Regional Marine Spatial Planning – The Data Collection and Mapping Process

mpMarine Policy, Volume 50, Part A, December 2014, Pages 1–9

Rachel Shucksmith, Lorraine Gray, Christina Kelly, and Jacqueline F. Tweddle

“Highlights:

  • Regional marine spatial planning in practice.
  • Incorporating socio-economic, environmental and cultural data into decision making.
  • Benefits of local scrutiny and stakeholder engagement.
  • Use of data to guide decision makers and developers in the development process.
  • Using spatial data without zoning.

“Marine spatial planning (MSP) is increasingly being recognised as an important tool in the sustainable management of marine ecosystems. In preparation for the development of MSP across Scotland, the Scottish Government, via Marine Scotland, first piloted regional marine planning in 2006, through the Scottish Sustainable Marine Environment Initiative (SSMEI). The overarching aim of SSMEI was to develop and test the effectiveness of differing management approaches to deliver sustainable development in Scotland׳s coastal and marine environment. The Shetland Islands׳ Marine Spatial Plan (SMSP) was first developed under the SSMEI programme, and in 2014 the Shetland Islands Council is intending to adopt the fourth edition of the SMSP on a statutory basis as Supplementary Guidance to its Local Development Plan.

Example of mapped environmental feature within the Shetland Islands' Marine Spatial Plan (NAFC Marine Centre,2013).

Example of mapped environmental feature within the Shetland Islands’ Marine Spatial Plan (NAFC Marine Centre,2013).

“Using Geographic Information Systems (GISs) the SMSP has incorporated spatial data on existing marine and coastal environmental, socio-economic and cultural features and activities into the decision making process, and is an example of place based management. This has required collecting and collating 127 data sets from a range of data sources, and has utilised local stakeholders to verify evidence. This process has required significant resources by a dedicated marine spatial planning team, as well as by local stakeholders. The data within the SMSP has also been used to develop spatially-specific policies to guide the future development of Shetland׳s coastal and marine environment. It has been used by a range of users including developers and decision makers in planning and assessing areas for development, allowing potential conflicts to be avoided or mitigated early in the development process.”

Call for Presentations: Special GIScience Research Sessions at the 2015 Esri User Conference

Esri logoSpecial GIScience Research Sessions
Esri User Conference
20-24 July 2015
San Diego, California USA

Esri invites you to present a peer-reviewed paper in a series of special joint GIScience Research Sessions for the 2015 Esri International Users Conference and Educational User Conference. Papers in this special track must focus on cutting-edge research in GIScience. Full papers will be included in a special issue of Transactions in GIS to be distributed at the 2015 Esri International User and Education User Conferences. Abstracts (≤ 500 words) must be submitted to Dr. John Wilson, University of Southern California, by 15 November 2014.

The Transactions in GIS editorial team will review abstracts based on their GIScience content and select nine abstracts to become full papers. Notice of acceptance will occur by o1 December 2014. Full papers (maximum 6,000 words plus figures, tables, and references in appropriate format for publication) must be submitted to Dr. Wilson for independent review by 09 January 2015. Reviewed papers will be returned to authors by 13 February 2015 and final manuscripts must be returned by 06 March 2015, to be included in the special issue of Transactions in GIS.

For questions or additional guidelines on this special GIScience Research Track, contact Michael Gould at mgould@esri.com.

Abstracts should be submitted via e-mail with a subject line “Esri GIScience Abstract, <Authors Last Name>” no later than 15 November 2014 to Dr. John Wilson at jpwilson@usc.edu.

Young GIS Practitioners Encouraged to Apply to URISA Vanguard Cabinet

URISAURISA is pleased to announce the availability of the 2015 Vanguard Cabinet application. The Vanguard Cabinet (VC) is a URISA initiative which debuted in 2011 to engage young GIS practitioners (35 and under), increase their numbers in the organization, and better understand the concerns facing these future leaders of the GIS community.  The Cabinet’s mission is to collaborate with URISA’s Board of Directors and Committees in creating and promoting programs and policies of benefit to young professionals. Comprised entirely of passionate young members selected from different geospatial disciplines, the Cabinet aims to position URISA as the center of opportunities for creative young professionals who are committed to improving URISA and the geospatial profession via innovation, collaboration, networking, and professional development.

Clare Brown, GISP, advisor to the Vanguard Cabinet, notes, “Young professionals are not only increasing in number within URISA, but they are also leading and initiating important programs. From student outreach to  professional practice development, the VC is making its mark and being noticed. I encourage all young GIS professionals to learn more about the Vanguard Cabinet and apply to become a part of this great group of future leaders.”

