Wendy Nelson of URISA talks about this year’s GIS Pro conference in Portland, September 30 through October 4.
After the ESRI User’s Conference Plenary, I began to think about the many fictional organizations that would benefit from using ArcGIS online and other GIS technologies. So I began compiling a top 10 list by asking other attendees, ESRI employees, and organizations at booths on the conference center floor. Which fictional organization do you think is in the most dire need of using ArcGIS online or GIS in general.
Top Ten Organizations that need to use ArcGIS online
1. Eureka!/Warehouse 13
The overwhelmingly number 1 suggestion, which is also the first one I thought of, is the parent organization that runs the town of Eureka and Warehouse 13. They are both awesome tv shows which showcase the power of science and technology, but they are desperately missing any form of GIS. Most of the problems they face fall into two categories: 1) Scientists didn’t realize that projects they were working on individually, usually within proximity of each other, would interact in a way that would spell DOOM., 2) Scientists didn’t realize that projects they have been working on individually could have been integrated and collaborated together to prevent The End of the World, until the very last minutes of the show. They could be a case study in why a large organization spread out over the world needs ArcGIS online.
2 – 4. The number 2 suggestions all fell into the realm of, all ethics aside…, because these organizations are not working towards the good of mankind, like all the organizations showcased in the ESRI plenary. Instead, they are organizations that could use ArcGIS online to make their nefarious organizations more effective.
2. District 9
3. The Hunger Games/ Panem Districts
4. Lost/ Dharma Initiative
5-6. These organizations and some not listed (Like the IMF from Mission Impossible) are intelligence related agencies that have a habit of losing people or things that lead to big problems. Cloud mapping or on-line mapping would be very useful to them to keep track of all of their differenct cells, groups, and projects.
5. The Bourne Legacy/ Operation Outcome
7. & 8. Daily Planet (Superman) /Daily Bugle (Spiderman). For internationally recognized newspapers of record, the Daily Planet and the Daily Bugle operate like old gumshoe type newspapers instead of the technology driven newsrooms of today’s modern media – news is location driven. They need to use ArcGIS online just to collaborate on stories about Superman and Spiderman alone. Speaking of which, wouldn’t the Justice League operate more effectively using it as well?
9. The Day After Tomorrow. There is a special place in the heart of scientists for the disaster movie The Day After Tomorrow because on one hand it is an enjoyable movie, but on the other hand, they got so much of the science wrong. They could have used ArcGIS online and ArcPad several times throughout the movie, especially when they would hold up a handheld device, look at a sky map, and declare – “I know where I’m going. The library is that way!”
10. Caddy Shack/ Bushwood Country Club . The top 10 fictional organization that needs ArcGIS Online is the Bushwood Country Club from Caddy Shack. There wouldn’t have been so many extra holes on the golf course, if they had used cloud computing to report any unusual gopher activity.
Honorable mentions: I would like to mention another two organizations that people mentioned could benefit from ArcGIS online or other product.
11. The Big Bang Theory/Harold Walowitz. It has been pointed out that Harold Walowitz spends a lot of time developing technology for space. It makes sense that he would be working with remote sensing.
12. Diablo III. Would there be a Diablo III video game if Cain was able to hold onto his knapsack that contained important information or if people could report finding Cain’s knapsack and uploading the location and his research. They could have analyzed it all via ArcGIS online and solved the game in half the time. Or maybe that is just my own frustration at being stuck on Level 11.
Do you have any suggestions for companies that could have benefited from using ArcGIS online or other GIS products?
Last night we had a few folks over to the VerySpatial (rental) condo for a get together. Frank and Barb did most of the cooking (BBQ Chicken, brats, burgers, veggies, corn, deviled eggs, etc…) with Sue as hostess and I was sue chef and dishwasher. We had folks from Esri, Esri Australia, the newly anointed Esri Melbourne R&D (aka Maptel) office, Chatham County Georgia, WVU, and others (apologies I forgot some). We are really happy with the turn out and had a blast meeting and talking with everyone. Again, we want to thank everyone for taking time out of a crazy UC week to celebrate our 7th anniversary with us!
For our Like4Trees campaign, we didn’t make the 250 likes we had hoped for, but we made a good go with 75. We will add in the number of folks who came last night to push up the amount of our donation to the Greenbelt Movement.
