OGC Announces New Arctic Spatial Data Infrastructure Project

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) announces a new OGC Interoperability Program project called the “Arctic Spatial Data Infrastructure Standards and Communication Pilot” (Arctic SDI Pilot).

The Arctic SDI Pilot is sponsored by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and Natural Resources Canada. The goal is to demonstrate to Arctic stakeholders the diversity, richness and value of a Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI) based on Web services and standardized exchange formats in helping address critical issues impacting the Arctic. Stakeholders include national and pan-Arctic science and monitoring organizations and decision makers engaged in Arctic research, social and economic policy, and environmental management. The organizations participating in the ArcticSDI Pilot will document and publicize best practices that can support a rich network of Web-accessible data and service resources for the Arctic.

The pilot has two phases. Phase 1, an OGC Interoperability Program Concept Development study, began in December 2015. In Phase 1, project planners are building an inventory of currently available Arctic geospatial data layers and Web services and defining the Arctic SDI architecture. This work will be supported by partners engaged in industry, research, and numerous jurisdictions A Request for Information will be published in January 2016 to elicit further ideas, experiences, and projects in industry, research institutions and public administration to make maximal use of the ArcticSDI and to develop it further.

The Arctic SDI Pilot Phase 1 will also provide direct input into OGC’s major Testbed 12 Interoperability Program initiative. USGS has indicated that sponsor funding will be made available for Testbed 12 to test and further develop components identified in the Arctic SDI pilot. Through this collaboration, arctic stakeholders and the Arctic SDI will leverage and benefit from the leading edge interoperability research, development and outreach that is ongoing in the OGC’s series of major testbeds.

All findings from Phase 1 will serve as input for Phase 2, which will be an OGC Interoperability Program Pilot Project. OGC pilot projects apply and test OGC Standards in operational applications using Standards Based Commercial Off-The-Shelf (SCOTS) products that implement OGC Standards. Pilot projects provide an operational implementation so that users and technology developers can collaborate and learn how to better address their requirements using standards-based architectures. To articulate the value of interoperability via standards, technology provider participants will implement the recommended Arctic SDI architecture in support of Arctic policy scenarios. A video will be produced to engage policymakers on the benefits of integrating diverse data utilizing Arctic SDI standards and information management best practices.


The OGC is an international consortium of more than 515 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.

[Source: OGC press release]

Visualizing Impact of Youth Leadership for the Natural World: Jane Goodall Launches Tapestry of Hope Interactive Map

Famed primatologist and conservationist launches new online tool with Esri at COP21 in Paris

Today, with deep thanks to Esri, Dr. Jane Goodall and the Jane Goodall Institute are launching the Tapestry of Hope, an interactive online tool to visualize the thousands of projects led by young people around the globe who are passionate about protecting our shared environment.

As world leaders struggle to make progress in Paris for the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Dr. Jane Goodall, spreading her message of hope for our world, is calling on each of us to take action ourselves to protect our natural world.

Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace, Dr. Jane Goodall, through her Roots & Shoots program, has inspired hundreds of thousands of people around the globe to take action to make the world a better place for people, animals and the environment. Together, these individual actions weave together a story of true impact—a narrative of change for what Dr. Goodall has come to call the Tapestry of Hope.

PressRelease_JGI_TapestryofHope_151207 (2)

“The launch of Tapestry of Hope reflects just a snapshot of the projects young leaders have led in the past several years through Roots & Shoots,” said Erin Viera, associate vice­-president of Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots. “Moving forward, the map will be a critical tool to document, manage, visualize and share the actions and impacts of Roots & Shoots projects that are making a positive difference for the environment, animals and people. The map will continue to grow and populate with the launch of each new Roots & Shoots community project that young people continue to pioneer around the world.”

