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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Spatial Happenings in Hannibal, NY

Kudos to Bob Jones and all his supporters in Hannibal, NY! They've launched a great effort to integrate spatial thinking into their schools.

Check it out!

Monday, October 06, 2008

ESRI Education Users Conference 2008 Debriefed

Okay, so it's been a couple of months since our annual trek to San Diego, but here's what I saw this year. Here are my highlights...sorry for the delay!

From the Education Team at the opening Plenary Session:
The Community Atlas Program is still alive and well.
There are some cool things happening with the ESRI Development Center
Take note of the addition of ArcLogistics!

The Ed Community site ( )has some new things to offer as it grows with the community:
Submit presentations on the calendar area
Request Teacher Education materials
Instructional Videos
Community Profiles

On the Curriculum scene:
4 new books! The Our World Series. Take a look! They're great resources for any age classroom that wants to integrate GIS.
Video Tutorials
Monthly Webinars

Check out the new benefits of the ArcGIS 9.3 version!

ArcGIS Explorer offers some new goodies too!
a resource center
bioblitz data
quick menu
KML features
GeoRSS feed

The Keynote from Anne Knowles was fascinating! Her new book, Placing History: How Maps, Spatial Data and GIS Are Changing Historical Scholarship, is available from ESRI Press. It was so refreshing to hear history spotlighted with spatial information. It seems that we have to continue to convince folks involved in the liberals arts that spatial thinking not only has a place in their curriculum and research but is necessary to keep it current and relevant for today's generation of students. She offered some great examples of maps and data. Check out her books!

The THINKING IN 3-D session was a fun exercise in brain theory. We explored and discovered our "favorite brain", or side of the brain while becoming acquainted with the ins and outs of all the elements that make us who we are. "Each brain is an antidote to the overuse of the other." In summation our instructor related these innate tendencies to tackling GIS problems. If you ever have a chance to dissect your personality and brain tendencies, give it a go! It's good to know thyself!

Exploring ArcGIS Analysis Methods and Geoprocessing session offered some great background information on analysis. Highlights for me included: 5 Steps (Formulate a question; Collect, Explore and Pre-process data; Choose analysis tools and methods; Create models to implement analysis; Interpret results and refine methodology) and Working with the Model builder in the tool box.

The GIS Data and Resources session offered some amazing resources. As a curriculum developer, I'm always looking for new data!
Here are a few mentioned:
ArcGIS Online

Otherwise, I enjoyed the networking opportunities that these events offer! I reconnected with a colleague from Australia as well as others from around the USA. If you want to get the latest scoop on GIS, consider making the trek to San Diego for the annual ESRI International Users Conference.