Esri Leverages Federal Open Data Policies

Esri logoEnhanced Elevation Data to Become Available in ArcGIS Online; Facilitates Building More Resilient Communities

President Obama today announced the public availability of 30 meter SRTM data. Immediately following the President’s speech, Esri announced that it will enhance its existing World Elevation Map to include this more detailed 30 meter SRTM data, making the data available to its customers and others around the world. By taking advantage of new federal open data policies, users will be able to build more resilient communities.

“Esri leverages US government open data policies for the benefit of our customers, and we’re excited to leverage our platform to help deliver the SRTM 30 meter elevation data available for everyone in the world,” said Jack Dangermond, Esri founder and president. “This will add to the rich data offerings already available to Esri customers through ArcGIS Online, and will help our users build more resilient communities and address pressing environmental and societal issues.”

In February of 2000, the Space Shuttle Endeavour flew an 11-day mission called the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM). With a specially modified radar system onboard, the mission obtained 30 meter elevation data on a near-global scale to generate the most complete high-resolution digital topographic database of Earth.

Esri’s World Elevation Map supports visualization (e.g., hillshade, slope, aspect) as well as analysis (e.g., viewshed, terrain profile). The addition of 30 meter elevation data will be a significant enhancement and will enrich many applications such as earth science and landscape modeling as well as visualization.

Esri has developed an advanced cloud-based GIS platform known as ArcGIS Online, which allows users of all types to leverage the World Elevation Map and a vast array of other geographic data and services for sophisticated analysis with no software installation required. ArcGIS Online will be a powerful delivery platform for leveraging the release of 30 meter SRTM data by the US government.

“This elevation data will be especially valuable for critical applications such as watershed modeling, hydrologic modeling, and a host of other geographic sciences,” added Dangermond. “It’s an enormous contribution to science and society.”

Esri will stand up 30 meter SRTM services as the data is released by the US government.

[Source: Esri press release]

Challenges in Building Coastal Digital Elevation Models

Journal of Coastal ResearchJournal of Coastal Research, Volume 30, Issue 5: pp. 942 – 953, September 2014

By Barry W. Eakins and Pamela R. Grothe

“Digital elevation models (DEMs) support a wide variety of uses, including modeling of surface processes, habitat mapping and conservation planning, coastal change and terrain analysis, and Earth visualization and exploration. These models may, however, contain significant deviations from the surface they are intended to represent, which could reduce their usefulness. Additional complexities arise when integrating bathymetric and topographic data to create coastal DEMs. We identify common challenges in building square-cell, coastal DEMs and present some solutions. These challenges are grouped into six general categories: (1) source data, (2) data processing, (3) model development, (4) model assessment, (5) morphologic change, and (6) model uncertainty.

Example of topographic creep introduced by gridding interpolation. (A) Color image of the GEBCO 1-minute global relief model along the northwest coast of Iceland. Note how the data-poor fjords have positive elevation values in the model due to the predominance of surrounding positive topography. (B) Color image of the same area in the ETOPO1 1-minute global relief model. Bathymetric data, in the presence of a coastline (red), were gridded first in order to interpolate negative elevation values into the fjords.

Example of topographic creep introduced by gridding interpolation. (A) Color image of the GEBCO 1-minute global relief model along the northwest coast of Iceland. Note how the data-poor fjords have positive elevation values in the model due to the predominance of surrounding positive topography. (B) Color image of the same area in the ETOPO1 1-minute global relief model. Bathymetric data, in the presence of a coastline (red), were gridded first in order to interpolate negative elevation values into the fjords.

“Some DEM best practices to help improve DEM accuracy and utility include: visual inspection of source data in a geographic information system (GIS) environment; establishing common horizontal and vertical datums; using data buffers and bathymetric presurfaces; assessing DEM accuracy; accounting for morphologic change; and quantifying DEM uncertainty at the cell level.”

The Spatial Analysis on Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome in Jiangsu Province, China Based on Geographic Information System

PLOS_ONEPLoS ONE 9(9): e83848, published online 10 September 2014

By Changjun Bao, Wanwan Liu, Yefei Zhu, Wendong Liu, Jianli Hu, Qi Liang, Yuejia Cheng, Ying Wu, Rongbin Yu, Minghao Zhou, Hongbing Shen, Feng Chen, Fenyang Tang, and Zhihang Peng

Background
Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) is endemic in mainland China, accounting for 90% of total reported cases worldwide, and Jiangsu is one of the most severely affected provinces. In this study, the authors conducted GIS-based spatial analyses in order to determine the spatial distribution of the HFRS cases, identify key areas and explore risk factors for public health planning and resource allocation.