First, no geobloggers tables so typing here is going to be a major, major pain. So please excuse the brevity, typos and other errors. Second, the wifi is as wonkey as you’d expect when 15k geo nerds hit it at the same time. They’ve dimmed the lights and we’re off with the customary intro video. Jack takes the stage. Giving us our welcome and telling us to say howdy do to the neighbors. As normal, I’m typing this instead :). So virtual howdy do to those reading now.
I just jury rigged a ‘desktop’ so I can type. It’s almost comical. All I can say is thank god Barb wear’s scarfs.
Jack is back chatting. He’s talking a bit about what types of things we’re doing. Its the normal jury list of things we do – transportation, environmental conservation, energy exploration, etc. Fun fact, for the first time ever, the Michelen Maps are done by ArcMap. The Mars lander is using ESRI products to help find its way around (“God I hope they got the projection right” – Jack). He’s talking about GIS infrastructure.
We’re seeing the 2012 SAG winners – congrats to them all. Big round of applause! A special award is going for the Trust for Public Lands. They want to protect public lands so people have parks to enjoy. I’m assuming their GIS staff basically keeps track of that land. They’re shooting for everyone to be within a 10 minute walk of a park or other outdoor recreation space. I’m sure that was a bit of hyperbole, but good luck to them! Next the US EPA is getting a special award for their work. The EPA employees are standing for applause. That was kinda cool of him doing that. Jack picked EPA because they’ve worked hard to integrate science into public policy using GIS as the platform.
With only a week to go, I wanted to remind everyone that we are in the last week of our Like4Trees campaign. We will donate $1 per person who has liked the VerySpatial Facebook page by July 25th to the Greenbelt Movement (up to $250). Everyone who likes the Facebook page will also be in the running for one of two Keep Cups that you will be able to customize to your hearts content.
We also have a couple of spots left for folks to attend our A VerySpatial Evening, Wednesday 25 July at our condo a couple of blocks from the San Diego convention center. We will have food, beverages, and plenty of geoconversation. If you would like to reserve a spot, please contact us.
Finally, if you are going to be at the Esri EdUC or UC and would like to talk to us about your project, product or just to say ‘hi’ then give us a shout and we will setup a time to meet. Or, if you see us wandering around, just stop us and we will be happy to chat, unless we are running to another interview, of course.
Hope to see you in San Diego!
This year’s Insights Conference has come and gone this week. There seems to be little in the way of large announcements coming out of the event but I will point you to a few places you can catch on what happened down in the Big Easy.
You have probably seen this everywhere by now. Cary Huang and his brother Michael Huang have an updated Scales of the Universe 2 which puts the scales of a surprising many entities from countries to geographies to planets, people, and protoplasm into perspective. I also enjoyed the many variations of their scales, such as the original Scales of the Universe with the ability to swirl objects or make them fall. It is like being on a roller coaster of scale. On their website, htwins.net, they have other interactive simulations like a Tidepool. According to ABC News, Cary and his brother Michael are brothers who created this projects as a fun activity. It took them a year and a half to collect all of their data and put together the graphics. They were inspired by their biology class teacher to do citizen science.
One of the reasons I enjoy going to the ESRI plenary is the chance to see the great ideas and projects that young geographers pursue after being inspired by people around them. Many organizations have mentoring programs such as ESRI’s GeoMentor Program and the Annual Association of Geographer’s (AAG) Ask a Geographer and other mentoring programs. When I first used the Scales of the Universe 2, I expected the creators to be college students or adults. The fact that they are young adults, who were inspired to do it by an educator, and then have it go viral, in turn educating many, many other people around the world who otherwise wouldn’t be interested in geography, science, or technology makes it bigger than the interactive simulation itself. It highlights the impact of readily available technology, the importance of mentors, and the one of the roles of citizen scientists in science diplomacy. The Huangs and other young people act as ambassadors for the fields that their projects touch on to the larger world.
I hope that they think about attending the many geography programs for young adults that are available and one day see them up on the ESRI plenary talking about their next big project.
I am just beginning to watch the video from today’s press event at Mountain View, and while it apparently ends with a few announcements it begins with a great history of Google Earth/Maps going all the way back to SGI and Keyhole to the process of building (and filling) Google Maps. Take a look to see the history, uses, and future of Googles approach to geo.
