GIS Helps Evaluate Soil’s Ability to Retain Earth’s Carbon

…from Environmental Expert

“The study evaluated AAAWD of Ca2+ from 1994 to 2003 within the continental United States by soil order, using spatial analysis of Ca2+ wet deposition data obtained from the National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP) and the State Soil Geographic (STATSGO) Database from the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Using geographic information system (GIS) software, spatial data layers were developed and averaged to create a final Ca2+ wet deposition map layer. The total Ca2+ wet deposition per soil order (in kg) was then calculated by combining the final average Ca2+ wet deposition map layer with the generalized soil order data layer.”

University of Nottingham Research Associate in Geospatial Semantics

99The Centre for Geospatial Science is a multidisciplinary research centre specialising in spatial data infrastructures (SDI), location-based services, geospatial interoperability and geoinformatics. It includes researchers from the fields of Geography, Computer Science, Mathematics and Human Factors.

We are seeking a research associate to work on the EuroGEOSS project.  This EU FP7 funded project will develop methods for making existing earth observation systems interoperable, focussing on the three strategic areas of drought, forestry and biodiversity.  The project will particularly focus on interoperability among advanced scientific models that use multi-scale resources, expressing scientific models as workflows and using natural language to interface with models.  More information is available at and

The person appointed will work with Dr Kristin Stock to undertake research in the area of natural language discovery.  The goal of this work is to investigate methods to express geographic objectives or questions in natural language and from these expressions to discover and execute relevant resources (in the form of web services), thus removing from users the burden of understanding the meaning and structure of underlying resources.  The work will build on previous research in the Centre for Geospatial Science into the use of Natural Semantic Metalanguage for the expression of geographic semantics.  The work will involve research that may contribute to a PhD, and the person appointed may choose to work towards a PhD concurrently (provided they meet the requirements).

Candidates should be enthusiastic, motivated, able to solve problems and use their own initiative.  The post requires a good undergraduate degree in a relevant field (the geographical or spatial sciences, linguistics, logic or computer science).  Knowledge or experience in more than one relevant field would be regarded especially favourably, as would postgraduate qualifications.  Computer programming experience is desirable.    Knowledge or experience in geospatial semantics will be an advantage.

Starting salary will be £24,152 per annum. This full-time post will be offered on a fixed-term contract until 30 April 2012.

Information about the Centre for Geospatial Science is available at: and administrative enquiries may be addressed to Mr G Wilcoxson, Email:  Informal enquiries regarding may be addressed to Dr K Stock, Email: Please note that applications sent direct to these Email addresses will not be accepted.

For more details and/or to apply on-line please access:  Candidates should include a detailed CV and covering letter with their application.  Please quote ref. ENG/337.  Closing date: 7 August 2009. Provisional Interview date: 12 August 2009.

For all our vacancies and more about working at the University of Nottingham see:

GIS Aids Balkans Earthquake Prediction


“While the latest satellite-assisted experiments into earthquake prediction are promising, research in the field is still very embryonic. NATO’s Science for Peace and Security Programme (SPS) is involved in that research in Southeastern Europe, where it is funding an effort that will, according to Project Director Branislav Glavatovic, “provide an important step towards preparedness and prevention activities in disaster management in the Western Balkans”.”

GIS Database Could Lead to Better Flood Warning

…from The Roanoke Times

“This year, rain has brought flooded yards, washed-out roads and mudslides to the New River Valley.

“Anthony Phillips, a rising senior at Virginia Tech, is working on a project to better predict some of those problems.

“The 22-year-old has spent the summer driving around his native Pulaski County in a car filled with laptops, maps, data sheets and GIS systems and collecting data on some 300 streams in the county and how close they are to roads.

“Phillips plans to compile that data — along with photos taken by his fiancee, Sarah Prescott — into a searchable database for the National Weather Service in Blacksburg.

“That database, along with other data such as the soil type and vegetation of an area, could one day allow forecasters to predict flooding on a certain roadway 30 to 60 minutes before it happens, said Steve Keighton, science officer for the weather service.”

Scientific Value of Arctic Sea Ice Imagery Derived Products

0309137632A new report authored by Committee on the Scientific Value of Arctic Sea Ice Imagery Derived Products; Committee on Climate, Energy, and National Security; National Research Council.

“During the 1990s, a government program brought together environmental scientists and members of the intelligence community to consider how classified assets and data could be applied to further the understanding of environmental change. As part of the Medea program, collection of overhead classified imagery of sea ice at four sites around the Arctic basin was initiated in 1999, and two additional sites were added in 2005. Collection of images during the summer months at these six locations has continued until the present day. Several hundred unclassified images with a nominal resolution of 1 meter have been derived from the classified images collected at the 6 Arctic sites.

“To assist in the process of making the unclassified derived imagery more widely useful, the National Research Council reviewed the derived images and considered their potential uses for scientific research. In this book, we explore the importance of sea ice in the Arctic and illustrate the types of information–often unique in its detail–that the derived images could contribute to the scientific discussion.”

GIS Industry Thought Leaders Pull Up Chairs to Spatial Roundtable

ESRI has launched an interactive Web site, Spatial Roundtable (, where geographic information system (GIS) industry thought leaders share their opinions about business and organizational challenges in the geospatial community. The site provides its visitors with insight into issues relevant to their work, an arena for community dialog, and a resource that adds breadth to their decision making.

Featured contributors will draw from their fields of expertise to give their points of view about a particular subject. ESRI will add new discussion topics to the Spatial Roundtable Web site monthly. Each one will have a different set of invited experts sharing their opinions. Site visitors can also participate by adding their comments and submitting questions and topic ideas for future discussion.

The first topic broached is about insurance. Simon Thompson, business industry solutions manager at ESRI, responds to the question, “Why do so few insurers use GIS?” Featured contributor Bernard Mageean, managing director of QBE European Operations, also offers his opinion.