New Hands-on GIS Workshop Activities for Educators

03-20-2019 12:05 AM
Esri Frequent Contributor
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I recently created or updated my activities for secondary and university students focused on the following themes, indicating starting point links for each.  It is my hope that these activities, data layers, and interactive maps are useful to many educators and students.  I have also compiled a "why and how to use GIS in education" set of slides to use as an introduction to these lessons and activities as an attachment to this blog essay.

Change over space and time

Change Matters Viewer

Wayback Imagery comparison


Population density and ecoregion analysis.

Create a terrain profile

Create a viewshed

Create a trace downstream

Natural Hazards

New Zealand Cracked Plates

County natural hazards investigation

3D cyclones of Western Pacific Ocean

Sentinel-2 imagery investigation

Human Health

1854 Cholera study

Human Development Index investigation


Starbucks coffee study

3D cities investigation

Compare cities using the Urban Observatory

Analyze international migration in 2D and 3D

New Zealand Schools study

New Zealand Purchasing Power (log in required)

Weather and Climate

Water Balance app

Real-time weather analysis (log in required)

Potential sea level rise in 3D


6 methods to map your own data

Campus vegetation survey and map


Build a map tour storymap.

Build a map journal storymap.

About the Author
I believe that spatial thinking can transform education and society through the application of Geographic Information Systems for instruction, research, administration, and policy. I hold 3 degrees in Geography, have served at NOAA, the US Census Bureau, and USGS as a cartographer and geographer, and teach a variety of F2F (Face to Face) (including T3G) and online courses. I have authored a variety of books and textbooks about the environment, STEM, GIS, and education. These include "Interpreting Our World", "Essentials of the Environment", "Tribal GIS", "The GIS Guide to Public Domain Data", "International Perspectives on Teaching and Learning with GIS In Secondary Education", "Spatial Mathematics" and others. I write for 2 blogs, 2 monthly podcasts, and a variety of journals, and have created over 5,000 videos on the Our Earth YouTube channel. Yet, as time passes, the more I realize my own limitations and that this is a lifelong learning endeavor and thus I actively seek mentors and collaborators.