MN GIS/LIS NEWS
Winter 2007-8
ISSUE 51

MN GIS/LIS NEWS
The Newsletter of the Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium

Table of Contents

MN GIS/LIS Consortium

Conference Review
From the Chair
Competition Results
Budget News

State
GLO Notes Online
Ag/DNR Collaboration Water/Utilities/Telecom Info
NSGIC highlights

Governor's Council
Open for Requests

Regional
MetroGIS Business Plan

Local
Goodhue Wetland Model

Federal
Pipeline Viewer
Stream Class Problems
Computer Energy Standards

Higher Education
UofM GIS Portfolio
Certificate at Mankato
St. Mary's Update

K-12 Education
MIIM Internet Mapper

Non-Profits
GITA Conference

People
Craig Wins Award
Zenk NGS Advisor

Other Places
GIS Jobs in Demand
Landsat Island

 

Students Discovering Geography with MIIM
By Steven Manson, University of Minnesota

The Minnesota Interactive Internet Mapping (MIIM) Project is a web-based mapping application that introduces K-12 and post-secondary students to principles of geography and GIS. While MIIM provides digital maps and imagery in a manner similar to services like Google Maps, the project works with educators to identify features tailored to instruction. Key among these is a broad range of data, interactivity, security, ease of use, customization, analytical capabilities, low resource demands, and sustainability.

The project is a collaboration between the University of Minnesota and Eco Education (http://www.ecoeducation.org), an environmental education organization based in Saint Paul, that has served over 130,000 students since 1991. The project is being tested by elementary school teachers in three schools in the Twin Cities in grades 5-7 and by students in several University of Minnesota undergraduate courses.

MIIM is an exciting way to bring GISc into broader use. Kathy Kinzig, Executive Director of Eco Education, notes that “GIS is a technology that is being used more and more to help us understand and address environmental issues. The tools will only get better. Eco Education wants to integrate the use of this technology into our environmental education programming to excite students about the complex ways to look at issues using GIS and to potentially prepare them for using these skills in their future.”

MIIM uses of several open-source projects, including Mapbender, MapServer, and PostgreSQL/PostGIS. This combination of technologies is appropriate for educational settings that do not offer extensive teacher training, dedicated computer labs, software budgets, or technical support. Once the initial Fall 2007 rollout is complete, a larger set of courses will incorporate the project. The basic application is readily available to anyone at http://maps.umn.edu

At the University of Minnesota, the project is led by Len Kne, an MGIS student; Professor Steven Manson; and K-12 Coordinator Anise McDowell. Key EcoEducation staff include Executive Director Kathy Kinzig; AmeriCorps Community Technology Empowerment Project (CTEP) member, Jen Elliott; and Program Coordinators Christopher Feider and Faith Krogstad. This work is supported in part by NASA, the McKnight Foundation, and the University of Minnesota Office for Public Engagement and College of Liberal Arts Infotech Fees Committee.

For more information, contact Steven Manson at manson@umn.edu or give MIIM a try at http://maps.umn.edu