If you have met me, you know that I would love to teach a geography class using the book World War Z by Max Brooks, a journalist who uses a zombie apocalypse to discuss current events and world geography. David Hunter, a middle school teacher in Seattle, Washington beat me to the punch. He is asking for help on Kickstarter to create a Grade 5-8 Standards Based curriculum “Learning Geography skills through a Zombie Apocalypse Narrative”. His concept is not as far fetched as it seems. At the WV Association for Geospatial Professionals conference this week Sheila Wilson, Executive Director of the GIS Certificate Institute (GISP) started off her talk with the CDC Zombie Preparedness Guide. She talked about how in the guide a GIS team who were prepared to spatially analyze zombie hot spots, were prepared for anything. According to Cartographia, Austin TX has been prepared for a zombie outbreak since 2007.
Joking aside, I think that the zombie apocalypse creates a “sandbox” for researchers, educators, and society to analyze and understand complex, interconnected geospatial issues in a non-threatening way. I’m not the only one who feels this way. Edward Gonzalez-Tennant a geography professor at Monmouth University is hopefully going to be presenting a paper on “Popular Culture and GIS: Using Geospatial Technologies to Model and Prepare for the Zombie Apocalyze.” at the 2012 ESRI Education User’s Conference (EDUC). There is also a 2012 ESRI International User’s session dedicated to Health, Behavior, and Zombies. Preparing for zombie outbreaks on Earth is inspiring geospatial professionals to innovate and think big much like Star Trek has inspired decades of engineers.
If you want to experience your own zombie attack, Class 3 Outbreak is a zombie outbreak simulator played via Google maps at hundreds of locations world wide.
Summer time is a great time for students of all ages to learn about GIS and geospatial technologies because it is a very hands-on technology. There are often GIS summer camps being offered at local colleges or incorporated into the general activities of 4-H and other camps. Some examples of upcoming summer camps by age group include:
The GeoX: Geosciences Exploration Summer Program is a FREE one-week program for high-achieving high school juniors and seniors by being offered by Texas A & M (June 1-8, 2012). It combines a mixture of classroom, campus, and field trips, along with technical and career skills. The geosciences, especially geography, is a field that takes more recruitment at the high school level because of the misconception that geography is only being able to name all the countries in the world. This is changing as more high school outreach programs like this one introduce students to real life applications of geospatial skills and awareness. Application deadline is: April 9
The TwiST GIS Summer Camp is offered by the Institute for the Application of Geospatial Technologies (IAGT), Cayuga Community College, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, the National Geospatial Technology Center, CIESIN and the New York State GIS Association to coincide with the Teaching with Spatial Technology (TwiST) Workshop for educators (June 28 – July 1). Students learn geospatial technologies such as GIS, GPS, and remote sensing by working on a real world project. Many STEM educators believe that junior high is one of the best times to get students interested in science, technology, and math related careers. Scholarships are available.
The Harbor Discoveries Camp is offered by the New England Aquarium (July 9 – 24, 2012). It is an interactive marine and environmental science program that uses geospatial technologies. Some of the activities include behind–the-scenes activities at Aquarium galleries, “excursions to Boston Harbor Islands, daily field trips to North and South Shore habitats, and an overnight experience.” Older students who have attended the camp are eligible to apply to be teachers and camp counselors. Many aquariums, museums, and nature preserves offer similar programs for students who don’t want to attend away camps.
The Teaching with Spatial Technology (TwiST) Workshop offered by the IAGT and Cayuga Community College (June 25-28, 2012) is designed to teach K-12 teachers and college faculty members in the United States how to teach and empower through geospatial technologies in the classroom. In 2011, the TwiST workshop was recognized in an Esri Special Achievements in GIS Award for 11 years of geospatial education. Scholarships are available. Application deadline is: April 15
The “SATELLITES” (Students And Teachers Exploring Local Landscapes to Interpret The Earth from Space) K12 Summer Teacher Institute at the University of Toledo (July 9-13, 2012) is an award winning teacher education program focusing on geospatial technology and climate change and student research projects. The SATTELITES teachers have gone to the have gone to the White House Science Fair for the past two years.
Application Deadline: April 17, 2012
ESRI Kid’s Camp
Don’t forget that if you are attending the 2012 ESRI User’s Conference this year, they offer a GIS Kids Camp (July 24-26, 2012) Many summer conferences offer geospatial education programs for kids attending the conference with their parents.
If you know of any upcoming summer camps, post them in the comments section.