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Monday, March 03, 2014

Skills for the Digital Earth, a four week Massive Open Online Course from Elmhurst College, is now open for registration. The course begins Sunday Mar 30 and will taught by Associate Professor in the Department of Geography & Geosciences, Dr. Rich Schultz. It's offered in partnership with the GeoTech Center.

Here's what you will learn:

Within this MOOC, participants will learn what location technologies are used for, how the discipline developed and learn by doing via a series of scaffolded practical exercises. Online spatial software will be employed for any device using a browser which takes users through exercises and real world examples. It is appropriate for those with no prior experience with geographic information systems (GIS) software all the way to advanced users.

And, from a course brochure/webpage, which includes full learning objectives and badges available, participants will:

  • Demonstrate fundamental basic geographic concepts and be exposed to the geospatial workforce.

  • Identify skills associated with the Geospatial Technology Competency Model (GTCM).

  • Display creative thinking skills, problem-solving, and decision making in geospatial technologies.

  • Use geospatial tools and technology and apply some business fundamentals using GIS.

  • Recognize employment opportunities in the geospatial industry.

  • Demonstrate the use of basic computer skills.

  • Demonstrate the use of business application software.

  • Demonstrate the use and interpretation of spatial data and data sources.

  • Demonstrate the core geospatial abilities which are consistent with those of someone working in the geospatial industry. 

Further, those who complete some or all of the course content will receive different credentials or credit at Elmhurst:

  • Upon successful completion of Modules 1-6, participants will be issued a certificate of completion. Upon successful completion of Module 7, participants will receive an additional certificate.
  • Module 1-6’s certificate of completion may be used as a waiver to GIS 100 Introduction to Geospatial Technologies, the first course in the Online Undergraduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems at Elmhurst College. 

The course is hosted on the relatively new Desire2Learn Open Courses platform. The platform has about ten courses (old and new) in its current catalog.

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/03 at 09:58 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Last week the Federal Aviation Administration put out what it hoped was a document to clarify the laws regarding the use of UASs in the United States.

It seems, per Eric Gakstatter writing in Geospatial Solutions that no one cares. His recent article describes many UAS users who are simply hoping to "fly under the radar."

And, lawyer Peter Sachs argues they are doing so legally. He argues, in a blog post that the FAA does not have legal authority over UASs. He is clearly working to get his message out; he tweeted the link to his blog post to many people including me, who tweeted about the FAA document.

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/03 at 06:33 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The U.S. City Open Data Census is a project of Code for America, the Sunlight Foundation, and the Open Knowledge Foundation to find out the state of open data in cities. 

The ongoing effort launched in early February and 20 city entries were added last weekend as part of Open Data Day. The Census assesses how cities are doing on releasing key datasets in open and machine readable formats. It evaluates not only what civic data are available, but how accessible and usable they are. The Census tracks almost twenty key datasets (full list) including: 

  • Code Enforcement Violations: Locations of reported housing code violations.
  • Crime Reports: Reported crimes and their location.
  • Expenditures: A complete list of city expenditures by transaction (including: tax breaks, loans, contracts, grants, and operational spending).
  • GIS – Zoning: The mapped zone (GIS) shapefiles of designated permitted land use.
  • Transit Routes: Public transit schedules, route maps and real-time location information.

The Code for America Blog shares some trends found in the first entries and you can see the status of and contribute to the Census here.

by Adena Schutzberg on 03/03 at 05:57 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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