Monthly Archives: October 2011
I have created a new presentation using ArcGIS Online to invite exploration of the spatial aspects of baseball teams, players, stadiums, and the sport itself. The goal of the presentation is to use the familiar and interesting topic of baseball as a starting point for exploring spatial data at a variety of scales, to ask geographic questions, and to use WebGIS in the process.
Baseball is a spatial sport. The bases are a standard “space” or distance apart, the fielders are assigned certain locations on the field, the offense has a prescribed direction to tag and run the bases, and the players, umpires, coaches, and warm-up pitchers have prescribed areas in the stadium in which to work. Even the fans have certain areas in which they can sit, and the proximity to the field and other amenities determines the ticket price. Angles are of crucial importance as the ball is thrown, hit, and fielded.
In short, spatial considerations run throughout the sport of baseball. Baseball stadiums are constructed in certain locations and markets and affect local and regional transportation patterns, local economies, land use, and even local drainage and impervious surface. The birthplace of players and affiliated radio and TV stations also form regional and, these days, even international patterns.
The presentation includes discussion and data on the distribution of radio stations broadcasting major league baseball games, the distribution of the birthplaces of baseball players, population density and neighborhood characteristics, access to and proximity of stadiums, comparing stadiums in different cities, comparing different types of sports stadiums, and much more. A total of 7 videos linked to the presentation invite deeper reflection. Spatial questions are embedded throughout the presentation. Actually, the word “presentation” does not adequately fit the wonderful and powerful capabilities built into ArcGIS Online. This presentation includes 53 slides, but at any point, the user of these slides can exit the presentation mode, zoom and pan, add additional data, change symbology, change the base map, or examine a different issue. The presentation mode in ArcGIS Online can serve as an excellent storytelling tool for students studying biology, chemistry, geography, history, mathematics, as well as a convenient and authentic means for instructors to assess student work.
How might you use this activity, and ArcGIS Online, to promote spatial thinking through sports?
-Joseph Kerski, Esri Education Manager
Weird Earth: Analyzing the Unusual and Mysterious using ArcGIS Online
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
8pm Eastern/ 7pm Central/6pm Mountain/5pm Pacific
NCGEWEBINAR: FREE for EVERYONE!
NCGE 2011 President
Education Manager at Esri
world is full of fascinating places that can be explored in the context
of a “Map Mystery” in instruction. Join Joseph Kerski for a
just-before-Halloween tour of the interesting, bizarre, funny, and just
plain weird imagery that you and your students can examine inside ArcGIS
Online. These maps and images can help foster learning about
human-environment interactions, processes, scale, and other fundamental
principles in geography, as well as building critical thinking and
Investigating human-set fires, and determining optimal sites for expanding tea cultivation in Kenya are the topics of two new university level, ArcGIS 10, Africa-focused GIS activities in the ArcLessons library. Search for the two activities using terms “Africa fires” and “Kenya tea”.
You will gain skills in tabular and spatial data joining, query, analysis, symbolizing, and classifying data, and making a decision in a GIS environment. You should be familiar with computer file management and have some familiarity with ArcGIS. Both lessons emulate real decision making with GIS occurring daily around the world.
The goals of the fires activity include how to use GIS and spatial analysis to study the pattern of human-set fires in Africa and to understand the physical and cultural geography of Africa. The activity begins with this scenario: Hearing about your GIS skills, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has hired you to analyze the seasonal pattern of wildfires in Africa.
Consider that people set fires in Africa and elsewhere to create and maintain farmland and grazing areas. People use fire to keep less desirable plants from invading cropland or rangeland, to drive grazing animals away from areas more desirable for farming, to remove crop stubble and return nutrients to the soil, and to convert natural ecosystems to agricultural land. In Africa, the area burned shifts from north to south over the year in step with the rainy and dry seasons. Although fires are a part of the natural cycle of seasonally dry grasslands and savannas, some scientists and public health officials are concerned about Africa’s burning frequency. The frequency with which fires return to previously burned areas helps determine what species of plants (and therefore animals) can survive. When the fire-return interval is too short, the land may become degraded and unusable for farming or grazing. The massive amount of burning that occurs in Africa each year creates carbon dioxide, smoke, and aerosol particles, affecting climate and creating a public health hazard.
