Adoption of Cropping Sequences in Northeast Montana: A Spatio-temporal Analysis

AEEBy John A. Long, Rick L. Lawrence, Perry R. Miller, Lucy A. Marshall, and Mark C. Greenwood

Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, Volume 197, 01 December 2014, Pages 77–87, Published Online 07 August 2014

“Highlights

  • Study was a spatio-temporal analysis of management practices in northeast Montana.
  • We examined cereal–pulse sequences and strip-cropping conversions during 2001–2012.
  • Both practices were spatially clustered in the region.
  • Neither practice was strongly associated with spread due to diffusion of innovation.
  • Both practices were strongly associated with the availability of water.

“Producers make the decision to adopt a particular agricultural practice within a range of social, economic, environmental, and agronomic constraints. The semiarid regions of the US northern Great Plains are dominated by dryland farming practices and the traditional practice has been to rotate small-grain cereals with summer fallow; however, producers are moving away from this practice. The area of fallow in northeastern Montana decreased by one-third and the area of pulse crops increased nearly six-fold during 2001–2012. We previously identified two key practices that are indicative of regionally changing agricultural practices: (1) the broad-scale adoption of cereal–pulse sequences, and (2) the conversion from continuous strip-cropping to block managed cereal-based sequences. Here, we examined the adoption of these two practices from a spatio-temporal perspective to determine if the observed patterns were consistent with those expected from a priori processes: random occurrence, spread and adoption of the practices due to social interaction as described in innovation diffusion theory, or adoption based on environmental factors. Our results suggest that the adoption and spread of both practices were likely constrained by the suitability of the physical environment. Available water, in particular, exerts a fundamental control on the decision whether or not to adopt either practice. We also found evidence for the expansion of these practices due, in part, to social factors, particularly during the early period of adoption. We conclude that producers made the decision whether or not to adopt these practices primarily as a function of environmental suitability and, to a lesser extent, within the context of social interactions.”

Map Stories Can Provide Dynamic Visualizations of the Anthropocene to Broaden Factually Based Public Understanding

ARThe Anthropocene Review, Published Online 15 July 2014

By Andrew Zolnai

“Provision of broadly accessible and spatially referenced visualizations of the nature and rate of change in the Anthropocene is an essential tool in communicating to policy makers and to the wider public, who generally have little or no contact with academic publications and often rely on media-based information, to form and guide opinion. Three examples are used to demonstrate the use of geo-referenced data and GIS-based map compilations to provide accurate and widely accessible visual portrayals of historical processes.  The first example shows the spread of Neolithic agriculture from Mesopotamia west and north across Europe over several millennia. The second plots the history of the drainage of the Fens (wetlands) in eastern England from the early seventeenth century onward. A third example illustrates one way in which releasing data in the public domain can lead to the enhancement of public data holdings.

Data posted directly on the internet (Zolnai, 2012) from sources discussed in the text: this map story has the abstract at left, the map at centre and the legend at rig ht. It is a synoptic view putting all information in the line of sight along with its geographical context. Panning left and right or zooming in and out helps orient the reader and facilitate a better grasp of the details.

Data posted directly on the internet (Zolnai, 2012) from sources discussed in the text: this map story has the abstract at left, the map at centre and the legend at right. It is a synoptic view putting all information in the line of sight along with its geographical context. Panning left and right or zooming in and out helps orient the reader and facilitate a better grasp of the details.

“A concluding discussion outlines ways in which the methodology illustrated may be applied to processes key to understanding the Anthropocene.”

SDM Toolbox: A Python-based GIS Toolkit for Landscape Genetic, Biogeographic, and Species Distribution Model Analyses

MEE_CoverMethods in Ecology and Evolution 2014, 5, 694–700

By Jason L. Brown

“1. Species distribution models (SDMs) are broadly used in ecological and evolutionary studies. Almost all SDM methods require extensive data preparation in a geographic information system (GIS) prior to model building. Often, this step is cumbersome and, if not properly done, can lead to poorly parameterized models or in some cases, if too difficult, prevents the realization of SDMs. Further, for many studies, the creation of SDMs is not the final result and the post-modelling processing can be equally arduous as other steps.

Illustrative overview of SDMtoolbox. Basic Tools. SDMtoolbox contains 19 basic tools for converting and batch processing shapefile and raster data.

Illustrative overview of SDMtoolbox. Basic Tools. SDMtoolbox contains 19 basic tools for converting and batch processing shapefile and raster data.

2. SDMtoolbox is designed to facilitate many complicated pre- and post-processing steps commonly required for species distribution modelling and other geospatial analyses. SDMtoolbox consists of 59 Python script-based GIS tools developed and compiled into a single interface.

