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.

co2

“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 esri.com/cityengine.

[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]

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]