Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Discussing GIS with students at the Indo Asian Academy

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Examples of student work

CORE Projects and Technologies - Bombay

Monday was spent in Bombay with people at CORE Projects and Technologies discussing how their 3D immersing technologies can be integrated into some of our classes. CORE Projects and Technologies is a products and solutions driven company with many PPP's (Public Private Partnerships) in many domains within the education arena. They focus on both the Business of Eduation and the Delivery of Education. Primarily and education company, CORE has domain expertise in the following domains:
  • Assessment / Achievement
  • Accountability
  • Grants and Financial
  • Safety
  • Student Information
  • Communication
  • Professional Development
We also visited the India Institute of Technology (IIT) while in Bombay. IIT is the premier Engineering and Technology University in India. We met with the engineering school who is working with CORE on the 3D immersion technologies. IIT is using it to better model and visualize earthquakes.

Agra and the Taj

A brief break from long days, much travel and many meetings brought us to the town of Agra and the Taj Mahal. The Taj was greater than expected and it's hard to imagine we were there. The Taj Mahal was built by a king in honor of his second wife. There are two other tombs flanking the Taj where his first and third wives are buried. In addition to the Taj, we visited the Red Fort across the river where the King was imprisoned by his son before the Taj was completed. His son imprisoned him because he thougth the Taj was too excessive and expensive. This was a nice break considering the week after consists of flying 3 cities in 5 days and having countless meetings. Enjoy the pictures of the Taj Mahal.

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Where's Pete? (and Pam and Russ)?

Please ignore the straight line going southeast from the airport ... I turned on the GPS unit in a town southeast of the airport and it drew this line. I don't have the software to edit it our currently.

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

India pics

Check out the pics from Dehli. A couple of thoughts ... the traffic is every bit as crazy as you hear. Actually, crazier. Also note the differences between the very nice buildings (not the norm) and the areas that do not seem so nice (more the norm).

Friday meetings with IBM and IGNOU

Friday started with the first meeting of our trip at IBM with the Country Manager for Government and Education, Satish Kaushal. Satish gave us a great overview of the education system in India including past, present and future hopes for the country. We also discussed IBM's role in the country with higher education and their unique position to assist with infrastructure and delivery of educational content through hardware and other solutions. This meeting was initiated by Amita Mehta, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Technology Officer with Core Products and Technologies Ltd who we will be spending time with in Mumbai (Bombay) early this coming week exploring 3D visualization technologies.

From there, we went to Indira Gandhi National Open Universtiy (IGNOU), a very large university with a major campus in Dehli. IGNOU has 1.8 million students (yes ... 1.8 million) throughout 20+ countries. We met with the chair of the School of Engineering and Technology, another professor in the School of Engineering and Technology, and a professor in the School of Sciences. This meeting provided an opportunity to discuss education in the 21st century for students in North Carolina, India and the entire world. The purpose of this open University is to 'reach the unreached'. They have a very similar goal the Community College in the United States has of working with non-traditional students.

IGNOU highlights:

* Reaches the entire country of India using a model of 48 Regional Centers. The Regional Centers cover all the states in India and take care of all admistration tasks including student advising and registration.

* 2000 Study Centers where various subjects are taught. These Study Centers work with other colleges and Universities in varied geographic locations to share/contract resources such as lab space.

* Vast distance learning initiative including their own TV station with 25 channels, FM radio stations and other ways of reaching students that are not on campus.

* 'Self-instructional material - many text books are written collaboratively by teams of faculty and other experts.

* Many courses are offered in several languages.

* Classes culminating with certificates, diplomas, Masters and PhD's.

* Just beginning to have first classes online.

Potential collaboartion between our colleges include opportunities to develop curricula that may be shared through learning objects. Other collaboration may include international collaboration between students and faculty on school work and projects.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


We made it ... 14 hour flight from Newark wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. We left Asheville around 5:30pm on Wednesday and arrived in New Dehli at 8:30pm on Thursday.

Tomorrow, we will be picked up at 7:30am and be driven to IBM to meet with the Director of Education for the country and then on to Indira Gandhi National Open University- IGNOU - for another meeting before flying out to Agra for the weekend.

Highlight of the flight for me ... GPS tracking of the plane all the way so we could see exactly where we were the entire time. I took a picture of the screen in front of me but it is pretty blurry. You get the idea though - we heade NE out of Neward towards Greenland and then across towards Moscow and down through Afghanistan and Pakistan into India.

Second highlight for me on the flight ... viewing the mountain range between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Not the northern Hindu Kush region we all know so much about thanks to Al Qaeda taking refuge there but impressive none-the-less.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

off to india ...

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2 hours to Newark, NJ
14 hours to New Dehli, India

Friday, September 12, 2008

GIS for Realtors class

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Get a one year eval of 9.3 for around $33

Thanks to Josh O'Conner for pointing this out ... it's an ESRI Press book that comes with a 365 day license of ArcGIS (ArcView of course)

Mapping Our World Using GIS: Our World GIS Education, Level 2 (Our World GIS Education) [Illustrated] -