Dynamic GIS Case Studies: Wildfire Evacuation and Volunteered Geographic Information

122467470By Edward Pultar, Martin Raubal, Thomas J Cova, and Michael F Goodchild

Transactions in GIS, Volume 13 Issue s1, Pages 85 – 104

Abstract: Incorporating the temporal element into traditional GIS is a challenge that has been researched for many years and has many proposed solutions. The implemented system “Extended Dynamic GIS” or EDGIS is based on the “geo-atom” and Space Time Point (STP). EDGIS provides a platform for spatiotemporal data representation, storage, and query in order to address the need for a dynamic GIS to manage complex geographic data types. The system has the capability of executing spatiotemporal object interaction queries (OIQs) such as crossing and coincidence of field-objects and object-fields. In this article existing dynamic GIS analysis techniques are further improved and enhanced through exploration of more in-depth case studies. Further examined here are applications to wildfire evacuation modeling and travel scenarios of urban environments with individuals providing volunteered geographic information (VGI). The EDGIS platform provides a means for interacting with a range of dynamic geographic phenomena. The areas of transportation, location based services (LBS), hazards, and geo-sensor networks provide challenges intertwined with the above applications as well as additional challenges pertinent to the ongoing GIScience research topic of spatiotemporal GIS. Using EDGIS to explore the described case studies of wildfire evacuation as well as VGI provides the advancements described above and demonstrates implemented uses for dynamic GIS.

McNutt to become USGS Director

usgs…from The Stanford Daily

“President Obama announced last week that he will nominate Marcia McNutt, professor of geophysics at Stanford, as the next director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and science advisor to the Secretary of the Interior.

“‘Marcia is a strong and experienced leader and a great scientist, and she understands the breath of issues that the USGS deals with,’ said Pamela Matson, dean of the School of Earth Sciences. ‘She’s a perfect choice.'”

A Customization of the Arc Marine Data Model to Support Whale Tracking via Satellite Telemetry

122467470By Brett K Lord-Castillo, Bruce R Mate, Dawn J Wright, and Tomas Follett

Transactions in GIS, Volume 13 Issue s1, Pages 63 – 83

Abstract: The Arc Marine data model is a generalized template to guide the implementation of geographic information systems (GIS) projects in the marine environment. It developed out of a collaborative process involving research and industry shareholders in coastal and marine research. This template models and attempts to standardize common ocean and coastal data types to facilitate data sharing and analytical tool development. In this study, Arc Marine is extended from its core model to fit the research goals of the whale satellite-telemetry-tagging program of the Oregon State University Marine Mammal Institute (MMI). The study sought the best customization of the generic Arc Marine data model to enhance the key advantages of satellite telemetry for mapping the distribution and movement of endangered marine mammal species. It was found that three new groups of object classes were needed (Animal, Telemetry, and Operations). Further customization involved the development of a comprehensive framework for animal tracking with Argos satellite telemetry data. A new multidimensional data cube model was also devised, showing how this extension of Arc Marine serves as an appropriate target schema for the application of on-line analytical processing (OLAP) tools and spatial data mining of satellite telemetry tracking datasets.

Beyond the Map: Digital Data Supports Applied and Scientific Projects

qmapnaki…from Stratford Press

“A new geological map covering the Taranaki and Central North Island area has been completed by a team of geologists following six years of fieldwork.

“The map, which shows the region’s geology in more detail than before, has been generated from a computer database using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology, which means it can be updated regularly as new information comes to hand. The map replaces existing geological maps of the area, published in the 1960s, and combines a vast amount of published and unpublished material, plus new research, to produce a valuable resource about Taranaki geology.

“Digital data from which the map was produced is already being used extensively in a number of applied and scientific projects. End users expected to benefit include regional councils, engineers, developers, scientists, and mineral and petroleum exploration companies. People with an interest in geology and in the Taranaki region would also find the map useful.”

Read the article

Multivariable Value Densification Modeling Using GIS

122467470By Constance C Bodurow, Calvin Creech, Alan Hoback, and Jordan Martin

Transactions in GIS, Volume 13 Issue s1, Pages 147 – 175

Abstract: A team of researchers comprised of architects, urbanists, planners and civil engineers from Lawrence Technological University and the University of Detroit Mercy developed a value densification tool used primarily to evaluate density of resources and physical features within Southwest Detroit, Michigan. This community is a diverse and vibrant neighborhood that is currently transforming socially, physically and economically. This project – the Value Densification Community Mapping Project (VDCmp) – was developed to explore how aspects of the post-industrial city can be understood, communicated and leveraged in service of equity and sustainability and to use technology to reveal data about the city in order to convince community, political and economic leadership to embrace a broader interpretation of value. Building on an asset-based, community empowerment planning model, the research team is collaborating to create a unique “free-ware” GIS incorporating and merging components of Google Earth, Sketch Up and ERSI ArcGIS to model physical and social density and value in three dimensions. The resultant digital interface empowers the community through asset identification and creation of an accessible tool to assist in envisioning its environmental, social and economic future. The VDCmp digital interface is unique in that it models “social exchanges” in three dimensions and allows the user to overlay social and infrastructure layers with physical density. With funding from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), the VDCmp and research team is engaging nonprofit groups in Southwest Detroit to determine how they can best utilize data and mapping in planning, design, development and evaluative tools. The focus of this work has been on creating a comprehensive tool that can support community design and development policy decisions. Community members have become active partners in evolving the digital interface as a tool for strategic planning at the agency/organization, coalition, city and regional levels. The active community members have either provided to the research team the self-generated data found to be significant to them (the stakeholders) or requested certain publicly available data sets to be incorporated in the interface. Significant geoprocessing using ArcGIS was used on these data sets (of various formats) in order to pre-process and evaluate the data for accuracy and quality assurance. These data were then exported to keyhole markup language (kml) or keyhole markup zip (kmz) files and the visualization of these data were developed in Google Earth, which included significant polygon and polyline extrusion (used to display multivariable attributes for single features). Sketch Up models were also used to display density of historic sites, green infrastructure, parking and other features. The team will also incorporate three dimensional network diagrams in GIS to display the interactions and relationships that residential households have with religious, cultural and commercial assets, among others. These techniques have allowed the community groups to visually identify over- or under-served resources, conflicting planning objectives, environmental health impacts, or areas of social inequality, with an end-goal of developing a dynamic, unified development and preservation strategy for the community. The VDCmp has evolved from a pilot project to an ever expanding collaborative initiative featuring multiple institutions, clients, stakeholders and geographies. The VDCmp has a tripartite nature. It is at once a Research Initiative; a Tool; and a Community Process, each requiring very different approaches to collaboration, deliverables and dissemination. Now developed, this framework may be replicated in other Detroit neighborhoods or across the region or country to further advance the concepts of Value Densification mapping.

Spatial Analysis of Illegal Drug Use using Wastewater Samples

…from Science Codex

“A team of researchers has mapped patterns of illicit drug use across the state of Oregon using a method of sampling municipal wastewater before it is treated.

“Their findings provide a one-day snapshot of drug excretion that can be used to better understand patterns of drug use in multiple municipalities over time. Municipal water treatment facilities across Oregon volunteered for the study to help further the development of this methodology as a proactive tool for health officials.”