Author: Don Boyes

  • Esri Story Maps are alright!

    Esri Story Maps are alright!

    I know that Esri story maps have been around for quite a while, but I am only finally learning how to create them now. For some reason, I was quite resistant to using them, but now that I have created a couple I have to say they could be really useful for teaching both GIS […]

  • Tips on getting started with teaching GIS online

    Tips on getting started with teaching GIS online

    I was recently contacted by someone asking for advice about developing and teaching an online GIS course.  What follows is based on what I wrote in my e-mail response. I’m pretty new to this myself, having taught my first online GIS course last fall, but perhaps that’s a good thing, as the experience of going […]

  • Live lecture/webinar hybrid experiment

    Live lecture/webinar hybrid experiment

    I’m currently teaching two sections of the same introductory GIS course, one face-to-face (F2F), and one online.  This morning I tried a little experiment – I taught my regular F2F class in a lecture hall as usual, but I had a live webinar version of it online at the same time.  It went remarkably well, […]

  • Teaching GIS online requires a diverse skill set

    Teaching GIS online requires a diverse skill set

    I am considering teaching an online GIS course this fall. The course proposal is currently winding its way through various approval processes and so, in the meantime, I am devising a work plan for preparing the course. I’m really excited at the prospect of teaching online, and I’m optimistic that this teaching mode can offer […]

  • GeoDesign as a teaching concept

    GeoDesign as a teaching concept

    I recently had the good fortune to attend a GeoDesign workshop presented by Bill Miller, who is the Director of GeoDesign Services at Esri, and one of the people credited with coining the term. It was a fascinating morning, and it was a reflection of how important this topic is becoming that Alex Miller, president […]

  • John Snow and serendipity

    John Snow and serendipity

    I was skimming through my Twitter stream this morning and came across a tweet from the intrepid Michael Gould (@michael_d_gould) mentioning David J. Unwin’s digital workbook “Numbers aren’t nasty: a workbook of spatial concepts“.  I’m a big fan of David Unwin’s Geographic Information Analysis (co-authored with David O’Sullivan), so I downloaded the workbook (it’s free) […]

  • Course evaluations: valuable, unvarnished feedback

    Course evaluations: valuable, unvarnished feedback

    I just read through the course evaluation forms that students filled out for the courses I taught last winter.  There is always a delay before instructors are allowed to see them, both to prevent any rash retribution on the part of a disgruntled professor, but also so they can first be read by the student […]

  • Paper maps for driving not dead yet

    Paper maps for driving not dead yet

    I was recently contacted by a Toronto Star reporter for an article she was writing about paper maps vs. GPS for navigation (Map publishers facing a rough road, Aug. 19, 2011).  She was asking whether I thought people used or needed paper maps anymore and if they would still be around in five years.  I […]

  • Engaging new GIS students with web mapping

    Engaging new GIS students with web mapping

    Simultaneously published at V1 Magazine with thanks to Matt Ball, co-founder and editor, Vector1 Media. Not that long ago, I considered “web mapping” an advanced topic, best left to be taught in a senior GIS course.  While that can still be the case, depending on how it is defined, the fact is that creating a map of […]

  • My GIS curriculum review: what to leave in, what to leave out

    I have now completed a systematic inventory of my teaching material as part of my GIS curriculum review and renewal process.  It has been a challenging and enlightening exercise, as I forced myself to take a hard look at what I have, as well as what’s missing.   The result is I can now make more […]