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.

GeoDesign Summit: Plenary Session Abstracts, Day 1

Partial list, subject to change…

The What and Why of Geodesign
Tom Fisher, Dean, College of Design, University of Minnesota

What is geodesign and why is it essential to the world we now occupy? Geodesign combines the power of geographic information systems to analyze and comprehend the world as it is with that of design to envision the world as it might be. Geodesign combines science and art—what is with what could be—in a way that allows us to predict the consequences of our decisions on the future. This is particularly important in a world in which many of the systems on which we depend—our financial, housing, food, transportation, and myriad ecological systems—are in the midst or at the brink of collapse. Geodesign can help us spot these systemic failures before they occur and help us decide how best to deal with them.

GeoDesign in Conservation Planning: Stakeholder Driven Geoprocessing through Greenprinting
Will Rogers, President, The Trust for Public Lands

Spatial by Design: Understanding the Special Role of GIS

Michael Goodchild, Professor of Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara

Geodesign is envisioned as a technology that helps designers and decision makers create better environments. As such, it requires functions for input of baseline landscapes, design options, and data that may assist in evaluating alternative designs as well as functions for visualizing, predicting the effects of designs, and measuring those effects using appropriate metrics. Some of these functions are available in GIS for some kinds of applications, and others are available in other software environments that we would not describe as GIS. We, therefore, face a number of alternatives: add functions to GIS, add functions to other types of software, or develop entirely new environments. Goodchild will review these options, discuss the implications of each choice, and outline a program of development.

Visualizing Complex Systems: The Role of the National Academy of Environmental Design in Advancing Evidence-Based Design Research
Kim Tanzer, Dean, School of Architecture, University of Virginia

The phrase “one picture is worth a thousand words” captures the importance of visualization in efficient, meaningful communication. Beginning with a brief historical reflection, this talk will highlight several current projects in which GIS-based visualization is used to understand and respond to challenging environmental circumstances. It will conclude by describing the National Academy of Environmental Design, and suggesting the role visualization might play in proposing sustainable environmental scenarios.

44th Annual Alaska Surveying and Mapping Conference

22-26 February 2010  at the  Anchorage Sheraton

The Alaska Section of the American Congress on Surveying & Mapping (ACSM), the Alaska Society of Professional Land Surveyors (ASPLS), the Alaska Region of the American Society of Photogrammetry & Remote Sensing (ASPRS), the Alaska Chapter of the Urban & Regional Information Systems Association (URISA), and the Alaska Arc Users Group (AAUG) are proud to host the 2010 Alaska Surveying & Mapping Conference in Anchorage, Alaska.

The theme for this year is ‘Random & True’, which refers to the survey method where a random trial line is established to connect two surveyed monuments.  The ‘true’ survey line connecting the monuments is established after traversing the randomly selected line.

  • Keynote Speaker – Marie C Robidoux, LCS, LLM
  • Special Guest Speaker – Jack Dangermond of ESRI

More information

Spatio-temporal Analysis of Noise Pollution near Boston Logan Airport: Who Carries the Cost?

Urban Studies, Vol. 47, No. 1, 169-182 (2010)

Yelena Ogneva-Himmelberger, Brian Cooperman

“Airports are often located near densely populated residential areas, affecting a large number of people. Thus, knowing socio-demographic characteristics of the noise-affected areas is important for the development of policies on noise control and abatement. This study proposes a new methodology that combines airport noise models with spatial statistics and geographical information systems to identify spatial clusters of socio-demographic characteristics in relationship to the noise level. Statistically significant ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ socio-demographic clusters represent spatial concentrations of certain social groups, corresponding to various levels of vulnerability to environmental impacts. Results show that the population ‘paying’ for the cost of noise from Logan International Airport in Boston, USA, is highly vulnerable as there are more minority and lower-income populations, and lower house prices in the noise-affected areas. These results should draw the attention of policy-makers and the public as policies for noise abatement are being developed.”

A New Algorithm for Distance Cartogram Construction

International Journal of Geographical Information Science, Volume 23, Issue 11 November 2009 , pages 1453 – 1470

Eihan Shimizu; Ryo Inoue.

“A distance cartogram is a diagram that visualizes the proximity indices between points in a network, such as time-distances between cities. The Euclidean distances between the points on the distance cartogram represent the given proximity indices. This is a useful visualization tool for the level of service of transport, e.g. difference in the level of service between regions or points in a network and its improvement in the course of time. The two previously proposed methods—multidimensional scaling (MDS) and network time-space mapping—have certain advantages and disadvantages. However, we observe that these methods are essentially the same, and the merits of both these methods can be combined to formulate a generalized solution. In this study, we first formulate the time-space mapping problem, which includes the key features of both of the above stated methods, and propose a generalized solution. We then apply this solution to the time-distances of Japan’s railway networks to confirm its applicability.”

3D Geological Mapping: An Inescapable Evolution for National Geological Surveys

…from the 2009 Three-Dimensional Geologic Mapping Workshop held by the Illinois State Geological Survey…

Catherine Truffert

“According to EuroGeoSurveys, the European Geological Surveys association, “Geological spatial data and models describe the solid Earth’s surface and subsurface on-shore and off-shore, its nature, structure, properties, dynamics and evolution over time; including its related (geo)resources and (geo) hazards”. This illustrates a modern vision of the core mission that National Geological Surveys have to accomplish.”