Canine visceral leishmaniasis in an Urban Setting of Southeastern Brazil: An Ecological Study involving Spatial Analysis

pvParasites & Vectors 2014, 7:485, Published online 20 October 2014

By Rafael G Teixeira-Neto, Eduardo S Silva, Renata A Nascimento, Cláudia L Oliveira, Vinícius S Belo, Letícia C Pinheiro, and Célia MF Gontijo

The physical characteristics of the environment influence the composition, distribution and behavior of the vectors and mammalian hosts involved in the transmission of visceral leishmaniasis (VL), thereby affecting the epidemiology of the disease. In Brazil, urbanization of human VL is a recent phenomenon and represents an issue of particular concern to local health authorities. The present study aimed to establish the degree of spatial dependency between canine and human VL in the municipality of Divinópolis, Minas Gerais, Brazil, and to identify priority risk areas in which stricter control measures should be implemented.

The selected canine population comprised 3,652 dogs distributed within 11 strata and 1,247 urban blocks. Serum samples were collected between March 2013 and February 2014. Serodiagnosis of dogs was performed using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and the indirect fluorescent-antibody test. The blocks sampled for canine VL and the addresses of the 16 confirmed cases of human VL notified in Divinópolis during the period 2007?2013 were georeferenced. Spatial analysis of the data was performed using Kernel density estimation, Ripley’s bivariate K-function and directional distribution methods.


The overall prevalence of seropositive animals was 4.63% (range 3.95 – 5.31) (n =169) and varied in different strata between 0.9 (range 0.0 – 1.91) and 8.73% (range 5.65 – 11.81). A positive spatial dependency was detected between human and canine VL in which the occurrence of human cases of the disease tended to concentrate in locations that were close to areas with a higher incidence of canine VL. The priority risk area could be clearly distinguished from Kernel density estimation and standard deviational ellipse plots in which the human VL ellipse was totally enclosed within the canine VL ellipse.

The results presented herein will enable the Municipal Health Office of Divinópolis to devise a more effective management plan for human VL in which specific strategies would be applied to areas presenting different levels of risk. This spatial evaluation of leishmaniasis model could be applied in other urban areas of Brazil”

OGC Hires Dr. Ingo Simonis to Lead Geomatic Sciences Initiatives

OGC master logoThe Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) announces that it has appointed Dr. Ingo Simonis to the position of Director, Interoperability Programs and Science. As Director, Interoperability Programs and Science, Simonis, who is based in Germany, will work with OGC members to plan, manage, and develop architectures for OGC interoperability initiatives such as testbeds, pilots, and interoperability experiments. He has a long history of working in the OGC process as a member, and he brings those years of experience to this role.

Since 2000, Ingo Simonis has been a principal developer of OGC’s Sensor Web Enablement initiative. He has authored four OGC standards and been a member of the OGC Interoperability Projects Team. He has served as lead architect for an OGC testbed thread. He has also served as lead architect for the GEOSS (Group on Earth Observation System of Systems) Application Integration Pilot activities, which are administered by the OGC on behalf of the GEO organization.

He has led a broad range of international research and development projects and research groups. He co-founded the international open source initiative 52°North and was the 52°North-Sensor Web community lead. In 2009, he founded with Martin Klopfer (Technical Director OGC Europe), the International Geospatial publications Institute, iGSI, which provided leadership of the Sensors ANYwhere (SANY) FP7 project.

While pursuing all of these activities, Ingo Simonis has also had a distinguished academic career in the fields of ecology and geoinformatics. Most recently he has worked at South Africa’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and will continue to lecture at Carinthia University. His recent research has focused on the integration and analysis of complex data structures in the context of large-scale sensor networks.

In 2010, he received the OGC Kenneth D. Gardels award for the extraordinary contribution he has made throughout all phases of the design, development and market acceptance of the OGC Sensor Web Enablement (SWE) standards.

The OGC® is an international geospatial standards consortium of more than 495 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

[Source: OGC press release]

Spatio-temporal Analysis of Forest Changes in Contrasting Land Use Regimes of Zanzibar, Tanzania

Applied GeographyApplied Geography, Volume 55, December 2014, Pages 193–202

By Markus Kukkonen and Niina Käyhkö


  • Deforestation has accelerated in Unguja between 1975 and 2009 and current deforestation rate is 0.46%.
  • There are significant differences in forest changes and drivers of change between community, government and agroforest land use regimes of Zanzibar.
  • Shifting cultivation, urban expansion and spread of permanent agriculture are the main proximate causes of forest clearings.
  • The accelerating deforestation rate sheds negative light on the long-term developments of the forest cover.

