Retiring Forest Service Employee Gives Thoughts on Impact of Technology

…from the Standard Journal

“When Mark Orme first worked at the Targhee National Forest in St. Anthony in 1981, timber sale maps were drawn by hand from aerial photos, and acreages were calculated using a dot overlay counts.

“Now, using GIS (geographic information systems) and electronic analysis, timber sale maps may be created to be 100 percent accurate — down to the inch rather than mile.”

West Virginia Expands Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education with GIS

Statewide License Enables Students to Build Skills to Further Their Education

The adoption of ESRI’s geographic information system (GIS) software statewide marks the next step for West Virginia in doing its part in the national effort to expand science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.

Many policy makers, researchers, and educators are concerned about the lack of STEM-oriented subjects taken by today’s high school students as they prepare to enter college or the workforce. State and district education agencies, as well as private educational organizations, are boosting their effort to address STEM content and skills.

According to Charlie Fitzpatrick, K–12 education manager at ESRI, “More and more states see value in GIS for all students, in all grades and subject areas, because it fosters integrative thinking, analysis, problem solving, and communication. These are critical skills students must master not only to make the most of social studies and STEM education but also to become effective workers and informed citizens.”

During the past few years, West Virginia’s Department of Education has conducted GIS seminars for its teachers at its Social Studies Summer Institute and annual Teacher Leadership Institute. In addition, the West Virginia Geographic Alliance regularly offers seminars and classes in ArcGIS software.

“We are excited about the prospect of providing GIS instruction throughout our elementary and secondary schools,” says Regina Scotchie, social studies coordinator for the West Virginia Department of Education. “We are focusing our attention on grades 6 through 12; however, we have not limited the use of GIS to any particular grade level.”

For more information about ESRI’s GIS for Schools program, visit www.esri.com/schools.

[Source:  ESRI press release]

ORNL’s Budhendra Bhaduri Named to Mapping Science Committee of the National Academy of Sciences

…from knoxnews.com

“Budhendra Bhaduri, leader of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Georgraphic Information Science & Technology Group, will serve a three-year term on the Mapping Science Committee of the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council.

“The committee oversees the council’s studies that provide info and advice on issues pertaining to geospatial science, technology and policy, according to ORNL.

“More information on the committee is available here.”

Spatial and Temporal Analysis of the Nitrate Concentrations in Groundwater for South Africa

Biennial Groundwater Conference of the International Association of Hydrogeologists. Somerset West, South Africa, 16-18 November 2009

Maherry, A; Clarke, S; Tredoux, G; Engelbrecht, P

“The aims of this investigation was to create an updated view of the nitrate distribution for the country, to identify whether there are any gaps or significant changes in the distribution of nitrate concentration over the sampling record and identify areas where nitrate pollution occurs as an ecological hazard for priority research and remediation. Data was sourced from the national groundwater database for the entire country for the period up until 2008. Previous maps used data pre-1990 and up to 2001. Additional nitrate data was sourced to supplement the NGDB data. The data was evaluated using excel pivot tables, and maps plotted using ArcMAP. Maps of the total count representing the total number of points sampled and their densities for South Africa, as well as the minimum, maximum and average nitrate concentration for the various decades were used to evaluate the extent and duration of nitrate pollution in South Africa. The nitrate concentrations were overlayed on the geological or hydroterrains and land cover for South Africa to investigate if there are links between lithology, land cover and nitrate concentrations. Comparison of maps compiled for different periods indicate that the Western Cape now has elevated nitrate levels, possibly associated with agricultural stock farming. The Northern Cape Province, in particular the Kalahari has elevated nitrate levels, but a distinct lack of recent sampling may mask the extent of the current spatial distribution of nitrate concentrations. The scarcity of sampling points within urban centres makes it difficult for pollution monitoring and control to take place.”

GeoDesign Bibliography Updates

The GeoDesign Bibliography has been updated with a number of recent articles and blog posts (below), many related to the recently completed 2010 GeoDesign Summit.  Note that presentations from the 2010 GeoDesign Summit are not yet included in the bibliography, but I will add these as soon as the presentations are posted online (hopefully in a few weeks).  And if you find anything I’ve missed, please email me at martz@esri.com or leave a comment.

Ball, Matt.  2009. “Dangermond on GIS and Design.” Spatial Sustain blog, 17 June 2009.  http://vector1media.com/spatialsustain/dangermond-on-gis-and-design.html

Ball, Matt.  2009. “Dealing with a Rapidly Changing Planet.” Spatial Sustain blog, 13 July 2009.  http://vector1media.com/spatialsustain/dealing-with-a-rapidly-changing-planet.html

Ball, Matt.  2010. “Goodchild on the Yin and Yang of GIS.” Spatial Sustain blog, 06 January 2010.  http://vector1media.com/spatialsustain/goodchild-on-the-yin-and-yang-of-gis.html

Ball, Matt.  2010. “GeoDesign as a Return to the Potential of GIS.” Spatial Sustain blog, 06 January 2010.  http://vector1media.com/spatialsustain/geodesign-as-a-return-to-the-potential-of-gis.html

Ball, Matt.  2010. “Ferren Asserts that GeoDesign is the Next Storytelling Medium.” Spatial Sustain blog, 07 January 2010.  http://vector1media.com/spatialsustain/ferren-asserts-that-geodesign-is-the-next-storytelling-medium.html

