My World GIS
My World GIS
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  • Margaret Chernosky, teacher from Bangor, Maine:
My World GIS is a powerful GIS software for K-12 classrooms. Because of its simplicity, and intuitiveness, it is the perfect choice for educators who want to teach spatial literacy. It was designed for the classroom where skill levels may be limited and time is always short. Geographic content is a priority in my classroom and I avoid using precious classroom time to teach the tool.

I teach a year long GIS in Geography course in Bangor, Maine. Our primary GIS software is the industry standard and we use it to help us learn about spatial relationships. It has a very steep learning curve and although the students have made terrific gains, some are still struggling even at the end of the year. Because we have spent so many hours leaning the tool, geographic content has taken a back seat.

In February, I took My World GIS to the toughest critics, my students. I asked the students to pilot a My World GIS lesson for me. Afterwards, the students raved about the simplicity and the power of the software. They loved how the program offers 4 sequential modes of spatial analysis: construct, visualize, analyze and edit. It has much of the functionality of industry-grade GIS, but without the difficulty.

It handles local GIS data with ease.  I can download GIS data from the Maine Office of GIS, unproject it and import the datasets into My World in just a few minutes. Students can also bring in GPS waypoints and tracks of their neighborhood adventures. It also allows students to use images that are dynamically linked to the internet though the web mapping service.

Teachers will want to spend some time becoming comfortable with the structure and functions of My World GIS by using the step-by-step lessons on the My World GIS website. Practice these lessons first, and then you will be ready to let the students loose to explore their landscapes with GIS. There is easy-to-follow help documentation within the software, and additional support is available from the website.

My World GIS is very affordable, just $99US for 10 seats.

  • An anonymous teacher writes:
I was basically a novice to the use of GIS software when I started these projects over a year ago, although I have a great deal of experience using computers and a variety of other software in both math and history classrooms.  After reading the "Learning to Think Spatially" report and "Past Time, Past Place:  GIS in History" and thinking about data map activities I had used in class and how they could be nicely adapted and expanded with the right software, I came across My World. The price is definitely right for school use, and, more importantly, ease of use for student inquiry into pre-existing data files seems right on the mark for the secondary level.  The construction of analysis queries is straightforward and allows for easy translation of teacher and student questions with minimal examples.

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Last Updated: 2007-07-03 12:34:20

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