Tag Archives: UC

Fun with GIS 200: Alternatives Matter

Education means freedom, the chance to learn and grow and change. Unfortunately, life can include roadblocks. Many public school districts support “alternative schools” for students who may not have stayed on schedule at a “traditional school.” At Esri’s 2016 User Conference, students from such a school — San Andreas High School (Highland, CA) — with only a few months of GIS experience, presented their work to over 10,000 GIS professionals from around the world.

Working with educators skilled in teaching with technology (but still new to GIS), the students learned to ask geographic questions, acquire relevant data, analyze it, interpret it, and present it, to their peers at school, and before a massive crowd of professionals. The school had let them do, and you can see the results.

From the first click, GIS offers the chance to do — to engage and explore, to puzzle and ponder, to tinker and tweak, to reflect and perfect. With boundless data available, users can dive deeper, focusing on matters of personal interest, whether topical or technological. GIS offers alternatives: ArcGIS Online provides easy access and quick success, and the broader ArcGIS platform means limitless opportunity. At all experience levels, users must make decisions constantly, and learn incessantly. New tools, strategies, and data appear endlessly, and at an accelerating pace, yielding ever more choices.

At San Andreas, one teacher heard about the opportunity of GIS via Esri’s ConnectED offer, investigated on her own, brought in her colleagues, engaged the students (with pioneers becoming leaders of succeeding waves), sparked a revolution, and presented to the world, in under 18 months.

Alternatives matter. Students in alternative schools are typically just as bright, capable, driven, engaging, feeling, and thirsty for opportunity as elsewhere. The endless capacity of GIS means those most open to and supportive of engagement, critical thinking, and fostering the opportunity for students to make a difference (for themselves, the community, and the planet) will succeed. All students can succeed with GIS; San Andreas showed it.

Charlie Fitzpatrick, Esri Schools Program Manager

Posted in Education | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Size of the Geospatial Industry

One question that we frequently receive here on the Esri education team is, “What is the size of the geospatial industry?”  Whether the question is asked in reference to a paper someone is researching, or because someone wants to obtain a sense of the “stability”of the industry when deciding whether to pursue GIScience for their career, or for some other reason, the question is a valid one, but it is difficult to definitively answer.

Up through the mid 1990s, while employed at the USGS, I used to consult an annual paper book on the size of GIS to answer this question.  Back then, it was a modest sized community of government, academia, nonprofit, and industry who were involved with producing, serving, and using geospatial data, software, and services.  But since then we have seen an explosion of geospatial technologies and data surround us in many forms and on many devices, and an expansion of users far beyond the traditional sciences and planning “core” into business, health, and just about every industry that exists.  This makes answering the question increasingly difficult.  It might be akin to “what is the size of the chemical, transportation, or <you fill in the blank” industries?”  All are enormous and have fuzzy boundaries.

Nevertheless, a few documents are helpful in at least getting an estimate of the size of the geospatial industry.   Geospatial World reported in their December 2013 issue on page 18 and following that the global geospatial industry brings in $270 billion in annual revenue, and companies in the sector pay more than $90 billion in wages each year.  This stemmed from a report published by Oxera in January 2013.  Equally interesting are the figures of how much travel time is saved annually due to geospatial technology (1.1 billion) and petrol saved (3.5 billion liters).  According to the Oxera report, this means that geospatial is 5 to 10 times larger than the video game industry, and at least one third the size of the global airline industry.  Geospatial is so large because “digital imagery and location-based services are essential components in resource management, supply chain logistics, infrastructure design, telecommunications, and national defense.  Also consider the manufacturing industry involved with creating consumer products, as well as the satellite and space industry needed to make it all work.”  Additionally, Geospatial World author Sanjay wrote this article about the business value and the major technology and solution companies. Finally, Daratech has researched and published comprehensive surveys of the size of the geospatial industry.

The Exhibit Hall at the Esri International User Conference.

One way of getting a sense of the size and diversity of the geospatial industry is to visit the Exhibit Hall at the Esri International User Conference. I am amazed at what I see there each year.  Another way is to visit http://www.esri.com/industries.

No matter what the size of the geospatial industry, one thing is clear:  Geospatial technology is here to stay.  As our world faces more complex and interconnected issues in this century that increasingly impact our everyday lives, the “where” questions will be increasingly asked.  And the technology to answer those questions will be GIS.