“We have estimated forest changes and deforestation trends on the island of Unguja (Zanzibar) over the last three decades based on satellite images, forest cover change trajectory and post-forest land cover analysis. The results show that deforestation has intensified and forest cover change rate has changed from 0.03% to −0.46% between 1975–1996 and 1996–2009. On average 0.88 km2 of forests were lost annually, which makes altogether 29.9 km2 during the 34 year study period. Using three distinctive land use regimes prevailing on the island, we are able to show that in reality the changes and their causes were unique in each region. The community forest land use regime was dominated by shifting cultivation related cyclical changes combined with growing deforestation rates. The deforestation rates were also high in agroforest land use regime, but here forest clearings were associated with urban sprawl. Opposite to these two regimes, the cover increased in government forest areas, due to large tree planting schemes. However, forest clearings increased significantly since 1996 in government areas and currently all regimes are facing decreasing forest cover. Population growth, in-migration, urbanization, tourism and increasing demand of agricultural and forestry products were the main underlying causes behind the deforestation. Although, the long-term developments of the forest cover are dictated by these relatively uncontrollable underlying causes, we suggest few actions to restrain deforestation and its effects. These actions include establishment of protected area network with forest corridors, heeding trees in urban and agricultural land use planning, replanting cleared governmental plantations and extending plantations outside the Island.”

URISA Caribbean GIS Conference in Curacao to Feature Influential Keynote Speakers

URISAThe Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) is pleased to announce the keynote speakers for the Seventh Caribbean GIS Conference, taking place in Curacao, October 26-30, 2014. The 2014 conference theme is “Spatial Technologies: Fueling Economic Growth and Development.”  Mr. Steve Kemp, Executive Director of OpenPlan, will deliver the opening keynote address and Mr. Trevor Taylor, Director for the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), will provide the closing keynote address.

Opening Keynote Address – Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Working Together to Plan a Prosperous Future: Using GIS to Make Effective Plans and Achieve Results
As a spatial planner who has been working on projects in the Caribbean since 2006, Steve Kemp has come to know and love the region and is passionate about the role that spatial planning can play in helping Caribbean nations and communities tackle the challenges they face and seize opportunities that have all-too-often remained just beyond their grasp. In 2012/13, Steve led a multi-disciplinary team combining professionals from the Caribbean and the UK to help the Government of Trinidad & Tobago prepare a new National Spatial Development Strategy. The team included GIS experts who made major contributions to the plan-making process. Steve will explain how this experience has increased his understanding and appreciation of the key role that GIS can – and should – play in preparing sound, relevant, evidence-based and effective plans, and that GIS specialists can play in bringing different professions out of their silos to work as integrated teams with common purpose and understanding. He will also explain how GIS can help in engaging communities in plan-making and place-making and facilitating informed participation in democratic decision making.

Founder and Executive Director of OpenPlan based in the United Kingdom, Steve is a spatial planner with over 30 years professional experience who specializes in strategic, integrated and creative planning. His public and private sector work has enabled him to refine his approach, believing that, at its core, planning is about managing change to achieve the best for people now and in the future – a value that he places at the heart of OpenPlan.


Closing Keynote Address – Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Role of Standards in Geospatial Information Management for the Caribbean and Beyond

Throughout The Caribbean and the world, there is growing awareness and understanding of the power of location in decision making and the importance of open geospatial standards to enable and ease the sharing and application of this information, across a myriad of available information technologies. In response to a recent United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management (UN-GGIM) Secretariat request, the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), the Geomatics Technical Committee of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) collaborated to create a guide that outlines the importance of open standards supporting the development of Spatial Data Infrastructure. The guide is intended to assist organizations and communities of interest in determining what capabilities are required to meet current and future needs and how specific standards relate to the capabilities. This talk will  provides attendees with insight into the different tiers of geospatial capabilities desired by organizations, the essential standards associated with each tier, and includes real world operational implementations.

Trevor Taylor, currently responsible for Services for Asia and the Americas for the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), has over twenty-five years of experience in the international Earth Observation community. With a background in Geography (Carleton University, Canada), Mr. Taylor has worked with the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing, Dipix Technologies, Interra (now InterMap) Technologies and, for the last 15 years, PCI Geomatics, where his last position was Director, Business Development with a focus on Central and South America. Mr. Taylor has significant global experience in a wide variety of technical, client services, project, business and strategic planning activities. Mr. Taylor was PCI Geomatics’ business contact to OGC for the past decade, representing PCI and OGC interests at the technical, principal, principal plus and strategic levels, particularly in South America, India, China and Western Europe.