Methods
Interpolation maps by inverse distance weighting were produced to detect the spatial distribution of HFRS cases in Jiangsu from 2001 to 2011. Spatio-temporal clustering was applied to identify clusters at the county level. Spatial correlation analysis was conducted to detect influencing factors of HFRS in Jiangsu.

 Interpolated maps of HFRS by IDW in Jiangsu in 2001, 2004, 2007 and 2010. The incidence of HFRS per 100,000 residents is shown in the map. The incidence of HFRS has a positive relationship with color depth.

Interpolated maps of HFRS by IDW in Jiangsu in 2001, 2004, 2007 and 2010. The incidence of HFRS per 100,000 residents is shown in the map. The incidence of HFRS has a positive relationship with color depth.

Results
HFRS cases in Jiangsu from 2001 to 2011 were mapped and the results suggested that cases in Jiangsu were not distributed randomly. Cases were mainly distributed in northeastern and southwestern Jiangsu, especially in Dafeng and Sihong counties. It was notable that prior to this study, Sihong county had rarely been reported as a high-risk area of HFRS. With the maximum spatial size of 50% of the total population and the maximum temporal size of 50% of the total population, spatio-temporal clustering showed that there was one most likely cluster (LLR = 624.52, P<0.0001, RR = 8.19) and one second-most likely cluster (LLR = 553.97, P<0.0001, RR = 8.25), and both of these clusters appeared from 2001 to 2004. Spatial correlation analysis showed that the incidence of HFRS in Jiangsu was influenced by distances to highways, railways, rivers and lakes.

Conclusion
The application of GIS together with spatial interpolation, spatio-temporal clustering and spatial correlation analysis can effectively identify high-risk areas and factors influencing HFRS incidence to lay a foundation for researching its pathogenesis.”

OGC supports American Geographical Society Geography 2050 Fall Symposium

OGC_Logo_Border_Blue_3DThe OGC is a partner with the American Geographical Society, the Earth Institute and the US Geospatial Intelligence Foundation in presenting the American Geographical Society (AGS) Fall Symposium, “Geography 2050: Mounting an Expedition to the Future”. The symposium will be held on Wednesday, November 19, 2014. Hosted by the Earth Institute at Columbia University, the one-day event will take place in the historic Low Library, site of the Pulitzer Prize Award Ceremony. This is the inaugural event of a multi-year strategic dialog meant to help us understand the major trends that will reshape our nation and our planet between now and 2050, and the investments in data, technology and capabilities necessary to navigate our uncertain future successfully.

This Symposium offers an opportunity for professionals in industry, government, academia, and the social sector, as well as members of the general public to come together to think collectively about exploring the future, and to examine how geography, geographic thinking, and geospatial data and technologies will enable us to address these major trends proactively.

The Symposium will address topics including:

  • Populations, Shifting Identity, and Well Being;
  • Climate, Risk and Opportunity;
  • The Future Energy Landscape;
  • The Emerging Geography of the Internet of Things; and
  • Investment, Law and Policy.

For more information on the Symposium, including registration options, go to http://geography2050.org/ .

“The Open Geospatial Consortium is proud to support this important forward-looking dialog in partnership with the Symposium’s other partners and sponsors,” said Mark Reichardt, OGC’s President and CEO. “Through this exploration of the future of geography, spatial thinking and the application of geospatial information and technology, scientists and policy makers as well as technology providers and consensus standards organizations like OGC have the opportunity to anticipate and include important requirements into their plans and their development activities.”

Since 1851, AGS has been a leading advocate for geography in the United States and around the world. The Society promotes the use of geography in business, government, science, and education. The mission of AGS is to advance geographic knowledge and the recognition of its importance in the contemporary world. The goal is to enhance the nation’s geographic literacy so as to engender sound public policy, national security, and human well-being worldwide. AGS stands for explicit recognition of the geospatial and temporal contexts that shape the real world and influence how it works. The Society maintains its headquarters in New York City, New York. For more information on AGS go to http://www.amergeog.org.

The OGC® is an international geospatial standards consortium of more than 475 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available standards. OGC standards support interoperable solutions that “geo-enable” the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. Visit the OGC website at http://www.opengeospatial.org/.

[Source: OGC press release]

Dr. Este Geraghty to Head Esri’s Health and Human Services Team

Accomplished Physician and Researcher Pledges to Make Health and Place Inseparable

pp_13370_195_165Since Dr. Este Geraghty first encountered GIS while working on her master’s degree in public health, she quickly understood that geography and health share an important link. In her new role as Esri’s health and human services industry manager, Dr. Geraghty plans to explore new ways geography can transform community health and modernize social services.

