Daily Archives: September 10, 2009

Essays on Geography and GIS, Vol. 2, E-book Published by ESRI

Free E-book Showcases Essays by Well-Known Academics, Thought Leaders

Essays on Geography and GIS, Vol. 2, the latest offering from the Best Practices series published by geographic information system (GIS) software developer ESRI, is a collection of essays written by many of the top academics in the fields of geography and GIS technology. Previously published individually in the company’s ArcNews magazine, the collection of articles provides insight into the power of spatial thinking. Essays on Geography and GIS, Vol. 2, is available for download at no cost.

The 12 articles in Essays on Geography and GIS, Vol. 2, include
• “GIS: Designing Our Future” by Jack Dangermond
• “Implementing Geographic Information Technologies Ethically” by Harlan J. Onsrud
• “GIScience for Human Rights” by Doug Richardson
• “Transport 2.0: Meeting Grand Challenges with GIScience” by Harvey J. Miller
• “Geography Education and GIS Professional Development” by Doug Richardson
• “Changing the Face of Geography: GIS and the IGU” by Roger F. Tomlinson
• “Process Models and Next-Generation Geographic Information Technology” by Paul M. Torrens
• “Geographic Literacy in U.S. by 2025″ by Daniel C. Edelson
• “Geography, GIS, and Mental Health” by Doug Richardson
• “The National Geospatial Advisory Committee: An Action Agenda” by Anne Hale Miglarese
• “Global Dialogues: GIScience and Sustainable Development in Africa” by Doug Richardson
• “Get Involved with Geo-Education Reform” by Daniel C. Edelson.

Begun three years ago, ESRI’s Best Practices series now contains more than 30 e-books that cover a wide range of topics in GIS. Visit the GIS Best Practices Web site at www.esri.com/bestpractices to explore the list of offerings and download your copy free of charge.

Essays on Geography and GIS, Vol. 2, is a follow-up to the popular Essays on Geography and GIS, which has been viewed by more than 30,000 people since it was first made available in September 2008.

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Alaska School District Implements ESRI GIS Site License

Plans Include Geomentoring by Local Agencies and Visiting Scientists
Redlands, California—The North Slope Borough (NSB) in Alaska has used ESRI’s geographic information system (GIS) software for more than 30 years. Recognizing the potential of the technology to provide future employment for its students, the borough recently signed an agreement facilitating the instruction of GIS throughout its entire school district.

Comments Barrow High School science teacher Tim Buckley, “We began instruction 10 years ago [after receiving] a grant for a GIS lab. At that time, we were using ESRI’s Mapping Our World lesson plans. The lab was recently refurbished, and the new software license is perfectly timed.”

Under the supervision of Buckley and Paul McNeil, former GIS analyst at NSB’s GIS Division, students at Barrow High School have begun a customized educational program using ESRI’s self-paced Virtual Campus courses supplemented with local data from NSB. This allowed McNeil to bring his geomentoring skills to the classroom for applied instruction and real-world experience.

Says McNeil, “Using local data helps the students better visualize the power of GIS and how it can impact their own lives, as well as the lives of others in their village. In addition, it provides them with some insight into the many uses of GIS here in the North Slope and in other areas.”

By structuring the training around ESRI’s self-paced Virtual Campus, the district can give students the ability and confidence to continue their GIS studies at a university or immediately seek employment from the growing list of local government agencies and private companies that use the technology.

A number of scientists who use GIS in their research visit the North Slope on a regular basis. Several large companies with local offices, such as Shell Oil, Arctic Slope Regional Corporation (ASRC), ASRC Energy Services, and the Ukpeagvik Inupiat Corporation, also use GIS as part of their day-to-day business activities. Buckley hopes to develop a visiting geomentoring program that would invite GIS specialists in the area to come to the school and talk about their work.

“We believe that providing a comprehensive program of ArcGIS instruction, supplemented by visiting experts and field trips to gather georeferenced data, will help students develop GIS technical skills that are much sought after by local employers,” concludes Buckley.

For information and ideas about how GIS is being used in education in schools and beyond, visit the ESRI Education Community portal at http://edcommunity.esri.com.

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