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Casting a vision for LibreGeo: A framework for collaborative, open-access, and interactive GIS educational resources

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Casting a vision for LibreGeo: A framework for collaborative, open-access, and interactive GIS educational resources
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A framework for collaborative, open-access, and interactive GIS educational resources
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Developing meaningful and interactive materials for the GIS classroom is a major challenge for educators. In this talk, I present a framework for developing GIS educational resources - including interactive in-class activities and out-of-class exercises - through an open and collaborative approach.
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but i think you i am an assistant professor at the university of wisconsin a clear and just finished my first year so this is my idea for a framework for open access g.i.'s course resources and put a name on it now i've called it the.
currently regio. so this project for me is motivated by my experience as a first year system professor preparing course materials for multiple geospatial courses and that was by far the most time consuming part of my job more than research little bit more than service.
but it was really frustrating knowing that the person who is in the job previously for me was probably going to the same thing and two other people who are going to the same thing and that it takes a time of time to create high quality course materials like lab exercises and activities and i've started doing is more kind of short little activities and. class where i give the students some instruction have them follow along with me in a program and that gives me some of the most bang for the about because it's more interactive it's not just me lecturing and and they like that a lot of it takes a lot of time also to a course textbooks are really expensive and in my opinion as soon as you printed g.i.'s textbook. that's really problematic because the software changes so fast it can be obsolete really quickly so the because of that i think it's nice to have course materials that are all online possible and also to from my experience i've never found a textbook that works perfectly for my needs so i teach ga. just three course to undergrads which i basically teaches kind of like a spatial data science course where use are primarily but my department also want to see a little bit of r.g.s. pro and then i have some other things that i want to introduce a kind of pull from three or four different textbooks so one single text has never really worked out for me individual course requirements are going to vary. quite a bit from person to person so talk about with the project is not i don't see this as being a replacement for conceptual textbooks i think there's some great resources are already out there that it was stood the test of time when i talk about spatial statistics and my g.s. to class some of the methods that were using their were developed in the are.
only nineteen hundred by ecologists at the university of nebraska so those methods haven't changed a whole lot of course new methods to come out but i'm but this is a good one that i have drawn upon the pastor's also central's of geographic information systems that i reference at these are more conceptual textbooks are not not software based not not meant to replace these.
and also it's not meant to be a drag and drop replacement for certain g.i.'s courses so have all of the of the course materials in a get repository it's not like you just for the repository and then you're done preparing materials it's more kind of like a mate mix and match select what works for you. whatever approach so it's designed to be a repository for g.s. course materials and the focus is particularly on in class activities out of class exercises like laboratories and then also tutorials and i want this to be as interactive on as possible since the materials are all stored on the web that. fans up some some interesting opportunities for interactivity this is my vision for the project i also have this idea that it could potentially be software agnostic it for wanting to focus more on teaching the concept so have a lab exercise that is geared towards the concept that could be applied to multiple g.i. systems i don't know that. really realistic with the state of g.i.'s right now maybe it would be wise to have some that are better software not stick some models a mask and then others that focus on particular software packages.
and there are a few sources that i kind of draw inspiration from the with get book and get lab get hub this actually makes the ability to kind of crowd sourced textbooks and crowdsource books some it just makes that possible so one that i really like is the blog down. book that was created by a few employees at our studio and then also one that i'm using in one of my g.s. classes the geo computation with our book it's headed up by robin love listen if we clicked on this will go to that repository see and you can see.
hear that their forty contributors which is actually one more than the last time that i detect this and i think that's great for g.s. course materials if we could all be sharing our resources and editing each other stuff and and hold it one central repository them i think that would be awesome so.
so that's part of my home with see your own.
i. oh. a. it. i tried to use all arrow to go back to the previous one. let's try again. the. donor. i am. a. i mean. what to do. yeah of china this all down don't know if anybody has any ideas here. show what was the key come by the two said to get to the to the windows ok. it's. so. the. it's a it's. i. i. this is just a web browser your own. ok they were go right not going to try that want to get it.
i yeah i actually opened a new window instead of going to differ with us i just need to go back here to the previous if i can fly my mouse of a. ok area.
