Geospatial Technology and the Role of Location in Science

41kJtFBR2uL._SL500_AA240_By Henk J. Scholten, Rob van de Velde, and Niels van Manen (Editors).

Globalisation has not led to the ‘death of geography’. Intensified relations between communities in different parts of the world have only highlighted the need for understanding and managing phenomena on a variety of geographic scales. From global warming to credit crunch, and from epidemics to terrorism, causes and solutions are sought on local, regional, national as well as inter-continental levels. With the advent of Geospatial Technology, scholars, policymakers and entrepreneurs have valuable tools in hand to proceed.

“This book offers the first systematic account of the science behind this mental and technological revolution. Tracing the adoption and dissemination of Geospatial Technology in a range of disciplines, it examines the impact this technology has had, and is likely to have, on the explanation of spatial behaviour, phenomena and processes. At the same time, stressing innovative usage, it explores scientific contributions to technology advancement.”

Springer; July 1, 2009; 322 pages.  ISBN 9048126193 / 978-9048126194

Globalisation has not led to the ‘death of geography’. Intensified relations between communities in different parts of the world have only highlighted the need for understanding and managing phenomena on a variety of geographic scales. From global warming to credit crunch, and from epidemics to terrorism, causes and solutions are sought on local, regional, national as well as inter-continental levels. With the advent of Geospatial Technology, scholars, policymakers and entrepreneurs have valuable tools in hand to proceed.

This book offers the first systematic account of the science behind this mental and technological revolution. Tracing the adoption and dissemination of Geospatial Technology in a range of disciplines, it examines the impact this technology has had, and is likely to have, on the explanation of spatial behaviour, phenomena and processes. At the same time, stressing innovative usage, it explores scientific contributions to technology advancement.

Farmers Need Not Worry When Rains are Tardy

sindh…from Sindh Today

“India needn’t gamble or fret about the timing of the monsoon any more, but only if it plays smart. An international science and research body for the tropics has suggested some useful strategies for farmers when the rains are tardy.

“ICRISAT says it uses new science tools like crop-growth simulation models, water balance techniques and geographic information systems (GIS) for assessing the length of the crop growing period and drought characterisation.

“‘Right and timely information is the backbone of drought-preparedness,’ says ICRISAT.”

Jack Dangermond: GIS Professionals Lead the GeoWeb Revolution

jd“The adage ‘The Web changes everything’ can be applied to many things, and GIS is no exception. Over the last several years, I have heard many predictions about Web mapping somehow making professional GIS less relevant. But in my experience I see something very different. I see the geospatially-enabled Web—the GeoWeb—as driving change that is very beneficial for both users and creators of geospatial information.”

Most Complete Topographic Map of Earth Now Available

topographicmap…from Science Daily

“NASA and Japan has released a new digital topographic map of Earth Monday that covers more of our planet than ever before. The map was produced with detailed measurements from NASA’s Terra spacecraft.

“The new global digital elevation model of Earth was created from nearly 1.3 million individual stereo-pair images collected by the Japanese Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer, or Aster, instrument aboard Terra. NASA and Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, known as METI, developed the data set. It is available online to users everywhere at no cost.”

21st Century Skills Maps for Science, Geography

thejournal…from The Journal

“The Partnership for 21st Century Skills has teamed with the National Science Teachers Association and the National Council for Geographic Education to launch the latest in its series of 21st century roadmaps for core academic subjects, in this case K-12 science and geography. The maps were introduced at the National Education Computing Conference (NECC) being held this week in Washington, DC.

“The 21st Century Skills and Science Map and the 21st Century Skills and Geography Map are the third and fourth in a series of maps aimed at core academic subjects in K-12 education. The purpose of the maps in general is to provide a framework and resources for integrating technology and other 21st century skills into core subject areas.”

Spatial Analysis of Instream Nitrogen Loading to Streams in the Southeast United States

wileycoverimage…from the journal Hydrological Processes, published online: 18 Jun 2009…

“Understanding how nitrogen transport across the landscape varies with landscape characteristics is important for developing sound nitrogen management policies. We used a spatially referenced regression analysis (SPARROW) to examine landscape characteristics influencing delivery of nitrogen from sources in a watershed to stream channels. Modelled landscape delivery ratio varies widely (by a factor of 4) among watersheds in the southeastern United States – higher in the western part (Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi) than in the eastern part, and the average value for the region is lower compared to other parts of the nation. When we model landscape delivery ratio as a continuous function of local-scale landscape characteristics, we estimate a spatial pattern that varies as a function of soil and climate characteristics but exhibits spatial structure in residuals (observed load minus predicted load). The spatial pattern of modelled landscape delivery ratio and the spatial pattern of residuals coincide spatially with Level III ecoregions and also with hydrologic landscape regions. Subsequent incorporation into the model of these frameworks as regional scale variables improves estimation of landscape delivery ratio, evidenced by reduced spatial bias in residuals, and suggests that cross-scale processes affect nitrogen attenuation on the landscape. The model-fitted coefficient values are logically consistent with the hypothesis that broad-scale classifications of hydrologic response help to explain differential rates of nitrogen attenuation, controlling for local-scale landscape characteristics. Negative model coefficients for hydrologic landscape regions where the primary flow path is shallow ground water suggest that a lower fraction of nitrogen mass will be delivered to streams; this relation is reversed for regions where the primary flow path is overland flow.”

ESRI UC Q & A: What Is Being Added to ArcGIS to Support the Work of Science?

uc20091…from the 2009 ESRI UC Q & A

The principle that GI science underlies all our software development and consulting projects is central to ESRI’s work. Some of the main areas in which science is most easily seen include the following:

  • Spatial Statistics: new spatial statistics tools have been added incrementally to the geoprocessing tool boxes in ArcGIS. For example, 9.3 has a new geographically-weighted regression tool to analyze the geographic relationship between two or more variables.
  • Geoprocessing: improvements and new geoprocessing tools provide many opportunities for scientific analysis with ArcGIS. There are improved contouring and zonal histogram tools, several performance enhancements, and some framework changes in 9.3 that enhance the user experience.
  • Cartography: the cartographic capabilities of ArcGIS have improved significantly in recent releases. The ESRI Mapping Center blog http://mappingcenter.esri.com/ has a substantial amount of cartographic science. Watch for a similar geoprocessing blog coming soon.
  • 3D: editing, analyzing and viewing 3D GI is a very hot area right now. ESRI is pushing ahead aggressively in enhancing the 3D capabilities of ArcGIS. Now that ArcGIS 9.3 is shipping this is a major focus for R&D.
  • Data Modeling: information is only as good as the representation and storage model that is used to organize it. For this reason ESRI has invested heavily in the past few years on working with communities of users to create standardized data models for different geographic domains (water, forestry, geology, marine, etc.). These are all published on-line at http://support.esri.com/index.cfm?fa=downloads.datamodels.gateway