Association of American Geographers
About AAG Membership Annual Meeting Projects & Programs Education Publications Calendar Of Events Jobs & Careers

GeoMentor Case Study: Jibin Liu

Name Group you collaborated/are collaborating with: New Jersey Botanical Garden

Grade level of students you or your educator collaborator work/worked with: Educators

Subject/topic of class/group you assisted your collaborator with: Set up geodatabase of the trees in botanical garden. Using ArcGIS online app template to build web maps and story maps

How did you connect with your collaborator? Nancy reached out to me from the information I submitted to the GeoMentor Program

Describe your collaboration process. We communicate 30% via emails, and the other 70% through face-to-face meeting. We met three times in total. The first meeting lasted about 1.5 hrs. Nancy and George introduced to me about their plan to build web maps to use on their website. They also showed me what they have done - professional surveying trees in the botanical garden. To suit their needs, I recommend to save the tree data into geodatabase and then use ArcGIS online to build web map applications. During our second meeting (about 3 hrs), I reviewed the geodatabase they have set up, and then we discussed on what kind of web maps they would like to use on their website. It turned out they would like something as the story maps, that people can use to "walk through" the gardens online. Meanwhile, they would like another series maps of each gardens, so that all the trees can be mapped, as well as the detail information of the trees (species, conditions, height, etc). I recommend them to use the Story Map and Basic Map template in ArcGIS online, and chain the maps using hyperlink. I did a demo for them to show the whole process, and planned the next meeting as Q&A session if they have any questions. The third meeting lasts about 2hrs, and I basically answered the questions they have in future works.

Describe the tasks you assisted your collaborator with. Nancy and George need assistance in setting up geodatabase and build web maps. The help they need in setting up geodatabase is small. The most part I helped in this area was what information should be included in the tree database and what kind of database structure will work the best (layers of gardens, or layers of different tree species). Most of their needs set in the web maps part. In this area, I did a step-by-step demo for them to show how to build the web maps they want.

What available resources, if any, did you use or help your collaborator use to implement GIS in K-12 education? The resources I used are coming from online, such as ESRI: Story Maps and ESRI: Configurable Apps

What did you gain from the experience? What do you think your educator collaborator and/or the students gained? What I've learned the most is how to define the user needs and transform in to a real products. Meanwhile, it is also very important to know what exactly the user may want. Sometimes they themselves don't know what they need. Under this situation, I will try to find and show them examples or templates to track down what they want. As for Nancy and George, I think they received detail technical help on setting up geodatabase and building web maps. They are familiar with the tools to fulfill their needs. Meanwhile during our conversation, they got to know some other tools for collecting field data.


Check out more case studies here!

 If you're interested in submitting your GeoMentor experience for a case study, we would appreciate you doing so through this survey. The collected information will only be accessible to and used by AAG and Esri program staff and will not be further distributed or posted online unless you indicate your permission to do so.

Questions? Email