A Temporal-Spatial Analysis of Malaria Transmission in Adama, Ethiopia

The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, 81(6), 2009, pp. 944-949

Ingrid Peterson, Luisa N. Borrell, Wafaa El-Sadr, and Awash Teklehaimanot

Urban malaria is a growing problem in Africa. Small-scale spatial studies are useful in identifying foci of malaria transmission in urban communities. A population-based cohort study comprising 8,088 individuals was conducted in Adama, Ethiopia. During a single malaria season, the Kulldorff scan statistic identified one temporally stable spatial malaria cluster within 350 m of a major Anopheles breeding site. Factors associated with malaria incidence were residential proximity to vector breeding site, poor house condition (incidence rate ratio [IRR] = 2.0, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.4, 2.9), and a high level of vegetation (IRR = 1.8, 95% CI = 1.0, 3.3). Maximum (IRR = 1.4, 95% CI = 1.1, 1.9) and minimum daily temperatures (°C; IRR = 1.3, 95% CI = 1.2, 1.5) were positively associated with malaria incidence after a 1-month delay. Rainfall was positively associated with malaria incidence after a 10-day delay. Findings support the use of small scale mapping and targeted vector control in urban malaria control programs in Africa.”

Video: GIS Pioneer Roger Tomlinson

In this short video from August 2007, GIS pioneer Roger Tomlinson visits DMTI Spatial in Canada. He discusses principles of GIS and how they have changed the world. DMTI Spatial CTO John Fisher discusses the pervasiveness of GIS in today’s business world.

Texas Students Use GIS to Track H1N1 Flu

…from the Winter 2009/2010 issue of ArcNews

Last April, when the spread of H1N1 (swine) flu began, students in Texas watched with a vested interest. The Texas Education Agency made recommendations to reschedule or cancel area and state-level competitions in an effort to limit student travel and minimize contact. With events approaching, like prom, spring concerts, and even graduation ceremonies, students waited as local school districts made careful decisions. Some districts halted student travel and others canceled school classes for a period of weeks.

Lubbock Independent School District GIS teacher Penny Carpenter knew GIS tools would be used to monitor and inform the public of the flu’s pandemic potential, and she saw a unique opportunity for her students. Philosophically, Carpenter motivates students with relevant real-world topics, and the reality of H1N1 flu had certainly captured her students’ attention. They found maps of countries and states with confirmed flu cases but none of Texas counties. Because the outbreak originated in Mexico, students looked to the border towns for reported infections, and that is when geographic inquiry began: Where were the counties in Texas with confirmed H1N1 flu cases?

Multi-scale Spatiotemporal Analyses of Moose-vehicle Collisions: A Case Study in Northern Vermont

International Journal of Geographical Information Science, Volume 23, Issue 11 November 2009 , pages 1389 – 1412

Giorgos Mountrakis; Kari Gunson.

“Moose-vehicle collisions (MVCs) pose a serious safety and environmental concern in many regions of Europe and North America. For example, in the state of Vermont, one-third of all reported MVCs resulted in motorist injury or fatality while collisions have increased from two in 1982 to 164 in 2002. Our work used a MVC dataset from 1983 to 1999 in the Northeastern Highlands of Vermont (four major roads) to perform space, time and spatiotemporal analyses and guide future mitigation strategies. An adapted kernel density estimator was implemented for exploratory analyses to detect high density collision hotspots on roads. The kernel in space showed seven major density peaks which varied in magnitude and spread between roads. The kernel estimator in time for all roads showed an exponentially increasing trend with annual periodicity and a seasonal cyclic component, where the majority of collisions occurred from May to October. Spatiotemporal kernel estimation exhibited discontinuous density hotspots in time and space suggesting changing animal movement patterns across roads. We used an adapted Ripley’s K-function to test the hypothesis that MVCs clustering occurred at multiple scales in space, in time and in space-time combined. Statistically significant spatial clustering was evident on all roads at spatial scales from 2 to 10 km. A more consistent clustering in time occurred on all roads at a scale distance of 5 years. Similar to the kernel estimation, annual periodicity was also evident. Positive space-time clustering was present at small spatial (5 km) and temporal scales (2 years) indicating that where MVCs occur is also influenced by when they occur. In retrospect, using multiple road lengths, and the combined kernel estimation and Ripley’s K-function in time and space, provided a powerful methodology to study varying spatiotemporal patterns of wildlife collisions along roads. This can greatly assist transportation planners in identifying optimal mitigation strategies along specific roads, such as deciding on location and spatial length for permanent and expensive measures (e.g. crossing structures and associated fencing) versus less permanent and inexpensive structures (e.g. wildlife signage and reduced speed limits).”

