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Sunday, August 27, 2006

GIS Help and Outreach

What other GIS resources are available to me as an educator?
by Shannon H. White, Ph.D.
Courses and other training
  • Colleges, universities and community colleges
  • Many educational institutions offer courses in GIS. There are few courses designed for educators and integration of GIS in the K-16 setting. Check with your local college, university and community colleges for GIS related courses.
  • ESRI Virtual Campus
    ESRI has a Virtual Campus ( with discounted online courses for educators. These courses are based upon a variety of ESRI products. They have been developed so that those enrolled can work at their own pace. These are a good place to start for novices and as a review for the more advanced users.
  • Other Training
    There are numerous training opportunities offered by organizations and agencies. The KanGIS website is one location to locate GIS training, workshops, institutes that are upcoming across the nation and world. ( There are also companies such as GISEtc ( that offer GIS training for schools and communities. ESRI also has a "Friends of GIS Education" list of companies and agencies ( ). They support GIS education with products, training, and resources.


This is not a complete list but a few of our favorites focused on GIS in Education!

GIS Books For and About Educators

  • GIS in the Classroom: Using Geographic Information Systems in Social Studies and Environmental Science by Dr. Marsha Alibrandi (2003) Heinemann Press
  • GIS in Schools by Richard Audet and Gail Ludwig (2000) ESRI Press
  • Mapping Our World: GIS Lessons for Educators by Lyn Malone, Anita Palmer, Christine Voigt (2002) ESRI Press
  • Community Geography: GIS in Action by Kim English and Laura Feaster (2003) ESRI Press
  • Community Geography: Teachers Guide by Lyn Malone, Anita Palmer, Christine Voigt (2003) ESRI Press
  • The Essentials of the Environment by Joseph Kerski and Simon Ross (2005) Hodder Arnold
  • A to Z GIS: An Illustrated Dictionary of Geographic Information Systems by Shelly Sommer and Tasha Wade, Editors (2006) ESRI Press

GIS Software Reference books

  • Getting to Know ArcView GIS (1997) ESRI Press
  • Getting to Know ArcGIS Desktop (2001) ESRI Press
  • GIS for Everyone 3rd Edition (2003) ESRI Press
  • GPS Reference books
  • Fun with GPS by Donald Cooke (2005) ESRI Press
  • GPS for Dummies by Joel McNamara (2004) For Dummies Press
  • How to Do Everything with your GPS by Rick Broida (2003)
  • GPS Mapping by Rich Owings (2005)

Agencies and Organizations

There are numerous local, state, regional, and national agencies and organizations that are helpful to educators. They may come to your school to give a presentation; to help you find data; to donate hardware such as a used plotter, to help answer your GIS questions. GIS partners in your community can help your bring GIS to your students. They bring real life problems, experiences and GIS work to your classroom.Suggestions of GIS partners may include:
In your city, town or county:

  • local GIS office
  • local police, fire and rescue services
  • local utility companies and departments (electric, natural gas, water, sewer, etc)
  • tax assessors office or deed office
  • city planner
  • historic commission
  • voter registration
  • community colleges, colleges, universities (look for Geography departments or search GIS on their website)

In your State:

National Agencies and Organizations

International Resources

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Day 4 EdUC: Resources and Ideas

The theme of my Day 4 was without question "Resources and Ideas." Dr. Shannon White presented this morning her continued research on "Sustaining K-12 GIS" by continuing her case study of the Martin Middle School experience. She and I also presented our "Exploring Resources in the K-12 Classroom." We shared the stage with some excellent folks from University of Redlands and Mr. Wadwani from Applied Field Data Systems. We also joined the discussion at the Education Research SIG meeting.

We've had a great conference and are headed back to the east coast to continue making a difference in education, GIS and otherwise.

Everyone can zap us at  or !

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Other GIS Education Blogs

ESRI EdUC Day 1 & 2: Computers and Workshops and Sessions, Oh MY!

Day 1: After the opening session, we hit the ground running, I saw a map design lab and an excellent presentation by the folks from Montanta about their project Science Goes Spatial (
Day 2:
Today was an exciting journey in the computer lab for me! I had the chance to customize buttons, and an opportunity to practice and learn more about ArcMap and ArcIMS! We learned how to take *.jpegs of historical maps and georeference them with current maps. It was just TOO MUCH fun for a map geek!!! If you're interested on the how-to, I'll be happy to share. More on the geek train...I was working on html and java code in the ArcIMS customizing session.

Other than that I was encouraged by the great turnout for the Curriculum Developers SIG. Charlie Fitzpatrick and George Dailey ( led us in an outstanding discussion of:

  • What's in place?
  • What are you doing?
  • What's needed?
I'm excited about the future of GIS in Education!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Opening Session ESRI Education Users Conference ~San Diego, CA

What a great opening session! With much more to come, we're inspired and encouraged to make a difference in spatial thinking and geographic awareness.

Here are my high points:

If you have a site license then you might want to check out...
ESRI Software Promotion for GIS Students at Institutions
with a Campus-Wide Site License


2006 ArcLessons Challenge (it's a contest!)

On the research front:

Spatial Thinking report
Learning to Think Spatially

Check out the new Training website


From American Association of Geographers
AAG publishes GIS& T Body of Knowledge in Collaboration with UCGIS

Allen Carroll from National Geographic recommends:

My Wonderful World
Map Machine
Conservation GeoPortal