“Ocean Globe” Highlights Use of GIS in Mapping Ocean Floor

New Book from ESRI Press Details Advances in Bathymetry

Ocean Globe from ESRI Press examines bathymetry from its early history through today’s use of geographic information systems (GIS) and other technologies to map the ocean floor. With contributions from oceanographers, explorers, and historians, this new book is a valuable resource for those interested in coastal management, seafloor mapping, and marine biology.

The anthology addresses how recent developments in bathymetry and seafloor mapping are applied to animal migrations, coral reef growth, tsunami forecasts, coastal ecosystems, aquatic farming, whale habitats, and more. In addition, the book includes a special appendix on the history of seafloor mapping—from early line-and-sinker methods to multibeam sounding.

“Our perception of the ocean floor has expanded through the use of GIS tools and geospatial applications,” writes Joe Breman, editor of the anthology. “The more we know about the underwater environment, so seldom visited by most people, the more our lives will benefit above ground.”

The book also explains how advances in technology and mapping in a server-based GIS environment enable the improved collaboration and sharing of methods and data. In her foreword, oceanographer Dawn J. Wright notes that Ocean Globe will help reveal the ocean depths within the new paradigm of server-based GIS, “where we not only show maps and visualizations, but more importantly the actual data and methods used to create those maps.”

Ocean Globe (ISBN: 9781589482197, 294 pages, $64.95) is available at online retailers worldwide, at www.esri.com/esripress, or by calling 1-800-447-9778. Outside the United States, visit www.esri.com/esripressorders for complete ordering options or contact your local ESRI distributor. For a current distributor list, visit www.esri.com/distributors. Interested retailers can contact ESRI Press book distributor Ingram Publisher Services.

A Spatial Analysis of the Demographic and Socio-economic Variables Associated with Cardiovascular Disease in Calgary (Canada)

Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy, Volume 3, Number 1 / March 2010

Stefania Bertazzon, Scott Olson, and Merril Knudtson

“The association between cardiovascular disease and a pool of demographic and socioeconomic variables is analyzed, for a large Canadian city, by means of multivariate spatial regression analysis. The analysis suggests that the spatial dependence observed in the disease prevalence is driven by the spatial distribution of senior citizens. A spatially autoregressive specification on a pool of solely socio-economic variables produces a model whose main predictors are family status, income, and educational attainments. This model can provide an effective analytical tool to support policy decisions, because it identifies a set of socioeconomic, not simply demographic predictors of disease. These socio-economic variables can be targeted by social policies much more effectively than demographic variables. A further analytical step recombines the significant explanatory variables based on their spatial patterns. Thus the model is used to identify areas of social and economic concern, and to enable the initiation of specifically localized preventative health measures. Owing to its generality, the method can be applied to other conditions and to analyze multivariate relationships involving not only socioeconomic variables, but also environmental factors.”

Impact of Sports Arenas on Land Values: Evidence from Berlin

The Annals of Regional Science, Volume 44, Number 2 / April, 2010

Gabriel M. Ahlfeldt and Wolfgang Maennig

“This paper develops a hedonic price model explaining standard land values in Berlin. The model assesses the impact of three multifunctional sports arenas situated in Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg which were designed to improve the attractiveness of their formerly deprived neighbourhoods. Empirical results confirm expectations about the impact of various attributes on land values. Sports arenas have significant positive impacts within a radius of about 3,000 m. The patterns of impact vary, indicating that the effective impact depends on how planning authorities address potential countervailing negative externalities.”

Planning for Ecosystem Service Markets

Journal of the American Planning Association, Volume 76, Issue 1 2010 , pages 59 – 72

Todd K. BenDor and Martin W. Doyle

Problem: Market mechanisms are emerging as means of offsetting the environmental effects of growth. Unfortunately, formal regulation of ecosystem markets is often separated from broader planning for urban development, resulting in offsets that are unsustainable in the face of future urban growth.

“Purpose: We aimed to assess how 2008 federal regulations that actively promote aquatic resource markets and encourage watershed planning to restore wetlands and streams damaged during development will affect reputedly efficient existing wetland and stream ecosystem markets in North Carolina. We explore how coordination between regulators and planners can improve long-term viability of market-created resource offsets and improve the ability of markets to respond to rapid urban growth.

“Methods: We analyzed new state and federal regulations and watershed planning efforts and convened a stakeholder forum including representatives of state and federal agencies, land developers, environmental groups, aquatic restoration companies, and academia.

“Results and conclusions: Problems with aquatic ecosystem markets in North Carolina stem from poor communication among local and regional planners, federal regulators, and state agencies. Institutional barriers and poor coordination cause federal regulatory decisions made without knowledge of land use plans or urban development patterns, faulty projections of market demand for aquatic offsets, and local land use plans that do not provide long-term protection for the offsets. Although regulators consider current surrounding land uses, they do not consider future land uses. We conclude that local land use projections should be required components of ecosystem restoration site plans and that state environmental management agencies’ watershed plans should reflect urban development patterns.

“Takeaway for practice: Local planners should have input into the design of restoration sites providing environmental offsets as well as into state and regional ecosystem service market implementation plans. Federal, state, regional, and local agencies should facilitate and require information sharing, making planning and regulating ecosystem service markets part of the development process.

“Research support: This research was supported by the University of North Carolina’s Institute for the Environment.”