“Esri and the Jane Goodall Institute have collaborated on conservation programs across Africa for more than ten years now. These projects have included applications ranging from using geospatial technologies for chimpanzee behavior research in Gombe to supporting the development and implementation of conservation action plans and improving village land use using geodesign and community mapping across East Africa and Congo basin,” said Dr. Lilian Pintea, the Jane Goodall Institute’s vice-president of conservation science.

Esri technology that powers the mapping behind JGI’s conservation work forms the basis of the Tapestry of Hope. The map connects the work of young people around the world with other young people who are passionately making the world we all share a better place through local projects.

In addition to documenting and visualizing the work of young people around the world, the Tapestry of Hope map serves to further Dr. Jane Goodall’s message of hope. It brings together the critical observations, creative ideas and clever solutions of thousands of passionate young minds all working to make a difference in the world. It represents and inspires a global movement of change showing that young people care about the future of the world they are inheriting, and are taking action. It is for this reason Dr. Jane Goodall, and everyone everywhere can know there is hope for the future of our world.

To access the Tapestry of Hope, visit storymaps.esri.com/stories/2015/tapestry­of­hope.

About the Jane Goodall Institute

Founded in 1977, the Jane Goodall Institute continues Dr. Goodall’s pioneering research on chimpanzee behavior started more than 50 years ago — research that transformed scientific perceptions of the relationship between humans and animals. Today, the Institute is a global leader in the effort to protect chimpanzees and their habitats. It also is widely recognized for establishing innovative community­-centered conservation and development programs in Africa, and Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots, the global environmental and humanitarian program for youth of all ages, which has groups in more than 130 countries. For more information, visit: janegoodall.org.

About Jane Goodall’s Roots & Shoots

Founded in 1991 by Dr. Jane Goodall and a group of Tanzanian students, the Roots & Shoots program is about making positive change happen — for our communities, for animals and for the environment. With hundreds of thousands of young people in more than 120 countries, the Roots & Shoots network connects youth of all ages who share a desire to create a better world.

Young people identify problems in their communities and take action. Through service projects, youth­-led campaigns and an interactive website, Roots & Shoots members are making a difference across the globe. For more information, please visit rootsandshoots.org.

About Esri

Since 1969, Esri has been giving customers around the world the power to think and plan geographically. The market leader in GIS technology, Esri software is used in more than 350,000 organizations worldwide including each of the 200 largest cities in the United States, most national governments, more than two­-thirds of Fortune 500 companies, and more than 7,000 colleges and universities. Esri applications, running on more than one million desktops and thousands of web and enterprise servers, provide the backbone for the world’s mapping and spatial analysis. Esri is the only vendor that provides complete technical solutions for desktop, mobile, server, and Internet platforms.

[Source: Jane Goodall Institute press release]

U.S. lags behind the developed world with lack of national address database

NSGICOn October 27th, the White House released The Open Government Partnership – Third Open Government National Action Plan for the United States of America. The ‘pearl’ between the covers of this plan is item 4 on page 3. Its innocuous title – Launch a Process to Create a Consolidated Public Listing of Every Address in the United States – belies the importance of the following paragraph which states:

“Although address information for residential and commercial properties is collected across the United States by all levels of government and industry, it isn’t currently compiled in an open, easily accessible format. Additionally, much of the information collected at the Federal level is prohibited from public release due to various privacy laws. This non-private address information can be crucial to first responders and emergency service providers and can also be useful to innovators who might use it to build tools or launch services to improve communities. The Department of Transportation will begin coordinating across the public and private sector; connecting agencies, industry and innovators to gain consensus on an open standard for public address information; pursuing open data strategies for sharing certain address information — excluding names and other private information; and exploring uses of this information that drive innovation and inform the public.”

For over a decade, creating a national address point database has been at the top of NSGIC’s advocacy agenda. Chris Diller, President of the National States Geographic Information Council, stated “Address data are duplicated more often than any other type of data produced by government agencies, and the duplication happens at every level of government. We are hopeful that this Federal initiative will result in a coordinated effort to support state and local government addressing authorities in the compilation and maintenance of a National Address Database that provides open access to current and complete authoritative address data for every structure and landmark in the United States.”

