Category Archives: Geography Awareness Week

ISU Mapathon Greatest hits…show the highlights reel!

Over the past few years the ISU GIS Facility has hosted a number of mapathons. Most of our mapathons have a time set aside for mapping in Iowa and then a time where we focus on international projects.

It is amazing what even a small group of mappers can do to add to the OpenStreetMap basemap in a small town in Iowa. Below are three examples of demonstrating how a mapathon event can add to the OpenStreetMap.

1. George, Iowa
George, Iowa is a small town in Northwest Iowa. This series of screen shots below illustrates progress made over several mapathons.

George, Iowa – 6/30/2016
George, Iowa – 7/13/2016
George, Iowa – 6/28/2017

2. Ogden, Iowa
Another Iowa example is Ogden, Iowa. We starting mapping Ogden in 2015. This story map link shows progress made over several mapping events. As part of this effort we even marked the sidewalks as a collarborative project with Iowa State Extension. After our mapping efforts an individual continued on the IowaView efforts. Today, Ogden has a vivid and robust OSM basemap.

Ogden, Iowa – November 17, 2020

3. Wayland, Iowa
Most of our early efforts were not tied to a specific project but were mainly to teach people to use OpenStreetMap and continuing adding to the Iowa basemap. For our mapathon in 2019, we reached out to see if there were any communities that would like help with a mapping project. We were connected with a city clerk from Wayland, Iowa. Below are screenshots of the progress from that day of mapping.

Wayland, Iowa – 10/11/2019
Wayland, Iowa – 10/17/2019

Happy GIS Day 2020! #GISDay

As a way to celebrate GIS Day and OpenStreetMap, we are encouraging everyone to go online either during this week or on GIS Day and contribute to the OpenStreetMap basemap. You may consider improving the basemap in your own community. Here are several projects to consider:

Public Lab Mongolia – https://tasks.hotosm.org/projects/9560/
Public Lab Mongolia (PLM), a local non-governmental organization in Mongolia, is leading the Mongolian chapter for volunteer mappers through the HOTmicrogrant COVID-19 project, as part of their mission to promote open data and disaster preparedness. This mapping will also help with COVID-19 response efforts. This project is to map Ulaanbaatar capital city of Mongolia, is organized by PLM in collaboration with the Mongolian Geo-spatial Association and local universities.

Hurricane Eta – Nicaragua – https://tasks.hotosm.org/projects/9765
Hurricane Eta brought wind, rain and storm surge to the coast of Nicaragua. This project is to finish the basemap of Bilwi (Puerto Cabezas) by digitizing buildings from MAXAR imagery. Available to beginners, there may be tricky tasks in this project as some areas have been partially mapped with older imagery and vegetation can often hide parts of structures. Make sure to review the instructions for tips on how to overcome these challenges and provide high quality data.

Explore your own project: https://tasks.hotosm.org/explore

And now for something weird: Joseph Kerski’s Weird Earth

Today we will be joining Joseph Kerski, a Geographer and GIS education enthusiast, exploring Weird Earth: Exploring the Earth with Interesting, Bizarre, and Odd Imagery. Joseph provides a narrated video on Youtube (primarily targeted at educators) but you can also explore these fascinating places on your own using this ArcGIS Online map. Thank you, Joseph, for taking us to new places and uncover hidden gems on our planet!

OpenStretMap And Humanitarian Mapping – Making A Difference For Others

OpenStreetMap is a publicly editable map of the world. It’s is often referred to as Wikipedia for maps. Anyone can sign up for an account and begin adding to the map. Edits to the map are reviewed and validated by other members of the community.

In 2010, OpenStreetMap was used as a humanitarian disaster relief tool after an earthquake in Haiti. Volunteers from across the world mapped buildings and roads from satellite imagery in areas that been damaged by the earthquake. Then teams on the ground were able to use that information to assess damage and begin recovery efforts.

