I am the coauthor on a recently published invited article for a Special Issue on Informatics Scholarship in Polymath: An Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Journal. The paper, entitled “Telling the Story of Places: Experiential Learning through the Design and Development of Immersive Virtual Landscapes”, was written with Dr Susan Bergeron of the Department of Politics and Geography at Coastal Carolina University. The abstract states:
The notion of a unique spatial narrative, a story of an individual experience in a virtual landscape, can be a powerful tool in bringing informatics to education. Learning by experience is an innate part of our world, and we can leverage those life skills to actively involve students by not only providing them with an immersive virtual environment that can be explored, but also by actively involving students in the process of designing and developing the virtual landscape and its content. By participating directly in the process of creating the elements that will tell the story of a place, students learn about that place as they actively participate in building the virtual landscape and its story.
The full article is available from the Polymath webpage as a PDF.
While ArcGIS 10.2 will be released shortly we have gone with ArcGIS 10.1 for the fall ’13 semester for a few reasons.
- DoIT needed to get software on computers for the fall
- The workbook 1 for ArcGIS from Esri that I generally point students to just released the 10.1 edition
- For the first time in a LONG time, map documents are compatible across versions. If you install 10.2 on your faculty computer and save an mxd, you will be able to open that mxd in the labs on 10.1
All of that said, if you have heard about a feature in ArcGIS 10.2 that you want access to for your teaching/research/administrative activities let me know and we should be able to get your machine updated. Do keep in mind that our license does limit some uses, but it is very liberal.
Finally, if you would like access to our ArcGIS Online for Organizations credits, email your ArcGIS Online login (username, not the password) and I will add your account.
Enjoy the last few weeks of summer!
As I have told many a student, we will be adding a second track to our new Geoenvironmental Studies major in the Fall 2013 semester. The Geography track will act as somewhat of a counterpoint to the existing Geoscience track. The Geoscience track has a more direct Geology and science focus intended to prepare students for the study of the earth and its makeup. The Geography track will be more of a social science and human:environment interaction focus that will allow students to build on their core knowledge of earth science to understand how people impact (or are impacted by) the systems in which we live.
Both tracks will provide a strong core of study that will range from a broad understanding of the world from physical, cultural, and technological perspectives, to upper level classes that dig deeper into specific topics. The variations in the tracks allow an amount of freedom to consider specific interests while providing a solid focus for graduate study and opportunities in the workforce.
Feel free to swing by the department office in 213 Old Main or our website at http://uncp.edu/geo to find out more about the Geoenvironmental Studies major.
A quick thanks to everyone who came to the three intro GIS sessions in the fall semester. This semester I am taking a break from workshops unless there is specific interest. If you have a working group or simply a question, feel free to send me an email to arrange a get together, otherwise I am writing and GISing on a couple of older projects I want to wrap up.
I am planning a series of workshops for the next academic year that are more map and information/data centered (maybe even a little infographics) that are intended for a broad audience of faculty, staff, and students. If folks are interested I hope to make the series continuous with physical meetings every couple of weeks and an online compenent that will fill the gaps and allow more interaction and support. Maybe even an unconference, monkeys controlling the zoo, approach if everyone is into it.
More details as the semester progresses.
For those not familiar with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) such as ArcGIS, I plan to hold a two-hour informational session on Thursday, September 27 at 3:00 PM to cover what GIS is and how it might help you handle spatial/locational data in your discipline. This session will take place in 256 Old Main, the Cartography Lab.
On Thursday, October 18, I will host a two-hour session that will provide hands-on experience with ArcGIS Desktop. This session will focus on the interface and data access, but you will also have access to online training to go a little deeper on your own after the session.
On Thursday, November 1, I will host a two-hour hands-on session for ArcGIS Online that will focus on finding maps and data on ArcGIS.com as well as making your own map to share online.
If you are interested in attending any of these sessions, gaining access to the software, or accessing online training for the software please contact me via email at email@example.com.
As mentioned in the email I sent out to the faculty during Geography Awareness Week in November, I will attempt to schedule a first meeting for a campus GIS Users Group. There are a good number of folks on campus using GIS, but we have not had much communication since I arrived on campus a couple of years ago…which just happens to be when we got a campus wide software license. Check the campus GIS listserv (firstname.lastname@example.org) to put in your two cents worth on the schedule for the meeting and I will be sure to post the day/time and agenda. Primary on the agenda will be to make clear what software we carry licenses for and what open source options you might use to fill in the gaps for your teaching or research needs.