Monday, July 21, 2014

Serious GIS

A great new site from Garry Simmons, who has really taken ArcGIS and explored what it can do in the Geography classroom. He's also shared what he can do in a number of places, but now has the Serious GIS website, where materials will be appearing over the year ahead.

You may wish to read about a regional CPD day in October that Garry is organising with Jason Sawle of ESRI. Details here (PDF download) 

At £25 for the day that looks like a bit of a bargain !!

Journey to the Centre of Google Earth...

Via @olimould on Twitter, a link to an article by Simon Sellars (@ballardian ) on Google Earth.

The article also links to a range of Google Earth projects.

Clement Valla's Postcards from Google Earth

The Nine Eyes of Google Street View

Some interesting points made about the nature of Google Earth, and some implications of the capturing of places at moments in time...

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Learn ArcGIS

A brand new site for ESRI ArcGIS products.
Looks great - and has ideas and information for those wanting to develop their GIS skills.

Don't forget to get the ArcGIS Explorer App too if you have a Mac with the latest OS X version....

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Crime statistics

For those of you who might be using the POLICE.UK website to explore crime statistics, here's a useful interactive from the Office for National Statistics.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

New ArcGIS Online features

A load of new features have been released for use by those who subscribe to (or use) ArcGIS Online.
Check out the summary here on the ArcGIS Blog.

The first of these is the ArcGIS StoryMap Journal App, which I shall write a separate blog post to describe. This is one of my (many) summer holiday projects.

Check the ArcGIS Blog for the details on the new release for July.

There's a LIVING ATLAS OF THE WORLD web app.

There's also the USGS Historical Topographic Map Explorer 

The ESRI Collector App is also improved.
Check this Joseph Kerski video which shows how he used it to collect data in the field on a smartphone.

There's also a new Explorer app for iPad

Add in a range of new analysis tools and other bits and there's plenty to get excited about....
If only I had a long holiday ahead to get to grips with it all...

New QGIS resources - available to trial - feedback welcome

A few months ago, I had a conversation with Charlotte Graves, who is developing some teaching materials and approaches for QGIS (a free Open-source GIS package)

The materials are now available to use and trial. Details are available HERE.

There is a questionnaire connected to the trial, which will help Charlotte to create further materials, and those which are of as much relevance as possible. This was part of her research, as she explains here:

The aim of my research was to create a plugin for QGIS that would encourage and support the use of GIS in schools at minimum cost and with as much ease as possible.

I am now in the final stages of my dissertation and the QGISforSchools plugin is ready for testing. 

It takes the form of a QGIS plugin that provides 3 units (on Population & Development, Tourism and Earthquakes) that provides a student (or teacher) who is new to GIS with a step-by-step introduction to the software. The intention is that the software is simply used to explore the Geographical topic, rather than to teach the user how to use the software on his/her own.

I would be very grateful if you could spare some time to test the plugin and provide some feedback for my dissertation, and to inform the future development of the plugin.

The steps for testing the plugin can be found at the link above.

Charlotte has also provided a useful list of suggested resources for those who want to explore GIS in more detail.

Monday, June 23, 2014


DataShine is another opportunity to access data from the Census 2011.
There are some good opportunities for filtering and displaying the data in various ways.

Thanks to Oliver O'Brien for the lead to DATASHINE. This map below, for example, focusses on properties that are usually empty.
This is Windermere in the Lake District, and the red colour tells you that the houses are mostly empty, which means that they are second properties. What impact does this have on those communities ?
Which other areas have lots of red properties ?

This would fit nicely with the enquiry in Chapter 10 of my book 'Fieldwork through Enquiry'.

You could also use it to create mystery type questions. E.g. which religion is shown in red in these cities ?

Use the tool or your knowledge of the Midlands to find out the answer...

Thursday, June 19, 2014

FieldTrip GB

One of the questions that I had at the recent courses was on the use of fieldtrip apps.
I've had the app on my phone for a while but hadn't explored it, but was prompted to take another look by the question, but also by the work that I saw from Sevenoaks and other schools, who were starting to use it.

The app itself is created by EDINA, who have also created Digimap for Schools.
I wrote the Secondary teaching materials to go alongside the Digimap for Schools platform, and also for their MapStream service (OS maps streamed into a GIS client like QGIS) and am about to start work on the

There is a DESKTOP site to go alongside the app, which can be used to create DATA CAPTURE FORMS. These can be used on the site to capture data at specific points, which can then be exported in KML or CSV format.

I've been experimenting with this, and there are still a few areas I need to explore further to ensure that it works for me....
Here's a form I created for a trip to Sevenoaks tomorrow...

Sustainable Fish map

Another map built on ESRI's StoryMap template for ArcGIS Online (a summer project)

A Danish map providing advice on selecting and identifying sustainable fish species in various sea areas.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Doddle GIS resource

Free resource from Doddle (a Boardworks link)
ICT, GIS and Fieldwork...
Would make a good starting point for discussions - a nice sample...

'Feels like' temperature maps for the UK

View Larger Map

Another map which was shared in the last few days, created by the ESRI UK Education Team

Now a live humidity map too...

ArcGIS Online map of Terrestrial eco-regions...

View Larger Map

One of several new maps that I came across today .... Keep checking back for more new maps as I come across them...

Saturday, June 07, 2014

The course that wasn't...

I have an embarrassing day on Thursday when running one of the final Google Earth and Beyond courses for the GA.
The internet at the venue didn't work for the first hour and a quarter of the day, and then came and went during the day, so the course was 'cancelled' but we hung on and I ran through a condensed version of events... less time for ArcGIS Online in the afternoon, which is a pity.
Apologies once again to those who made the journey to London, and thanks to the delegates who hung on and persevered with the day for your kind feedback.

Thanks also to Catrin, who sent through one of the outcomes that she had produced following the course, based on Snowdonia, and with a series of tasks and questions with layers to turn on and off... Really nice work.

Friday, June 06, 2014

ESRI Ed Community - ArcLessons

ArcLessons is a community for users of ArcGIS Online who share their lessons.
Although not all of the lessons are based on Geography, there are some ideas which you could adapt to Geography..
Some great contributions from Joseph Kerski, and also from Bob Lang.
For delegates at the GA course, I shall be putting some of these resources in the Dropbox area...

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Graeme Eyre - 2009 vintage...

Still some interesting ideas to pick out of this... Things have moved on in the five years since Graeme produced it, so the final bits have now been sorted anyway with other mapping tools, but nice ideas to adapt...