ESRI Cultural Series: James Fallows to Give His Diagnosis on America’s Well-Being

James Fallows, national correspondent for The Atlantic and commentator on American politics, technology, and culture, will speak in Redlands, California, on Sunday, February 21, 2010. The public is invited to hear his presentation—Is America “Going to Hell”?—which will take place from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the ESRI Conference Center, 380 New York Street.

A Redlands native who has lived in England, Japan, and China, Fallows brings a unique perspective to his view of the state of the American union. In his January 2010 cover article for The Atlantic, “After the Crash: How America Can Rise Again,” Fallows expresses optimism about America’s strengths but concern about its staying power. In the article, Fallows says, “What is obvious from outside the country is how exceptional it is in its powers of renewal: America is always in decline, and is always about to bounce back.”

Fallows draws on years of experience in journalism and other pursuits. He was an editor of the Washington Monthly and Texas Monthly, and from 1977 to 1979 served as President Jimmy Carter’s chief speech writer. His first book, National Defense, won the American Book Award in 1981. He has worked as a software designer at Microsoft and from 1996 to 1998 was an editor of U.S. News & World Report. His most recent books are Blind into Baghdad: America’s War in Iraq and Postcards from Tomorrow Square: Reports from China.

The speaking event is part of the cultural series that ESRI and the University of Redlands cosponsor through the Town & Gown organization. Jack Dangermond, ESRI president and also a Redlands native, commented, “It gives [University of Redlands president] Stuart Dorsey and me great pleasure to provide opportunities for members of our community to meet one another and enjoy presentations by the talented people who visit our town.”

To guarantee seating, attendees should register for the event on the Internet at www.esri.com/culturalseries or by calling 909-748-8011.

[Source: ESRI press release]

Call for Papers: International GIS Workshop, Las Vegas, Nevada, 13-16 July 2010

International GIS Workshop 2010: Geographic Information System Based Decision Support Systems

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA July 13-16

“The workshop harbors discussions on utilizing spatio-temporal data to be used in decision making to assist policy makers. Selected papers address challenges related to time and space associated data under the scope of 1) data structures and data retrieval, 2) analysis and information discovery, 3) performance enhancement for web-based applications, 4) effective methods to process image data, and 5) scientific visualization techniques.”

Topics include:

  • Spatio-temporal Data Handling and Data Structures
  • Spatio-temporal Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery
  • Spatio-temporal Modeling and Reasoning
  • Spatio-temporal Analysis and Integration
  • Similarity Searching in spatio-temporal data
  • Geographic Information Retrieval
  • Hot-spot analysis using spatio-temporal data
  • Route-optimization
  • Web-based GIS systems
  • Computer Vision Applications in GIS
  • Image and Video Understanding for spatio-temporal data
  • Human Computer Interaction and Visualization of spatio-temporal data

Important Dates:

  • 15 March 2010:  Submission of draft papers for review (about 5 to 7 pages)
  • 01 April 2010:  Notification of acceptance
  • 22 April 2010:  Camera-Ready papers and Registration due

More information

Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Dry Spells in Croatia

Theoretical and Applied Climatology, January 2010

K. Cindrić, Z. Pasarić, and M. Gajić-Čapka

“Systematic statistical analysis of dry day sequences, which are defined according to 0.1, 1, 5 and 10 mm of precipitation-per-day thresholds, is performed on seasonal and yearly basis. The data analysed come from 25 Croatian meteorological stations and cover the period 1961–2000. Climatological features of the mean and maximum dry spell durations, as well as the frequency of long dry spells (>20 days) are discussed. The results affirm the three main climatological regions in Croatia, with the highlands exhibiting shorter dry spells than the mainland, and the coastal region exhibiting longer dry spells. The prevailing positive trend of both mean and maximal durations is detected during winter and spring seasons, while negative trend dominate in autumn for all thresholds. Positive field significant trends of mean dry spell duration with 5 and 10 mm thresholds are found during spring and the same is valid for annual maximum dry spell duration with a 10 mm threshold. It is found that the Discrete Autoregressive Moving Average (DARMA(1,1)) model can be used to estimate the probabilities of dry spells in Croatia that are up to 20–30 days long.”

