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Welcome to A Year of Resources in Review: 2011 , This newsletter contains highlights from our newsletters from 2011.
GISetc

A Year of Resources in Review: 2011 

We've compiled a recap of our favorite shared resources from 2011 to give you a wealth of materials to kick start the new semester. We are excited to bring you the latest and greatest in free resources, geospational information, classroom materials, technology sharing and more in the coming year. 

We are proud of the work we do and the resources we gather. We encourage you to forward this newsletter and share these 21st century tools with your coteachers, friends and administrators. If it's geospatial and it's new - you'll hear about it from GISetc! We wish you a successful and exciting 2012! 

Free Resources Review 2011

  • As parts of Central America and the U.S. Southwest endure some of the worst droughts to hit those areas in decades, scientists have unearthed new evidence about ancient dry spells that suggest the future could bring even more serious water shortages. Read more about Ancient Dry Spells, Megadroughts and the Future of Food.
  • Podcast: More Accurate Elevations from GPS learn how scientists are using measurements of gravity to refine a complex mathematical model of the Earth’s shape known as the geoid.
  • The record-breaking drought in Texas that has fueled wildfires, decimated crops and forced cattle sales has also reduced levels of groundwater in much of the state to the lowest levels seen in more than 60 years, according to new national maps produced by NASA. Read the full article.
  • GAPMINDER - is a non-profit venture – a modern “museum” on the Internet – promoting sustainable global development and achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. They produce videos, flash presentations and PDF charts showing major global development trends with animated statistics in colorful graphics. They are a “fact tank” that promotes a fact based world view.
  • The Way Our Eyes Read Maps - We recently ran across this fascinating study on how our eyes read maps on the blog for  EYE Magazine. It compares regular octolinearity to new all-curves map models and how our eyes read and decipher information along the lines of a map. An all-curves map smoothes away the awkward kinks, revealing the underlying structure of the network (above). In usability tests, this version is 30 per cent faster for planning than the official current map. Click here for the full article and some beautiful map imagery to illustrate their point.
  • The Commission for Environmental Cooperation facilitates collaboration and public participation to foster conservation, protection and enhancement of the North American environment for the benefit of present and future generations, in the context of increasing economic, trade, and social links among Canada, Mexico, and the United States.Click here for an array of GIS maps on topics ranging from anthropogenic biomes to spotted owl habitats that are all ready to download for use in a GIS or PDF reader.
  • BioDiversity HotSpots: The most remarkable places on Earth are also the most threatened. Explore the Earth’s hotspots – the richest and most threatened reservoirs of plant and animal life on Earth.
  • Would you like to see what location is on the exact opposite of the planet from where you are standing?  This is called the antipode and this fun interactive map will easily show you that.
  • Watch the Trash Vortex: Follow the link to see the animated flow of trash with the ocean currents. This is a grim reminder if how an average load of human debris redistributes into the ocean.
  • Look at the US Census Bureau’s QUICK FACTS. Quick, easy access to facts about people, business, and geography. Explore your state and cities.
  • The ESRI Elevation Profile Tool hosted on the Esri site interface allows you to choose a tool from the tool box and draw a line anywhere on the surface of the globe, including the oceans!  You will then be able to see an elevation profile of the area where you drew your line over.  What an amazing way for students to really visualize and understand elevation and altitude more clearly.
  • The mission of the Geospatial Revolution Project is to expand public knowledge about the history, applications, related privacy and legal issues, and the potential future of location-based technologies.
  • Analyzing Change Over Time Using Topographic Maps and Imagery with GIS - One of the simplest yet most powerful things you can do in ArcGIS desktop or in ArcGIS Online is to visualize change over time by studying change based on different basemaps created on different dates.
  • Astronomers Create 3-D Map of 3-Billion-Year-Old Universe - Using light from 14,000 distant yet powerful cosmic beacons, astronomers have pieced together the largest and most detailed 3-D map of the ancient universe.
  • See the mirrorlike symmetry of the Milky Way. Astronomers base that assertion on their discovery of a vast section of a spiral, star-forming arm at the Milky Way’s outskirts. The finding suggests that the galaxy is a rare beauty with an uncommon symmetry — one half of the Milky Way is essentially the mirror image of the other half.
  • Greenhouse on Wheels - Two friends transformed a diesel truck into an education center and travel from school to school in Brooklyn and Manhattan, teaching students about biointensive agriculture and a better way to feed the world without harming the planet’s resources.
  • Lost at Sea: The Search for Longitude - The search for longitude was a problem so complex that it challenged the best minds of its time for centuries. NOVA's website is rich with free resources and information for teachers.
  • Examining the Spatial Pattern of Travel Time to Major Cities - Use this data to explore remoteness (according to the data, only 10% of the land area is remote in terms of being more than 48 hours from a large city) and density (95% of the people live on 10% of the land). Discuss the concept of accessibility—economic, physical, and social, manifested in access to markets, schools, hospitals, energy, or water. How is accessibility a precondition for the satisfaction of needs? Consider accessibility from the scale of local development to global trade.
  • Neave Interactive has introduced an amazing ONLINE PLANETARIUM. Just set your location and start exploring your sky!
  • LEarNing Spatially (LENS) is an initiative promoting spatial literacy as a foundational component. Spatial thinking – the ability to visualize and interpret location, distance, direction, relationships, movement and change through space – is at the core of their work. Their initiative represents a lead effort in understanding how geospatial technologies can be linked to the greater pedagogic objectives of critical thinking and problem-based learning. They are not just teaching a tool, but a way of thinking. 
  • MapTube is a free resource for viewing, sharing, mixing and mashing maps online. 
  • View this collection of climate maps from the Natural Resources Defense Council including: Extreme Heat Vulnerability, Allergies to Ozone Smog & Ragweed, and Flood Vulnerability.
  • Explore the ocean floor with a global map of submarine cables.
  • Study the patterns of the largest California wildfires for the last fifty years. The map includes data from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and the U.S. Forest Service.
  • Last month the extent of sea ice covering the Arctic Ocean declined to the second-lowest extent on record. Review satellite data from NASA, watch videos and read about the phenomenon. 
  • NASA and Japan released a significantly improved version of the most complete digital topographic map of Earth this month. Visit the link for amazing video and pictures.
  • National Historical Geographic Information System (NHGIS) - Visit the NHGIS' totally redesigned website! NHGIS provides, free of charge, aggregate census data and GIS-compatible boundary files for the United States between 1790 and 2010.
  • Reviving our Culture, Mapping our Future - Read and watch the video about a special gathering in Venda, South Africa, and a community process in eco-cultural mapping. Training communities on maps and mapping in low literacy areas, where maps have never been part of peoples’ day-to-day.

