Tag Archives: Video

Fun with GIS 199: GeoInquiries

A good map informs, a powerful map provokes. A good instructional activity teaches, and a powerful one fosters questions and investigation. Byte by byte, “GeoInquiries” are changing instruction.

Esri Education Manager Tom Baker has been leading teams of authors to produce short, content-based lessons which help teachers address key content, using maps, in an inquiry-based manner, which builds comfort with the power of online GIS. Requiring no great technical background, nor download or install, nor even login, GeoInquiries help teachers engage students in not just seeing but interacting with the facts, patterns, and relationships of our world, in ways at once historical, scientific, mathematical, and of course geographic.

Now 75 bite-sized activities get used by teachers in one-computer classrooms, and in 1:1 settings. Teachers can demonstrate skills, and students can investigate even on their own, weaving content and context in their own unique way. Geoinquiries form a blazed trail through standard content, but support diversion, investigation, integration, and ever deeper learning, about the content, tools for investigating, and even the nature of knowledge.

As summer launches professional development for teachers everywhere, check out GeoInquiries as a way to shine new lights on classroom content. See the video and check out the collection!

Charlie Fitzpatrick, Esri Education Manager

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Why GIS in Education Matters: 3 Videos

Recently I posted a document that I have been curating for quite a few years now, one explaining why GIS in education matters.  This content is also posted with graphics on the Esri Insider newsletter.  To provide another way of communicating this information, I have created a series of videos on this same theme, in three parts–Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

The reasons why GIS in education matters include critical thinking, career pathways, spatial thinking, understanding how to work with data and the limitations of data, building media fluency, focusing on the whys of where, asking good questions, solving problems, sustainability and green technology, and understanding changes over space and time.

I am interested in your reactions to these videos:  What is missing from this message? What is useful about these videos?  In what settings could you use them in your own work with fellow faculty, with faculty from other disciplines, with administrators, with parents, and with students?  What do you include in your own messages about the reasons for GIS in education?

Why GIS in Education:  Series of Videos

Why GIS in Education: Series of videos.

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Fun with GIS 180: Esri K12 GIS Org

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

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Over 2,600 videos on GIS and related topics online

One of the resources that I frequently use in instruction, and make publicly available in the hopes that it will be useful to other teachers and learners of GIS, remote sensing, geography, STEM, field methods, environmental studies, and related fields is my video channel, Geographyuberalles, or “geography is all”.  I started the channel in 2008, and due to its current size, the best way to find something on it is to use the channel’s search tool to search on terms such as Esri Maps for Office, ArcGIS Online, rivers, transportation, deserts, smartphones, geocaching, weather, population, professional development, or something else.  I also have provided an index of some of the most popular titles under categories such as “why geography matters”, “oceans”, and many more.

Another way to find categories of videos there is to browse the channel’s playlists.  The channel’s playlists include a series on GPS-to-GIS, several courses I teach such as GIS and Public Domain Data, Creating Story Maps for education, Scale Matters, A Day in the Life of a Spatial Thinker, and A Deeper Dive into ArcGIS Online. There is even a series of geo-related song parodies that are truly awful, just for fun.  Some of these videos are mirrored on the Esri Education Team’s video channel.  Keep in mind that a much more comprehensive and professional set of videos exists on the Esri Video Channel.  The Esri video channel includes new developments in Esri’s technologies, the complete plenary presentations at each year’s Esri User Conference, and much more.

Give some of these videos a try and let me know what has worked for your instructional goals.  Also, if there are videos that you are particularly in need of that I might be able to create, I am happy to consider doing so.

Over 2,600 GIS, GPS, STEM, Geography, Place, videos now online

Over 2,600 GIS, GPS, STEM, Geography, Place, videos now online.  This series of GPS to GIS is one of the many series’ of videos available on the channel Geographyuberalles.

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Fun with GIS 178: Mentors Matter

Sarah and Lily Jenkins, two sisters from the quiet Hawaiian island of Molokai, “stole the show” on Monday of the 2015 Esri Conference. At least that was the sentiment of the few dozen people who stopped me during the rest of the conference. “And they’ve inspired me to work with my local school,” most added. Outstanding!