In its February 2015 report on Geospatial Data, the U. S. Office of Management and Budget, brought its focus on the problems associated with creating a national address point database through the following recommendations.

TO CONGRESS: To increase coordination between various levels of government and reduce duplication of effort, resources, and costs associated with collecting and maintaining accurate address data, Congress should consider assessing the impact of the disclosure restrictions …[and]… consider revising those statutes to authorize the limited release of addresses, without any personally identifiable information… Such a change, if deemed appropriate, could potentially result in significant savings across federal, state, and local governments.

TO THE FEDERAL GEOGRAPHIC DATA COMMITTEE: Create an address data theme with associated subcommittees and working groups to assist in furthering a national address database.

The authors of this OMB report visited five states across the nation to learn how they were using address data and coordinating the development of consistent address point data with their respective local governments that are responsible for assigning addresses. Local governments also have the most demanding requirements for accurate data to support 9-1-1 services that ensure police, fire and ambulance services get to the right location as quickly as possible – on a daily basis and during major disasters.

Nearly every aspect of government services depends on address data, and an authoritative national database will consistently improve the delivery of services in the public and private sectors. Imagine using your car’s GPS system to accurately navigate to a precise address and not just arriving in the approximate area. Accurate address data coupled with high quality transportation data can significantly reduce repair and fuel expenses for fleet managers. Other important improvements to service delivery can be found in NSGIC’s flyer title A National Address Point Database Will Improve Government Services.

For a detailed review of the issues associated with building a national address point database, refer to the NSGIC advocacy document Address Points for the Nation, Contrasting the functions of Address Points and Parcel Maps. For more information supporting NSGIC’s promotion of free access to open data, refer to the Danish government study The Value of Danish Address Data citing a potential 31:1 direct financial benefit from the sharing of national address data.

About half of the states indicate they are ready to effectively coordinate the development of a consistent national address database with their local governments, NSGIC believes a well-coordinated Federal effort would encourage the remaining states to establish similar programs. If you would like more information about a particular state’s program, you can access a 2013 summary of individual state programs here, or a summary of all states here. You can also directly contact NSGIC’s State Representatives.

The National States Geographic Information Council (NSGIC) is an organization committed to effective and efficient government through the prudent adoption and use of geospatial information and technologies. NSGIC’s members are interested in the coordination of state spatial data infrastructures. They represent state Geographic Information Officers (GIO’s), state agency GIS leads, leaders of the statewide coordination councils, federal agencies, tribal government, local government, the private sector, academia and other professional organizations. The NSGIC membership is a diverse group that includes nationally and internationally recognized experts in geospatial technologies, geospatial data creation and management, and information technology policy.

[Source: NSGIC press release]

New Science and Citizen-Driven Land-Use Planning Book

The number of people living in the United States is expected to swell from 321 million today to just over 400 million by 2055, according to the US Census Bureau. Millions of additional acres will be needed for homes, schools, offices, and infrastructure to support the burgeoning population while conserving open space and preserving agriculture. Other countries face similar challenges.

The book teaches concepts and walks readers through how to identify potential land-use conflicts and make smarter land-use decisions using specialized methods and tools that complement Esri's ArcGIS.

The book teaches concepts and walks readers through how to identify potential land-use conflicts and make smarter land-use decisions using specialized methods and tools that complement Esri’s ArcGIS.

Technology is driving more of the decision making about which areas are suitable for urban development, agriculture, and conservation and how to resolve conflicts over land use. Advanced Land-Use Analysis for Regional Geodesign: Using LUCISplus, a new book published by Esri, teaches readers how to solve real-world land-use issues using geographic information system (GIS) technology from Esri and a land-use analysis process developed at the University of Florida.