Since that time the use of Humanitarian OpenStreetMap has spread around the globe helping in disaster response as well as disaster prevention and many other humanitarian efforts. We encourage you to take time during Geography Awareness Week to volunteer your time and talent to help with some of the following projects:

Suggested International Projects:

Public Lab Mongolia – https://tasks.hotosm.org/projects/9560/
Public Lab Mongolia (PLM), a local non-governmental organization in Mongolia, is leading the Mongolian chapter for volunteer mappers through the HOTmicrogrant COVID-19 project, as part of their mission to promote open data and disaster preparedness. This mapping will also help with COVID-19 response efforts. This project is to map Ulaanbaatar capital city of Mongolia, is organized by PLM in collaboration with the Mongolian Geo-spatial Association and local universities.

Hurricane Eta – Nicaragua – https://tasks.hotosm.org/projects/9765
Hurricane Eta brought wind, rain and storm surge to the coast of Nicaragua. This project is to finish the basemap of Bilwi (Puerto Cabezas) by digitizing buildings from MAXAR imagery. Available to beginners, there may be tricky tasks in this project as some areas have been partially mapped with older imagery and vegetation can often hide parts of structures. Maker sure to review the instructions for tips on how to overcome these challenges and provide high quality data.

Explore your own project: https://tasks.hotosm.org/explore

Geography Treasure Hunt – Pioneers of Geography and GIS Edition

Let’s kick off Geography Awareness Week with some trivia:
https://treasurehunts.storymaps.esri.com/pioneers/. Test your knowledge of some of the pioneers of geography and GIS. Good luck! Learn something new!

Be part of the Global Celebration: Geography Awareness Week 2020!

Join us this week, November 15-21, 2020, as we celebrate Geography Awareness Week. Throughout we will be posting various activities and videos from our friends at OpenStreetMap, National Geographic, and Esri to help you get engage and get informed.

As a way to celebrate GIS Day and OpenStreetMap, we are encouraging everyone to go online either during this week or on GIS Day and contribute to the OpenStreetMap basemap. If you are interested and would like more information about how to get started, please email, Amy Logan.

If this is your first time using OpenStreetMap, sign up for an OpenStreetMap account: https://www.openstreetmap.org/user/new. Then look over this helpful resource from TeachOSM about how to get started and build proficiency with OpenStreetMap: (https://ubique.americangeo.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/2_buildings_worksheet_1-2.pdf)

What’s your GIS Story?

A few years ago the Iowa Geographic Information Council (IGIC) asked members to share stories of how members became interested in geospatial technology. Click here to read those stories. It is interesting to read all the different ways people get involved – often through school, other times through a work project, even through life events (hurricanes, Disney World, 4-H, etc.) No matter what path brought you to GIS; we’re glad you are here. Please consider sharing your story on the IGIC website as well.

TELL YOUR GIS STORY

Happy GIS Day #GISDay

Geography Awareness Week continues with the celebration of GIS Day.

Participate in the international celebration of geographic information systems (GIS) technology. GIS is a scientific framework for gathering, analyzing, and visualizing geographic data to help us make better decisions. On GIS Day, help others learn about geography and the real-world applications of GIS that are making a difference in our society. It’s a chance for you to share your accomplishments and inspire others to discover and use GIS. – From the ESRI GIS Day website

Check out ESRI’s list of 101 ways to participate in GIS Day. Here are a couple ideas that stuck out:
27. Submit a story map to the 2019 StoryMapper of the Year Contest. I have heard of storymapping student contests but apparently ESRI also has a contest open to anyone with a $5,000 prize.
61. Wear your favorite GIS shirt.
My favorite map shirt features the Upper Pennisula of Michigan. What about you?
92. Complete a Learn ArcGIS lesson.
This is a cool site with real world guided GIS lessons.

#OSMgeoweek

The OpenStreetMap (OSM) community is also celebrating this week as OSM Geography Awareness Week (#osmgeoweek.) It is a time for teachers, students, community groups, and map lovers, in the US and around the world to join together to celebrate geography and make maps with OpenStreetMap, the free and openly editable map of the world.

Over 132 groups around the world are hosting mapathons to gather people to add to the OSM basemaps. While we aren’t hosting an official event in Ames this week, we do encourage you to get mapping. In a previous post, we suggested ways to connect with the OpenStreetMap community, click here to check that out.

Another way you can do to improve the OSM basemap is to log in and navigate to your local community. Add new developments, new roads, public buildings, parks, and points of interest. It’s always good to make sure your community’s data is fresh and correct.