For over 20 years, Esri has encouraged GIS users to work with schools. In 2009, Esri and National Geographic launched a formal GeoMentor program, encouraging mentors to work with educators. (See Maps 3&4.) In 2015, the Association of American Geographers added new structure and energy, making it easier than ever for educators and mentors to find each other, and then document collaborations. And, since 2000, every student group to appear on Esri’s stage has had a mentor.

The best situation is when an insatiable educator and a passionate GIS user collaborate over repeated interactions. A single experience is nice but, like one bite of a meal, inadequate. Good relationships take time, trust, and interaction — honest sharing of goals, information, and chances for both to benefit. Some schools let outside mentors work with students as well as educators; others restrict things to adult interactions only, mentor to educator.

But mentors can — and sometimes must — work outside of school with known kids in the community. That’s what happened with Sarah and Lily. A local conservation mentor “adopted” them when only 8 and 6 years old; they worked on a string of local science-related projects for 9 years … first a little, then a little more, and so on. Several years ago, a STEM education mentor from another island saw their potential and began offering additional opportunities and guidance. Then, as they embarked on their most challenging project to date in fall of 2014, a GIS mentor gave just enough guidance to overcome difficulties. The “March of the Molokai Mangroves” is a powerful analysis of an invasive species with huge impact on a small and fragile island. Sarah and Lily showed brilliance, passion, grit, and grace under fire, presenting to more people than live on their island. Their project earned international acclaim and attention from federal agencies and international scientists … but not at school. Sometimes it works that way.

Mentors can have a huge impact in kids’ lives. It might come thru a teacher, or alongside one, or via a club or youth group, or just by working with a kid you know, independently. Does it matter? Just watch Sarah and Lily, and think about the kids you know. You can make a difference. Mentors matter.

Charlie Fitzpatrick, Esri Education Manager

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Fun with GIS 172: Synergy

Growing up with three older brothers, I knew “synergy.” Football, frisbee, sledding, board games, card games, cardboard boxes, tag … all were much more fun together than the sum of what we could have done alone. The world is full of synergistic relationships.

Esri’s 2015 Federal Conference showed the synergy of the ArcGIS platform, answering the question asked by educators facing an expanding array of GIS tools: “Do I use ArcGIS Desktop, or go to ArcGIS Online with browsers, or go mobile? Desktop is powerful, but Online is easy, and mobile is ubiquitous.” The answer should “All of the above.”

Check out the Esri FedGIS Plenary videos. See how many times people are bringing data from the cloud to the desktop, doing analysis, merging with local data, pushing content to the cloud, displaying in browsers, doing analysis in the browser, pushing out content for mobile devices, gathering data on mobile for consumption back in a browser or on Desktop, and so on. The combination of tools is much more powerful than the sum of the parts. (And for a fast, fun example, see the “App Speed Dating” video (#19) to discover why more than one app can be useful.)

Our goal in education must be to help people learn to learn, be disposed to learning, crave it insatiably, and integrate constantly. Every day brings new content, skills, challenges, and opportunities. We need learners — of all ages — to be able to adapt, analyze a situation and see what is necessary, choose tools to accomplish key tasks, and maximize impact. We need to model this synergy for those who are already busy building tomorrow.

Charlie Fitzpatrick, Esri Education Manager

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New K-12 Climate Science and Mapping Careers Video

Climate change is a geographic problem, and we believe solving it takes a geographic solution.  Find case studies, e-Books, mapping tools, and more resources from Esri at http://www.esri.com/industries/climate or explore the Esri Climate Resilience App Challenge 2014.

Ned Gardiner, NOAA

Virtual Job Shadow in conjunction with Esri Education and NOAA brings climate scientist, Ned Gardiner  to K-12 CTE students around the country interested in mapping and climate science.

The NOAA National Climatic Data Center keeps the world’s largest climate data archive, and provides climatological analysis to every sector of the economy. And while climate change is one of the most debated topics on Planet Earth, the controversy has little to with the scientific data being collected. It’s Ned Gardiner’s job to take all that data and help us understand what it all means. Do not miss this incredible job shadowing experience!