3. A large set of the tools were created to complement SDMs generated inMaxent or to improve the predictive performance of SDMs created inMaxent. However, SDMtoolbox is not limited to analyses of Maxent models, andmany tools are also available for additional analyses or general geospatial processing: for example, assessing landscape connectivity of haplotype networks (using least-cost corridors or least-cost paths); correcting SDM over-prediction; quantifying distributional changes between current and future SDMs; or for calculating several biodiversity metrics, such as corrected weighted endemism.

4. SDMtoolbox is a free comprehensive python-based toolbox for macroecology, landscape genetic and evolutionary studies to be used in ArcGIS 10.1 (or higher) with the Spatial Analyst extension. The toolkit simplifies many GIS analyses required for species distribution modelling and other analyses, alleviating the need for repetitive and time-consuming climate data pre-processing and post-SDManalyses.”

Chuck Croner to be Inducted Into URISA’s GIS Hall of Fame

URISAThe Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) is pleased to announce the induction of Charles M. Croner, PhD into URISA’s GIS Hall of Fame. The honor will be officially recognized during GIS-Pro 2014 in New Orleans this September.

URISA’s GIS Hall of Fame honors persons and organizations that have made significant and original contributions to the development and application of GIS concepts, tools, or resources, or to the GIS profession.

URISA’s Hall of Fame laureates include:

  • 2005 Inductees: Edgar Horwood, Ian McHarg, Roger Tomlinson, Jack Dangermond, Nancy Tosta, and the Harvard Lab
  • 2006 Inductee: Gary Hunter
  • 2007 Inductees: Don Cooke and Michael Goodchild
  • 2009 Inductees: Will Craig and Carl Reed
  • 2010 Inductee: C. Dana Tomlin
  • 2011 Inductees: William Huxhold and Barry Wellar
  • 2012 Inductees: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Natural Resources Canada, Statistics Canada, United States Census Bureau and United States Geological Survey
  • 2014 Inductee: Charles Croner
Charles M. Croner

Charles M. Croner

Charles (Chuck) Croner, Geographer and Survey Statistician, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), served as founding Editor of the bimonthly digital newsletter Public Health GIS News and Information (online at http://stacks.cdc.gov ). This pioneering publication, 1994-2006, helped establish the CDC as the lead agency and focal point for the timely dissemination of GIS and public health related developments worldwide. Initially designed for CDC staff, its readership grew to include most U.S. State and local public health departments, and an extensive international audience. Chuck received the highest award from the private sector (ESRI, 2007), and many awards from government, academia and the CDC.

Chuck majored in geography at Towson (BS) and Michigan State (MA, PhD) universities, and studied statistics at Harvard. Prior to graduate school, Chuck served as an Infantry Officer (rank of Captain), and helicopter navigator, in the U.S. Marine Corps. “The military served to advance my geographic foundations, both through formal land and air navigation instruction, and instill in me an indispensable perspective of mapping in dynamic time and space.“

Although there were only several professional geographers employed at the CDC in 1972, Chuck worked to position the CDC into one of GIS and public health leadership. “I believed CDC’s outstanding reputation for medical intervention, including life saving vaccines and the prevention of costly infectious and chronic diseases, could benefit further from the inclusion of geography into the emerging multidisciplinary CDC approach to public health science. The timing could not have been better.” Through the newsletter, the role of geography at CDC reached nationally and across the globe.

Chuck provided CDC public health leadership as the first Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) representative to the nation’s Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), where he “served with distinction” having guided HHS to member status. Chuck is responsible for the successful development of federal GIS interagency agreements with the U.S. Bureau of Census, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development , to leverage geospatial investments; for creating the first long-term collaborative small area GIS study of minority health between CDC  and Cleveland’s Center for Community Solutions (CCS); and, for having contributed to the planning and instruction of the USGS Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Summer Faculty GIS Workshops program.

Chuck created CDC’s first GIS Awareness Week, Cartography and GIS Guest Lecture Series, Public Health GIS Users Group, and the Internet GIS Guest Lecture Series. He received numerous career awards for his work with GIS and minority public health disparities. He was tasked by the CDC to help design CDC’s first Enterprise GIS Roadmap.

Visit URISA’s GIS Hall of Fame to learn about the path-breaking accomplishments of all inductees.

[Source: URISA press release]

URISA 2014 Board of Directors Election Results Announced

URISAURISA is pleased to announce the results of its 2014 Board of Directors’ Election. Rebecca Somers will become President-Elect of the association and Valrie Grant, Kevin Mickey and Martin Roche will begin their terms as members of the Board of Directors, at the close of GIS-Pro 2014: URISA’s 52nd Annual Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana, September 8-11, 2014.

