Future of R with GIS

I was a total newbie to R before spring 2014. Then it was a little trial by fire, trying to learn just enough to keep up with grad students in a class I was co-teaching. Thank goodness for the “co-” part, as my partner was an expert in the topic, and I could contribute in my own areas of expertise, which were/are not R!  But I finished the semester with a new-found respect and, frankly, awe for what is possible with R. I have much to learn, and maybe, someday, the time.

Fast forward a few months and the topic keeps cropping up.  I shared a beer in Salzburg with Lex Comber and learned about one of his forthcoming publications, an Intro to R for Spatial Analysis and Mapping. Haven’t got my own copy yet, but if it’s what it seems to be, it’ll be one of my assigned texts in the future. In one of our webinars, Trisalyn Nelson spoke about her use of R with her graduate students. And today, I silently scanned through Alex Singleton‘s recent presentation on the Changed Face of GIS, in which R figures prominently for him.  There’s something going on here that some smart people have figured out.

GIS makes the xkcd comics

One of my favorite cartoonists – Randall Munroe – has made a call out to GIS for its ability to identify whether items or objects fall within certain “enclosures” of space based on their coordinate locations.  Will there be a day when the public can read a cartoon panel like this one and know what is being referenced?

Sharing Ideas at EdUC

It’s that time of year again, July in San Diego with a whole lot of other people, all talking about GIS.  Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.  This year I’ll be in two sessions, the first on our ROGTAL project, Research on Geospatial Technologies and Learning, a group effort in which I’m honored to be a member.  You’ll hear about our proposed research agenda and recommendations for this field.  Saturday afternoon, in the 3:15-4:30pm session titled Meeting Education Mandates, La Costa Room.

Then on Sunday morning (early!, before the Plenary!  Set your alarms and bring your coffee!) I’ll be leading a session on Cultivating Spatial Thinking & Problem Solving with SpatiaLABS.  8:30am, Leucadia Room.  Don’t know about Esri’s SpatiaLABS yet?   This is your chance to get all the insider information on this FREE resource, get a sneak preview at a new search-and-sort website, get your questions answered by the series editor, and find out how you too could become a (paid) contributor!  Don’t snooze, come schmooze instead.

 

On using ArcMap Collector as a mobile app for SSV

dianamaps:

Experimenting with reblogging some worthwhile posts.

Originally posted on Katie Faull:

Since its inception, Stories of the Susquehanna has been a collaborative, interdisciplinary Screenshot 2014-05-08 21.41.18digital project that has at its core a geospatial interface. What started out as historical/cultural mapping of the Native American landscapes of the Susquehanna in ArcMap Desktop with maps published in static image format (as discussed in the interviews of me and Emily Bitely) has evolved through the iterations of ESRI’s software development.

About a week ago, one of our Digital Scholarship Coordinators and SSV  project manager, Diane Jakacki pointed to to the fact that ESRI was now publishing apps. photoAt first skeptical, I proceeded to delve further into the Collector app and battled my way through tutorials designed for insurance adjusters gathering data in the field (no, I don’t need fields labeled “Habitable” or “Partially Destroyed”) to create a feature layer that could be added to any map in ArcMap online. This feature layer was supposed to be…

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the Golden Era of Visual Storytelling

What I like about this notion of the Golden Era of Visual Storytelling is that it’s seen in the here and now as being special,  and it suggests that we might even consider this period an extraordinary one, even from a future perspective. That its value and worth are widely enough recognized that the energy can go into refinement and production, rather than basic awareness building.

Surely the tremendous growth and maturation of infographics reflects this too.  I think infographics are some where on this Gartner Hype Cycle, maybe on the slope of enlightenment?   Or have they yet to reach that stage, and maybe are still stuck in the disillusionment trough?

Visual story telling is an element of visual reasoning and visual literacy, which is grounded in spatial reasoning and spatial literacy. An idea that will one day reach its own plateau of productivity, I know.  I tried pointing out the spatial thinking behind the visual thinking identified in the ASIDE blog, but no responses yet.

 

use geography to add fun meaning to meetings

Sometimes after a long day, especially at the end of a long week, one’s mind turns to geographic amusement, or geo-musings.  Here’s mine for the day – courtesy of Emily.  Use a digital map to help you find the middle ground to meet a friend. This brings veracity to meeting in the middle! Two guys played with this idea as an art project and first met somewhere in the Czech Republic, then later up a tree in Westchester County. Emotionally appealing idea of making the commitment and then trusting each other to follow through, come hell, high water, traffic delays, or GPS errors.

I like this definition of art works by Roy Ascott, as a “trigger of experiences” rather than an “object.”

Wanted to play with different approaches for calculating exactly what “the middle” is?  Of course, it’s a geospatial question!  Try this Geographic Midpoint app.

Thanks, Emily!

Most popular stories are MAPS!

It turns out that what readers of the (online) New York Times looked at more than anything else in 2013 was actually a series of maps.  An interactive webpage that generated maps when people responded to a series of dialect prompts.  Why so popular? People like to answer simple, online, multiple-choice questions, especially about themselves. People like to reminisce about their childhood places, where their pronunciations of words were first fixed.  People needed a distraction from the end-of-the-year activities in chaotic December.  People had more unstructured and free time to hang out online over the holidays.

It doesn’t really matter why. I just like the way the application’s developers describe the statistical patterns, and the way that geography and language are naturally linked. And I love every chance available for people to become aware of geographic patterns.