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.”

Visualizing Time in GIS

Time Awareness in ArcGIS 9.4 Leads to Better Understanding of Complex Geographies

…from the Winter 2009/2010 issue of ArcNews

In his First Law of Geography, noted geographer and cartographer Waldo Tobler states, “Everything is related to everything else, but near things are more related than distant things.”

GIS professionals are well versed in visualization of spatial relationships and dependencies, of the proximity of near things and distant things, as in things you can measure with a ruler or with mile markers. But often when studying geography and looking for relationships and dependencies, equally important is proximity in time, as in something that can be measured with a watch or calendar.

Related articles:

Land Administration Trends and their Implications for Australian Natural Resource Management

Journal of Spatial Science, Vol. 54, No. 2

D.P. Mitchell

“Over the last few decades there has been a dramatic increase in the productive use of natural resources in Australia, and a significant deterioration in the condition of natural resources. Recent approaches to improving natural resource management (NRM) aim to improve land use through voluntary schemes, economic incentives, and the un-bundling of rights to land and resources. However, these initiatives are constrained by limitations in the amount of local and regional land and natural resources information. This paper argues that as land administration systems (LAS) further develop they provide improved tools and mechanisms that can assist the goals of NRM. Benefits will be achieved through better administration of property rights and restrictions, improved land and natural resources information, and improved land use management.”

Willie Smits Shares Methodology for Sustainable Forests

…from the Winter 2009/2010 issue of ArcNews

“We can use technologies such as GIS to save biodiversity. We can still help local people retain their cultures and traditional means of existence.” This is the message of Dr. Willie Smits, founder of the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation and the Masarang Foundation, which raise money and awareness to restore habitat forests around the world.

Smits, a keynote speaker at the 2009 ESRI International User Conference, is a biologist dedicated to rebuilding orangutan populations and improving forest habitats worldwide. His campaign has two fronts. One is a zealous battle against deforestation and habitat destruction, and the other is the promotion of sustainable agribusiness that benefits both species of primates, human and orangutan. “We cannot save the environment if we do not simultaneously take care of people’s needs,” maintains Smits.

GeoDesign Summit: Abstracts for Day 2 Lightning Talks

Partial list, subject to change…

Geospatial Campaign Design for COIN Civil Affairs
Rashed, Tarek

This lightning talk will highlight ongoing prototype developments by Milcord LLC to support Civil Affairs (CA) operations in counterinsurgencies (COIN). Our tool supports tactical level commanders at the brigade, battalion, and company level, acting as a platform for cross-culture decision making by providing operationally relevant information on the relationships between factors driving the insurgency and leverage points identified through counterinsurgency measures, helping to build a more effective campaign for complex operations. Cross-cultural decision making analysis aims to integrate root causes of instability and tactics and operations outlined in counterinsurgency doctrine with domain expert knowledge in social and behavioral sciences for analysis and course of action forecasting. Our campaign management tool will assist civil affairs specialists and intelligence analysts understand the dynamics of the operational environment so they can develop more targeted and effective policies and plans that address the cycle of conditions and behaviors that sustain militant activity and IED networks. The tool will provide end-to-end support for various stages of campaign design, beginning with problem framing and mission analysis through different design and modeling tactics to deciding on a specific course of action. This end-to-end support is facilitated through a seamless integration between the following four subsystems, each of which is designed to provide an environment appropriate to one of the progressive phases of a decision making process : • Brainstorming environment, which provides concept mapping capabilities that enable users to visually think about COIN CA problems and their underlying factors; • Modeling environment, which provides quantitative and qualitative modeling capabilities allowing users to better understand, refine, and restructure CA problems; • Decision environment, which provides decision modeling capabilities that enable users to integrate and optimize the qualitative and quantitative models, weigh factors, and construct “what…if” scenario; • Geospatial environment, which provides capabilities for geospatial reasoning, mapping, and reporting of recommended courses of action.