art so another place to draw inspiration from his the this status bars of tiling window manager so this one might be a little bit off the wall but i have experimented with probably ten or twelve different tiling window managers of the passover years mostly with three in with q tile and i've settled on. q tile but i love this approach where there are a bunch of different modules that you can pick from to put in your your status bar the little mode line at the bottom of your computer you pick the ones that work for you you exclude the ones that don't so as we go through this little conflict here you can see a couple things i have one that displays the screen number one on a multiscreen. system and another one that shows the amount of c.p.u. usage. and then one that shows the amount of memory usage the audio volume and then the clock for matter how i want and then when i'm on my laptop i have one that shows the battery life as well so hundreds of different models to choose from and you just select the ones that work or if you don't see one that meets your needs you can kind of created on your own so i take this approach to. with g.i.'s course materials so currently the way that i am storing and and serving out materials us through this combo of our mark down blog down and hugo this is kind of a way that you can use our to host a a static web page and for my understanding the hugo web for america. his design originally for blogs but now its use for i have tons of tons of different sites i like this learn theme which all show you just a second it's designed specifically for documentation which i think works well for course materials because it makes things searchable and then i am hosting everything on get lab using get lab pages originally. when i came up with this idea i thought that i would be creating bagram files that people would modify and then everybody would be spinning up their remote server on aid of us are landowner digital ocean or whatever but i think that was overkill and gilad pages just turned out to be much simpler. so with in the site this is just a file tree from the site after it's been cloned on to a machine they're just a couple of directories here that are important the content directory and then the public directory i'm actually storing this presentation there as well but it's it's obviously not needed for. for serving out course materials but are marked down files and markdown files are generated inside of content and then when get lab pages renders the website it creates h.t.m.l. files which then are moved into public and the other the other things in your have a purpose but not necessary for this presentation. and my organizational structure that i've come up with in my head is to have high level topics sub topics below those and then the modules which are the actual activities are exercises that have contributed by people so just to give an example something like cartography would be a high level topic and there's currently nothing in there so you don't see anything but an index by. while and then another high level topic would be corner reference systems and underneath here on the flight transformation and then i have a module that i called disparate corner reference systems and in this little module this is something i'm planning to do this fall on my g s one class were all have students who don't have much if any experience with g.i.'s take to use. forces that have different corner reference systems put them into the same that document and and see what happens. and this is kind of where the magic happens from get labs perspective this is the they get lab pages conflict filed this is just the default so if you drop this inside of a a a get laboratory it will try to create pages website for you and i can go into more details about this at the end i'm if necessary. so the live site is being hosted at this libor geo dot com and i was super pump to get my hands on that domain.
and this is the landing page so if you go to the page you'll see this and then over on the left i have got the high level topics listed here so if i click on attribute data there's nothing in here yet but if i go down and click on court reference systems i can see the list of sub topic so the. of topics are they're listed on the left and then i've just got a list of the number of activities tutorials and exercises and this is searchable so if i wanted to say ok you know which some topic has the greatest number of activities and then kind of take a look inside of here. and this is a list of all the module specific to that some topic so i've got the title author the type and then i threw in a couple other columns like the estimated time this is a short one fifteen or twenty minutes and then the software so this one will work in i say any but probably most desktop g.i.'s systems that have.
of them that have on the flight transformation should work.
ok so this is another idea that i had that if somebody wanted to just kind of browse the list of modules and we're interested in deploying their own version they could just make a list of all of the modules that they wanted and a conflict file. and then there'd be some sort of bash script or something that would run of a few different programs to generate a new version of libor geo for them so we can also have you no different different things to modify the appearance of the of the web page depending on the kind of course is that you're teaching maybe the course name or university. or name of a name of the person teaching the course. so this is a another idea that i have an i do see some potential of turn it is that maybe there's a better way to do things and what i have laid out here it was already mentioned before the queue g.s. tutorials and tips these are things that i've used in my classes so instead of hosting everything on the regio what if there was a topic or so. of topic where there is a list of external resources here and people who have worked through this sort of thing before could come up with the amount of time that it would take in and these links actually in the presentation point to those external resources but that's that's maybe an alternative approach of course links do break from time to time and then there's no.
no control over the content that's in here although most of this sort of stuff is. his license with creative commons so under most creative commons license is there's nothing wrong with taking that and modifying it yourself which could be an approach as well or maybe it's better to organize everything by activities tutorials an exercise and then put the topics under those so open to alternatives and terms of the.
so another kind of challenge that i think about are several challenges i wonder of g.s. educators we use get i know a lot of g.s. educators in the us i think i'm the only one whose version controlling course materials and inside of get laboratory so i'm sure there are others out there and i. i've you know kind of heard rumours of that here so they exist but will will people in the us or and in other places do this will the majority do this i'm not really sure and also just in preparing this presentation the summer working on getting my course materials into the sort of thing it's already beyond me and i'm the only. the reader right now so project management is a is a big challenge here it might be possible to seek out funding and then if so i could have you know students handle submissions and and proofreading and and that's sort of thing and then as academics from you know attributing credit is a big deal so how can we a trip. attribute credit to people who are submitting these modules maybe have some sort of peer review system where you submit one and then you review one and then my last point here is with all of this my goal at the very beginning was to conserve labour and create less work at this is creating more work for people then it's totally missing the mark so. with that i'll close i do have this little survey here whether you're in academia or industry i'd love to hear your thoughts so it's at libor geo dot com slash surveyor you can just askin the skin q.r. code i have an optional text box for the name if you're interested in being a contributor and working with me on this but i'm completely.