Ball, Matt.  2010. “Steinitz Discusses Different Design Approaches.” Spatial Sustain blog, 07 January 2010.  http://vector1media.com/spatialsustain/steinitz-discusses-different-design-approaches.html

Ball, Matt.  2010. “GeoDesign Provides the Basis for a New Language.” Spatial Sustain blog, 07 January 2010.  http://vector1media.com/spatialsustain/geodesign-provides-the-basis-for-a-new-language.html

Ball, Matt.  2010. “GeoDesign Challenge to Spur Meaningful Work.” Spatial Sustain blog, 08 January 2010.  http://vector1media.com/spatialsustain/geodesign-challenge-to-spur-meaningful-work.html

Ball, Matt.  2010. “The Inclusive Push for GeoDesign.” Spatial Sustain blog, 08 January 2010.  http://vector1media.com/spatialsustain/the-inclusive-push-for-geodesign.html

Ball, Matt.  2010. “The Fresh Start that GeoDesign Offers.” Spatial Sustain blog, 10 January 2010. http://vector1media.com/spatialsustain/the-fresh-start-that-geodesign-offers.html

Ball, Matt.  2010. “Vancouver Embodies GeoDesign.”  Spatial Sustain blog, 12 January 2010.  http://vector1media.com/spatialsustain/vancouver-embodies-geodesign.html

Ball, Matt.  2010. “Avoid Thinking of GeoDesign as a Manifestation of the Singularity.” Spatial Sustain blog, 13 January 2010.  http://vector1media.com/spatialsustain/avoid-thinking-of-geodesign-as-a-manifestation-of-the-singularity.html

Batty, Peter.  2009.  “Shakespeare on GeoDesign.”  Geothought blog, 17 September 2009. http://geothought.blogspot.com/2009/09/shakespeare-on-geodesign.html

Batty, Peter.  2009.  “Jack Dangermond on GeoDesign.”  Geothought blog, 07 October 2009. http://geothought.blogspot.com/2009/10/jack-dangermond-on-geodesign.html

Entchev, Atanas. 2010. “GeoDesign 2010 and Beyond.” The ENTCHEV GIS blog, 06 January 2010. http://blog.entchev.com/2010/01/06/geodesign-2010-and-beyond.aspx

Fee, James.  2010.  “Thoughts on the GeoDesign Summit.”  Spatial Adjusted blog, 09 January 2010.  http://www.spatiallyadjusted.com/2010/01/09/thoughts-on-the-geodesign-summit/

Fisher, Tom. 2010. “Monday Minute, January 11, 2010.” University of Minnesota College of Design, 11 January 2010. http://blog.lib.umn.edu/cdescomm/cdes_memo/2010/01/monday_minute_january_11_2010.html

Schutzberg, Adena. 2010. “ESRI Geodesign Summit Day 1 AM.” All Points blog, 06 January 2010. http://apb.directionsmag.com/archives/7095-ESRI-Geodesign-Summit-Day-1-AM.html

Schutzberg, Adena. 2010. “ESRI Geodesign Summit Day 1 PM.” All Points blog, 07 January 2010. http://apb.directionsmag.com/archives/7097-ESRI-Geodesign-Summit-Day-1-PM.html

Schutzberg, Adena. 2010. “Jack Dangermond’s Research Vision for #Geodesign Parallels that for GIS.” All Points blog, 07 January 2010. http://apb.directionsmag.com/archives/7096-Jack-Dangermonds-Research-Vision-for-Geodesign-Parallels-that-for-GIS.html

Schutzberg, Adena. 2010. “Tidbits from the Geodesign Summit.” All Points blog, 07 January 2010. http://apb.directionsmag.com/archives/7098-Tidbits-from-the-Geodesign-Summit.html

Schutzberg, Adena. 2010. “ESRI #Geodesign Summit Day 2 PM.” All Points blog, 07 January 2010. http://apb.directionsmag.com/archives/7103-ESRI-Geodesign-Summit-Day-2-PM.html

Schutzberg, Adena. 2010. “ESRI #Geodesign Summit Day 2 AM.” All Points blog, 07 January 2010. http://apb.directionsmag.com/archives/7102-ESRI-Geodesign-Summit-Day-2-AM.html

Schutzberg, Adena. 2010. “Geodesign Summit Day 3 AM.” All Points blog, 08 January 2010. http://apb.directionsmag.com/archives/7106-Geodesign-Summit-Day-3-AM.html

Schutzberg, Adena. 2010. “GeoDesign Summit Reflections.” Directions magazine. 14 January 2010. http://www.directionsmag.com/article.php?article_id=3377

Thurston, Jeff.  2010.  “Putting Your Finger on the Spatial Pulse of Design.”  Vector One blog, January 14, 2010.  http://www.vector1media.com/vectorone/?p=4605

The Accuracy and Precision Revolution: What’s Ahead for GIS?

…from the Winter 2010 issue of ArcUser

“The ability to obtain precise information is nothing new. With great patience and skill, mapmakers and land surveyors have long been able to create information with an impressive level of accuracy. However, today the ability to determine and view locations with submeter accuracy is now in the hands of millions of people. Commonly available high-resolution digital terrain and aerial imagery, coupled with GPS-enabled handheld devices, powerful computers, and Web technology, is changing the quality, utility, and expectations of GIS to serve society on a grand scale. This accuracy and precision revolution has raised the bar for GIS quite high. This pervasive capability will be the driver for the next iteration of GIS and the professionals who operate them.”