Real-time, Sketch-based GIS Database Updates to Support Crisis Command and Mobile Resource Deployment
Dana, Mike

This sample application utilizes ArcServer, ArcGIS Desktop and an interactive pen display to support first responders. The integration of ArcGIS and a pen display allows centralized command to draw updated conditions onto an electronic map surface and have these updates broadcast out to the mobile resources. This dynamic mapping configuration delivers near real-time updates from the command center to the front lines and incorporates dispersed field updates into the central GIS database. The result is a common operating environment for incident management that is easily used and updated without requiring specially-trained GIS analysts to create these updates.

Object-Oriented Diagrams in GeoDesign
Ervin, Stephen

Diagrams are a form of graphic representation that have a special place in geo-design. They are not sketches – outlines with fuzzy edges — nor are they exactly maps — graphical answers to questions about what and where. Like maps and sketches, they are abstractions;  like sketches they are often ‘preliminary’. Diagrams contain logical assertions about elements and relations in a design, either proposed, or otherwise being analyzed;  and these elements and relations are effectively mapped using object-oriented terminology & technology. Examples include topological assertions like ‘inside’, ‘connected’ or ‘surrounded by’, as well as object/kinship/count relations such as ‘kind-of’, ‘unique’, ‘many’. These concepts, contained in diagrams and expressed in a stylized graphical language,  are often the kernels of design ideas;  and any Geo-Design system that seeks to bridge the current gap between relational databases, 3D graphics, and analytic models on the one hand, and ‘napkin sketches’ and design ideas on the other, will need to enable and interpret these kinds of conceptual diagrams.

The dual processes of moving from a map to a diagram (‘abstraction’) and from a a diagram to a map (‘development’, or ‘instantiation’) today require human-intelligence, and few GIS (or CAD, or other) tools are available to help, except with the most basic, graphical / syntactical tasks (e.g. ‘draw a circle, label it ‘node’).We also could use interactive geo-design systems that enable semantic assertions (e.g. ‘a node with no links must be a different kind of node than one with links — or else it requires some links!’) and that carry these semantics, as constraints, into more developed maps and plans (e.g the ‘node’ is a multi-modal transit facility; see BIM plan A1…).

Practical Considerations for Integrating BIM and GIS
Przybyla, John

A rudimentary level of integration between BIM and GIS currently is available with current technology. But there are many elements to this integration that are far from mature. This presentation will discuss the practical issues related to today’s capabilities and what is needed to provide a mature solution. It will discuss the following questions:

1. Do IFC’s contain all of the information that would be desired in an interior GIS dataset?
2. What role does COBIE play in supplying information?
3. How much of the data from the BIM should be in the GIS?
4. What effort is needed to fully populate the ESRI BISDM model?
5. Can we take 3-D GIS data and export it to create an as-is BIM?

Building Interior Space Optimization and GIS/RDBMS Space Management Tools
Ball, William B.

Langley Research Center (LaRC) is leveraging its GIS/RDBMS for interior space management to support space utilization optimization. Collectively these tools support more objective and efficient use of the center’s limited and extremely valuable office and technical space.

Optimization accomplishments over the last year and the path ahead will be addressed. Components of the tool include: constraints and metrics (such as organizational synergy), application of optimization algorithms (greedy, metaheuristic, etc.), visualization tools for solution evaluation (dashboard), and web based data maintenance and reporting tools. Successes and failures will be discussed.

Site Engineering Design – Live Start to Finish using ArcPad
Dennis, William

This GeoDesign process will explore methods for creating a dynamic process integrating the project design with spatial elements and natural elements observed in the field. Design sketches are imported into ArcPad from ACAD based on a project scope and set design constraints. On the site the designer is able to see ,with ArcPad and a GPS connection ,conceptual designs and spatial elements in relationship to the natural elements that would affect the design. Field observations are made and data is collected to revise the design. The design is exported to ACAD and a revised design is exported to ArcPad to field check. This provides for a process that can result in designs that more closely fits the field conditions and meets the goals of the project resulting in project time and cost are savings. The design fits the needs of the developer, design constraints, and the environment surrounding the project.