In the Kenya tea activity, you learn that tea is an important cash crop in the world and in Kenya. The Kenya Tea Development Company is the largest cooperative of growers, representing 28% of Kenya’s total export earnings. Its 400,000 growers cultivate land over 86,000 hectares in size, producing over 700 million kg of tea annually. Hearing about your GIS skills, the Kenya Tea Development Company has hired you to select additional lands that might be suitable for tea cultivation, as follows:
1. It must be grown on moderately high ground, between 914 meters and 2,133 meters above sea level.
2. It cannot be on any water-related land cover, including wetlands.
3. It cannot be in an urban area.
4. It cannot be within 500 meters of a populated place.
5. It cannot be within 2000 meters of a mine.
6. It must be within 5 km of a road, to reduce transport costs.
How might you use these activities to teach and learn about key geographic themes, physical and cultural characteristics of Africa, and gain fundamental GIS skills?
- Joseph Kerski, Esri Education Manager
Call for Presentations
Share Your Knowledge at the Esri Education Conference, the Ultimate Event for GIS Education
The Call for Papers form is now live at http://www.esri.com/events/educ/participate/presentations.html
The deadline is Jan 13, 2012.
As an educator using GIS, you know the benefits that this powerful technology brings to both formal and non-formal education. Whether you are an instructor or administrator, seize this opportunity to share your knowledge with colleagues and submit an abstract for the 2012 Esri EdUC. Presenting your work enriches our collective understanding of the benefits of GIS, stimulates discussion, and develops lasting bonds among participants. View the presentation topics and descriptions for additional information.
A book I co-edited with Dr. Andy Milson and Dr. Ali Demirci has just been published by Springer, entitled International Perspectives on Teaching and Learning with GIS in Secondary Schools. This is the first publication to collate a broad international perspective on the pedagogical value of GIS technology in classrooms, and offers an unprecedented range of expert views on the subject. For more information and to read sections of the book online, see the publisher’s site.
The authors created a series of five videos describing the book.
This book brings together authors from 33 countries who profile the current status of GIS in secondary school teaching and learning in their country. We have been honored to have worked with each of our authors and to hear their inspiring stories. Each chapter includes a summary of the country’s educational context, a case study illustrating how GIS is used in secondary schooling, and an assessment of the opportunities and challenges in teaching and learning with GIS now and in the future. We are honored that Roger Tomlinson wrote the Foreword. The editors wrote a synthesis chapter where we reflect on the progress made in teaching and learning with GIS over the past 20 years, the key trends for the remainder of this decade, and make heartfelt recommendations as to what needs to happen to meet the goal of engaging all students in thinking spatially. The book demonstrates that GIS is not only a technological tool to be used in the classroom, but also a catalyst for motivation, encouragement, and cooperation in understanding and solving global problems.
Geographic Information Systems (GISs) have revolutionized the way people explore and understand the world around them. The capability they confer allows us to capture, manage, analyze, and display geographic data in ways that were undreamt of a generation ago. GIS has enabled users to make decisions and solve problems as diverse as designing bus routes, locating new businesses, responding to emergencies, and researching climate change. GIS is also having a major impact in the classroom. Students and teachers around the world are using this significant emerging technology in the secondary school classroom to study social and scientific concepts and processes, to broaden their technical skills, and to engage in problem solving and decision making about local and global issues. We look forward to assembling a panel of the book’s authors at upcoming conferences, including that of the Association of American Geographers and the Esri Education Conference.
How might you use this book to make a case to your colleagues and administrators about the value of GIS in education?
- Joseph Kerski, Esri Education Manager
Call for Presentations:
Special GIScience Research Session
ESRI International Users Conference
23-27 July, 2012
San Diego, California
ESRI invites you to present a peer-reviewed paper in a special joint GIScience Research Session for the 2012 ESRI International Users Conference and Educational Users Conference. Papers in this special tract must focus on cutting-edge research in GIScience. Full papers will be included in a special issue of Transactions in GIS to be distributed at the 2012 International Users and Education Users Conferences. Abstracts (500 words) must be submitted to Dr. John Wilson, University of Southern California, by 15th November, 2011.
The Transactions in GIS editorial team will review abstracts based on their GIScience content and select nine abstracts to become full papers. Notice of acceptance will occur by 1st December, 2011. Full papers (maximum 6,000 words plus figures, tables, and references in appropriate format for publication) must be submitted to Dr. Wilson for independent review by 8th January, 2012. Reviewed papers will be returned to authors by 1st February, 2012 and final manuscripts must be returned by 1st March, 2012, to be included in the special issue of Transactions in GIS.
For questions or guidelines on this special GIScience Research Track, contact Michael Gould at email@example.com.
Abstracts should be submitted via e-mail with a subject line “ESRI GIScience Abstract, Authors Last Name” no later than 15th November, 2011 to:
Dr. John Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org