LUCIS stands for land-use conflict identification strategy, a process for analyzing land-use suitability and resolving land-use conflicts. The methodology was developed by Paul D. Zwick and Margaret H. Carr of the University of Florida. LUCISplus analysis tools are powered by Esri’s geoprocessing framework, ModelBuilder, in particular.

The book teaches concepts and walks readers through how to identify potential land-use conflicts and make smarter land-use decisions using specialized methods and tools that complement Esri’s ArcGIS.

The book will help urban planners and GIS analysts who work in land-use planning and students enrolled in advanced GIS courses make well thought out land-use decisions rather than follow a plan as you go method.

The LUCIS strategy places a high priority on input from citizens and incorporates community values into the plans. For example, one of the tools mentioned in the book is the A4 LUCIS Community Values Calculator. “The LUCIS modeling of community values produces various land-use visioning alternatives,” the authors wrote. “LUCIS is a process of land-use planning and visioning, not prediction.”

Chapters cover many topics, including conflict analysis as a decision-making tool, land-use suitability automation tools, analyzing and mapping residential land-use futures, analyzing and mapping employment land-use futures, analyzing and mapping conservation and agriculture preservation and protection, and analyzing and mapping land use for natural disasters.

Advanced Land-Use Analysis for Regional Geodesign: Using LUCISplus was written by Zwick, former director of the GeoPlan Center and a professor of urban and regional planning at the University of Florida; Iris E. Patten, an assistant professor in the School of Geography and Development at the University of Arizona; and Abdulnaser Arafat, an assistant scientist for the Shimberg Center for Housing Studies at the University of Florida.

The book is a follow-up to the book Smart Land Use Analysis: The LUCIS Model (Esri Press 2007),written by Zwick and Carr, a professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the College of Design, Construction, and Planning at the University of Florida.

video about the book is available to watch.

Advanced Land-Use Analysis for Regional Geodesign: Using LUCISplus is available in print (ISBN: 9781589483897) or as an e-book (ISBN: 9781589484337), 380 pages, $59.99. The book is available at online retailers worldwide, at esri.com/esripress, or by calling 1-800-447-9778. Outside the United States, visit esri.com/esripressorders for complete ordering options, or visit esri.com/distributors to contact your local Esri distributor. Interested retailers can contact Esri book distributor Ingram Publisher Services.

[Source: Esri press release]

Geographic Clustering of Elevated Blood Heavy Metal Levels in Pregnant Women

BMC Public Health, 2015, 15:1035

By Katherine E. King, Thomas H. Darrah, Eric Money, Ross Meentemeyer, Rachel L. Maguire, Monica D. Nye, Lloyd Michener, Amy P. Murtha, Randy Jirtle, Susan K. Murphy, Michelle A. Mendez, Wayne Robarge, Avner Vengosh, and Cathrine Hoyo

“Background: Cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), and arsenic (As) exposure is ubiquitous and has been associated with higher risk of growth restriction and cardiometabolic and neurodevelopmental disorders. However, cost-efficient strategies to identify at-risk populations and potential sources of exposure to inform mitigation efforts are limited. The objective of this study was to describe the spatial distribution and identify factors associated with Cd, Pb, Hg, and As concentrations in peripheral blood of pregnant women.

Cluster overlay for Cd and Pb. The white contour line represents the area of the highest probably of Cd clustering, while the black contour lines represent the highest probability of Pb clustering. The overlapping areas indicate high probability of both Pb and Cd clustering

Cluster overlay for Cd and Pb. The white contour line represents the area of the highest probably of Cd clustering, while the black contour lines represent the highest probability of Pb clustering. The overlapping areas indicate high probability of both Pb and Cd clustering

“Methods: Heavy metals were measured in whole peripheral blood of 310 pregnant women obtained at gestational age ~12 weeks. Prenatal residential addresses were geocoded and geospatial analysis (Getis-Ord G i * statistics) was used to determine if elevated blood concentrations were geographically clustered. Logistic regression models were used to identify factors associated with elevated blood metal levels and cluster membership.

