Platforms in the Cloud: Where Will Your Next Application Run? David Chappell to Keynote 2010 ESRI Developer Summit

22-25 March 2010, Palm Springs, California

The rise of cloud computing marks a major shift in our industry. Cloud platforms such as Amazon Web Services, Google AppEngine, and Windows Azure offer new choices for where and how we run our apps. In this keynote presentation, David Chappell will describe what cloud platforms are and why they’re so important. He’ll also compare today’s leading cloud platforms, looking at the strengths and weaknesses of each, and take a look at what ESRI is doing in this new world.

Reducing Foreclosures and Environmental Impacts through Location-Efficient Neighborhood Design

…from the Natural Resources Defense Council…

“While the nation continues to grapple with a troubling housing market and a rash of mortgage defaults, new research has emerged drawing a direct link between “location efficiency”—a measure of the transportation costs in a given area—and mortgage foreclosure rates. The study shows that factors such as neighborhood compactness, access to public transit, and rates of vehicle ownership are key to predicting mortgage performance and should be taken more seriously by mortgage underwriters, policymakers, and real estate developers. With transportation costs accounting for roughly 17 percent of the average American household’s income—and the ongoing foreclosure crisis still garnering much attention—the need for better land use planning and better lending practices has never been more clear. NRDC recommends changes both to planning-related policies and mortgage underwriting procedures that can reduce transportation costs and risk of foreclosure while offering significant environmental benefits.”

Combining GPS, GIS, and Accelerometry: Methodological Issues in the Assessment of Location and Intensity of Travel Behaviors

Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 7(1), January 2010

Melody Oliver, Hannah M. Badland, Suzanne Mavoa, Mitch Duncan, Scott Duncan

Background: Global positioning systems (GPS), geographic information systems (GIS), and accelerometers are powerful tools to explain activity within a built environment, yet little integration of these tools has taken place. This study aimed to assess the feasibility of combining GPS, GIS, and accelerometry to understand transport-related physical activity (TPA) in adults.

Methods: Forty adults wore an accelerometer and portable GPS unit over 7 consecutive days and completed a demographics questionnaire and 7-day travel log. Accelerometer and GPS data were extracted for commutes to/from workplace and integrated into a GIS database. GIS maps were generated to visually explore physical activity intensity, GPS speeds and routes traveled.

Results: GPS, accelerometer, and survey data were collected for 37 participants. Loss of GPS data was substantial due to a range of methodological issues, such as low battery life, signal drop out, and participant noncompliance. Nonetheless, greater travel distances and significantly higher speeds were observed for motorized trips when compared with TPA.

Conclusions: Pragmatic issues of using GPS monitoring to understand TPA behaviors and methodological recommendations for future research were identified. Although methodologically challenging, the combination of GPS monitoring, accelerometry and GIS technologies holds promise for understanding TPA within the built environment.”

A GIS-based Tool for Modelling Large-scale Crop-water Relations

Environmental Modelling & Software, Volume 24, Issue 3, March 2009, Pages 411-422

Junguo Liu

“Recent research on crop-water relations has increasingly been directed towards the application of locally acquired knowledge to answering the questions raised on larger scales. However, the application of the local results to larger scales is often questionable. This paper presents a GIS-based tool, or a GEPIC model, to estimate crop water productivity (CWP) on the land surface with spatial resolution of 30 arc-min. The GEPIC model can estimate CWP on a large-scale by considering the local variations in climate, soil and management conditions. The results show a non-linear relationship between virtual water content (or the inverse of CWP) and crop yield. The simulated CWP values are generally more sensitive to three parameters, i.e. potential harvest index for a crop under ideal growing conditions (HI), biomass-energy ratio indicating the energy conversion to biomass (WA), and potential heat unit accumulation from emergence to maturity (PHU), than other parameters. The GEPIC model is a useful tool to study crop-water relations on large scales with high spatial resolution; hence, it can be used to support large-scale decision making in water management and crop production.”

Model AVSWAT Apropos of Simulating Non-point Source Pollution in Taihu Lake Basin

Journal of Hazardous Materials, Volume 174, Issues 1-3, 15 February 2010, Pages 824-830

Qiu-Ling Zhang, Ying-Xu Chen, Ghulam Jilani, Imran Haider Shamsic, and Qiao-Gang Yu

“Accelerated eutrophication and nutrient loads in the lakes are of major concern for human health and environment. This study was undertaken for modeling the non-point source pollution of Taihu lake basin in eastern China. The SWAT model having an interface in ArcView GIS was employed. Model sensitive parameters related to hydrology and water quality were obtained by sensitivity analysis, and then calibrated and validated by comparing model predictions with field data. The GIS showed good potential for parameterization of hill-slopes, channels, and representative slope profiles for SWAT model simulations. In a monthly and daily time step, the model’s Nash-Sutcliffe coefficient (E) and the coefficient of determination (R2) indicated that values of simulated runoff, NH4+–N and total phosphorus were acceptably closer to the measured data. Surface water parameters especially CN, Soil-AWC and ESCO were the most sensitive and had more recognition in the model. It is concluded that runoff carrying N and P nutrients from chemical fertilizer inputs in agricultural areas is the major contributor to NPSP in the lake basin. So, decrease in excessive use of N and P fertilizers and their synergism with organic manures is recommended that would significantly reduce nutrient pollution in the lake ecosystem.”

Call for Contributions: Spatial Cognition 2010, Mt. Hood, Oregon

Resort at the Mountain, Mt. Hood, Oregon
15-19 August 2010

“Spatial Cognition is concerned with the acquisition, organization, utilization, and revision of knowledge about spatial environments, be it real or abstract, human or machine. Spatial Cognition comprises research in very different scientific fields insofar as they are concerned with cognitive agents in spatial environments, such as robotics, artificial intelligence, linguistics, cognitive science, and philosophy. The aim of this research is to help humans to solve spatial tasks and to improve their spatial skills. Research issues in the field range from the investigation of human spatial cognition to mobile robot navigation, including aspects such as wayfinding, spatial planning, spatial learning, representations of space, map comprehension, and communication of spatial information.”

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