See this video and other GIS-STEM career videos at the Esri EdCommunity’s career video page.

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An Easy Pathway to Create Storymaps

Creating storymaps has never been easier.  One of my favorite methods is one I use in creating “map tour” storymaps, involving smartphones and geotagged photographs.  For example, I recently created a story map during my visit to Whitworth University.  The procedures I used adhered to those I describe in my essay entitled “The 15 Minute Story Map.”  As the name implies, I created a storymap in 15 minutes with my smartphone and the Esri story maps platform.  I created it to encourage faculty I met with there, and ultimately, their students, to create storymaps on even more compelling topics than the simple campus tour that I created.  They could do the same for a field trip to a meadow of trees killed by invasive species, or a neighborhood undergoing rapid social and demographic changes, or a river where they are measuring water quality, or other topics local to global.

My workflow to create these types of maps is as follows:

1.  Record Day 1 track on phone. I used a fitness app (Runkeeper) but you could use MotionX GPS or many other apps.  The app you choose needs to be able to export your track as a GPX file.
2.  Take photographs with smartphone with location services turned on.
3.  Email photographs to Picasaweb/Google Plus into a folder named “Whitworth University”.   This is a folder I set up in advance.  The time saving innovation here is that the photographs sent with “Whitworth University” in the subject line automatically are placed into a folder with the same name on Google Plus.  This makes it easy to point to that folder when creating a storymap and access all of the photographs at once.
4.  Send campus video to YouTube.
5.  Create storymap using Map Tour template.  Save and share your map.  At this point, you’re really done, but the additional steps below are enhancements I made to the original storymap.
6.  Add Day 1 track to the ArcGIS Online map as a GPX file from my smartphone.  This ArcGIS Online map is the map that is driving your storymap web application.  It is visible in the “My Content” area of ArcGIS Online.
7.  Trace Day 2 track onto the ArcGIS Online map.  I did this to demonstrate a different way of adding your route; here, simply by tracing on the map, rather than uploading it from a smartphone.
8.  Add Day 2 photographs to the existing Storymap.  I did this to demonstrate that you can add content to an existing storymap just as easily as creating one from scratch.
9.  Edit the photo captions.  This literally is the most time consuming step but is an important part of the story.
10.  Save your map changes and make sure you are still sharing your map.

Some additional details that might be helpful include:  After recording the Day 1 track, I uploaded it to my ArcGIS Online web map as a GPX file simply with the “add layer from file”, where my file on my computer was my GPX file that I had saved onto my local computer.  Note that when I was inside the HUB building, the app lost GPS signal, resulting in a few spikes that are evident on the map.  I left them in the map, rather than editing them out, as a springboard to a discussion about spatial accuracy and triangulation from GPS, cell towers, and Wi-Fi hotspots.  My Day 2 track was traced onto ArcGIS Online map and saved as Map Notes.

A few of my photos, especially those taken inside buildings, were auto-placed a few hundred meters off of their true location.  Therefore, I manually relocated these, which is another feature of the storymap template.  The rest were already within 1 to 2 meters of their true location, so I left them as they were.  But the accuracy of geolocation is another great learning moment when your students are creating their storymaps.  You will note that one of the locations is not a photograph at all, but a video, which is easy to insert into your storymap.

For more details on how I created this, see the playlist of videos I created here.

Storymap of Whitworth University campus

Storymap of Whitworth University campus.

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Spatial Analyst videos describe decision making with GIS

I have created a series of 22 new videos describing decision making with GIS, using the Spatial Analyst extension in ArcGIS.  They are listed and accessible in this YouTube playlist.  Over 108 minutes of content is included, but in easy-to-understand short segments that are almost entirely comprised of demonstrations of the tools in real-world contexts.

The videos include the topics listed below.  Videos 10 through 20 include a real-world scenario of selecting optimal sites for fire towers in the Loess Hills of eastern Nebraska, an exercise that Jill Clark and I included in the Esri Press book The GIS Guide to Public Domain Data and available online.