Visit the Vanguard Cabinet web page for the 2015 application form (due by November 30) and additional information. Catch up with current and former Vanguard Cabinet members during GIS-Pro 2014 in New Orleans, September 8-11. There will be ample opportunity to learn more about the VC’s activities during the conference.

[Source: URISA press release]

Spatial Accuracy of Climate Networks: A Case Study in Nebraska

C1 PAGE.inddJournal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, Volume 53, Issue 8, August 2014

By Andrea J. Coop, Kenneth G. Hubbard, Martha D. Shulski, Jinsheng You, and David B. Marx

“Climate data are increasingly scrutinized for accuracy because of the need for reliable input for climate-related decision making and assessments of climate change. Over the last 30 years, vast improvements to U.S. instrumentation, data collection, and station siting have created more accurate data. This study explores the spatial accuracy of daily maximum and minimum air temperature data in Nebraska networks, including the U.S. Historical Climatology Network (HCN), the Automated Weather Data Network (AWDN), and the more recent U.S. Climate Reference Network (CRN). The spatial structure of temperature variations at the earth’s surface is compared for timeframes 2005-09 for CRN and AWDN and 1985-2005 for AWDN and HCN. Individual root-mean-square errors between candidate station and surrounding stations were calculated and used to determine the spatial accuracy of the networks. This study demonstrated that in the 5-yr analysis CRN and AWDN were of high spatial accuracy. For the 21-yr analysis the AWDN proved to have higher spatial accuracy (smaller errors) than the HCN for both maximum and minimum air temperature and for all months. In addition, accuracy was generally higher in summer months and the subhumid area had higher accuracy than did the semiarid area. The findings of this study can be used for Nebraska as an estimate of the uncertainty associated with using a weather station’s data at a decision point some distance from the station.”

Smart Mapping to Turn Sci-fi into Reality

esriaustralia-logoSmart mapping technology will play a vital role in moving Australia’s environmental monitoring into the realms of science fiction, according to one of the world’s leading micro-sensing technology experts.

CSIRO science leader Dr Paulo de Souza said the field of environmental monitoring is on the cusp of an evolution which promises to open up a new level of understanding of the world around us.

Dr de Souza’s research group is developing sub-millimetre sensors which are fitted to bees in order to track their movements and reactions to changing environmental conditions.

However, he said the key to fully understanding the vast quantities of data collected via the bees lay in the use of Geographic Information System (GIS) technology.

GIS – or smart mapping technology – is used to map and analyse data and reveal insights not apparent when looking at information in a spreadsheet.

“Scientists are currently working with radio frequency technology like UHF and harmonic radars that are suitable for large animals and insects,” Dr de Souza said.

“These systems require large infrastructure and can’t respond to the demand of monitoring a swarm of smaller insects.

“What we’re creating with this micro-sensor technology is high frequency data tracked in real-time, in a small space.

“The density of the data is one million times higher than what we’ve previously worked with, so we can generate far more accurate insights into the environment around us.

“Imagine thousands of sensors flying in the atmosphere, providing an amazing amount of data and bringing us unprecedented coverage of the environment – this is what we are creating.

“In the future, this means we will be able to use GIS technology map this information in a meaningful way so we can understand the data.”

Dr de Souza will discuss how developments in micro-sensing technology are set to drive change in environmental monitoring at the Asia-Pacific’s largest geospatial conference – Ozri 2014, hosted by GIS industry giants Esri Australia – in Adelaide this October.

He said his monitoring project could see insects become the next generation of sniffer dogs, mine canaries, weather vanes and even extra-terrestrial explorers.

“Many insects have an acute sense of smell used to find mates, locate food, avoid predators, and gather in groups,” Dr de Souza said.

“By mapping and understanding their behaviours we can harness these natural attributes and sensitivities to detect chemicals of interest or weather changes.

“In the future it may also be possible to have them as part of space exploration, helping to calibrate instruments and gather temperature and atmospheric data from asteroids, moons and even planets.”

Ozri Technical Director John Hasthorpe said GIS technology was already widely used by Australian national security agencies.

“This new application of GIS technology would enable analysts to visualise information collected using insect micro-sensors,” Mr Hasthorpe said.

“Scientists can then map the variations in insect behaviour – individually and as a group – and from these maps more complex analysis can be performed to reveal additional information, such as whether particular bomb-making chemicals are present.”

Hosted by Esri Australia, Ozri 2014 will bring together 500 geospatial industry professionals to share technology applications, innovations and advancements.

