My Adventures in the Agtech Start-up Space

A GIS Perspective on Career Opportunities in the US Agtech Industry.
In the following article, which is an adaptation of an earlier blog post, Todd Barr, an experienced geospatialist who is based in Fort Collins, Colorado shares his thoughts on the emerging Agtech industry; one which is embracing modern technology and skills in order to increase both efficiencies and bottom lines. The following is what geospatialists should, according to Todd, know about Agtech before deciding to pursue a career in the industry. Agtech and AgData start-ups seem to be all the rage right now. While searching on the job market recently (having finished an earlier contract), I decided to engage with... (read more)
2018-02-05 11:24:35

Leapfrogging Urban Problems with Smart Cities

Preserving Well-being and Economic Growth in India
The upsurge in urban population in Indian cities will intensify societal challenges on every conceivable level. To improve the quality of life and attract investment in cities, proactive measures are now essential for government agencies. They will inevitably become increasingly dependent on geo-ICT in order to develop and manage their assets and infrastructures more efficiently and effectively. This facilitates – and also demands – elimination of ‘silos’ within city authorities. In 2016, India’s government will select 100 municipalities to turn substantial parts of their urbanisations into ‘smart cities’. The pace of urbanisation is so high that in 15 years’ time... (read more)
2015-12-10 01:26:39

GIS-based Cartographic Representation of Avalanche Forecasts

Annually, snow avalanches in Scotland are the cause of a significant loss of life. As a naturally occurring disaster they are unique in nature, usually being highly localised events, and often in remote areas. Their victims are often voluntarily at risk for recreation purposes and become the trigger of their own avalanche. Typically, avalanche prone areas are often those that recreationists most desire to use. Controlling access to these areas is ethically dubious and efforts to increase the safety of recreationists must therefore focus on educating and informing risk-based decision processes. Avalanche Forecasting Avalanche forecasting seeks to safeguard recreationists in... (read more)
2018-11-01 10:33:44

Knowing What You Don’t Know

It’s been a rough week for an instructor who teaches in an online college sociology course. The instructor in question assigned a paper comparing social phenomena in two different countries. One particular student compared the use of social media in the United States and Australia. Subsequently, the instructor informed the student that Australia is not a country and gave the paper a failing grade. The news coverage of the story suggests the instructor and student completed several e-mail exchanges before the instructor agreed that Australia is both a country and a continent. The student in question even provided authoritative data... (read more)
2017-07-10 01:59:28

Finding your Geospatial Learning Community

MOOCs are in the news on this side of the ocean. GiSPro first highlighted these online learning communities in the August 2016 issue and Oxford University recently announced a MOOC in Economics. In her regular column, Adena Schutzberg examines how they work and suggests some sources for those keen to update their skills. I received an email a few weeks ago from a potential Esri Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) student. He wanted to know why he had to wait until the start date to begin the course. “Why,” he asked, “can’t we start whenever we want?” It’s a great... (read more)
2017-01-25 05:04:53

Copernicus Masters: An Important Innovation Driver for Earth Observation

Copernicus is Europe’s most ambitious Earth observation (EO) programme and provides full free and open access to data for the development of applications in a wide variety of domains. The Copernicus Masters awards recognise applications and ideas that are using Copernicus data to tackle important challenges faced by business and society. From 1 April to 30 June, Copernicus Masters participants can submit their innovative EO ideas for solving any of the 16 challenges offered by the largest number of world-class partners since the competition started. It is estimated that investments in the programme will increase to EUR 7.5 billion by 2020,... (read more)
2018-03-28 11:48:20

The Growth Mindset and Learning GIS

If you have not yet run into psychology professor Carol Dweck’s thoughts on the importance of “mindset” in education, let me summarise the key idea. She suggests that students who believe that they can get smarter by taking on challenging tasks, even if they should fail to accomplish them, have a “growth mindset.” In contrast, she describes students with a “fixed mindset” as believing that intelligence is static and will not change significantly with effort. Students with a fixed mindset see failure as confirmation they do not (and will likely not ever) master the required skill. Dweck argues that students... (read more)
2018-06-18 05:33:39

GIS and Renewable Energy Sources

Mappable Indicators
Solar parks, wind farms and biomass are examples of renewable energy sources. Use of such not only improves air, water and soil quality, but also brings economic and social benefits to a region. GIS is conventionally used for mapping the potential of renewable energy sources and restrictions on their exploitation. The author identifies indicators for quantifying the economic, social and environmental benefits of renewable energy sources, their nice property being that they can be represented on maps using GIS tools. Mapping examples from northern America are provided. GIS can save time and money when determining where and how renewable energy... (read more)
2010-11-04 02:33:27

Exploring the Evolution of Geo Intelligence - Esri User Conference 2013

Content is king! That was the main message from the Esri UK annual conference in London – a buzzy event with four breakout streams and 17 partners exhibiting. Robin Waters reports. The Esri UK conference was held at the Novotel in Hammersmith on 21 May. Around a thousand Esri customers attended as well as nearly all of the 250 or so Esri UK staff. That is a big conference for GIS in the UK. And the customers came for free – perhaps that is the secret to a successful conference in austere times? It is the first time I have... (read more)
2016-12-22 01:13:09

Why GIS Users (Still) Need to Know About MOOCs

Need to update your skills? Want to learn a new GIS? Adena Schutzberg has sound advice for those turning to the online world to learn new skills. The topic of this issue’s column comes from an email exchange with GiSPro Publisher, and my longtime friend, Stephen Booth. I shared news with him about my new position on the education team at Esri and I noted that I’d be working on MOOCs and with universities. He replied that he was unfamiliar with MOOCs until he looked up the acronym. I suspect a reasonable number of readers are in the same boat.... (read more)
2017-01-03 05:06:11
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