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.

Oversight Hearing On Federal Geospatial Data Management

Subcommittee On Energy And Mineral Resources Oversight Hearing On “Federal Geospatial Data Management” And Legislative Hearing On H.R. 2489

Thursday, July 23, 2009 at 10:00 a.m.
The House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, led by Rep. Jim Costa (D-CA), will hold an oversight hearing on “Federal Geospatial Data Management.”This hearing will be directly followed by a legislative hearing on the following bill:
  • H.R. 2489 (Herseth Sandlin): To authorize a comprehensive national cooperative geospatial imagery mapping program through the United States Geological Survey, to promote use of the program for education, workforce training and development, and applied research, and to support Federal, State, tribal, and local government programs. “AmericaView Geospatial Imagery Mapping Program Act.”

Room 1324 Longworth House Office Building

Oversight Hearing Witnesses

Ms. Karen C. Siderelis
Geospatial Information Officer
U.S. Department of the Interior

Mr. Michael Byrne
Geospatial Information Officer
State of California

Mr. John Palatiello
Executive Director
Management Association for Private Photogrammetric Surveyors

Ms. Susan Marlow
Chief Executive Officer
Smart Data Strategies, Inc.

Legislative Hearing Witnesses

Ms. Suzette M. Kimball
Acting Director
U.S. Geological Survey

Ms. Rebecca L. Dodge, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, the Department of Geosciences
Midwestern State University

Ms. Mary O’Neill
Manager, Office of Remote Sensing
South Dakota View Principal Investigator
South Dakota State University

Dr. Sam Batzli
WisconsinView Director
Geospatial Information Scientist, the Space Science & Engineering Center
University of Wisconsin-Madison

The hearing will be webcast live and archived on the Committee’s Web site at

Nationwide Audubon Effort Funds Volunteer-powered Conservation Projects at Maine’s Largest Saltwater Marsh


“Maine Audubon is recruiting volunteers to assist three wildlife conservation projects at Scarborough Marsh, the largest saltwater marsh in Maine, on five Saturdays and one Sunday this summer, fall, and next spring. The work is part of TogetherGreen Volunteer Days, a nationwide effort Audubon launched last fall, with funding from Toyota.

“Volunteers will be trained to use GPS units and surveying techniques to monitor selected areas of Scarborough Marsh for an invasive reed, Phragmites australis. They will find, measure, and map the reeds to collect data for a GIS database. No experience is necessary to volunteer.”

International Workshop on Security and Privacy in GIS and LBS

Second SIGSPATIAL ACM GIS International Workshop on Security and Privacy in GIS and LBS

November 3, 2009 in Seattle, Washington, USA

Our society is witnessing a dramatic increase in geospatial data infrastructures, data products, and services, many of them playing a key role in decision making in organizations. There are currently major national and international efforts in the coordinated development, use, sharing, and dissemination of geospatial data in several application contexts including homeland security, environmental crises, and natural and industrial disasters. Geospatial infrastructures are being leveraged by companies to provide a large variety of location-based services (LBS) able to tailor services to users. However, despite the increase of publicly accessible geospatial information only little attention is being paid on how to secure geospatial information systems (GIS) and LBS. Privacy is also of increasing concern given the sensitivity of personally-identifiable location information. This is despite major advancements that have been made in secure computing infrastructures and the secure and privacy-preserving management of traditional (relational) data in particular. Given these pressing needs for securing GIS and LBS as well as assuring privacy, it is compelling to investigate security and privacy aspects as they relate to the management of geospatial data and the development of both emerging LBS and mission-critical geographic applications.

The aim of the workshop is to lay the foundation and agenda for further research and development in those areas.


Elisa Bertino
Computer Science Department, Purdue University, West Lafayette IN

Maria Luisa Damiani
University of Milan, Italy

GIS for Archaeology: Free e-Book Now Available

gis4archESRI has released a new GIS Best Practices paper titled “GIS for Archaeology,” which includes the following chapters:

  • Protecting Archaeological Resources During an Oil Spill in Washington State
  • Archaeology, Genealogy, and GIS Meet at Columbia Cemetery
  • Reconstructing Aztec Political Geographies
  • A Cost-Effective Approach to GPS/GIS Integration for Archaeological Surveying
  • U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Administers Archaeological Sites with GIS
  • Bureau of Land Management’s Cultural Resource Database Goes Digital
  • Modeling Archaeological Sensitivity in Vermont with GIS
  • Understanding Past and Future Land Use

Calibrating the Huff Model Using ArcGIS Business Analyst

huffBy Dr. David Huff and Bradley M. McCallum, ESRI Inc.

This document is intended to illustrate how the parameters of the generalized version of the Huff Model can be estimated statistically using ArcGIS Business Analyst. Every effort has been made to minimize technical jargon and mathematical proofs. Rather, emphasis is directed toward the application and interpretation of the model in addressing spatial interaction problems. Furthermore, a case study is used to illustrate the steps involved. Maps, diagrams, charts, and graphs generated from ArcGIS Business Analyst are used to facilitate decision making.”

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.