Using GIS to Facilitate the Design of a Sustainable City
McElvaney, Shannon

With a changing world and much discussion of energy conservation measures, there is an increased focus on the potential of sustainable technologies and the tracking of carbon output. MASDARCity, a new 5-million square meter sustainable development uses planning principles of a traditional walled city, together with cutting-edge technologies, to achieve a zero carbon and zero waste community. GIS-based technologies provide the tools needed to support the planning, construction, and ultimately operations and maintenance of the city, helping to make an economic case for the use of alternative energy and the tracking of carbon emissions to encourage responsible development in the years ahead.

Key to the presentation will be an in-depth review of how GIS is being used to model and visualize the implementation of these technologies within MASDAR. McElvaney will showcase modeling techniques to support renewable energy, routing of driverless vehicles, modeling of waste, water, and energy usage and production, and construction phasing. Ultimately attendees will get an overview of how GIS technologies can be used as GeoDesign tools to provide sustainable solutions for the design or retrofit of cities.

Building High Fidelity 3D Landscapes in a Design Charrette Setting with Participants using GIS, CityScape, and Augmented Reality
Lally, Jason

PlaceMatters assists our partners in designing civic engagement processes with an emphasis on creative ways to garner participation. Our meeting facilitation ensures equal participation and that feedback is effectively captured and organized. To enhance our face-to-face meetings, we offer a broad set of tools that improve accessibility and engage citizens throughout the process. 3D visualization tools can play a critical role in helping participants imagine a more sustainable and vibrant future.  Over the past 7 years, PlaceMatters has road tested cutting edge visualization techniques in combination with GIS and other decision support tools.  At our national conference on Tools for Community Design and Decision Making, which ESRI has regularly sponsored financially, we have demonstrated a variety of these techniques. For example, we have used ArcScene, ArcGlobe, CommunityViz, Sketch-Up, and photo montage techniques with PhotoShop.  This year, PlaceMatters has added two new tools to its mix.  First we have acquired a new high fidelity 3D tool, CityScape by Pixel Active 3D, used in real time design 3D landscapes with buildings, utilities, vegetation, roads, and moving traffic.  We are also using Augmented Reality technology to help participants experiment with form and function of the built environment and for design competitions for sustainable building.   Jason Lally, Director of Planning Technology at PlaceMatters, will give a very brief presentation/demonstration of these technologies and how they are shaping the new world of digitally interactive planning.

Open Exchange for Semantically Rich City Models
Cote, Paul

GeoDesign requires the integration of information crossing several content domains as well as administrative and temporal ones.  In can be expected that the most authoritative information from one domain, such as buildings and their facilities will originate in one specialized set of tools, while information about electrical networks or trees, terrain, roads, cadastral information will originate in yet other tools.  A reasonable vision for the future of Geodesign would be to integrate fine-grained, up-to-date, authoritative  information to create a coherent model in which the relationships among all of these elements can be studied and experimented with.  One of the greatest challenges to this vision is that it is the difficulty of exchanging information among the multitude of domain specific tools in such a way that the important semantic information from each component relates as it should with a larger aggregated model.   This lightning talk will discuss the CityGML Specification for the coherent encoding and exchange of semantically rich city models.  Originating from the Special Interest Group 3D in North Rhineland Westphalia, CityGML has recently been adopted as an Approved specification of the Open Geospatial Consortium.  CityGML provides a modular framework of concepts and relationships and a means of exchange that can be drawn from to develop specialized data models and or exchange specifications that may be aggregated in a meaningful and predictable way.  Ultimately, the prospect of a consistent shared vocabulary for city models will provide a means of comparing complex models of cities across time periods that will add the dimension of systematically addressable memory for how places have responded to changes of various types in the past.   Geodesigners should be aware of CityGML and how it can be used and extended to make our individual efforts fit together into a larger meaningful picture.