Apps We Loved in 2011

  • Apps We Love: Project Noah started off as an experiment to see if they could build a fun, location-based mobile application to encourage people to reconnect with nature and document local wildlife. They wanted to harness the power and popularity of new smart phones to collect important ecological data and help preserve global biodiversity.
  • Apps We Love: iRecycle provides access to more than 800,000 recycling and disposal resources for more than 240 materials, plus the latest in green news to match your lifestyle. And it's FREE - which makes it just about perfect!
  • Apps We Love: Oh Ranger! Find the parks nearest you with the activities you want to do. By downloading Oh, Ranger! ParkFinder, you’re reinforcing the important role public lands play in our lives and helping to support important conservation efforts.
  • Apps We Love:  Folds and Faults - Folds and Faults provides an illustrated overview of two significant topics in geology: folds and faults. Understanding them helps to explain how mountains form, how layers of rock change shape over time, and the underlying cause of earthquakes.
  • Apps We Love:  VideoScience - VideoScience is an app with a growing library of over 80 short videos that demonstrate inexpensive and easy to recreate science experiments that are designed to inspire and excite kids of all ages.
  • Apps We Love: Square - Accept credit cards and cash on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with the free Square Card Reader.
  • Apps We Love: 3D Sun lets you carry a virtual window onto today’s sun, right in your pocket. Open this app anytime to see what’s happening today on the sun’s ever-changing surface.
  • Apps We Love: I-Nigma QR Reader turns your camera into a sophisticated barcode reader. Thanks to exceptionally quick and robust scanning, it is regularly ranked as top performer in this category.
  • Apps We Love: Pocket Universe an easy-to-use app that will help you learn constellations, bright stars and planets.
  • Apps We Love: Lemon a great system to track your paper and electronic receipts, It syncs with all of your devices, as well as with an online account to manage your expenses in a secure, simple, and easily accessible way.

Upcoming Trainings in 2012

  • GeoTech 2012 - allows teachers to explore the most cutting edge technologies available in education today. Join us as we explore these exciting new developments in instructional technology. The conference consists of 2 days of extensive hands-on workshops on March 1 – 2, 2012 on topics from geospatial technologies, social media, Web 2.0 and much more! Saturday, March 3, offers innovative mini-workshops and presentations across a variety of grade levels, technologies, and curriculum strands. New this month: GeoTech Spotlight: Speaker, Mireya Mayor
  • Costa Rica 2012 - We are eager to invite teachers of all levels to build their technology skills and experience sustainable development in Costa Rica. You will discover lush tropical environments ranging from rainforest, grasslands, rivers, foothills, and their impact on the marine national park of Marino Ballena. These 9 days will offer a blend of engaging hands-on experiences in digital technologies, useful in offering key community leaders and businesses valuable products, resulting in meaningful service. New this month: Countdown to Costa Rica 2012: Itinerary
  • View our EVENTS CALENDAR for links to all of our upcoming workshops, conventions and field trainings. We hope to connect with you!

QRD.by Brings Us Geo-Tagged QR Codes

QRD.by is a website that specializes in creating geotagged QR codes, perfect to incorporate into classroom projects if you’re trying to incorporate technology! Enter a location and URL and the service creates a QR code that embeds the geographic location. You can optionally attach geo information to your URL. The parameter lat (Latitude) and lng (Longitude) are used for further machine processing, e.g. to show the location on a map.

SEVEN

SEVEN is a program in which we will share 7 lesson plans or free resources relating to our recent population surge. Over the next 7 months, we will be featuring links and materials to help you teach and plan lessons. Look to us on the 7th of each month for a new installment. Click here for December's SEVEN Feature from ESRI's MapStories.

GPS Loaner Program
GISetc and Geological Society of America Education have joined together to offer the GPS Loaner Program. Class sets of Garmin eTrex GPS units are available for two week loans to educators who want to introduce GPS technology to their students. Be sure to take advantage of this amazing program in 2012!
Looking Forward: Costa Rica 2012
We are eager to invite teachers of all levels to build their technology skills and experience sustainable development in Costa Rica. Discover lush tropical environments ranging from rainforest, grasslands, rivers, foothills, and their impact on the marine national park of Marino Ballena. Click here to learn more and sign up!
NEW SWAG: Wine and Gift Labels
What does your wine say about you? The label on a wine bottle is just as important as the wine itself. The wine bottle label should capture attention and invoke curiosity. Customizing your wine has never been easier with our new sticker label sheets! At your next big event or special occasion you will have the ability to create bottle labels that add a personal touch.
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