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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Census Mobile Quiz: Statistical Literacy of U.S. Population

The U.S. Census Bureau today released Census PoP Quiz, a new interactive mobile application that challenges users' knowledge of demographic facts for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The new app, which draws from the Census Bureau's American Community Survey, aims to raise statistical literacy about the U.S. population.

I'd love for educators to let me know if this raises statistical literacy about the U.S. and how that fits into schools standards and goals.
GeoHumanities at Penn State

[Hélène] Huet, a doctoral candidate in the Department of French and Francophone Studies, is writing her dissertation on the works of and the relationships between some of the writers, publishers and illustrators of the Decadent movement in late 19th-century France. She found that the writers’ proximity to their publishers played a role in shaping their collaborations.

She did her research using ArcGIS but found author's locations via Google Earth.
ArcGIS MOOC Returns Sept 1
An updated version of the GIS Basics MOOC (enroll) offered by Pace University professor Peggy Minnis will start on September 1. The new version titled Desktop GIS (syllabus) will again focus on ArcGIS Desktop 10.2 but the course is now structured around three units across its 12 weeks. More at APB.

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/21 at 03:40 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

An updated version of the GIS Basics MOOC (enroll) offered by Pace Uneiversity professor Peggy Minnis will start on September 1. The new version titled Desktop GIS (syllabus) will again focus on ArcGIS Desktop 10.2 but the course is now structured around three units across its 12 weeks:

1. In the first unit, basic principles of mapping, sourcing data online, converting the data to a useable format and making a annotated map will be accomplished
2. In the second unit, new data will be created, addresses will be found, selections will be made, buffers created, GPS data will be collected and integrated with digital photographs.
3. The third unit will use some of the common extensions:  3D, Spatial Analyst and Publisher.

Students can obtain badges for completing each unit. Students completing the whole course including the creation of a portfolio will receive a certificate.

Learn more about the original course in a series of articles at Directions Magazine.

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/21 at 03:34 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The patent Systems and methods for generating electronic map displays with points-of-interest information based on reference locations was granted yesterday to MapQuest. Today, rumor is the company is shutting down its Lancaster, PA location (where two of the inventors of this patent, at least, appear to work) and sending everyone to Denver.


Methods and systems are provided for generating an electronic map display. In one implementation, a method is provided for receiving route information associated with a route having an origination point and a destination point, determining a location of a reference point along the route, assigning a spatial identifier to the reference point, searching for points of interest (POIs) in a search area associated with the spatial identifier, ranking, using a processor, the POIs based on distances of POIs from the location of the reference point, and providing POI information for an electronic map display, wherein the POI information is associated with one or more POIs and selected based on the ranking of the POIs.

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/20 at 11:03 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The Future of Maine

The Maine Futures Community Mapper (MFCM) is a web-based tool that helps Mainers: (1)identify locations that are most suitable for future development, conservation, agricultural uses, or forestry; (2) identify potential conflicts and compatibilities between different land uses; and(3) envision their future landscape under different possible scenarios of change.

The tool is very slick! (map at right)

Wyoming Primary: Find Your Voting Location and See the Ballot

Start by going here:

Sadly, there are about 10 steps to get to the ballot. The good news: they are listed here.
Wisconsin's Traffic Fatalities Back to 2001

The feature rolled out Tuesday is the result of a partnership with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Bureau of Transportation Safety and the Wisconsin Traffic Operations and Safety Laboratory.

The Google Map solution categorizes fatalities by  Bike,  Pedestrian, Speed, Construction Zone and Motorcycle.

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/20 at 03:50 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Last week, I chaired a workshop on geospatial intelligence, part of the Space and Missile Defense Symposium's STEM program. During the morning session we focused on domestic homeland security and convened a panel of public safety officials from the Huntsville, Alabama region. Panelists included representatives from the Huntsville/Madison County Emergency Management Agency, Civil Air Patrol, County Sheriff's Office, Volunteer Fire departments and the city's GIS department.

We asked the question, "If you had a UAV available to you in an emergency would you use it?" There was skepticism and doubt about how the UAV would be utilized. When so many things are needed in emergency situations, are UAVs just one more thing to manage? Would the information be as useful as anticipated? Would it really be available in a timely manner? Good questions and not something I had thought of as my natural reaction had been "of course they would want it and use it!" Why would there be reluctance at all?

Consequently and as importantly we also discussed the current situation with the pending policy being deliberated and crafted by the FAA. More questions arose."Why is it taking so long?" to "Why are we a third world country when it comes to UAVs?"

It took someone more knowledgeable about the process to offer me some thoughtful insights, however my source will remain anonymous.

In the context of why the FAA is taking its time to get the policy correct and why it must enforce restrictions on commercial use of UAVs, he said this: "You don't want someone screwing up the situation. It's too important." In short, we need the FAA to be deliberate in formulating a policy that works. And, while many companies are anxious to launch profitable commercial operations, one tragic accident, one individual who violates current guidelines and goes rogue could very easily delay and impede the progress that would lead to sound policy that allows smooth integration of UAVs into the NAS.

We all realize that UAVs could and will revolutionize the mapping industry. It's already happening. But in the U.S. we are focused on setting the standard for safety and that's a key reason why the FAA must take its time. It's also a reason to police those who violate the current restrictions. We in the geospatial technology sector are at a critical juncture and we would be wise to err on the side of thoughtful deliberation of good policy rather than pushing the envelope until someone tells us to "stop."

Be sure to join our upcoming webinar on Operating UAVs in U.S. Airspace - the Legal Implications on August 27th.

by Joe Francica on 08/17 at 10:01 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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