In addition to these influential keynote speakers, the conference will feature preconference workshops and courses, important regional conversations, dozens of educational sessions, and a solutions exhibition. Individuals are encouraged to make their travel plans swiftly as the significantly-discounted conference hotel rate being offered by the Santa Barbara Resort (only $129 including internet) expires on October 8. Complete conference details, registration and hotel information is online.

[Source: URISA press release]

A Multiyear, Global Gridded Fossil Fuel CO2 Emission Data Product: Evaluation and Analysis of Results

jgraJournal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, Volume 119, Issue 17, pages 10,213–10,231, 16 September 2014

By S. Asefi-Najafabady, P. J. Rayner, K. R. Gurney, A. McRobert, Y. Song, K. Coltin, J. Huang, C. Elvidge, and K. Baugh

“High-resolution, global quantification of fossil fuel CO2 emissions is emerging as a critical need in carbon cycle science and climate policy. We build upon a previously developed fossil fuel data assimilation system (FFDAS) for estimating global high-resolution fossil fuel CO2 emissions. We have improved the underlying observationally based data sources, expanded the approach through treatment of separate emitting sectors including a new pointwise database of global power plants, and extended the results to cover a 1997 to 2010 time series at a spatial resolution of 0.1°. Long-term trend analysis of the resulting global emissions shows subnational spatial structure in large active economies such as the United States, China, and India.


“These three countries, in particular, show different long-term trends and exploration of the trends in nighttime lights, and population reveal a decoupling of population and emissions at the subnational level. Analysis of shorter-term variations reveals the impact of the 2008–2009 global financial crisis with widespread negative emission anomalies across the U.S. and Europe. We have used a center of mass (CM) calculation as a compact metric to express the time evolution of spatial patterns in fossil fuel CO2 emissions.

Movement of the center of mass of global emissions from 1997 to 2010.

Movement of the center of mass of global emissions from 1997 to 2010.

“The global emission CM has moved toward the east and somewhat south between 1997 and 2010, driven by the increase in emissions in China and South Asia over this time period. Analysis at the level of individual countries reveals per capita CO2 emission migration in both Russia and India. The per capita emission CM holds potential as a way to succinctly analyze subnational shifts in carbon intensity over time. Uncertainties are generally lower than the previous version of FFDAS due mainly to an improved nightlight data set.”

Analytics + Urban Modeling = Smarter City Planning

Esri logoDesigners Can Better Analyze CityEngine Models in ArcGIS

Esri brings together the power of GIS analytics and the beauty of 3D urban modeling in its latest release of CityEngine. Now urban designers and architects can create 3D models with CityEngine and export parts of the model into Esri ArcGIS software for spatial analysis. This provides urban planners, designers, and citizens easy to understand intelligence for improving their cities.

ArcGIS provides deep insight into an urban scenario while CityEngine creates realistic digital 3D models. Now designers can create a shape on a CityEngine model, export that shape into ArcGIS, and then use powerful analytical tools to evaluate the impact the proposed building will have on the city.

ArcGIS allows planners to see how the building would cast its shadow at different times of the day throughout the year. They can study the view of the building within the context of other nearby structures and measure the amount of sky that can still be seen. They can also analyze solar exposure for solar energy or locate potential heat corridors.

Visual impact analysis of proposed building in downtown Philadelphia using CityEngine.

Visual impact analysis of proposed building in downtown Philadelphia using CityEngine.

Designers can easily share their models online with stakeholders or the public by creating CityEngine web scenes. A web scene is an interactive 3D version of a web map. It is sent with a web viewer so the end user does not need additional software. The designer uploads the web scene to the Esri ArcGIS Online platform or to a proprietary server and then shares the URL with anyone.

CityEngine web scenes are very helpful for proposing structures and encouraging community feedback. Anyone with a WebGL-enabled browser can immediately interact with the web scene. End users can fly around a 3D city, through streets, around buildings, and overhead to see the scenario from every angle. They can also turn on and off scene layers to see a proposed building, a street with or without trees, and more. A sunlight impact tool shows where a proposed building will cast a shadow at what time of year, during different times of the day, and for how long. Esri ArcGIS analytic tools and CityEngine bring vision to planning.

CityEngine is available for the Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms. Learn more about CityEngine and sign up for a free 30-day trial at

[Source: Esri press release]

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]