New Spatial Analyst videos

New Spatial Analyst videos explain how to make decisions with key GIS functions in ArcGIS.

1)  Using the transparency and swipe tools with raster data.
2)  Comparing and using topographic maps and satellite and aerial imagery stored locally to the same type of data in the ArcGIS Online cloud.
3)  Analyzing land cover change with topographic maps and satellite imagery on your local computer and with ArcGIS Online.
4)  Creating a shaded relief map using hillshade from a Digital Elevation Model (DEM).
5)  Analyzing a Digital Elevation Model and a shaded relief map.
6)  Creating contour lines from elevation data.
7)  Creating a slope map from elevation data.
8)  Creating an aspect (direction of slope) map from elevation data.
9)  Creating symbolized contour lines using the Contour with Barriers tool.
10)  Decision making using GIS:  Introduction to the problem, and selecting hydrography features.
11) Decision making using GIS:  Buffering hydrography features.
12)  Decision making using GIS:   Selecting and buffering road features.
13)  Decision making using GIS:  Selecting suitable slopes and elevations.
14)  Decision making using GIS:  Comparing Boolean And, Or, and Xor Operations.
15)  Decision making using GIS:   Selecting suitable land use.
16)  Decision making using GIS:  Selecting suitable land use, slope, and elevation.
17)  Decision making using GIS:   Intersecting vector layers of areas near hydrography and near roads.
18)  Decision making using GIS:  Converting raster to vector data.
19)  Decision making using GIS:  Final determination of optimal sites.
20)  Creating layouts.
21)  Additional considerations and tools in creating layouts.
22)  Checking Extensions when using Spatial Analyst tools.

How might you be able to make use of these videos and the processes described in them in your instruction?

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Embedding videos in Story Maps Using CSV files

In the newest release of ArcGIS Online, the Story Map Tour Template allows you to incorporate videos in new and existing map tours.  This week I gave it a try and was very pleased with the results and also the ease of use.  I started with an Excel spreadsheet and included a short description, a latitude, a longitude, the URL for each video, and a thumbnail URL showing a snapshot of each video.  I saved the spreadsheet as a Comma Separated Value (CSV) file, which I then added to an ArcGIS Online map.  Then I published this map to the story maps “map tour” web application.  I added some metadata, and I was done.  Like other Story Maps, the story map is tied to the ArcGIS Online map.  The good news about that is that if you update your ArcGIS Online map, your story map refreshes automatically (it may take several minutes or even up to an hour for it to do so).  Thus, there is no need to “republish” your story map every time you make a change.

I made sure to use some YouTube videos but also some videos on other sites.  All of them worked, though the YouTube videos loaded faster and displayed with the title above them, which was a nice touch.   An important instructional note is that decent bandwidth is needed to load all of the videos and images.  Don’t fret if all of your thumbnail images don’t show or your videos don’t play right away.  Just be patient and they will appear if you have enough bandwidth.

A colleague of mine on the Esri Story Maps team shared this important tip with me:  In the Excel spreadsheet, you need to insert the string #isVideo at the end of any URL that points to a video.  The URL to the video needs to be just to the video itself, not to, for example, a Youtube page that contains the video plus other elements such as the frame around the video.   Thus, if you want to use this video, for example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AP7XCCUcug, you can’t just use that URL in your story map. To find out what URL you need to use, click Share on that page and then click Embed, as shown below:

Next, copy the “embed” URL out of the code given:

Thus, the URL https://www.youtube.com/embed/4AP7XCCUcug becomes, once the #isvideo is added, https://www.youtube.com/embed/4AP7XCCUcug#isVideo.

My results are shown below and also online in this web map.

Story map with embedded videos

Story map with embedded videos.

Try it for yourself!  There are many powerful things you can do in educational settings with videos in your story maps–to make your stories about geography, earth science, history, language arts, engineering, political science, and many other disciplines come alive.

You can also use the interactive Story Maps builder to guide you through adding videos hosted on YouTube, Vimeo, and other sources.  That method is next on my list to try!

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