optional so with that i'll be happy to take questions thank you very much a. i kind of just have a comment on i was sad when in grad school i was also at teaching assistant. on under professor who is an assistant professor finishing her ph d. so we just took the lab some the textbook and some worked well on this that allowed the students how to follow along themselves or work at their own pace or watch me that the lab but i just really impressed by the s. and think i definitely think people use at all take the survey latina.
yet it would have been very hand like very handy for to be just that i think there are a lot of course materials out there but a lot of times people don't know that they exist or where to find them so to have a repository were different people could contribute what they have my be hopeful. thank you very much my question is a boat or do you know other projects being carried out in this to me and i known that the there is a project from a yes p.r.s. the offending some some of the world and its wind so to freak of from university of pretoria so maybe you like to have a look on in the art of the have also clear. but a lot of a huge amount of data and the mean contributed is also was during this workshop so i am not sure whether it's on friday of a presentation about this and that was the first wife second point is a bold the the attributes and to your data set said. you could kind of gold with some of the automated approach is to check against the pledges i'm and other these citing what with it is what is coming from so maybe like a preliminary data set that to or check that whether it's a pleasure his work or the senate regional contribution it it's very difficult to find out and the. that's just a commander about this one had the last thing is that to i was working on some something similar is a friend of mine is a medical doctor in austria and he wants to learn j.s. whole should i give him the g.s. material so i was thinking about an idea that. there are different type of people my brother is electrical engineer another one he is a g.s. health engineer or my health from health professions so we might come of the solution where we people are actually giving up the initial information what is their background what their background is based upon this one we could generate those. when times are dramatically so in your case it's probably a viable file so if you could generate it automatically this will solve also a big problem for the community for the others who want to learn ga as that was i think that's where it should go because the their that a lot of people who wants to learn it. and but they don't find the real madrid and also if i have learned in my view it as a whole could i share it with the others. on a socially here thank you very much for your contribution thanks to the question and so on and on your last point like the the website here so this table is just hard could it as a right now but it would be pretty easy to do things like ok just make a list of the modules are things really. added to this certain topic or make a list of the modules under need to sub topic and you can generate it through a bash prefer something would be really easy so yes i think there are some potential there and on your first question where your first comment about other projects going on i was not aware of others i heard that there was one net south carolina that was going on for a little bit that didn't really take off.
of and from what i've heard in this just second hand information but the primary reason why didn't take off is because people didn't want their course materials to get you know blasted by other instructors who would see them and i'm thinking we can get over this this happen to me every time i submit a paper to journal so we can get over it and and work together to. so what. ok so. so it is that might because of its any more questions still have time and less question it. so. it's actually click on this one. i'm going to click on this during the presentation but this is just this one that i have come up with him in the process of moving other materials over here but since this is a will call early release of libor geo there's not a whole lot on here yet.
but this is one that day i talked a little bit about before the iman implemented class so this little overviews just for the instructor and this is one where i'm not going to give the students a little hand i'm just going to kind of tell them follow me and do as i do and then the activity is is listed their so this requires a date. the set and that's something else that i haven't yet done in his is figure out a way to put data sets on here but the of this is an example one. how could i contribute s s c s asked savvy it said make to lay out a bit to redouble and stuff it possible to do that because this is not as i am attractive for students.
the. so this is using a that hugo theme called learn and there are some really small modifications that you can make to the theme but you ever for the i think the best approach would be to make a contribution to the theme itself and then i could you know for could work a branch from from that project and use that instead of it works better for students. you are. and so you have chosen who will be course it's integrated in our this is where you very important that you can create this stuff of our own the. because our other. static h d h t m l and could generate. yes there are others out there like jacko jekyll as wind and it's really not necessary to use blog down in our to work with you go that's what i've chosen since a lot of my g.i.'s instruction is done with our and then i have my students use are marked down and generate their like their activities homework assignments and projects using. are marked on as well so it was kind of a seamless transition for me but if there's something else it works better for other people then i'm certainly want to consider. it. i just just a comment to the last question and maybe you could use something might be disappointed or the like than dog or something like that so you if i don't what we'd i just work with the classical mark don't so and you will get our market don't we can combine the project's again. thank you. so this one. one come here with our mark down you can actually use just plain markdown files and blog down to render into the hugo site for you. now. well i think everybody the time is up to him for lunch thinking for spreading of a nice day.