Mapping and Valuation of Ecosystem Services: Internship Opportunity with WWF / Natural Capital Project

Intern(s) sought to work on mapping and valuation of ecosystem services using InVEST, an ArcGIS based modeling tool developed by the Natural Capital Project (www.naturalcapitalproject.org). Interns will work on one or more of the following:

Using InVEST to map and value ecosystem services on WWF priority sites in Sumatra, the Colombian Amazon Piedmont, and the Greater Virungas Landscape in East Africa. Specifically, the intern may: gather and format data sets for use with InVEST; help WWF field programs with applying InVEST; and run the InVEST models for a range of ecosystem services under current land use patterns and future scenarios.

  • Providing feedback on the tool that will contribute to its further development, and helping to improve the documentation.
  • For interns with advanced ArcGIS skills (geoprocessing and Python scripting), there are opportunities to contribute to module development and improvement.
  • The intern may also be able to apply InVEST to another study area relevant to his or her ongoing or planned thesis project

This is a great opportunity for self-motivated students to gain experience in spatial analysis and ecosystem services, and to possibly develop an independent research project for their thesis requirements. A minimum of two semesters ArcGIS coursework, or equivalent work experience required.

Also helpful: knowledge of Spatial Analyst Tool and Python scripting, and prior experience with ecosystem services. Must be able to work efficiently and independently. Graduate students are preferred.

Stipend:  Funding Possible
Due date for CV and cover letter:  April 15, 2010
Contact:  Nirmal Bhagabati (nirmal.bhagabati@wwfus.org)

Nominations Sought for URISA GIS Hall of Fame

“URISA is seeking nominations for its GIS Hall of Fame.  The Hall of Fame recognizes and honors the best of us in GIS.  Started in 2005, the URISA Hall of Fame documents the contributions made by key individuals.  URISA welcomes nominations from any profession and is not restricted to those having a past or current relationship with URISA.

Criteria

“This award is not given every year, and some years there may be multiple recipients. The selection criteria for this honor are:

•    At least 25 years of sustained professional involvement in the GIS field.
•    Original and creative contributions to the field.
•    Well known and respected by a wide range of peers.
•    Consistent demonstration of sound professional and personal ethics.

“Nominations must be submitted to URISA by May 1.  The nomination shall consist of a letter of no more than 2 pages.  The letter will describe how the person or organization has met or exceeded the award criteria.  It must be in electronic format and emailed to info@urisa.org .  A committee of past URISA Presidents will review all nominations and make recommendations to the URISA Board of Directors by mid-June.”

A Multi-scale Method of Mapping Urban Influence

Environmental Modelling & Software, Volume 24, Issue 10, October 2009, Pages 1252-1256

Timothy G. Wade, James D. Wickham, Nicola Zacarelli, and Kurt H. Riitters

“Urban development can impact environmental quality and ecosystem services well beyond urban extent. Many methods to map urban areas have been developed and used in the past, but most have simply tried to map existing extent of urban development, and all have been single-scale techniques. The method presented here uses a clustering approach to look beyond the extant urban area at multiple scales. The result is a single, synoptic multi-scale map of urban influence that should be useful in urban, regional and environmental planning efforts.”

Evaluation of a Municipal Landfill Site in Southern Spain with GIS-aided Methodology

Journal of Hazardous Materials, Volume 160, Issues 2-3, 30 December 2008, Pages 473-481

Montserrat Zamorano, Emilio Molero, Álvaro Hurtado, Alejandro Grindlay, and Ángel Ramos

“Landfill siting should take into account a wide range of territorial and legal factors in order to reduce negative impacts on the environment. This article describes a landfill siting method, which is based on EVIAVE, a landfill diagnosis method developed at the University of Granada. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) technology is also used to generate spatial data for site assessment. Landfill site suitability is assessed on a scale based on territorial indices that measure the risk of contamination for the following five environmental components: surface water, groundwater, atmosphere, soil, and human health. The method described in this article has been used to evaluate an area in Granada (Spain) where there is a currently operating landfill. The results obtained show that suitable locations for the disposal of municipal waste were successfully identified. The low environmental index values reflect the suitability of this landfill site as well as its minimal negative impacts on the environment.”