The event will be held at the Adelaide Oval, from 1 to 3 October 2014.

Registration is now open at esriaustralia.com.au/ozri.

[Source: Esri Australia press release]

The OGC Seeks Comments on Candidate OGC Web Processing Service 2.0 Standard

OGC_Logo_Border_Blue_3DThe Open Geospatial Consortium (OGCⓇ) membership seeks public comment on the candidate OGC Web Processing Service (WPS) Version 2.0 Interface Standard.

In many cases geospatial or location data, including data from sensors, must be processed before the information can be used effectively. The OGC Web Processing Service (WPS) Interface Standard provides a standard interface that simplifies the task of making simple or complex computational processing services accessible via web services. Such services include well-known processes found in spatial extract, transform, and load (ETL) software and GIS software as well as specialized processes such as coordinate transformation and spatial and temporal modeling and simulation. Moreover, the WPS standard supports both immediate processing for computational tasks that take little time and asynchronous processing for more complex and time consuming tasks. While the OGC WPS standard was designed with spatial processing in mind, it can also be used to readily insert non-spatial processing tasks into a web services environment.

This WPS 2.0 candidate standard is a revision of WPS 1.0 (published in 2007). It incorporates change requests that have been submitted since the release of WPS 1.0 and provides improved support for process cataloguing and retrieval. Downloads and additional details are available at http://www.opengeospatial.org/standards/requests/125.

The 30 day public comment period for the candidate OGC Web Processing Service (WPS) Version 2.0 Interface Standard ends 25 September 2014 . After the OGC’s WPS Standards Working Group has addressed comments received in response to this Request for Comments (RFC) the draft document will be submitted to the OGC Technical Committee and Planning Committee for their review and possible approval as an adopted OGC Standard.

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. Visit the OGC website at http://www.opengeospatial.org/.

[Source: OGC press release]

Scientists Map Risk of Premature Menopause after Cancer Treatment

icrWomen treated for the cancer Hodgkin lymphoma will be able to better understand their risks of future infertility after researchers estimated their risk of premature menopause with different treatments.

The findings, set out in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, are based on the experience of more than 2,000 young women in England and Wales treated for the cancer over a period of more than 40 years.

Previous research has suggested that women with Hodgkin lymphoma who receive certain types of chemotherapy or radiotherapy are at increased risk of going through the menopause early – but there was insufficient information to provide patients with detailed advice.

But the new study, led by scientists at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, provides precise estimates of risk for women depending on which treatment types and doses they received and at what age – allowing doctors to give them detailed advice about their risks of future infertility.

The research was largely funded by Breakthrough Breast Cancer and involved researchers from across the UK at more than 50 universities and hospitals.

The research team followed-up 2,127 women who had been treated for Hodgkin lymphoma in England and Wales between 1960 and 2004, and who had been aged under 36 at the time. All had received treatment with chest radiotherapy, sometimes alongside other treatments.

Some 605 of the women in the study underwent non-surgical menopause before the age of 40. This was a large enough number for the researchers to estimate accurate risks of menopause at different ages, depending on the mixture and doses of treatments they received and the age they received them.

The researchers produced a risk table which could help improve the advice that clinicians are able to give to women who have undergone treatment for the disease. Several of the treatments caused a sharp increase in premature menopause risk.

For example, a woman who had received six or more cycles of a standard chemotherapy regimen in her late 20s, but without receiving radiotherapy to the pelvic area, had a chance of around 18 per cent of undergoing menopause by the age of 30, or 58 per cent by age 40.

Overall, risk of premature menopause was more than 20-fold raised after ovarian radiotherapy, and also after some specific chemotherapy regimens. Risk of menopause by age 40 was 81 per cent after receiving ovarian radiotherapy at an overall dose of 5 or more Grays, and up to 75 per cent after chemotherapy, depending on the type, although only one per cent after receiving a chemotherapy regimen called ABVD.

Study leader Professor Anthony Swerdlow, Professor of Epidemiology at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, said:

“Hodgkin lymphoma often affects younger women, and although fortunately most survive the disease, treatments including certain types of chemotherapy and pelvic radiotherapy can lead to premature menopause.

“We hope our study will help women to understand better, in consultation with their doctors, their risks of future infertility following treatment for this malignancy. By looking in a much larger group of women than previous studies of this type, we were able to produce age and treatment specific risk estimates that we hope will be of practical use to individual women. I’m extremely grateful to the patients and doctors who made it possible for us to produce this information.”

[Source: Institute of Cancer Research press release]