Nine Areas of GIS Job Growth

What applications of GIS are creating new jobs?  GIS and the geographic approach continue to save time and money in many organizations, and job growth is continuing in the following areas:

  1. Defense/Intelligence
  2. Homeland Security
  3. Highway Transportation Agencies
  4. Logistics
  5. Health Care
  6. Public Safety
  7. Government Transparency
  8. Infrastructure and Utilities Management
  9. “Green” Applications

Geospatial Tools Offer Killer App for Gov 2.0

…from Government Computer News

“If the idea of government 2.0 revolves around using government information as a platform for enabling public discourse, then geospatial technologies are one of the killer apps, Jack Dangermond, president of ESRI, said today at the Gov 2.0 Summit in Washington.

“Maps and geospatial information systems are becoming richer, smarter, and more pervasive, Dangermond said, but government agencies still need to do more to convert data into services that can populate mapping applications.”

Government Takes On New Data Services Role

…from nextgov

“Jack Dangermond, founder and president of California-based ESRI, a large provider of geographic information systems technology, told the audience that location-based, online services will bring as much change to the government as GIS brought to agencies such as the Defense Department.

“Social media applications such as the broadcast text-messaging service Twitter are adding another layer to federal maps that in some cases can save lives, observers have noted. Dangermond referenced the recent California wildfires to show how a combination of geographic coordinates and live reports from first responders can be used to update maps instantly for emergency workers. He displayed an online map of the spreading fires overlaid with the sites of nursing homes and hospitals.

“”We’re not just seeing maps, we’re seeing spatial analysis,” Dangermond said.”

Five “Green” Applications of GIS

Earth-Recycle-WebGIS software supports applications that help conserve natural resources and reduce pollution, including:

  1. Renewable Energy Siting – A popular application is determining the best location for renewable energy facilities such as solar and wind generation sites. GIS is helping many organizations perform these studies at multiple scales ranging from national to local settings.
  2. Energy Savings via Automated Routing – Organizations with vehicle fleets can realize almost immediate energy savings by using GIS-based logistics planning software for optimized routing. These applications provide huge benefits in reduced fuel consumption–typically 15% – 20%–and benefit both private and public organizations dealing with dispatching and routing inspectors, field workers, and home deliveries, as well as paratransit agencies and trucking companies.
  3. Carbon Accounting – GIS is being used to acquire measurements and monitor carbon balance geographically. This is happening at many scales, from global down to local geographies. The Clinton Foundation, working with the Australian government, has created a national system whereas American Forests has set up accounting systems to measure the change in carbon balance within metropolitan areas.
  4. Conservation Planning – GIS is being used to define wildlife areas and corridors and integrate this knowledge for better land use planning.
  5. Land Use and Transportation Planning – GIS is being used by planners to support the design of more sustainable cities, regions, and states.

Spatial Analysis of Livestock Disease in Great Britain

bmclogo…from BMC Veterinary Research

On the Question of Proportionality of the Count of Observed Scrapie Cases and the Size of Holding

The present paper investigates the question of a suitable basic model for the number of scrapie cases in a holding and applications of this knowledge to the estimation of scrapie-affected holding population sizes and adequacy of control measures within holding. Is the number of scrapie cases proportional to the size of the holding in which case it should be incorporated into the parameter of the error distribution for the scrapie counts? Or, is there a different – potentially more complex – relationship between case count and holding size in which case the information about the size of the holding should be better incorporated as a covariate in the modeling?

We show that this question can be appropriately addressed via a simple zero-truncated Poisson model in which the hypothesis of proportionality enters as a special offset-model. Model comparisons can be achieved by means of likelihood ratio testing. The procedure is illustrated by means of surveillance data on classical scrapie in Great Britain. Furthermore, the model with the best fit is used to estimate the size of the scrapie-affected holding population in Great Britain by means of two capture-recapture estimators: the Poisson estimator and the generalized Zelterman estimator.

No evidence could be found for the hypothesis of proportionality. In fact, there is some evidence that this relationship follows a curved line which increases for small holdings up to a maximum after which it declines again. Furthermore, it is pointed out how crucial the correct model choice is when applied to capture-recapture estimation on the basis of zero-truncated Poisson models as well as on the basis of the generalized Zelterman estimator. Estimators based on the proportionality model return very different and unreasonable estimates for the population sizes.

