I am continuing my cool stuff posts with the most amazing 3D periodic table of elements. Since the earth and everything on it are made of up these elements, I figured it is in fact geography-related. Each element in the periodic table is represented by a clear lucite block with a sample of the element embedded inside. For dangerous or ephemeral elements, the sample is replaced by a symbol or a photo of the person the element was named after. The periodic table is assembled by stacking the blocks in their appropriate location to create the 3D display. You can also buy a lovely illuminated frame to hold the blocks. Now, again, such lovely items do not come cheap, as the large size set of blocks complete with illuminated frame will run you over $17,000US. Still, it would be worth if I had that kind of money just lying around. Apparently the company, Theodore Gray, did their first installation at DePauw University in Indiana So, if you are at DePauw, head over to the new Julian Science and Math Center and take a look, then send us some photos or email us with your thoughts on whether it is, in fact, the coolest periodic table around.
For those of you interested in using GIS and remote sensing in conservation-related activities, the Smithsonian National Zoological Park’s Conservation and Research Center is offering a week-long advanced GIS and remote sensing course from Sept. 11-15th at their facility in Virginia. They still have some slots left, and this would be a really good chance for people to learn about specific applications and issues related to Conservation GIS. The price is $1300, but does include lodging and breakfast.
A seventh grade geography teacher in Jefferson county Colorado was suspended for refusing to remove flags of nations from his classroom. Apparently Colorado has a state law the forbids displaying foreign flags unless they’re related to the curriculum at hand and temporary.
Gee, when I was in school they wanted you to actually know the flags. My how things have changed! If you’re in the Colorado area, I urge you to call your state represenatives about this issue. Banning flags in a geography class seems…. weird. Punishing a teacher for doing so seems down right stupid.
This past week, ESRI announced they have prepared a series of videos highlighting various aspects of GIS that can be used for GIS Day activities. I am a little late in blogging this, but we just talked to the ESRI rep at the GIS Day booth at the EdUC, and we’ve already picked up a CD. The videos will be available for free from the GIS Day booth at the User Conference here in San Diego. For those of you who can’t attend, I will try to find out how to get a copy, although there is probably info on the GISDay website.
It’s not too early to start planning you GIS Day 2006, since November 15th is right around the corner, so get cracking!
Ed emailed us with a nice roundup of open courseware directories and clearinghouses. We have posted about a couple of them previously, but I thought it would be good to highlight them again along with several new ones that Ed mentioned. For those of you who don’t know, open courseware refers to online material from actual college and university courses. A number of big schools have led the way in placing course materials online, including MIT, UC Berkeley, and Carnegie-Mellon here in the US and the University of Tokyo in Japan.
Open Courseware Directory
Open Courseware Finder
Open Courseware Consortium
MIMA Search engine
The Stingy Scholar – (Wayfaring map interface for university podcasts, etc.)
I am sure there are others out there, and open courseware is a great way to increase your knowledge about topics you’re interested in, so definitely take a look at what’s out there.
Penn State is offering a summer camp for 12-18 year-olds to give kids hands-on experience with GIS, GPS, and other geospatial technologies. The camp will be held from July 31st-August 4th at Penn State’s University Park campus. I think this is a great idea, and I wish we could get something like that started here. When we have hosted high school and middel school students in the past, they have really been excited when they can actually use GIS, even if it’s just panning and zooming around to find features or making simple maps.
If you’d like to find out more info, check out the camp’s webpage
I was looking up some domain names to register (I always look, but only own 2 domains) and thought of geography101.com. When I found it was taken I had to go see what great site had grabbed up that morsel of education goodness. I was definitely disappointed by what I found.
The URL forwarded me to maps101.com, another great domain name sure, but a login blocked web site that tauts that they are “The online learning program for teachers, librarians, students and parents, featuring thousands of maps, classroom activities, educational quizzes and more”. Unfortunately I will never know if this is true since there is not a single piece of information that can be accessed without logging in…other than subscription information that is.
With so many web companies realizing that in order to better monetize their products they have to loosen the reigns a little you would think more companies would take note. If you are an education oriented website with thousands of items, couldn’t you put a few out for people who stumble by to take a look? Even the Discovery Channel’s new education service/website (the name is escaping me) offers a few samples to get you hooked before you plunk down the cash to join. I am not suggesting that Maps101.com shouldn’t pay a few salaries, just provide a little content to help educate the masses AND lure the interested in for more.
Either way, if you are at an institution that has Maps101, leave a comment or send us a review to post so that we can know what it is like in the inner sanctum.
I should point out that they do mention a Free Trial option. But come on, we are on the web, who has the attention span to sign up for a free trial that doesn’t pop-up right away.
Adena over at AllPoints Blog posted about MapPros! this morning, and I also think it’s a great idea. I especially like the profile of people actually working with geospatial technologies, and I hope they are able to expand these sections in the future. You should definitely check this site out, and I think I am going to forward the link to all of our faculty and advanced students.
GITA and AAG have completed their Phase I report, entitled “Defining and Communicating Geospatial Industry Workforce Demand”, as part of the Department of Labor grant on the geospatial workforce. It is available for viewing and download at the AAG website at http://www.aag.org/giwis.
They are actively seeking comments, and I think that all of us who are involved in GIS and geospatial technologies should at least take a look at the report, and offer up comments if possible.