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Welcome to NACIS 2015 in Minneapolis! This is the annual meeting of the North American Cartographic Information Society (NACIS). The theme for this year’s meeting is Mapping Interactions. See the schedule below and go to the NACIS website for more details.

The North American Cartographic Information Society, founded in 1980, is an organization comprised of specialists from private, academic, and government organizations whose common interest lies in facilitating communication in the map information community.

For those of you who were unable to attend the conference, or who couldn’t clone themselves to be at multiple talks at once, many slides are linked in the session descriptions below. Twin Cities local Kitty Hurley also put together this fantastic document summarizing much of what she saw at the meeting, so if slide decks aren’t linked, check out her notes. 
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Thursday, October 15 • 10:30am - 12:00pm
Web Mapping in Education

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Open Web Mapping Technologies: How do we Teach this Stuff?
Carl Sack, University of Wisconsin-Madison
First there were paper maps made with drafting equipment. Then there were digital maps made with ArcGIS, Illustrator, Photoshop, and Flash. Now we are making maps designed for the Web using open-source standards and technologies. In this rapidly changing tool ecosystem, Cartography instructors need to teach not only today’s tools, but the skills needed to adapt to tomorrow’s. At UW-Madison, we have developed a web mapping laboratory curriculum based on scaffolded instruction, wherein students’ current understanding is assessed, they are given authentic learning experiences and support needed to move beyond their current skill set, and finally required to apply their skills to real-world collaboration. During the fall of 2014, we conducted student surveys and observation logging to evaluate the successes, challenges, and stress points in the curriculum. This presentation will discuss our pedagogy, its outcomes thus far, and how we will apply what we have learned to the next iteration.

How to Teach an Old(ish) Cartography Professor New Tricks: from Advanced Cartography to Spatial Data Viz
Sally Hermansen, University of British Columbia
For 15 years I have been teaching a course entitled “Advanced Cartography” to upper year geography students. The course employs a combination of theoretical lectures, independent labs, and student-led discussions and culminates in a community-based research project. In recent years, I have introduced web mapping using Google Maps mashups and Tilemill, which in turn have imposed limits on the breadth of cartographic design while simplifying community-based research projects. This year, I have completely revised the course to reflect a ‘studio’ based approach, incorporating web-based spatial data mining and munging, programming, and visualization through interactive and dynamic infographics as seen in the modern data journalism curriculum. This paper will reflect on the old and the new, the process, the team and the results thus far realized by this “cartographic overhaul” and its impact on curriculum and on the department as a whole.

Study Abroad: Interactive Map Design in Belize
Kate Carlson, University of Minnesota Duluth
Through an experiential course design model, a group of undergraduate students traveled to Belize and created a collective interactive Story Map Journal (ESRI) that documents topics on culture-cuisine-language and history, conservation-agriculture-deforestation and regional flora & fauna, to past and current issues in the protection of the Maya way of life. Visits with local conservation groups and two Q'eqchi Maya homestays opened their minds to the protection of these resources and the subsistent livelihoods that depend on the land.

This multimedia interactive mapping project provided an excellent opportunity to introduce geospatial technologies and concepts of spatial thinking to a diverse collection of students, many with limited geospatial knowledge. We brought 3 computers, cameras, spatial data, and GPS units. Relying on local Internet connections and informal learning spaces, students were able to individually reflect and collaborate on their experiences in small groups; Story Map Journals were constructed as these experiences unfolded.

Evolving Technology, Shifting Expectations, Cultivating Pedagogy for a Rapidly Changing GIS Landscape
Jim Thatcher, University of Washington – Tacoma
Britta Ricker, University of Washington – Tacoma
As humans and natural processes continuously shape and reshape surfaces of the Earth, there remains a perpetual need to document these changes through Cartographic and Geospatial technologies. As surface processes of the earth continuously change, so too does the technology with which we visualize, analyze, and understand it. For example, the ubiquity of location aware technologies has profoundly altered the public’s expectations for mapping products. In turn, these expectations and technologies have simultaneously affected the technical expertise expected of GIS and Cartographic professionals. Professionals are now expected to have the skills to both inventory and communicate spatial information through a vast and changing array of digital, spatial media; whereas traditional education often kept programming and spatial information separate, this can no longer be the case.Here we pose two interrelated questions: First, as educators, how do we best prepare students for an industry that is constantly evolving? Second, how do we provide the groundwork for a spatially informed education, while not overwhelming students with the array of technologies at work. To answer these questions, we draw from the experiences of twelve National Science Foundation CyberGIS Fellows who met regularly throughout the 2014-2015 year. Grappling with the ‘cutting-edge’ of what GIS and Cartography meant, these fellows discussed, developed, and shared teaching materials. From these experiences, we propose a non-hierarchical system of geospatial education ordered around student outcomes, rather than previous experience.

avatar for Andy Woodruff

Andy Woodruff

Axis Maps

avatar for Kate Carlson

Kate Carlson

Instructor, Univeristy of MN Duluth
Teaching and higher education, cartography, GIS, remote sensing, and digital image processing.
avatar for Carl Sack

Carl Sack

Master's Student, UW-Madison
Carl Sack is a Ph.D. student in Cartography and GIS at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research interests include the nature and empowerment potential of crowdsourced web maps, adapting Cartographic curriculum to changing technologies, and the ways in which maps encode various landscape values.

Jim Thatcher

University of Washington - Tacoma

Thursday October 15, 2015 10:30am - 12:00pm
Great Hall 225 3rd Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55401

Attendees (37)