Zeroing In on Natural Resources

GIS for Customizing Earth Sciences Applications

…from the Winter 2009/2010 issue of ArcNews

Hydrocarbon exploration is an expensive, high-risk operation that involves searching for hydrocarbon deposits (like oil and gas) beneath the earth’s surface. Though visible surface features can provide evidence of hydrocarbon generation, most exploration methods depend on highly sophisticated technology to detect and determine the presence of these deposits deep within the earth.

In early 2000, there was a significant natural gas discovery in southern New York that led to a boom in hydrocarbon exploration. Shortly after this discovery, MIR Télédétection Inc.—a natural resources consulting firm located in Québec, Canada,—began providing expertise to help target hydrocarbon reservoirs.

Among the many services MIR provides are customized earth sciences applications that support hydrocarbon exploration in North America through the capture, integration, and analysis of geologic, remotely sensed, and geoscientific data. Its research plays an integral role in successfully turning leads (structures that may contain or trap hydrocarbons) into prospects (leads that have been fully evaluated and are ready to drill).

Call for Papers: “The Computational Turn”, Centre for Research in Art Science and Humanity

9 March 2010, Swansea University

“The application of new computational techniques and visualisation technologies in the Arts & Humanities are resulting in new approaches and methodologies for the study of traditional and new corpora of Arts and Humanities materials. This new ‘computational turn’ takes the methods and techniques from computer science to create new ways of distant and close readings of texts (e.g. Moretti). This one-day workshop aims to discuss the implications and applications of what Lev Manovich has called ‘Cultural Analytics’ and the question of finding patterns using algorthmic techniques. Some of the most startling approaches transform understandings of texts by use of network analysis (e.g. graph theory), database/XML encodings (which flatten structures), or merely provide new quantitative techniques for looking at various media forms, such as media and film, and (re)presenting them visually, aurally or haptically. Within this field there are important debates about the contrast between narrative against database techniques, pattern-matching versus hermeneutic reading, and the statistical paradigm (using a sample) versus the data mining paradigm. Additionally, new forms of collaboration within the Arts and Humanities are emerging which use team-based approaches as opposed to the traditional lone-scholar. This requires the ability to create and manage modular Arts and Humanities research teams through the organisational structures provided by technology and digital communications (e.g. Big Humanities), together with techniques for collaborating in an interdisciplinary way with other disciplines such as computer science (e.g. hard interdisciplinarity versus soft interdisciplinarity).

“Papers are encouraged in the following areas:
  • Distant versus Close Reading
  • Database Structure versus Argument
  • Data mining/Text mining/Patterns
  • Pattern as a new epistemological object
  • Hermeneutics and the Data Stream
  • Geospatial techniques
  • Big Humanities
  • Digital Humanities versus Traditional Humanities
  • Tool Building
  • Free Culture/Open Source Arts and Humanities
  • Collaboration, Assemblages and Alliances
  • Language and Code (software studies)
  • Information visualization in the Humanities
  • Philosophical and theoretical reflections on the computational turn

Evaluating Indiana Bat Summer Habitat on Surface Coal Mine Sites in Southwestern Indiana Using Remote Sensing

Shunfu Hu, Michael J. Starr, Randall Pearson, Department of Geography, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

