As first semester wraps up, Ii have time to reflect on all the the exciting GIS projects I have had the opportunity to work on this term.

Through my 4GT3: Special Topics in GIS Course, I had the opportunity to explore analytical techniques and GIS applications that fall outside the domains of standard course projects.
We started off the semester with an excellent introduction to Story Maps and Web Mapping with ArcGIS online. From there we moved on using the Web Appbuilder to author our very own web applications and we even had Jonathan Van Dusen from Esri Canada come down and give us a lesson about utilizing Web Appbuilder developer addition and the ArcGIS Javascript Api to create customized themes, widgets and applications (a skill that will surely come in handy for this years WebAPP Challenge!).

My personal favourite aspect of the course was when we moved on 3D analytical techniques in GIS. As our instructor Pat Deluca often made clear, 3D GIS is a unique and important aspect of an analyst’s toolbox that is essential solving modern day spatial problems. We made use of Esri’s ArcGIS Earth and ArcScene to visualize and solve 3D problems involving sightlines, viewsheds and enhanced data visualization through feature extrusion. Through this I gained a renewed appreciation for an entire area of GIS I had not yet explored and I hope to continue to use 3D concepts in future endeavors.

The skills I picked up in my special topics course allowed me to enter into the Esri Global Content Challenge, which enables students from around the world to use Esri’s diverse living atlas library and the Story Map journal template to present unique and interesting perspectives on topics related to Land, Oceans, and Populations. Below you can see a preview of my submission and you can check out my complete entry Here!
A selection of slides from the Story Map Journal i have entered into Esri's Global Content ChallengeCreating a story map was certainly a fun challenge and I wish the best of luck to fellow competitors from my class and from around the world.

As this term comes to an end, I look forward to new and exciting opportunities to continue with GIS in the new year. I look forward to entering the Esri WebApp Challenge once again and to exploring applications of spatial statistics in my 4GA3 course next term!

Until then, Happy Holidays!