Going Mental: Everyday Travel and the Cognitive Map

going_mental_front_pageby Andrew Mondschein, Evelyn Blumenberg, and
Brian D. Taylor

How do you get to work? Do you have a preferred route to your favorite restaurant? To the nearest hospital? To Disneyland? If you know—or think you know—the answers to any of these questions, then your cognitive map is at work.  Read more at: http://www.uctc.net/access/43/access43_goingmental.shtml

NOVA Loudoun Campus is On the (Loudoun County) Map!

The former address for the NOVA Loudoun Campus (1000 Harry Flood Byrd Highway) is gone!

Loudoun County informed NOVA that we needed to change the campus address to conform to the county’s address regulations (and the county’s GIS and 9-1-1 database).
As of January 9, 2014 the LO Campus official address is 21200 Campus Drive, Sterling, VA 20164.

As you drive around campus you will see the new road signs that have been installed. Ring Road is now Ankers Shop Circle. Logan Way will be the new west entrance.

Keep an eye on Google Earth, NAVTEQ and similar services. It will be interesting to see how quickly the changes are made to these spatial databases.

ESRI ArcGIS Desktop Associate Certification

Are you considering taking the Esri ArcGIS Desktop certification exam?

It is $225 to take this exam (so I am sure you want to pass the first time!).  Below are some URLs and suggestions:

Please check out the Esri site for more info:  http://www.esri.com/training/main/certification/desktopAssociate10-1

Esri has a list of skills/areas with which you need to be proficient: http://downloads2.esri.com/campus/downloads/certification/TrainingResources/TrainingResourcesEADA101.pdf

If you want some idea of what the exam is like (and how you might do on the exam), see: http://training.esri.com/gateway/index.cfm?fa=catalog.webCourseDetail&courseid=2202

Esri has published an exam preparation book: http://www.esri.com/esri-news/releases/13-3qtr/esri-press-publishes-study-guide-for-arcgis-desktop-certification  (I have a copy of this book, if you would like to examine it before purchasing a copy. )

Some observations:

– You will likely need the skills in GIS203 and GIS205 to succeed in the Esri exam (you are trying to replace several years education + experience with only education, after all!)  (In fact, I suggest the following courses before attempting the exam: GIS200, GIS201, GIS203, GIS205, GIS255)

– Your coursework at NOVA is very “light” on ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Explorer, and versioned editing of geodatabases.  You will need to remedy this through self-study.  (If you want course codes for any of the Esri on-line courses that might help, please pass me the names of the specific courses you want.)

– Esri offers a preparation course ($1010,, 2-day instructor-led course).  Note that two or more years experience with ArcGIS Desktop is recommended. http://training.esri.com/gateway/index.cfm?fa=catalog.courseDetail&CourseID=50124485_10.x

If you want to discuss the Esri certification exam–or certification in general (GISP, ASPRS)–please drop me an email.  I will set up a virtual meeting with interested students, so we can discuss this further.



GeoTech National Mapping Contest 2014!

Win a trip to San Diego for the Esri International User’s Conference. YOU could win–a NOVA student has done so previously!

The GEOTech Center will be hosting a national mapping contest for students at accredited 2 year colleges who are registered during the Spring 2014 semester. The 2014 GEOTech National Mapping contest will be held in three phases beginning February, 2014. The first phase will involve entrants taking a multiple choice test covering geographic information systems, remote sensing and GPS/GNSS theory. The score that each student earns will be carried over into the second phase of the contest where students will create a YouTube video that describes the purpose, data, and analyses used on a project of their own choice. Students will be able to choose from 2 categories for their project: Dynamic Mapping Applications (i.e., web based) or Static Maps (posters). Project presentations will be judged and scored by a panel of geospatial practitioners, educators, and cartographers who will select 5 students with the highest combined scores. The third phase will have the top 5 scorers present their projects in the Final Round (Phase 3) at the 2014 EDUC Conference in San Diego, CA. (July 12-15, 2014). Travel, lodging, and meal expenses incurred by the student will be covered by the GEOTech Center.

Registration for the 2014 National Mapping contest will take place through LinkedIn beginning January 1, 2014 (http://www.linkedin.com/groups?home=&gid=7425740&trk=anet_ug_hm).
Students must create a profile on the GEOTech National Mapping Contest site (search GEOTech National Mapping Contest) before they will be allowed to take the online exam or enter their project. The online profile must include the entrants name and school, an appropriate (i.e., professional) image, and any pertinent contact information. Once students have created their on-line profile they will be allowed to take an on-line exam beginning January 15th.

Exam Questions and YouTube

Exam questions, drawn from geospatial educators and practitioners from around the country, will cover a variety of topics from the disciplines of geographic information systems, remote sensing and GPS/GNSS systems. Questions on the written exam will focus on the theory and applications of geospatial technology and will not focus on any single platform or process. After completing the online exam students will move onto Phase 2 of the contest where they will create a YouTube video that describes a project of their choosing, identifies the purpose of the project, the geospatial tools and analyses used in the project.

An informational webinar will be conducted on February 5th.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Internship (summer 2014; )

Great Smoky Mountains National Park 2014 Internship POSITION TITLE GIS Intern
4 Position
STIPEND $125 per week + dorm housing included

GIS interns needed beginning June 2014 and lasting for 12 weeks for assistance with GIS data creation data management, and technology transfer. Duties will include using ArcGIS Desktop software and Trimble GPS Equipment to create and manage new GIS data layers; Coordinating with park staff to organize existing spatial data and create and document procedures for updating geo-spatial datasets; Use of GIS to support GIS and database development in the following areas: Wildlife Management, Cultural Resources, Fisheries and Water Quality, Inventory and Monitoring, Climate, Remote Sensing; Developing base-mapping programs for the continued collection and analysis of monitoring data.
Must be able to hike in mountainous terrain in hot humid or inclement weather conditions carrying a daypack or backpack and other field equipment. Good fitting hiking boots and rainwear are important personal items to have prior to arrival. Stinging insects, poison ivy, slippery footing, and venomous snakes are known field hazards. Work schedule is 4/ten hour days 7:00 AM to 5:30 PM, M-T

Some education or experience in geographic information systems (GIS), computer cartography a must, specifically experience using ArcGIS Desktop (ArcMap/ArcCatalog). Experience with geodatabase formats is a plus, as is understanding of geodatabase tables. Applicant should have the ability to write and follow detailed technical information documents and be self-motivated and flexible. Valid state vehicle operator’s license desired.
Documentation Required:
Access to government computers requires the following: ability to pass Federal Computer Security Background Investigation; must be able and willing to complete background check application and return via registered mail; must provide own transportation and expense for purpose of obtaining a DOI Employee Identification Card.

Application materials must be received by February 15th, 2014. Send resume, 3 references, and copy of transcripts to:
Thomas Colson, GIS Program Manager
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
1316 Cherokee Orchard Road
Gatlinburg, TN 37738