Explore a series of videos from a course that the author created on the theme Why Maps Matter. Feel free to use these ideas in your own courses, or to share with a family member or friend about why you care about mapping and GIS.
In 2020, we launched the 1-year Learn ArcGIS Student Program, designed to provide access to ArcGIS, along with self-paced learning resources, to higher education Students who do not currently have access through their institution.
We are continuing the program in 2021 and wanted to provide clarity on who this program is designed for.
If you are Student:
If your institution already has educational licensing, you should seek access to ArcGIS via your institution. Please check the following app, which lists colleges and universities in the US which already have institution-wide licenses. For some, there is publicly available URL/information on how to access. If not, please check with your advisor/department. Often, access is facilitated by Library, Geography or other departments/centers.
If you are learning independently of your instructor, outside of a formal course, and do not have access via your institution, then this program is for you! For further details, please check this FAQ. Then sign up to access over 450 self-faced lessons and resources!!
If you are Administrator/Faculty/Staff:
If you are teaching a formal course/degree program, or having students work on research projects, access should be provided by the institution versus this student program.
Therefore, for those of you who already have institutional licenses, please continue to provide access as you normally would. Many of you are implementing these best practices for enabling access to ArcGIS for all students, faculty and staff via your institution’s license. Please continue to follow these best practices; this program should not change any existing workflows.
If you do not have institution-wide access or license, please let us know if we can help – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Late last year Esri released ArcGIS Field Maps, the next generation application for viewing AND editing data on a mobile device. There are already several blogs, articles, lessons, etc. to understand what ArcGIS Field Maps is, so the goal of this blog, is to let educators and students understand why it’s a big deal for them. In an educational context, this is a big development for a couple of reasons:
You are licensed to use it!
Provides the ability to introduce students to only 1 mobile application
Supports more in-depth database and survey design
Start introducing the basics of coding/programming (Arcade expression language)
These videos have been created in time for you to show at your upcoming GIS Day event, or beyond GIS Day, in instruction, or to your colleagues or employees, or in other settings. During these times of health, wildfire, and other challenges, GIS is more needed than ever before, and hence the message that "GIS Helps" seems especially relevant.
We are fortunate at Esri to have a wide array of business partners that are helping us achieve a more sustainable and resilient planet. One of these business partners is EarthViews. EarthViews vision is to connect people to critically important aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. EarthViews works with land, water managers and others to help achieve this mission. To accomplish EarthViews' vision, they have developed technology to bring waterways to the desktop, mobile or VR device via easy-to-use, publicly available, 360 interactive virtual tours. These reality based maps have many uses for waterway safety, recreation, science, and conservation.
Tripp Corbin’s new book Learning ArcGIS Pro 2, Second Edition, from Packt Publishing, is a resource that I will be using long into the future and I know many in the GIS professional community will be doing the same. As ArcGIS Pro replaces ArcMap in government, nonprofit, academic, and private industry, and as ArcGIS Pro continues to evolve, this book is an extremely useful resource either to follow along in its entirety, or to tap into specific chapters to hone specific skills. University and college professors and students will also find this book very useful.
I have long been an admirer of the instructional style of Tripp’s books, and wrote a review of his ArcGIS Pro Cookbook here in our data blog. Learning ArcGIS Pro 2 follows Tripp’s excellent balancing of theory and application and enables anyone regardless of how much background they have in GIS to be using this powerful set of geospatial tools quickly. Tripp’s deep and rich background with the GIS community over many decades is manifest in the book’s careful attention to the things he knows will cause users the most difficulty.
Tripp covers the spectrum from technical requirements, installing the software, managing licenses, starting projects, editing, performing analysis, creating maps, 3D scenes, and layouts, automating processes with ModelBuilder and Python, using Arcade scripts, and, appropriate to today’s cloud-based workflows, how to share results with others via layers and maps in ArcGIS Online. Germane to this blog, Tripp also touches on data issues. Plus, the data for the hands-on activities in the book is easily accessed and interesting to use, covering parcels, floodplains, and much more, at a variety of scales.
As a GIS instructor, I appreciate the graphics the author has included—they’re not in color, but they are large and legible, and that’s I think even more important. He also has the right number of screen shots—not too many, but just enough to keep the learner moving forward. In short, you won’t get “tripped up”—you will be able to keep making progress. Packt does a very nice job with their digital editions, which for GIS professionals might be the most useful format, though the printed version is nicely laid out as well. I salute Tripp Corbin and Packt Publishing for this excellent resource for the community.
A few pages from Tripp Corbin's new Learning ArcGIS Pro 2, Second Edition, book.
I wanted to explore scale and how it affects maps and share that with my kids. So we got out some white paper, drew some maps, and had some fun playing with how it worked. I've written about our exploration and encourage you to try it with your littles!
I am frequently asked by the education community, "How can GIS be used to create quizzes that are interesting, that foster spatial thinking, that provide benefits to students and instructors?"
Let me begin by stating that I am especially keen on using quizzes if their primary benefit is to help students learn and provide students with a way to reflect upon their own progress. I am less keen on quizzes that only benefit the instructor. Research in a wide variety of disciplines from physiology to geography affirms the value of quizzes that enhance student learning as the objective.