Rebecca Somers, GISP, Somers-St. Claire GIS Management Consultants resides in Fairfax, Virginia. In her statement to the membership, she noted, “URISA has done some outstanding planning in the past couple of years and has many exciting new initiatives planned and underway.    These new developments have the potential to transform URISA to a new level of GIS professional leadership.   I’ve worked on the teams developing the GMI, GIS best practices, and expanded educational programs, and it has been an intellectually stimulating and rewarding experience.   As president, I would work to ensure the successful progression of all of URISA’s new plans.  The years 2014-17 should see many new developments including the launch of GMI’s organizational assessment and accreditation service, publication and dissemination of GIS best practices information, new professional publications and resources, new workshop and webinar topics, and new educational programs….URISA has always been a central part of my professional life and I look forward to the opportunity to combine my business expertise and extensive URISA experience to help guide URISA to continuing success.”

Three new directors were elected by the URISA membership to serve a three-year term on the URISA Board, also beginning in September. The three new Board members are:

  • Valrie Grant GISP – President, GeoTechVision, Kingston, Jamaica
  • Kevin Mickey, GISP – Director Geospatial Technologies Education, The Polis Center-IUPUI, Indianapolis, IN
  • Martin Roche, GISP – President/CEO, Geo Planning Services LLC, Orlando, FL

At the close of GIS-Pro 2014 in New Orleans, the terms of service for these Board members will conclude:

  • Al Butler (Immediate Past President) – City of Ocoee, Florida
  • Tripp Corbin, GISP – eGIS Associates, Dacula, Georgia
  • Cindy Post – University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta Canada
  • Teresa Townsend, AICP – Planning Communities LLC, Raleigh, North Carolina

We thank them all, in advance, for their dedication and service to URISA and anticipate many more years of continued involvement.

Wendy Nelson

Executive Director – URISA

wnelson@urisa.org   www.urisa.org    847-824-6300

SIT-REM: An Interoperable and Interactive Web Geographic Information System for Fauna, Flora and Plant Landscape Data Management

ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, 2014, 3(2), 853-867

By Emanuele Frontoni, Adriano Mancini, Primo Zingaretti, Eva Malinverni, Simone Pesaresi, Edoardo Biondi, Massimo Pandolfi, Maria Marseglia, Mirco Sturari, and Claudio Zabaglia

“The main goal of the SIT-REM project is the design and the development of an interoperable web-GIS environment for the information retrieval and data editing/updating of the geobotanical and wildlife map of Marche Region. The vegetation, plant landscape and faunistic analysis allow the realization of a regional information system for wildlife-geobotanical data.

Example of ArcGIS Explorer interface reading WMS from SIT REM.

Example of ArcGIS Explorer interface reading WMS from SIT REM.

“A main characteristic of the SIT-REM is its flexibility and interoperability, in particular, its ability to be easily updated with the insertion of new types of environmental, faunal or socio-economic data and to generate analyses at any geographical (from regional to local) or quantitative level of detail. Different query levels obtain the latter: spatial queries, hybrid query builder and WMSs usable by means of a GIS. SIT-REM has been available online for more than a year and its use over this period has produced extensive data about users’ experiences. “

OGC Calls for Comment on Candidate Moving Feature Encoding Standard

OGC_Logo_Border_Blue_3DThe OGC seeks public comment on a candidate OGC® Moving Feature Encoding Standard. Part I of this candidate standard provides a standard way of encoding moving feature data in an XML encoding in the form of an OGC Geography Markup Language (GML) application schema. Part II provides a standard way of encoding moving feature data in a simple CSV (comma-separated value) format.

The candidate OGC® Moving Feature Encoding Standard is available at http://www.opengeospatial.org/standards/requests/124. Comments are due by 23 August 2014.

The advance of mobile computing and internet-connected sensors (including sensors and GPS transponders in cell phones and notebook computers) brings with it a rapid rise in applications for moving feature data, typically representing vehicles or pedestrians. Many innovative moving feature applications will require the overlay and integration of moving feature data from different sources. Examples can easily be imagined for disaster risk management, traffic information services, security services, navigation for robots, aviation or maritime traffic monitoring, and wildlife tracking and conservation. Most current applications, however, are limited to single-source moving feature data.

More efficient moving feature data exchange will result in a requirement for massive data handling. The CSV style encoding provides an efficient and easily understood standard for encoding lightweight data records, which will be important for many applications involving large data volumes and real-time response. The GML application schema style encoding for Moving Features provides for the encoding of more complex spatial information.

This standard addresses only “rigid” moving features, such as vehicles, as opposed to those that deform, such as flood water, and it does not address moving features whose descriptions contain other moving features that must be updated as the feature moves, such as control surfaces on an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). It also is for archived Moving Feature data only, and not for live feeds from sensors.

The OGC is an international consortium of more than 475 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geospatial standards. OGC standards support interoperable solutions that “geo-enable” the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. OGC standards empower technology developers to make geospatial information and services accessible and useful with any application that needs to be geospatially enabled. Visit the OGC website at http://www.opengeospatial.org/contact.

[Source: OGC press release]