Tag Archives: Mobile
The ArcGIS Book offers “10 Big Ideas” about mapping, in hardcopy, free downloadable PDF, and free online in multiple languages. Equal parts coffee table book, text book, and workbook, some educators began teaching with it immediately after its release at Esri’s 2015 User Conference. It worked well having students reading on one screen (even a phone) and mapping on another.
The Instructional Guide for The ArcGIS Book now makes it even easier for educators to leverage the original. The Instructional Guide works like an outrigger, matching the concepts and technology of each section, speeding solid comprehension thru carefully designed activities. Linked movies launch chapters with an easy hook. Step-by-step guidance thru a bank of scenarios ushers even novices steadily into the power and flexibility of online mapping, via generic tools in browsers, browser-based apps, and mobile apps. End-of-chapter tasks summarize the fundamental ideas and skills. Many activities can be done without logging in, but many valuable ones require the powers of an ArcGIS Online organization account, and the Guide shows how educators in different situations can acquire such an account.
Coupled with the original volume, the Instructional Guide for The ArcGIS Book is a terrific resource for educators who want to see and employ true GIS power with online tools. And, especially for educators in Career/Technology Education (CTE) programs, or anyone who wants to see STEM in GIS, this demonstrates powerfully how online GIS can be engaged in day-to-day scenarios relevant to many different industries.
Charlie Fitzpatrick, Esri Schools Program Manager
Computer Science for All is Pres. Obama’s effort to get all US K12 students to learn computer science. My previous blog showed how easily kids (or teachers) can make a map-based web app from a template, in minutes, even with a free public account on ArcGIS Online. But users in an Organization account (which any US K12 school can get for instruction for free) have more tools (with cool powers!) for developing content.
AppStudio lets developers build once and deploy on multiple platforms. The “Basic” level is available to any Org member just by logging in, and allows working with existing templates. Users of Survey123 may see familiar processes because Survey123 was built using AppStudio. It’s a powerful tool!
I find the Web AppBuilder even easier. It’s accessed from the “Share/ Create a Web App” panel inside the ArcGIS Online MapViewer, but is tucked behind and easily overlooked.
With a bank of templates and widgets, one can construct a finished app in minutes, and update the app just by updating the source map. I built a simple app so users can scribble and sketch on a map; it was just for fun, 20 minutes from concept to completion, and usable on any web-enabled device. For a more serious app, widgets let users in a private group explore and extract custom data from a private nationwide data set which I update weekly.
Why build apps? To grow skills, solve puzzles, save time, integrate capacity, or address very specific needs. “Service” means “doing something for others;” “service learning” requires understanding the needs of someone else. Being an entrepreneur demands grasping what a customer thinks, wants, or needs. Building one’s future no longer means mastering a process and repeating it forever in the same way. Coding helps developers build skills in problem-solving, communication, and thinking outside the box; it helps them try, fail, try again, fail better, try again, and overcome. Doing it all with maps helps coders build crucial background knowledge during construction and testing, which supports understanding the world today, and making better decisions for tomorrow.
Charlie Fitzpatrick, Esri Education Manager
Mapillary is a tool that allows anyone to create their own street level photographs, map them, and share them via web GIS technology. The idea behind Mapillary is a simple but powerful one: Take photos of a place of interest as you walk along using the Mapillary mobile app. Next, upload the photos to Mapillary again using the app. They will be connected with others’ and combined into a street level photo view. Then, explore your places and those from thousands of other users around the world.
Mapillary is part of the rapidly growing crowdsourcing movement, also known as citizen science, which seeks to generate “volunteered geographic information” content from ordinary citizens. Mapillary is therefore more than a set of tools–it is a community, with its own MeetUps and ambassadors. Mapillary is also a new Esri partner, and through an ArcGIS integration, local governments and other organizations can understand their communities in real-time, and “the projects they’re working on that either require a quick turnaround or frequent updates, can be more streamlined.” These include managing inventory and city assets, monitoring repairs, inspecting pavement or sign quality, and assessing sites for new train tracks. Other organizations are also using Mapillary: For example, the Missing Maps Project is a collaboration between the American Red Cross, British Red Cross, Médecins Sans Frontières-UK (MSF-UK, or Doctors Without Borders-UK), and the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team. The project aims to map the most vulnerable places in the developing world so that NGOs and individuals can use the maps and data to better respond to crises affecting these areas.