The kind of teaching and learning that working with GIS fosters is best measured, I believe, by such means as (1) evaluating a portfolio of student work, which could include story maps, reports, and other documents that they assemble into a story map collection or other set of digital documents; (2) evaluating student asynchronous or synchronous presentations using a variety of media in a face-to-face or online course environment, where the student presentations may include you, the instructor, but also their peers, and even other students in a “colloquium” type of session; (3) map-based assessments that may or not include a rubric (such as these examples from the University of Minnesota).
That said, quizzes still have their place in education. Research affirms the value of quizzes that use interactive and engaging multimedia, which is exactly what GIS offers. With some creative thinking, GIS tools and spatial data can be effectively used to create and administer quizzes. These quizzes can be used in teaching about GIS, such as in a GIS, remote sensing, or GI Science course, or in teaching with GIS, in geography, sociology, environmental studies, history, mathematics, or other disciplines. You can either screen shot specific map content and use those shots in your Learning Management System, PDF, PowerPoint, or other means, or you can create them in an interactive mode that takes advantage of web GIS technology such as ArcGIS Online. In this essay, I provide examples of both. I welcome your comments and look forward to seeing what you have created.
1. Quizzes About Content and Skills. The attached "week 3 quiz" document is an example of the type of quiz that I have found most effective over the years in instruction. In multi-week courses, I give one of these types of quizzes at the end of each week. I have found such quizzes effective because (1) they are short, (2) they include a few questions on skills (GIS, presentation, data), a few questions on content (in this case, it is part of a cartography and geo-visualization course, so the content includes color theory, classification methods, and the like), and 1 question on "what was the most significant thing you learned this week, and why?", and (3) they are designed so that the student can focus on the important elements of that week and reflect on their own learning and progress.
2. Landforms Quiz using Esri Base Maps. Let's a traditional quiz that is based on a resource that I and other earth science instructors used for decades, the Set of 100 Topographic Map Features. See attached for this quiz. Using the USA Topo maps layer in ArcGIS Online, which are derived from USGS topographic maps, you can capture any landforms that you wish to quiz students on. See the attached matching exercise focused on some really fascinating landforms—tombolos, karst, drumlins, and more. Another wonderful aspect about the topographic maps layer is that you have access to three scales: 1:24,000-scale, 1:100,000-scale, and 1:250,000-scale. A natural extension of this activity is to use the 3D scene viewer in ArcGIS Online as you give a geomorphology quiz.
3. Imagery. Imagery captivates and inspires, and makes excellent basemaps from which you can create quizzes about issues, current events, phenomena, places, past processes, and current processes active on the landscape. These include hurricanes, volcanism, fluvial processes, agricultural expansion, glacial retreat, urbanization and urban forms, coastal and soil erosion, and much more. The ArcGIS platform, including the ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World, gives you access to a wide variety of imagery—UAV, Lidar, Sentinel-2, Landsat, high resolution current and historical visible imagery, and much more.
4. Pattern Recognition. Another type of quiz is to ask students to identify the pattern where they have to make a hypothesis of the variable that is being mapped. I created the following choro-quiz (choropleth quiz) as an example: https://community.esri.com/community/education/blog/2015/05/15/the-choro-quiz Given the vast number of maps in ArcGIS Online, including, again, the ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World, there will be no shortage of maps you can use, for your country or for the world. You can start with world countries and then include some choropleth maps on administrative units (states, provinces, regions) within your own country. To make the quiz more challenging, consider zooming to your own city and mapping certain variables at the census tract, enumeration district, block group, or other statistical area appropriate for your part of the world. Business Analyst Web, with its hundreds of variables including fascinating data on consumer behavior, makes another excellent source for such a quiz. See if you can identify the variable among the three choices given in each; for example, the quiz begins with this question:
Part of the choro-quiz. Do you know what the answer is?
5. Using the ArcGIS Online Presentation Mode. ArcGIS Online includes a presentation mode that is simple and effective at creating quizzes. In a matter of minutes, you can create your own, using your own maps, or maps already in ArcGIS Online, with text for the clues and answers. Here are several examples that I created that I hope provide some ideas: Name That Place includes natural places (such as famous waterfalls) and human-built places (such as cities with famous river and street patterns). I created another quiz using this presentation mode focused on world islands, as well as this one focused on fun and interesting facts about 10 state capitals in the USA. In each of them, I provide the answers. A variation on this theme is my presentation quiz entitled Weird Earth, and as the name implies, it is designed to test student knowledge as well as foster curiosity about our amazing planet. Again, answers are provided.
Part of the World Islands quiz, using the ArcGIS presentation mode.
Part of a quiz asking participants to match the correct-photo to the correct location, in Wyoming, as part of a story map.
I occasionally use Street View images for these types of quizzes, asking students to identify the place based on what they can observe on the physical and cultural landscape. However, I don’t have permission from Google for the images yet, and if I developed additional ones similar to this, I would seek permission or use Mapillaryor my own images for the source.
A section of the Port of Tacoma’s quiz about famous ports of the world, with a survey embedded inside a story map.
9. Treasure Hunts. As another example, with the help of the story maps team, I created a quiz on the pioneers of Geography and GIS, for GIS Day and beyond. I provide the quiz here to spark ideas, but keep in mind that this was a custom application and is not replicable in exactly this same way. Each question focuses on a geography or GIS pioneer and hints at a location somewhere in the world where the pioneer was born or worked. To answer the question, you must frame the solution within the map viewfinder using the map's pan/zoom functions.