Monthly Archives: September 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 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

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Funding to Attend the NW User Conference

The National Geospatial Technology Center of Excellence (GeoTech Center), funded by the National Science Foundation, is supporting development of geospatial programs at two year colleges. As part of this effort, we are encouraging two year faculty to attend professional meetings and engage with the user community including high school and university faculty. This year, the GeoTech Center would like to provide ten faculty at high schools, colleges or universities in the northwest region served by the NW ESRI User Group a $500 grant to the NW ESRI User Conference to cover conference registration ($200 paid directly to the NW User Conference) and expenses ($300) to enable them to attendance the Education Track on Thursday, October 15, 2009. Applications to receive the stipend will be accepted until September 16 with awards announced by September 21. Please send your application to Minerva Borger at with the Subject: NW User Conference Stipend Application. Only faculty from high schools, colleges and universities in the northwest region will be eligible to receive the award. The application should include:

  • Name
  • School Name and school address
  • Your mailing address
  • Your phone number (where you can be reached on Sept. 21)
  • Email address
  • And a short “100 minimum to 250 word maximum” explanation of why you would like to attend the NW User Conference.
  • Subject line of email should be: NW User Conference Stipend Application

- Ann Johnson, ESRI Higher Education Manager

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Seek or Be a GeoMentor

Looking for someone to help you do more powerful geographic analyses? Willing to help someone discover why maps are cool? Both communities can find opportunities at the GeoMentor website,

The GeoMentor Program is an effort to help formal and informal educators — in schools, libraries, museums, zoos, youth clubs, colleges, and universities — around the globe understand the world through maps. Bringing together those who use geography on a daily basis with those seeking to learn, we can build understanding about our world, near and far, and make better decisions about issues that affect our lives, our community, and our planet.

GeoMentor map

GeoMentors can come from all walks of life, and educators can seek GeoMentors no matter where they live or how they work with youth. Put your pin on the GeoMentor map!

- Charlie Fitzpatrick, Co-Manager, ESRI GIS in Schools Program

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Get Some Hands-on Training at the GIS Workshop at the October 2009 Geological Society of America Conference

Come explore how GIS can serve as a powerful toolkit in research, applications, and instruction in geosciences and environmental sciences at the upcoming annual conference of the Geological Society of America. My colleagues and I are teaching this workshop over the Saturday and Sunday before the main conference begins in Portland, Oregon. We will be using ArcGIS and extensions Spatial Analyst and 3D Analyst, as well as ArcGIS Explorer. This will take place at the Doubletree Hotel, 9:00am to 5:00pm, on 17 and 18 October, in the Alaska Room. The fee of US $118, includes lunch, and is limited to the first 20 registrants.

In the workshop, you will have plenty of opportunity for in-depth, hands-on work with the software. You do not need experience with ArcGIS, but familiarity with Windows OS would be most helpful. You will analyze landslides, geology, hydrography, and other features and phenomena using analysis techniques such as geoprocessing and ModelBuilder. You will explore the use of the geodatabase model schema as well as explore spatial data resources including ArcGIS Online and its new sharing ability. If you have not attended a preconference workshop such as this in the past, I encourage you to do so. For a low cost, you will receive 16 hours of training and be much better equipped to begin using ArcGIS right away with the software, spatial data, and lessons that you will receive.

We hope you will also attend the full GSA conference and take advantage of the paper sessions, field trips, and other workshops. One of my favorite things about the GSA conference has always been the magnificent exhibit hall, full of so many interesting books, software tools, rocks, applications, and people!

For more information, visit and navigate to the 2009 annual meeting. Hope to see you there!

-Joseph Kerski, Education Manager, ESRI.

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2010 Census: How Changes Affect Data Users

2010 Census: How Changes Affect Data Users (Directions Magazine)
—Lynn Wombold, Chief demographer and Data Development Team Manager

Listen or download: MP3 [15:03 | 6.96 MB]

Lynn Wombold, chief Demographer and manager of ESRI’s data development team, provides valuable insight on how the new data gathering methods of the 2010 Census will impact data users.
— Published June 17, 2009

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Follow Esri Education News on Twitter

Many of the Esri Education Team is Tweeting to pass on regular news regarding what is happening “on campus” at Esri in Redlands, as well as some of the things we are hearing around the world regarding the GIS education community. Some Tweets will be aimed at Esri software and services, while other tweets will be about related education news or ideas that we think will be of interest to “followers”.

You can find Esri at:
@Esri – Esri
@EsriEduc – Esri Education GIS Conference
@GISEd – EdCommunity Blog

You can also find education team members at:
@michael_d_gould – Mike Gould
@josephkerski – Joseph Kerski
@AngelaLee_gis – Angela Lee
@trbaker - Tom Baker
@fitzpatrickc – Charlie Fitzpatrick
@MapsnRocks – George Dailey
@daviddibiase – David DiBiase

Originally published September 2, 2009.

Last updated May 10, 2014.

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