Our results stress the importance of an adequate modelling approach to the association between holding size and the number of cases of classical scrapie within holding. Reporting artefacts and speculative biological effects are hypothesized as the underlying causes of the observed curved relationship. The lack of adjustment for these artefacts might well render ineffective the current strategies for the control of the disease.

Geography Department Head, Texas A&M University

texasam“The Department of Geography at Texas A&M University invites applications for a Head of Department at the Full Professor rank. The position is a nine-month tenured appointment with a three-month administrative appointment while serving as Head.  We seek a person with an outstanding reputation in Geography, a proven track record of academic leadership and evidence of administrative skills. The Department comprises 23 faculty and has strengths in biogeography, climatology, geomorphology, human geography, human-environment relationships, GIScience, and geographic education. We are based in the College of Geosciences with the Departments of Atmospheric Science, Geology & Geophysics, and Oceanography, and play a major role in the Environmental Programs in Geosciences. The Department has strong ties to faculty and departments in the Colleges of Architecture, Agriculture & Life Sciences, Education, Engineering and Liberal Arts; the Bush School of Public Policy and the Glasscock Center for the Humanities.”

Quote of the Day

“My fascination with technology started when I was ten years old. I didn’t have a radio in my room, so I thought I’d rig one. I cut off the plug from a lamp, stripped the wires and connected them to the 12V wires of a loose car radio I found in our garage.  I plugged it into the wall socket and watched it literally light on fire on the lovely green shag carpet in my basement room (god bless the 70s)! I frantically reached to unplug it and my hand touched both sides of the exposed wires sending lovely electricity rushing through my lean little body. Luckily, I fell over and the connection was broken. After I stamped on the radio to put out the fire and then carefully unplugged it, I started grinning from ear to ear! That was awesome! I had no idea why it had done what it did, but I had successfully burned up my first electronic device and given my hair a little more snap!  I was hooked.  I wanted to find out how it worked and why it ignited! My older brother Dan, who happened to own the car radio, didn’t think it was so cool.  My dad on the other hand was rather happy that I stopped the house from burning down.”

Dean Nelson, eBay

Venice, City of Canals: Characterizing Regions through Content Classification

122570989…from Transactions in GIS

“Information retrieval tasks in the geographic domain rely on textual annotation of georeferenced information objects. These information objects can be annotated with references to spatial objects contained within the corresponding geographical footprint. Not all the spatial objects, however, describe the essential attributes characterizing the region. In this article, we present a method to calculate the descriptive prominence of categories of spatial objects in a given region and select a subset for the characteristic description of the region. The method is demonstrated on three datasets of points of interest and an artificial dataset is used as a benchmark. The method reduces the number of categories describing regions significantly (p<0.001). We further illustrate the results qualitatively for three regions characterized in text.”

A Fast Clonal Selection Algorithm for Feature Selection in Hyperspectral Imagery

geo-spatial…from Geo-spatial Information Science

“Clonal selection feature selection algorithm (CSFS) based on clonal selection algorithm (CSA), a new computational intelligence approach, has been proposed to perform the task of dimensionality reduction in high-dimensional images, and has better performance than traditional feature selection algorithms with more computational costs. In this paper, a fast clonal selection feature selection algorithm (FCSFS) for hyperspectral imagery is proposed to improve the convergence rate by using Cauchy mutation instead of non-uniform mutation as the primary immune operator. Two experiments are performed to evaluate the performance of the proposed algorithm in comparison with CSFS using hyperspectral remote sensing imagery acquired by the pushbroom hyperspectral imager (PHI) and the airborne visible/infrared imaging spectrometer (AVIRIS), respectively. Experimental results demonstrate that the FCSFS converges faster than CSFS, hence providing an effective new option for dimensionality reduction of hyperspectral remote sensing imagery.”

Boston Showcases Solar Power Potential with Web GIS: Podcast Interview

podcast_iconESRI Podcast; Greg Knight, senior GIS application developer for the Boston Redevelopment Authority, discusses the Solar Boston map that allows users to see active renewable energy installations within the city and to calculate the solar potential of building rooftops. The map was created by the Boston Redevelopment Authority in cooperation with the Solar Boston Program using several ArcGIS tools, including ArcGIS Spatial Analyst and the ArcGIS API for Flex.

  • Listen or download: MP3 [10:44 | 4.95 MB]