Posted in Education, export | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Reflections on Spatial Data from the 2013 Esri International User Conference

After a week spent with 14,000 people at the annual Esri GIS Education Conference and the Esri International User Conference, it was evident to me that the themes that Jill Clark and I examine in the book The GIS Guide to Public Domain Data not only are relevant to the conversations that the GIS community is having, but actually grow in importance each year.  My observations from this year’s conference include, first, that despite the plethora of spatial data now available, the need for authoritative data remains paramount.  Data provides the foundation for everything we do in GIS.  This data needs to be curated  and provided with sufficient metadata.   Curation is particularly important in this era of cloud-based GIS.  Second, every data consumer is now also a potential data producer.  However, even though citizen science and volunteered geographic information is starting to provide a wealth of data at scales and with details the community only recently dreamed about, the need for data continues to outpace its production.

Where and Why are Important!  And thus the need for spatial data.

Where and Why are Important! And thus the need for spatial data.

Third, with this avalanche of data and citizen science capabilities comes increased responsibility to use and produce data wisely. Fourth, GIS software and tools have become ubiquitous on just about every electronic device that we use for work and for play.  This familiarity helps the community’s efforts in explaining to stakeholders why GIS is necessary.  However, at the same time presents a challenge because administrators and policymakers can be lulled into thinking that consumer-facing mapping tools equate to a full GIS implementation, and hence may not understand the need to invest in a GIS.  Fifth and, I believe most importantly, the world is changing, with pressing issues of biodiversity loss, climate and population change, food security, water quality and quantity, natural hazards, and many others that need to be solved.  We won’t be able to effectively make decisions about these issues and effectively plan for the future unless we understand the spatial data that is behind the GIS tools and the resulting decisions that can be made with these tools.

After being with thousands of people from all over the world gathered at the Esri International User Conference, I am confident that these skilled, energetic, and dedicated people can grapple with and solve many of these issues.  But again, much of it depends upon the data that we are producing and using.

Posted in Education | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Get Hands-on Experience at the Esri Education GIS Conference

One of the unique features of the Esri GIS Education Conference is that it offers numerous opportunities for you to get hands-on experience with GIS tools.

Workshop at the Esri GIS Education Conference

Workshop at the Esri GIS Education Conference

To browse the list of workshops offered, search on the keyword “workshop” in the online agenda.  Make sure that the Education GIS Conference and that “All Days” are highlighted.  Type in “workshop” in the search box to see the listing.  All workshops are 75 minutes long, so you can choose among many workshops.  None of the workshops require a separate registration.

Want to map your spreadsheet data?  Drop by the Esri Maps for Office workshop.  New to GIS in education?  Try the Teaching with GIS–Getting Started workshop.  Map your campus with the Community Maps program, create surfaces and interpolation in ArcGIS, tell stories with Esri Story Maps, visualize space-time data, get started with Python scripting, learn about ArcGIS Online, or try one of the other workshops.

All of these workshops are taught by people who really know their stuff.  And while gaining technical skills, you can reflect how you would teach these skills and concepts to your own students.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Posted in Education | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Student Videos to be Featured at EduC Plenary

This Spring, Esri’s Education Team invited nominations of outstanding students and alumni to present their stories in a special plenary session at the 2013 Esri Education GIS Conference. Nominations were to include a video in which the student or alum demonstrates how GIS education made a difference in his or her life.

Of the many nominations received, we’ve selected the following five nominees to appear in the Celebrating Student Success plenary session Saturday morning July 6 in San Diego:

Steve Chignell, Colorado State University

Julien Clifford, Texas A&M Corpus Christi

Mohan Rao, Austin Community College

René Smit, University of Pretoria

Nekya Young, Texas Southern University

We regret that we can’t bring every worthy nominee to San Diego. However, we will proudly screen excerpts of the following nomination videos during the Celebrating Student Success plenary:

Mariana Belgiu, University of Salzburg

Luke Burns, Leeds University

Dara Carney-Nedelman, Unicoi County 4-H Team

Kelsey Ciarrocca, George Mason University

Christopher Grundling, University of Pretoria

David Hapgood, Center of Geographical Studies, NSCC

Iván Elías Ruiz Hernández, Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez

Emmaline Long, Cornell University

Nancy Milholland, University of Southern California

Elisabeth Moughan, Unicoi County 4-H Team

Cameron Robertson, Center of Geographical Studies, NSCC  

Amanda Stanko, Arizona State University

Chris Stayte, Miami Valley Career Technology Center

Congratulations to all these successful students, and thanks for their efforts in preparing nominations. We’re looking forward to seeing their videos featured during the plenary session!

