Thursday, 29 May 2014

New report from the Royal Statistical Society

A main purpose for the I-USE project is the development of statistical literacy in teachers and students.
This new report from the Royal Statistical Society looks for the opportunities for exploring statistical literacy that are offered across the main 'A' level subjects in the UK - similar opportunities will no doubt be offered by comparable subjects / assessments in other EU countries, and also by the IB.

The report explores the possibilities for the following subjects:

Business Studies

The report can be downloaded in PDF format by clicking THIS LINK.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Plotting data from a spreadsheet in ArcGIS Online - connections with I-USE

ArcGIS Online has been causing a lot of excitement amongst those teachers who have seen it in action.

It has both FREE and SUBSCRIPTION options, and the FREE version is sufficient to start creating some really interesting maps, and working with data (which may come from I-USE)

One of the most exciting things is the ability to map data from a spreadsheet really quickly, using both 2D and '3D' mapping (using the Thematic Mapping engine, which we have also adopted for the I-USE 3D Mapping option)

I have been exploring ArcGIS Online for several courses that have been running over the next last few months, and have worked on some activities. We will be using some others developed by Bob Lang during the summer term.

You can add data to ArcGIS Online in a range of formats - the best option is to save your spreadsheet in CSV (Comma Separated Variable) format.
For those who are unfamiliar with spreadsheets, this is a type of spreadsheet where the boxes are missing, and replaced by a comma... so each of the cells' contents is separated by commas rather than lines.
Another element of the tool is the ability to use templates to explore places, and also to create your own STORY MAPS. I've been discussing this with Joseph Kerski. He has recently shared an essay on how this system might work.

I have also been exploring the ease with which information can be added from a spreadsheet...
This is data on crime from the POLICE.UK website, for example.

How does this connect with the I-USE project ?

One of the outcomes that is possible from the website is a CSV file that is generated from users' own data. This could connect very nicely with ArcGIS Online.

More on this to come as part of the teacher development course, that we are planning at the moment...

Sunday, 11 May 2014

LondonMapper - visualising complex data sets...

“Our aim is to provide unbiased information about London's social, environmental and economic issues.
“These maps are like fancy pie charts, and if something is twice the size of something else it is obvious. We just want to spark a debate about the differences in one big city.”
Professor Danny Dorling

Ben Hennig and Alan Parkinson from the I-USE team are working on some educational materials for a project called LondonMapper - a website which officially launched today, funded by the Trust for London.
The educational materials are being funded by an Innovative Geography Teaching grant that they have been awarded by the Royal Geographical Society.

Ben's maps will be familiar to many from his work on WorldMapper with Danny Dorling and others from Sheffield University.
Ben now works at the University of Oxford, still with Danny Dorling, and LondonMapper is one of several exciting projects that he is working on.

The site got a lot of early publicity and was featured in quite a few of the newspapers today.
- the Guardian
- Daily Mail
- the Independent
for example...

Explore the data on this Guardian Datablog page, which includes the hedgehog map and peregrine falcon map created along with Daniel Raven Ellison as part of the Greater London National Park project

The site will be expanded in the next few weeks with a whole tranche of new maps.

It's a reminder that maps (or in this case cartograms) are one way of visualising statistical data to make the patterns buried in it visible...

Thanks for the mention :)