On the discovery section of Mapillary, you can take a tour through the ancient city Teotihuacán in Mexico, Astypalaia, one of the Dodecanese Islands in Greece, Pompeii, or Antarctica. But if you create an account and join the Mapillary community, you can access the live web map and click on any of the mapped tracks.
Mapillary can serve as an excellent way to help your students get outside, think spatially, use mobile apps, and use geotechnologies. Why stop at streets? You or your students could map trails, as I have done while hiking or biking, or map rivers and lakes from a kayak or canoe. There is much to be mapped, explored, studied, and enjoyed. If you’d like extra help in mapping your campus, town, or field trip with Mapillary, send an email to Mapillary and let the team know what you have in mind. They can help you and your students get started with ideas and tips (and bike mounts, if you need them).
For about 18 months, I have been using Mapillary to map trails and streets. I used the Mapillary app on my smartphone, generating photographs and locations as I hiked along. One of the trails that I mapped is shown below and also on the global map that everyone in the Mapillary community can access. I have spoken with the Mapillary staff and salute their efforts.
I look forward to hearing your reactions and how you use this tool.
South Carolina recently suffered a lesson in earth science. El Nino watchers prep for another, and friends of Nepal weep over yet another. Earth science affects us all, like it or not, admit it or not. This year even more than usual, Earth Science Week is an important opportunity for educators.
The 2015 Earth Science Week theme is “Visualizing Earth Systems.” Esri’s Earth Science GeoInquiries help educators show and explore critical content in earth science, with just a computer and internet connection. No downloading, installing, or logging in needed. Whether in a one-computer classroom with projector, or a fully stocked lab, or 1:1 tablet situation, teachers and students can explore key content and discover the power of GIS for visualizing patterns and relationships.
Check out all the Earth Science GeoInquiries, built as part of Esri’s commitment to the ConnectED Initiative. Visualize these earth systems, so students grasp how these powerful forces influence us … and how we influence them.
Charlie Fitzpatrick, Esri Education Manager
School’s open! Just in time, Esri’s ArcGIS Online Organization for K12 GIS has grown stronger. The front carousel sports easy access to intro documents, lessons, maps and apps, and videos. (Scroll right for specialty items.) Contents are curated and organized to help learners of all kinds find most quickly the resources of greatest value. This includes easy-to-use instructional materials and access to an ArcGIS Online Org for any US K12 school, as part of Esri’s commitment to the ConnectED Initiative. Use the shortlink http://esriurl.com/k12gis.
Charlie Fitzpatrick, Esri Education Manager
What’s it like on Planet Earth at the spot where you are located right now? Use the new Field Notes – Earth to find out. The app, available on iOS and Android, uses the power of three new global maps to help answer important questions about the current and future conditions on Planet Earth.
The three maps in the app include people (world population), life (ecological land units), and oceans (world seafloor geomorphology). The app is an example of some of the rich content available from the Esri Living Atlas of the World and was built using Esri’s AppStudio for ArcGIS.
To use the app, either choose your current location, or any place on the planet that you are interested in, and start learning. I used the app last week in Washington DC while I was there for the National Conference on Geography Education, which I thought was the perfect venue for using it. In that location, the climate is predicted to be much warmer by 2050; it is 1,038 miles to the nearest volcano, but it is only 74 miles to a location that experienced a recent earthquake. I can find out about the terrain, the nearest available farmland and fresh water, and much more. The best part: I can also add a second location to compare and contrast the two locations side-by-side.
For another reflection on this app, see the article from Time magazine.
In instruction, you could use this app to spark meaningful conversations about physical geography, cultural geography, environmental science, and much more, with themes including change over time and space, human-environment interactions, and others. Use it but also get outside and observe using your five senses. I daresay that this is the type of tool that you could also use in your “elevator pitch” when you are asked in your everyday experience, “What is GIS?” or “Why does geography matter”?
I look forward to your reactions and comments.