Elmhurst College’s Digital Earth MOOC

If you are attending the upcoming 2015 Association of American Geographers (AAG) annual meeting in Chicago, IL this year, Elmhurst College is one of the Chicagoland colleges doing noteworthy work in GIS and Geography that you might want to stop by and visit. Elmhurst College’s School for Professional Studies is offering a FREE 4-week (March 1-March 28), Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Skills for Digital Earth designed to introduce how location technologies are used in society.  The course will be taught by Judith Bock, Program Director, Department of Geography and Geosciences at Elmhurst. The MOOC is designed for those with no prior experience with geographic information systems (GIS) software all the way to advanced users. Continue reading “Elmhurst College’s Digital Earth MOOC”

Internship Experience: National Holocaust Museum

According to a 2013 poll of GIS professionals on GIS Lounge, half of the respondents held a GIS intership at the start of their career. Andrew Fomil is a good example of how geospatial professionals use interships to get started. A young GIS professional, he has worked at ESRI D.C. (paid internship), American Geophysical Union, and Thomson Reuters, but he got his start with an NSF GIS Internship at the National Holocaust Museum. He is currently a graduate student finishing his Geography/GISc Master’s Degree at West Virginia University which he hopes like many students, along with his work experience and portfolio, to qualify him for more advanced projects and GIS management. Here he answers some questions about his experience. Continue reading “Internship Experience: National Holocaust Museum”

USGIF 2015 Scholarship Applications Due by April 20th

The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation, USGIF Scholarship Program is now accepting applications for graduating high school seniors, undergraduates, graduates, and doctoral students in fields related to geospatial science. The deadline for submissions is April 20th.

VerySpatial interviewed the USGIF Director of Academic Programs, R. Maxwell Baber, PH.D. about the scholarships in 2009.

 

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GIS DAY 15th Anniversary: Take the way back machine

Take the way back machine to the first GIS Day in Spring of 1999. ESRI ARC News Online announced GIS Day 1999 Slated for November!  According to the press release, ESRI told users to “Get ready to learn more about GIS and geography. The National Geographic Society, the Association of American Geographers (AAG), and Esri are announcing the first annual GIS Day to be held November 19, 1999–the Friday of Geography Awareness Week (November 14-20, 1999)”.  According to Jack Dangermond, “The idea behind GIS Day is to create a single, worldwide event that effectively communicates the benefits and significance of GIS to the rest of society. There are about half a million GIS users in the world, but most of the public is unaware of this growing technology.”  It is difficult to comprehend that in the span of a little more than short years since that inaugural GIS Day, the world has experienced what Penn State calls the geospatial revolution significantly impacting the number of GIS users worldwide. Continue reading “GIS DAY 15th Anniversary: Take the way back machine”

Maps and U.S. (Mid-Term) Elections

Each year the number of media sources using interactive election maps increases, from search engines like Bing Elections to newspapers of record like the New York Times Elections 2014, to public television like PBS.org, or media like USA Today. Even Facebook has added an ‘I voted‘ button. Some are created in-house using geospatial software like ESRI GIS for Elections and Redistricting, others use mapping software like Google Maps, but interactive election maps are so important to election news reporting there is a market for companies like InstantAtlas, Axismaps, and others to sell election results reporting tools.  In 2012, Visual.ly provided a critique of Eight Different Takes on Presidential Election Maps, which remains relevant to the U.S. 2014 mid-term elections.

However, an Electoral College Map Activity from Colonial Williamsburg for the election of 1800, 270 to Win’s historic presidential election maps, and a project on A New Commonwealth Votes: Using GIS to Analyze the Politics of Turn of the Century Massachusetts demonstrate that mapping and GIS are engaging no matter the time period or the election. Although it is nice to see an elected officials office littered with maps whether they be on multiple monitors or strewn around the office as In Jefferson’s Cabinet, 1803.

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DigitalGlobe introduces PERSPECTIVES Magazine

DigitalGlobe, a commercial high-resolution earth imagery company, launched its aptly named e-magazine, PERSPECTIVES,  today. The trade magazine provides 52 pages of stunning imagery and detailed information on the satellite imagery and remote sensing industry. Although it focuses on DigitalGlobe technologies, the magazine provides insight into a broad swath of topic areas from mineral exploration to infrastructure to penguin migration.  PERSPECTIVES will provide articles, case studies, and technical papers in their upcoming issues.

 

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Geospatial Professionals, Law, and Law School

Geospatial technology is changing the legal environment in several distinct ways that have made the news recently. The first is the relatively new legal speciality of Spatial Law. According to GeoLaw, a Virginia law firm specializing in geospatial legal issues or Spatial Law, the rapid growth of geospatial technology has created the need for specialized knowledge of location based privacy, intellectual property rights in geospatial datasets, liability over spatial data, geo regulations, and national or other security issues.  GeoLaw maintains a Spatial Law and Policy Blog on Legal and Policy Issues associated with geospatial data and technology. It is the blog that you are directed to from The Centre For Spatial Law and Policy  which educates lawyers, businesses, government agencies, policy makers and others on the unique legal and policy issues associated with geospatial technology. Batchgeo maintains a map of top spatial law and policy stories around the world that the public or geospatial professionals can contribute, while it isn’t extensive it has current news for 2014. Continue reading “Geospatial Professionals, Law, and Law School”

Participate in a cartographic art project: Tweeting the NYCTA Graphics Standards

Massimo Vignelli continues to inspire cartographers, graphic designers, and artists with his New York City Transit Authority map standards. Artists, Niko Skourtis, Jesse Reed, and Hamish Smyth found a first edition Graphic Standard Manual designed by Vignelli in a locker beneath some old gym clothes.  According to an article in designTAXI, “Massimo Vignelli’s NYCTA Graphics Standards Manual Tweeted Page-By-Page“, the “The Standards Manual” project started on August 11 asks people to share the Standards Manual on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

It sounds like fun project and inspires its own question, “What other cartographic and geospatial manuals are gathering dust in old offices and on bookshelves that are worthy of being tweeted page-by-page?” standardsmanual

Nautical Miles: From Darwin to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

The diaries from sea voyages are thrilling, especially those that study marine biology.  From the first entry setting down the base coordinates to later entries listing nautical miles traveled. Although they take place almost two hundred years apart,  two sea voyages  are available online this week, Darwin’s Beagle Library  from Darwin’s voyage (1831) and Clean Our Oceans Refuge Coalition (COORC)  Alguita Expedition to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (2014).

Continue reading “Nautical Miles: From Darwin to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch”