifting and confusing scales of attention and value, what matters is not accumulation of facts but ability to learn -- to ask good questions, handle varied inputs, derive substantive meaning, think critically, make good decisions, and act, singly and in concert with others. Teaching these skills takes all the time, energy, empathy, attention to detail, coaching skill, content expertise, pedagogical experience, planning and adaptability, capacity to tolerate risk and withstand failure, and multi-tasking that a teacher can muster, for dozens of students at a time, typically over 100 on any given day. The best teachers know that education is a process of engagement, not simply delivery. They teach people, not content, and so tweak their interactions scores of times per minute, at once speaking, listening, looking, feeling, cataloguing, digesting, planning, and reacting … explaining here, asking there, cajoling one, praising another … all while helping to erect the scaffolds of knowledge and skill, and the trust with which students frame their view of the world.
Because of its capacity for incorporating limitless types, amounts, and scales of data, GIS is a powerful tool for learning. The MSTMA teachers help students build their skills, then turn the focus to the world they know, asking them to dig deep, seek the data, analyze it, and present their conclusions. It takes time to build the requisite skills, conduct the research, and present to their peers, their teachers, their community, and the broader outside world. But the students recognize the rewards, inside and out, often very quickly, occasionally only over time.
"One person can make a difference … and everybody should try," says Esri president Jack Dangermond at the close, echoing the words of President John F. Kennedy. Anyone in doubt, or anyone simply seeking affirmation, need only watch the video, and then share it. "It's the work of freedom."
I taught a story mapping workshop and a growth in tribal GIS colleges workshop at the Society for Conservation GIS conference, and have attached the slides and activities for these workshops to this essay. The story mapping workshop covered why to use story maps, how to use story maps, and how to create map tour, swipe, series, map journal, and other types of story maps. The tribal GIS workshop covered the application of GIS to teaching and learning in Tribal Colleges, the recent 2nd edition of the Tribal GIS book published by Esri Press, and other related topics.
I created these materials for the annual conference of the Society for Conservation GIS (SCGIS). SCGIS is a non-profit organization that assists conservationists worldwide in using GIS through communication, networking, scholarships, and training, and it was a pleasure working with the participants. The themes, tools, and approaches in these materials will be useful to other communities, and I hope you find them useful, too!
Site of the SCGIS conference - Pacific Grove, California, and its unique coastal ecosystem.
Last year I wrote guidelines on how to go beyond the standard base maps available in ArcGIS Online to access others that are now available. There's plenty to love about standard base maps - satellite imagery, OpenStreetMap, National Geographic, and others, and for the USA, the USGS topographic maps. But the ability to easily access the unusual and fascinating ones such as Colored Pencil and Antique Modern is interesting and useful in many ways, such as integrating Arts into your STEM instruction (thereby creating "STEAM"), for discussion about cartography, to lend interest to your maps, analysis, and story maps, and much more.
There are additional ways to access these maps over and above the ways I described in my previous essay. One way is to access a map that contains a set of new custom vector tile base maps, on http://esriurl.com/vectortilebasemaps. Change the base maps simply with the base maps tool. Grab the URL for the base maps that you are interested in and use it in your own maps - many are listed here: http://urbanobservatory.maps.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=4009a9901e0c4f778b77c99f4a42ba41
The newspaper base map, showing central London, but available globally at multiple scales.
Since ArcGIS is an integrated system (web, desktop, field, enterprise), you can also access these base maps in ArcGIS Pro. To add one of these base maps to your ArcGIS Pro project, click on the View Tab > Catalog Pane, > Living Atlas > Search 'vector tile basemap', as shown below.
Adding one of these fascinating base maps to ArcGIS Pro.
Now challenge yourself and your students to go the extra mile. Now that you are using a variety of different base maps, discussing the merits of each cartographically and artistically, a logical next step is for you and them to create your own base maps. That's right! As my colleagues describe in these guidelines, you can edit everything from fill and text symbols to fonts, halos, patterns, transparency, and zoom level visibility! This is a great way for you to enhance your GIS and cartography skills but also to tap into your creative, artsy side!
For more information, read the GeoNet blogs about vector base maps. Happy mapping!
I confess, my favorite is still Colored Pencil. What's yours?
During this week as I spend time with 18,000 people at the Esri User Conference and at the Esri Education Summit, several themes have become evident. First, the GIS education community has enormous energy--they are enthusiastic about the new tools and data at our fingertips, yes, but more importantly, about the task of educating primary, secondary, community college, and university students about how to use GIS effectively to tackle a wide variety of problems. Second, they are dedicated--many are new to the field, some are 30 year veteran educators, but all are willing to invest the time needed to learn the most effective ways to teach with GIS and teach about GIS. They see the enormous return on investment--student engagement, job opportunities, community connection, and a wiser, more informed populace. Third, they model what it is to be a lifelong learner--willing to teach each other and learn from each other in our rapidly changing field and in our rapidly changing world. At the conference, we heard many inspiring stories and were presented with many models of the use of geotechnologies in the areas of natural hazards, population change, energy, water, health, business, and other application areas that we can use in our instruction.
For example, at the Education Summit keynote, stories were shared about the progress of GIS in education in the UK and beyond, about how the University of Southern California is understanding aging in the community, and how an innovative masters degree among three universities in Europe was conceived and implemented. We learned about new imagery, layers in the Living Atlas of the World, new capabilities in field apps, in ArcGIS Pro, in Community Analyst, and in ArcGIS Online that we can use. We learned about new books such as Cartography and Getting to Know Web GIS, new resources such as the new Esri Training site and the Learn ArcGIS library, that can be accessed again and again.
Our community is faced with an enormous challenge--to increase the spatial literacy of our students, and by extension, all of society. But we have excellent tools, excellent data, and most of all--a wonderful and diverse community of people, to meet this challenge for a brighter future.
Learning about new tools, resources, and people at the Esri User Conference plenary session.
One of the Esri Young Scholars. They came from all over the world and were truly were inspiring.
Learning and growing at the Esri User Conference Expo.
The Living Atlas of the World is a growing, curated, authoritative set of map content for your projects. Here are 7 free lessons that use the incredible Living Atlas of the World - http://esripm.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?adbid=6362634088096108544&adbpl=li&adbpr=5311&adbsc=social206763…
These lessons cover a diversity of tools, such as ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Earth--even Adobe Illustrator! They cover a variety of themes, such as poverty, open space, public safety--even Chinese food delivery! They cover scales from local to global--electronic stores in Manhattan, child poverty in Detroit, the Vietnam War, aquaculture in Thailand, and more.
Give these lessons a try as a way of understanding spatial problems, GIS, and data--for yourself, for your students, or both.
One of the lessons in the set of 7 free lessons that use the Living Atlas of the World.