“As a physician, it’s obvious to me that you can’t tear apart place and health,” said Dr. Geraghty. “I’m thrilled to join Esri and look forward to making geospatial technology an integral part of the landscape in health and human services. My goal is that years from now, people will just expect to find geography in health.”

Before joining Esri, Dr. Geraghty was a practicing physician in general internal medicine at the UC Davis Health System. She also served as the deputy director of the Center for Health Statistics and Informatics at the California Department of Health, where she led the launch of the state’s first open health data portal. The portal exposed actionable information from official state records and relies on maps to help visitors visualize data. For example, Dr. Geraghty and her team used Esri technology to create an interactive map of birth weights in California from 1989 to 2012.

“We are excited to have an experienced physician with Este’s wealth of experience and knowledge leading our health team,” said Esri president Jack Dangermond. “As both a medical professional and a proven advocate for integrating health and technology, Este brings a unique understanding of policy and science that will help us develop meaningful solutions for health and human services organizations.”

Dr. Geraghty will share her vision for geography in health and human services at the upcoming Esri Health GIS Conference. The event, which will be held November 3–5 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, will emphasize how geography improves every aspect of health and human services, from epidemiology and social services to program administration and facility operations.

For more information about GIS in health and human services, visit esri.com/health. For more information about the Esri Health GIS Conference, visit esri.com/healthgis.

[Source: Esri press release]

V1 Media Acquires Earth Imaging Journal

image001Earth observation print publication aligns with current geospatial outlets.

V1 Media welcomes the staff of Earth Imaging Journal (EIJ) as we combine forces to address an Earth observation market that is marked by significant growth prospects and exciting opportunities. The bi-monthly print publication is a great fit with V1 Media’s online geospatial outlets and multimedia production capabilities.

“The timing was right for EIJ to be combined with a proficient publishing firm that shares the same values as our expert staff,” said Jeff Specht, founder and current publisher of Earth Imaging Journal, and principal of Earthwide Communications. “I’m excited for EIJ to grow and continue meeting the demands of the dynamic Earth observation market.”

V1 Media is a global integrated media and learning company serving organizations and individuals that measure, model and manage our natural world as well as those that design, develop and engineer today’s built infrastructure. The company is focused on a better understanding of Earth systems and a better-performing built infrastructure.

“We’re excited to expand the online presence of EIJ and to get back into print,” said Matt Ball, founder and editorial director of V1 Media. “There’s a lot of new ground to cover with the successful launch of the next-generation Worldview-3 satellite, the expansive plans of new micro satellite constellation providers, and the emerging importance of unmanned aircraft systems.”

“The timing of this acquisition couldn’t be better in terms of planning for the year ahead as well as the increasing importance of Earth observation,” said Kevin Carmody, group publisher at V1 Media. “The marketplace has embraced the content and polished presentation of EIJ over the years. We’re eager to support that effort while also parlaying that experience into our new endeavors. It offers great synergy between our publications Informed Infrastructure, Sensors & Systems, Asian Surveying & Mapping, and GeoSpatial Stream. This acquisition will also help us better serve our advertisers.”

The transition will take place commencing with the November/December issue of EIJ, with online updates and other offerings ongoing.

[Source: V1 Media press release]

The Advantages of Incorporating Historical Geographic Information Systems (H-GIS) into Modern Coastal Management Planning

Journal of Map & Geography LibrariesJournal of Map & Geography Libraries: Advances in Geospatial Information, Collections & Archives, 10:157–172, Published Online 23 July 2014

By Michael Reid

“As the terrestrial and marine effects of climate change continue to intensify, the value of natural habitats as a form of protection against a variety of ecological issues is becoming clear. Coastal wetlands, for example, provide protection against incoming storm surges and extreme weather, serve to improve water quality through the sequestration of various pollutants, and offer serious potential as a new source of biofuel. Unfortunately, many of the areas that have been affected by coastal habitat loss still suffer from the same problems that caused those ecosystems to change in the first place. Cities continue to release effluence into estuaries; hydrological engineering projects continue to redirect waterways that change flow and sediment patterns; and increasing populations in coastal areas all assert significant pressures on intertidal ecosystems. This ongoing changing of the landscape-and the length of time that anthropogenic factors have been influencing these habitats-has made modern-day environmental planning and management important yet complicated pursuits. As a result, planners and managers must constantly look for new tools to better understand their environment. Incorporating historically derived environmental data into geographic information systems (GIS) can enhance the quality of ecological models, which subsequently offers environmental planners and managers with a more robust understanding of the ecosystems encompassed within their project areas.”