Stuff to share

Explain GIS Better was my last “thought leadership” piece as an Esri employee. I hope it conveys some of the perspective and humility I learned during those eight years in the private sector.

Stop Teaching GIS is a 2018 post that shares lessons learned during an 18-month project to reimagine and recreate an online course I’d originally developed 20 years earlier. GEOG 482: Making Maps that Matter with GIS was the most challenging and rewarding project of my career. (The course title is a compromise required by Penn State’s Faculty Senate; the title I proposed was “Why GIS Matters”.)

Will GIS Matter in the Internet of Things? Invited presentation at North Carolina State University’s Center for Geospatial Analytics, October 18, 2017. Presentation adapted from the concluding lesson in the Penn State Online class GEOG 482: Making Maps that Matter with GIS.

Closing remarks on Geoenabled Education at the Conference on Geospatial Technology and Online Learning, hosted by the Center for Geographic Analysis at Harvard University, May 2, 2014. It was a pleasure to co-organize this conference with Wendy Guan. Michael Solem and I later expanded on this theme as a thematic track in the 2015 Annual Conference of the Association of American Geographers.


Stand and Be Counted: Seven Ways to Strengthen the GIS Profession. Keynote address at Spatial Plexus, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta GA, May 22, 2012. What does Howard Beale’s famous exhortation in the film Network have in common with GIS?

Geospatial Technology Competency Model. I was privileged to serve as facilitator and lead editor of this 2010 specification that was organized by the NSF-funded National Geospatial Technology Center and published by the U.S. Department of Labor.

GIS&T Body of Knowledge. In 2003 I accepted an invitation to chair the Education Committee of the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS). The Committee’s unfinished business was the Model Curricula project, which Duane Marble instigated in 1998. With support from Esri, I led a team of (mostly) academicians who completed a first edition of the core element of the Model Curricula, a “Body of Knowledge” that identifies 1,660 educational objectives that comprise the field. The Association of American Geographers published the first edition of this work in 2006. The 2nd edition, hosted by UCGIS, appears online at

Nature of Geographic Information. This is the open online “textbook” I wrote for the introductory class in the Penn State Online certificate program in GIS. It’s still in use, though heaven knows portions of it are overdue for updates.

It Was Rogers Idea. Origin story about Penn State’s Online Geospatial Programs written for the Department of Geography Newsletter in 2007.

I Want My PhD. Lyrics I wrote for Breezewood Honeymoon’s version of the Dire Straights classic “I Want My MTV.”

Publications, presentations, etc (CV)

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