The Evolution of Esri’s MOOC Program, Part III

Looking into the Future                             

David DiBiase is Director of Esri’s Education Outreach team and former Director of the John A. Dutton e-Education Institute at Pennsylvania State University. I recently had the opportunity to chat with David about the importance of offering Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) as part of Esri’s well-established education program. In the third and final part of our discussion, David talks about the future of the MOOC program at Esri. [Read the first and second parts of our discussion.]

Baumann: What’s in the future for MOOCs at Esri?

DiBiase: Many students express excitement about the capabilities of ArcGIS Online, and appreciation to Esri for offering the course. Many are experienced ArcGIS users. Many others are new to Esri. The company is pleased with the response. We plan to offer Going Places with Spatial Analysis two or three times in 2015, depending on demand.

By summarizing data in different ways you can reveal patterns, answers questions and support further analysis.

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Carl Steinitz Honored for Excellence in Landscape Architecture Education

The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) recently announced its 2015 honors recipients. The honors will be presented at the president’s dinner on November 9, held during the 2015 ASLA Annual Meeting & EXPO in Chicago. Among the honorees is Prof. Carl Steinitz, who will receive the Jot D. Carpenter Teaching Medal for significant and sustained excellence in landscape architecture education. I wanted to share some personal experiences and thoughts on Carl as an educator who had a profound impact on the direction of my life.

Prof. Carl Steinitz at the 2014 Geodesign Summit in Redlands, California.

I was a student of Carl Steinitz’s in 1968‐1969 at the Lab (later called the Laboratory for Computer Graphics and Spatial Analysis) in the Graduate School of Design (GSD) at Harvard. Continue reading

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The Evolution of Esri’s MOOC Program, Part II

Developing Support for the Program         

David DiBiase is Director of Esri’s Education Outreach team and former Director of the John A. Dutton e-Education Institute at Pennsylvania State University. I recently had the opportunity to chat with David about the importance of offering Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) as part of Esri’s well-established education program. In part II of our discussion, David talks about developing support for the program. [You can read the first part of our discussion here.]

Baumann: Did you have any difficulty getting the project approved and pulling together the Esri team to create and manage the MOOC?

DiBiase: No, it was really just a matter of timing. I met with Esri president Jack Dangermond and Education Services division director Nick Frunzi early in 2014. I presented the idea that we could create a free online course that would enable thousands of learners to “test-drive” the spatial analysis tools in ArcGIS Online. They agreed to support it on the spot. Continue reading

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Simple Real-time Dashboards Built with Story Maps

From traffic cameras to scientific sensors, story maps are a fast and simple platform for creating real-time dashboards that let the viewer see sensor data in geographic context.

New technologies are emerging and combining to enable the real-time collection and sharing of data. The result is a dynamic platform for real-time visualization, analysis, and understanding of our world.

Esri offers many options for the consumption of real-time data across the ArcGIS platform. A simple and effective—yet often overlooked — tool for the display of real-time data is Esri’s story maps technology.

Let’s take a quick look at four examples of real-time dashboards built with story maps. Continue reading

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Wedding Bells Aren’t Ringing for Millennials

They’re Saying “I Don’t” to Marriage Now, Due to Finances, Employment, and Societal Changes

For decades, the $55 billion wedding industry banked on “young and in love” couples to fill its coffers. June brides historically provided the top revenues. However, Millennials have now turned that premise on its ear, leaving thousands of wedding planners, caterers, florists, and others scrambling for opportunities among other age groups.

Just 26 percent of Millennials are married today. Millennials aren’t against marriage; they just want to be financially secure and have better jobs before they tie the knot. Pew Research says that most unmarried Millennials (69%) say they would like to marry, but many, especially those with less income and education, are concerned about their lack of a solid economic foundation. Many young adults, particularly recent college graduates, are burdened with debt and under-employment. Economic hardships of young adults may be one reason that so many have been slow to marry. The Census Bureau notes that between 2009 and 2013, 30 percent of Millennials were living at home with their parents, and that more than 60 percent have never married.

Millennials comprise nearly half of the total population of 208,225 people in Brazos County, Texas. Conversely, Sumter County, Florida has the oldest median age of any US county; only ten percent of the population of 116,645 is Millennials. View the interactive map.

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Mobilizing GIS to Boost Climate Resilience

How understanding the geography of climate change protects your health

From droughts and tsunamis to heat waves and earthquakes, extreme weather and geologic events caused by climate change jeopardize the world’s infrastructure and resources. Will your health be next?

The health risks associated with climate change are already evident. For example, over the past three decades, the percentage of Americans with asthma has more than doubled. Understanding the geography of climate change is critical to mitigating detrimental health effects and creating a vibrant and sustainable future.

Esri is committed to helping communities work smarter to become more livable and, as a result, more resilient to climate change. That’s why Esri supports the White House Climate Data Initiative. By unleashing the power of GIS to build more resilient communities, people can better analyze and visualize data to understand and reduce these impacts. Continue reading

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The Evolution of Esri’s MOOC Program, Part I

Recognizing the Potential for Implementing a MOOC Program at Esri

David DiBiase is Director of Esri’s Education Outreach team and former Director of the John A. Dutton e-Education Institute at Pennsylvania State University. I recently had the opportunity to chat with David about the importance of offering Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) as part of Esri’s well-established education program. In part I of our discussion, David talks about first recognizing the potential for implementing a MOOC program at Esri.

Baumann: You recently introduced MOOCs to Esri’s education program. Tell me how this came about.

DiBiase: Well, it wasn’t just me. I had the idea, but nothing would have come of it without the cooperation of leaders and staff members across the company.

We’ve followed the lead of several higher education institutions that introduced MOOCs about maps and GIS. The largest of those so far is “Maps and the Geospatial Revolution” offered by Penn State through Coursera. Continue reading

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Five Ways to Get the Most out of Your GIS Platform

Today, ArcGIS is more than a software product. It is a platform that takes advantage of organizations’ huge information inventories.

Platforms have changed the way society shares information, communicates, and collaborates. From Amazon to Apple, a variety of platforms on our devices remember who we are and call up the information we need to get the most out of our time. We move seamlessly from desktops, web browsers, tablets, and smartphones. Wouldn’t it be great if our professional platforms worked so smoothly?

As the industry standard in GIS, the ArcGIS platform gives you a three-part information system that transforms your data into actionable intelligence.

The ArcGIS platform has three parts: Continue reading

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Seven maps that will change the way you look at history

Maps are powerful tools for answering questions, solving problems, advancing our understanding, and communicating more effective stories.

These seven interactive maps seamlessly blend stories, images, and geography to present new perspectives on some well-known historical happenings.

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Geography, Class, and Fate: Passengers on the Titanic

A century ago the Titanic collided with an iceberg in the North Atlantic and sank. This interactive map of travelers’ hometowns reveals the immigrant status of most third-class passengers, who also suffered the highest fatality rate. Continue reading

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A Question of Scale, Resolution, and MMU

I often find myself explaining aspects of map scales to people trying to use maps.  They are interested in questions about how big something shown on the map is, or how far a distance measured on the map is, or the accuracy of features depicted on the map.  As the creators of the maps we must understand the nuances of maps, so that the people who use them can use them appropriately. After all, with great power comes great responsibility!

One of the areas that I find confuses people is map scales, resolution, and minimum mapping units (MMU). Continue reading

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