GIS Aids Visualization of Kansas Wheat Quality Data

cattlenetwork…from Cattle Network

“Wheat harvest across Kansas has commenced. The Grain Science and Industry Department at Kansas State University has a new program that will allow interested parties the ability to track harvest and wheat quality as soon as the data is available.

“Participating local elevators will submit wheat samples and the testing will occur at K-State’s Wheat Quality Laboratory and the Kansas Grain Inspection Laboratory. Once the samples have been tested and the data has been entered, GIS mapping technology developed by K-State’s Department of Geography, will allow interested parties to view wheat quality data by region across Kansas on the K-State Grain Science and Industry’s department Web site, www.grains.ksu.edu.”

Improving Geospatial Data Visualization with Ring Maps

ringmapsFrom ArcUser comes this excellent article about using “ring maps” to improve comprehension when mapping multiple variables.

“Document files, tables, and charts can summarize complex data, but they can be hard to read and interpret.  However, a GIS-based map known as a ring map can help overcome this problem for location-specific data.  A ring map is a map surrounded by a set of concentric, segmented rings that can be circular or elliptical in shape. Each ring displays an additional dimension (e.g., temporal) of data that represents an attribute of a particular location.  Thus, the ring map shows more than geographic positions; it creates infographics that can organize and display several types of data organized using the simplicity and clarity of a map.”

Understanding Spatial Dimensions Helps Small-Scale Fisheries

p17p1…from ArcNews

“Recent declines in important marine populations around the world have alarmed fishermen and scientists alike. Unfortunately, the Gulf of California is no exception. Just south of the international boundary with the United States, the narrow gulf, separated from the Pacific Ocean by Baja California on the west and framed by the states of Sonora and Sinaloa, Mexico, on the east, is one of the most productive marine ecosystems in the world. Important commercial species and rare animals, such as the Vaquita, an endangered species of porpoise, inhabit these waters.”

Demographic and Economic Changes in the United States Affect Nearly Everyone

demographic1…from ArcWatch

“Trends in ESRI’s newly released 2009/2014 demographic data updates confirm the recession’s impact on housing, income, and employment that we’ve been hearing and reading about for months. Who is being affected by this serious recession? Nearly everyone. Changes in the nation’s economy have become extremely personal. In the past year, 1 in 25 jobs was lost to the economic crisis and 1 in 42 homes was threatened by foreclosure. Households not touched directly by the loss of home or employment are experiencing low or no income growth, lower home values, loss in their savings or retirement funds, higher credit costs, cutbacks in services from struggling state and local governments, or the closing of a favorite local business.”

Preview: Essays on Geography and GIS, Vol. II

p4p1Back in December, I wrote about ESRI publishing a ‘best practices’ e-book titled “Essays on Geography and GIS.” The collection of nine ‘academic’ essays on many different aspects of GIS and geography has proven to be very popular, with more than 28,000 downloads of the book since first being published in September 2008.

The followup–“Essays on Geography and GIS, Vol. II”–is currently in production and promises to be even more exciting than the original.  Even though it won’t be available until September 2009, you can already read the essays online [table of contents is tentative and subject to change]:

The Importance of Spatial Literacy

DVaughn_49731_2009-03-21 11-50-38.835Danny Vaughn writes about the importance of spatial literacy in an article titled “Spatial literacy: how well do you really function within the spatial dimensions of reality?” at The Examiner

“The earth may be thought of as a huge container that houses a variety of spatial objects. Spatial objects can be real (trees, rocks, mountains, rivers, buildings, people, etc.) or abstractions (population density, election party distributions, perceptions, etc.). Spatial literacy requires one to have developed competence through an understanding and appreciation for the location, position, distance, direction, pattern, shape, and size of objects (real or abstract) that take up space; and their intimate associations as they coexist in our world. I am amazed at the number of people I have encountered over the years that cannot read and interpret a basic map, give intelligible directions to a location, or understand the basic premise behind a Cartesian grid, and its utility as a critical function in illuminating the distribution of spatial objects.”

A Cyberinfrastructure Collaborative for the Plant Sciences

iplant“The Plant Science Cyberinfrastructure Collaborative (PSCIC) program is intended by NSF to create a new type of organization – a cyberinfrastructure collaborative for the plant sciences – that would enable new conceptual advances through integrative, computational thinking. To achieve this, we have developed the “iPlant Collaborative” (iPlant). iPlant will be fluid and dynamic, utilizing new computer, computational science and cyberinfrastructure solutions to address an evolving array of grand challenges in the plant sciences. It will be community-driven, involving plant biologists, computer and information scientists and engineers, as well as experts from other disciplines, all working in integrated teams. iPlant brings together strengths in plant biology, bioinformatics, computer science and high throughput computing as well as innovative approaches to education, outreach, and the study of social networks.”

GIS Visualization Clarifies Relationships between Soils, Topography, and Land Use

purduedirt_2…from the Summer 2009 issue of ArcUser

“Darrell G. Schulze, professor of soil science, and Phillip R. Owens, assistant professor of soil geomorphology and pedology, coteach the class Soil Classification Genesis and Survey. They incorporate the latest version of ArcGIS to study the relationships between soils, topography, land use, and geology.

“Using GIS in the classroom and in the field helps students better understand soils and the landscapes in which they occur and recognize geological features that indicate different soil types.”