Posted in Education | Tagged , | Leave a comment

You Have the Best – Nominate Them by April 15 to Present at the Plenary

Nominate an Outstanding Learner to Be a Presenter at the 2013 Esri Education GIS Conference

The Esri education team is looking for outstanding students and graduates to participate in the 2013 Esri Education GIS Conference Plenary Session. The session will celebrate student success by showcasing best practices in GIS education from learners’ perspectives.
Please visit the Student Success page for details on nominating a learner to be a featured presenter in this special session.  Nominations should include the following:

  • Letter of recommendation attesting to the learner’s success
  • Five-minute video created by the student or alumnus explaining how GIS education made a difference in his or her life or career

Selected learners and the educators who recommend them will receive a stipend and complimentary registration to both the Esri Education GIS Conference (July 6-9) and opening Plenary Session of the Esri International User Conference (July 8).

Nominations must be received by April 15, 2013.
Selected applicants and educators will be notified by May 15, 2013.

Nominate a Learner

Posted in Education | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Communique from the 2012 GIS Education Community Advisory Board Meeting

Esri’s Education Industry Solutions Team (Education Team) convened the first meeting of a new GIS Education Community Advisory Board on July 23rd. The meeting took place in San Diego during the 2012 Education GIS Conference and Esri International User Conference. The Board’s charge is to help ensure that the Team’s strategic priorities respond to Community needs. This year, the Team asked the Board to focus on strategic priorities for educational resources.

Prior the meeting, organizers asked Advisers to review and comment upon the Team’s ArcLessons platform and collection (http://edcommunity.esri.com/arclessons) as well as its current strategic plan for educational resources. From those comments organizers distilled four questions for facilitated discussion during the 90-minute session. The questions were:

  1. Regarding educational resources, what is the “GIS Education Community”? What is the Esri Education Industry Team’s relationship to it?
  2. Does the ArcLessons collection address Community needs effectively? In light of trends in the GIS Education Community, what should ArcLessons become?
  3. What should our priorities be for educational resource development in 2013?
  4. What should Esri’s Education Industry Team do to advance research-based knowledge about the efficacy of GIS in education?

The Board’s advice:

  1. The GIS Education Community consists of educators (professional and volunteer), researchers, learning designers, education administrators and staff, and learners. Community members share a common goal of promoting GIS use and spatial thinking to maximize student success. Esri is one of the Community’s key stakeholder organizations, and is its primary social hub. Esri is simultaneously a part of and partner to the GIS Education Community.
    In regard to educational resources, Advisers agreed that the Esri Team’s near-term emphasis should be to (a) promote broad Community participation in resource development, sharing, and assessment; and (b) organize and disseminate Community resources, including those authored or co-authored by Esri. In all these efforts Advisers stressed that Esri be mindful of the differing needs of educators and learners in higher education, primary and secondary education, and informal education settings.
  2. Advisers recommended several improvements to the ArcLessons platform and resource collection, including (a) specifying educational objectives for each resource; (b) identifying how resources align with education standards (state, federal, international); (c) promoting and collaborating on resources focused more on problem solving and less on software use; and (d) helping users design meaningful sequences of learning activities (i.e., curricula) by identifying related resources. All these are Community responsibilities, not Esri’s alone.
  3. Advisers agreed that the Esri Education Team’s priority for 2013 should be to design and implement a new web-based platform and interfaces that respond to the distinctive needs of educators and students in primary and secondary education, higher education, and informal education around the world. The platform’s key purpose should be to enable and support resource sharing by Community members. In addition, the Team should address the recognized gap in support for intermediate learners and best practices in advanced topics, such as application development, ArcGIS server, and dealing with big and messy data sets. Assisting Community members’ efforts to discover, create and share resources should be a higher priority for Esri’s Education Team than developing resources of its own. The Team should bear in mind differing user preferences for ready-to-use resources versus points of departure for further exploration (what one adviser called “inspiring inroads”), as well as resources for teacher professional development versus for student use. In addition, Esri’s platform(s) should provide access to resources that address workforce needs (as outlined in the Geospatial Technology Competency Model and related efforts).
  4. Finally, Advisers agreed that the Education Team should foster the Community’s development of a research agenda focused on the efficacy of GIS in promoting spatial abilities. Partnership with established research centers such as the Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center (SILC) at Temple University may help. A set of case studies demonstrating ways to use GIS in educational research may also be useful.

