Government Technology: Web 2.0 Comes of Age

gt-logo…from Government Technology

“…people responsible for enterprise technology worry that the new young Turks and their Web 2.0 advocacy may be as dangerous to enterprise stability as a toddler with a fork waddling toward an electrical outlet.  But the enterprise – or more properly, the federated state and local government environments – is resilient. What were once dismissed as toys are becoming platforms and platform extenders.

“Not long ago, Microsoft Virtual Earth, Google Earth and their mapping Web services were dismissed by serious public-sector GIS shops, the stock-in-trade of which was expert GIS systems. Old and new were less competitors than adversaries. That was then. ESRI founder Jack Dangermond told Government Technology in its May issue how things have changed in the relationship between professional GIS and the new public-facing virtualization environments: ‘The public likes this, as they love traditional Rand McNally street atlases or [Autodesk] MapGuide applications. We have been working closely with both of those companies to integrate our tools with theirs.'”

Kentucky Geographer Named to National Research Council Mapping Science Committee

nabrandSusan Carson Lambert, a Geographer of RE Strategies, LLC has been tapped to serve a 3 year term on the Mapping Science Committee of the National Research Council and the National Academy of Science.   The Mapping Science Committee organizes and oversees National Research Council studies that provide independent advice to society and to government at all levels on geospatial science, technology, and policy. It also addresses aspects of geographic information science that deal with the acquisition, integration, storage, distribution, and use of spatial data. Through its studies, the committee promotes the informed and responsible development and use of spatial data for the benefit of society.

Ms. Lambert, a long time employee of the U.S. Geological Survey also served in the Patton and Fletcher administrations as the Executive Director of the KY State Office of Geographic Information and as the Principal Investigator on several prominent Federal research projects funded by NASA and EPA.  She currently is co-owner and Chief Operating Officer of Renewable Energy Strategies, LLC, a renewable energy consulting company based in Frankfort KY.

For additional information on Ms. Lambert’s appointment contact Tony Moreno at or by telephone at 502 352-2770.  To find information about the Mapping Science Committee and their work see their website:

Rise of the Data Scientist

flowingInteresting post at Flowing Data by Nathan Yau, a UCLA PhD candidate in Statistics interested in data visualization.

“Think about all the visualization stuff you’ve been most impressed with or the groups that always seem to put out the best work. Martin Wattenberg. Stamen Design. Jonathan Harris. Golan Levin. Sep Kamvar. Why is their work always of such high quality? Because they’re not just students of computer science, math, statistics, or graphic design.

“They have a combination of skills that not just makes independent work easier and quicker; it makes collaboration more exciting and opens up possibilities in what can be done. Oftentimes, visualization projects are disjoint processes and involve a lot of waiting. Maybe a statistician is waiting for data from a computer scientist; or a graphic designer is waiting for results from an analyst; or an HCI specialist is waiting for layouts from a graphic designer.”

New Zealand Enlists GIS to Monitor Greenhouse Gas

Carbon Accounting Program Using Geospatial Technology to Meet Kyoto Reporting Requirements

The New Zealand Ministry for the Environment is implementing geographic information system (GIS) software from ESRI to analyze, measure, and report greenhouse gas emissions and land-use change. GIS will be used to comply with the reporting requirements of the Kyoto Protocol in an effort to reduce greenhouse gases that contribute to Earth’s climate changes.

The Land Use and Carbon Analysis System (LUCAS) is built on a geospatial system developed by New Zealand-based ESRI business partner Explorer Graphics Ltd. (EGL). The system supports complex carbon sequestration calculations using validated and quantified land use and land-use change information.

Nations that are aligned with the Kyoto Protocol have agreed to take steps to reduce emission activities. The objective of the protocol is for industrialized countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 5 percent below 1990 levels before 2012. In alliance with the agreement, New Zealand is required to report on greenhouse gas emissions and removals arising from land use, land-use change, and forestry activities. LUCAS will enable New Zealand to meet its Kyoto Protocol reporting requirements for carbon stock and carbon stock change including the annual National Inventory Report that can be used for reporting to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

LUCAS manager Steve Botica said that the development of a geospatial solution was one of the key components of LUCAS, enabling the assessment of spatial data as part of the measurement and monitoring of the carbon stocks of New Zealand’s forests and soils. “In particular, we needed to analyze mapped land use at the key reference points for the first Kyoto commitment period—1990, 2008, and 2012.”

Built on ESRI’s ArcGIS software, LUCAS combines carbon assessment calculations with core geospatial change analysis and forest plot sampling to produce the carbon-per-hectare report for Kyoto land-use classes. David Pimblott, EGL’s managing director, said, “We have been working with ministry staff to develop various geospatial technology solutions. These will enable them to store and analyze satellite data and aerial photography to map changes in land use since 1990.”

Forests break down carbon dioxide and store, or sequester, the carbon during the forest’s natural processes of photosynthesis and respiration. This process is a natural means to counter increasing levels of carbon dioxide that affect climate change. ArcGIS supports scientific methods for calculating carbon sequestration by using validated and qualified land-use data. It then shows land-use change information from year to year.