“Indiana bat is among first endangered species list by the federal government due to fragmentation or the loss of its summer habitat. Forest canopy, certain degree of “patchiness”, and summer roosting sites (i.e., snags) appear to be key elements in habitat quality for the Indiana bat. This paper presents a methodology of evaluating Indiana bat summer habitat on or near surface coal mine sites in southwestern Indiana. Three levels of evaluation on Indiana bat summer habitat were performed using remotely sensed data. Level 1 evaluation was based on Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) satellite imagery with 30-meter spatial resolution to obtain a general idea of land use and land cover in the study area, which helps to eliminate areas with low bat habitat potential (e.g., urban and agricultural areas). Level 2 evaluation was based on QuickBird satellite imagery with 2.44-meter spatial resolution, which enables us to identify the characteristics of forest canopy such as edges and patchiness and to again eliminate areas with low bat habitat potential (e.g., low patchiness or immature forest). Level 3 evaluation was based on high resolution digital aerial multispectral imagery with a spatial resolution of 0.323-meter (1 foot), which enables us to identify a much greater detail (e.g., individual trees). It is anticipated that the three levels of evaluation of Indiana Bat summer habitat will allow us to develop a “suitability index” that can be used to better assess and monitor Indiana summer habitat.”

Source: Proceedings of the 32nd Annual Applied Geography Conference, October 28-31, 2009.

Amazon Initiative Map Viewer: Spatial Policy Targeting for Incentive-based Ecosystem Service Management

Supported by the World Agroforestry Center, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture, and the World Bank, the Amazon Initiative and its partners are developing an interactive map server for environmental policy targeting. The tool uses spatial information from a large variety of sources and allows users to calculate land cover, biomass. and conservation opportunity costs in custom polygons.

GeoDesign Summit: Plenary Session Abstracts, Day 2

Partial list, subject to change…

Ways of Designing
Carl Steinitz, Research Professor, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University

Five ways of designing will be highlighted from some of Carl Steinitz’ past projects.
• Anticipatory: Holistic, Deductive
• Sequential: Direct, Abductive
• Combinatorial: Simultaneous, Inductive
• Constraining: Sensitivity, Experimental
• Optimizing: Directed, Goal-Driven

Conceptualizing Geodesign in the University Curriculum
Ron Stoltz, Professor and Director, School of Landscape Architecture and Planning, University of Arizona
Karen Hanna, Professor, Landscape Architecture Department, California State Polytechnic Institute, Pomona

GeoDesign, as an emerging discipline and profession, offers an unprecedented opportunity for planning, urban design, landscape planning, and landscape architecture. By ‘building a bridge’ among the various professions in the teaching of comprehensive design and, what might be called, ‘policy’ planning there is a possibility to join ‘Big D’ environmental design (that of trained design professionals) with ‘little design’(creative endeavors by those without formal training yet engaged in the planning and design foresters, engineers, lay advocates).

Graduate design programs concentrate on producing practitioners that are prepared for the practice world. Through a rigorous series of coursework within a formal curriculum and by use of a co-curriculum (those experiences outside of coursework), graduates learn to practice their profession; they learn to engage in the repetitive feedback of ideas, concepts and graphic expression so that a proposed reality between the designer and other interested parties is expressed and improved.

GeoDesign is developing on two fronts: 1) a new piece of enabling technology developed by ESRI combined with new digital tablet devices and 2) a more comprehensive approach that builds on GIS, 3-D, rapid visualization, continuous data feedback, and the freedom of sketching in design. By developing a curriculum to these two fronts the University of Arizona, Cal Poly Pomona and a consortium of other universities hope to be the co-developers of GeoDesign.
In order to develop a curriculum one has to know the components that compose it. Through professional accreditation standards, these are well known in landscape architecture, a sister profession. But are they for GeoDesign?
In this presentation, the presenters will exhibit both course work from recent academic exercises and two curriculum design approaches that await the disciplinary components to develop GeoDesign as a profession.

Private Stewardship Networks: GIS Tools That Promote Conservation Corridors
Chris Overdorf, Principal, Jones & Jones, Architects, Landscape Architects, and Planners

Public land protection is not enough. A growing number of private property owners want to do their part to save landscapes. However, establishing private conservation networks brings a new set of challenges that GIS can help with. Our study focuses on identifying potential corridor easements between private landowners and their neighbors and connecting these conservation corridors to public lands. Through the use of ModelBuilder and Arc Hydro, we have developed five submodels: walkable landscape contribution, parcel contribution, signature landscape feature contribution, origin and destination points, and a hydrologic spatial framework. These submodels are applied to zonal analysis and corridor modeling tools to capture trail corridor opportunities and potential trail partners. These analyses and maps provide an important tool for visual communication and discussion connecting individual property owners with conservation partners, forming linkages with protected public land, and fostering and broadening a conservation community of neighbors.