The Advisory Board’s recommendations will inform the Education Team’s 2013 strategy and action plan, which the Team will develop beginning in September. The Team will provide periodic progress reports throughout the year.

Members of the 2012 Advisory Board are listed below. The Education Team selected this year’s members to (a) represent the spectrum of Community members’ roles and work settings, and (b) have relevant experience in educational resource development. Assuming Esri’s continuing support, the Team will invite new members to address different issues in years to come.

2012 GIS Education Community Advisory Board

  • Amy Ballard, Central New Mexico Community College (NM)
  • Sarah Bednarz, Texas A&M University (TX)
  • Margaret Chernosky, Bangor High School (ME)
  • Sara Damon, Stillwater Junior High School (MN)
  • Adam Dastrup, Salt Lake Community College (UT)
  • Eva Dodsworth, University of Waterloo (Canada)
  • Kenneth Field, Esri (CA)
  • Iain Greensmith, Esri Canada
  • Keene Haywood, University of Texas – Austin (TX)
  • Khusro Kidwai, Pennsylvania State University (PA)
  • Erika Klose, Winfield Middle School (WV)
  • Bob Kolvoord, James Madison University (VA)
  • Mark Lindberg, University of Minnesota (MN)
  • Anita Palmer, GISetc (TX)
  • ori Ann Rubino-Hare, Northern Arizona University (AZ)
  • Adena Schutzberg, ABS Consulting and Directions Media (MA)
  • Diana Stuart Sinton, University of Redlands (CA)
  • Debbie Stevens, William Penn University (IA)
Posted in Education | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Fun with GIS 124: Problem-Based Learning at Esri International User Conference

At the 2012 Esri International User Conference, 14,000 people thunderously applauded stars of problem-based learning (PBL). At the opening plenary session, four students stepped out on stage and confidently displayed their experience with GIS, gained during just their senior year of high school. Their work was so real, so powerful, and so like what GIS professionals do that the demos were sifted in among those by other users, instead of isolated as a special student group. You can see their presentations, and the teacher’s summary here: Esri 2012 UC Plenary Videos
Choose “Mid-morning”, see “21:40-26:35″, “43:50-47:00″, “61:08-65:30″

Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, VA is a good school. These are bright and inquisitive students, and the teacher masterfully weaves together relevant content, powerful technology, and incrementally greater challenges. But the model of PBL with GIS used by these and hundreds of students across the Virginia Geospatial Semester program is the real star.

In school after school, teacher after teacher help students build skills in GIS by tackling real-world challenges. They construct maps of things around them, analyze the patterns and relationships they see in daily life, and struggle just like adults to integrate information and derive sensible answers in complex situations for which there is no “cookbook answer.” With a steady diet of such experiences, they build a disposition for challenges. Combined with the technical savvy and creativity of youth, this is serious power. In the hours and days following the WLHS students’ presentations, everyone I met agreed that these students were ready for college and career.

Across the US, employers and politicians (save only for one party in one state) clamor for students to have 21st century skills, including managing and thinking critically about all kinds of information, collaborating, communicating, and working with powerful tools. Lucky kids whose teachers or after-school activity leaders employ PBL with GIS get to practice this even from a young age. These kids will survive and thrive tomorrow, as the thunderous applause at the Esri Conference attests.

Are students in your community preparing for tomorrow by tackling real-world challenges without a cookbook? Can they demonstrate it using technology beyond a Number 2 pencil?

- Charlie Fitzpatrick, Esri Education Manager

Posted in Education | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Esri Education Conference Call for Papers (#esriEdUC)

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.

Posted in Education | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Call for Presentations: Special GIScience Research Session

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 mgould@esri.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, jpwilson@usc.edu

Posted in Education | Tagged , , | Leave a comment