“Results: Geospatial clusters for Cd and Pb were identified with high confidence (p-value for G i * statistic <0.01). The Cd and Pb clusters comprised 10.5 and 9.2 % of Durham County residents, respectively. Medians and interquartile ranges of blood concentrations (μg/dL) for all participants were Cd 0.02 (0.01–0.04), Hg 0.03 (0.01–0.07), Pb 0.34 (0.16–0.83), and As 0.04 (0.04–0.05). In the Cd cluster, medians and interquartile ranges of blood concentrations (μg/dL) were Cd 0.06 (0.02–0.16), Hg 0.02 (0.00–0.05), Pb 0.54 (0.23–1.23), and As 0.05 (0.04–0.05). In the Pb cluster, medians and interquartile ranges of blood concentrations (μg/dL) were Cd 0.03 (0.02–0.15), Hg 0.01 (0.01–0.05), Pb 0.39 (0.24–0.74), and As 0.04 (0.04–0.05). Co-exposure with Pb and Cd was also clustered, the p-values for the G i * statistic for Pb and Cd was <0.01. Cluster membership was associated with lower education levels and higher pre-pregnancy BMI.

“Conclusions: Our data support that elevated blood concentrations of Cd and Pb are spatially clustered in this urban environment compared to the surrounding areas. Spatial analysis of metals concentrations in peripheral blood or urine obtained routinely during prenatal care can be useful in surveillance of heavy metal exposure.”

On Regreening and Degradation in Sahelian Watersheds

PNAS, 29 September 2015, Vol. 112, No. 39

By Armel T. Kaptué, Lara Prihodko, and Niall P. Hanan

“For decades, the science and policy narrative relating to the West African Sahel has focused on perceptions of overgrazing and human-induced desertification. More recent reports of regional-scale recovery (“regreening”) following the severe droughts of the 1970s and 1980s are sometimes ignored.

Averages of (A) seasonal iNDVI and (B) seasonal iR across the Sahel from July to October for the period 1983–2012. The figure also shows the location of the southwestern Niger [1], eastern Mali [2], western Mali [3], and northern Senegal [4] regions selected for further investigation.

Averages of (A) seasonal iNDVI and (B) seasonal iR across the Sahel from July to October for the period 1983–2012. The figure also shows the location of the southwestern Niger [1], eastern Mali [2], western Mali [3], and northern Senegal [4] regions selected for further investigation.

“This study provides a satellite-based evaluation of changes in watershed-scale vegetation conditions in four regions of the Sahel from 1983–2012. Though the results support earlier reports of a “greening” trend, our approach identified strong regional differences in the extent and direction of change, and in the apparent role of woody and herbaceous components in driving the temporal trend.”

Spatial Methods for Infectious Disease Outbreak Investigations: Systematic Literature Review

ESEurosurveillance, Volume 20, Issue 39, 01 October 2015

By CM Smith, SC Le Comber, H Fry, M Bull, S Leach, and AC Hayward

“Investigations of infectious disease outbreaks are conventionally framed in terms of person, time and place. Although geographic information systems have increased the range of tools available, spatial analyses are used relatively infrequently. We conducted a systematic review of published reports of outbreak investigations worldwide to estimate the prevalence of spatial methods, describe the techniques applied and explore their utility.

Locations of outbreak investigations using spatial methods by country and continent (n = 80)

Locations of outbreak investigations using spatial methods by country and continent (n = 80)

“We identified 80 reports using spatial methods published between 1979 and 2013, ca 0.4% of the total number of published outbreaks. Environmental or waterborne infections were the most commonly investigated, and most reports were from the United Kingdom. A range of techniques were used, including simple dot maps, cluster analyses and modelling approaches. Spatial tools were usefully applied throughout investigations, from initial confirmation of the outbreak to describing and analysing cases and communicating findings. They provided valuable insights that led to public health actions, but there is scope for much wider implementation and development of new methods.”