Web-based Visualization and Analysis of NASA Ecological Data

Where 2.0 Conference, 30 March – 01 April 2010, San Jose, CA

Sam Hiatt and Andrew Michaelis

“The Terrestrial Observation and Prediction System (TOPS) at NASA Ames Research Center’s Ecological Forecasting Lab generates a suite of gridded data products in near real-time that are designed to enhance management decisions related to droughts, forest fires, human health, as well as crop, range, and forest production. Our data products hold great potential for supporting research and real-world applications. In order to provide enhanced access to our data and to promote multidisciplinary collaboration we implement web-based tools for visualization and analysis.”

Space and Gang Crime: Modeling Social Processes in the Spatial Autocorrelation Matrix

Symposium: Using GIS and Spatial Analysis To Better Understand Patterns and Causes of Violence

AAAS Annual Meeting, 22 February 2010

George E. Tita

“Criminologist often implicate urban street gangs as agents of contagion by which crime spreads throughout a geographic region. However, prior studies of the spatial distribution of crime have not explicitly modeled the social networks along with the geography of the gangs (i.e., “turf). by including the “socio-spatial” dimensions of gangs, this study is able to demonstrate that gangs are responsible for the diffusion/distribution of crime in Hollenbeck Policing Area of the City of Los Angeles.”

Using Spatial Analysis to Prioritize Pedestrian Safety Interventions and Describe Geographic Trends in Pedestrian Safety

Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting 2010, Paper #10-4049

“This paper illustrates the application of several geospatial and analytical tools to the problem of prioritizing pedestrian and other safety improvements in New York City, describes the process used to analyze crashes in New York City, then describes the application of spatial analysis to the problem of contextual project evaluation. An analysis was conducted of the change in pedestrian crashes from the 1992-1996 period to the 2002-2006 period using the kernel density technique. Pedestrian crashes in New York City were found to have decreased in severity and frequency from the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s, but these changes were not evenly distributed across New York City Low-density residential and commercial areas did not experience consistent improvements, except at the locations of major NYCDOT safety implementations, e.g. Queens Boulevard.”

Understanding Statistics in GIS: An Interview with Dr. Lauren Scott

In the March 2010 issue of GeoSpatial Today magazine, I interview Dr. Lauren Scott about statistics in GIS. An excerpt:

Matt Artz (MA): We hear about statistics, spatial statistics, geostatistics…can you please explain the difference between these terms?

Dr. Lauren Scott (LS): Traditional (non-spatial) statistics are trying to address two different kinds of questions. In first case, we have a large set of values and we use descriptive statistics to try to summarize those data values. In the second case, we have a thousand samples; how reflective are those thousand samples of the broader population? Those types of statistics use probability theory.”

A Spatial Approach to Select Pilot Counties for Programs to Correct the Biased Sex Ratio at Birth in Shandong Province, China

International Journal of Geographical Information Science, Volume 24, Issue 3 March 2010 , pages 403 – 416

Kun Zhang; Shawn William Laffan; Songlin Zhang

“The highly skewed sex ratio at birth (SRB) in China has stimulated numerous studies. However, the geographic distribution of SRB is seldom investigated, particularly at the county level. The need for an understanding at this level has increased since the Chinese government initiated its ‘Care for Girls’ campaign to improve the survival rate of females. This campaign has been initiated in a set of pilot counties. In this article we assess the effectiveness of the set of pilot counties in Shandong province and propose two alternate configurations. To do this, we first assess the spatial distribution of the SRB values by county in Shandong, expressed as a z-score (zSRB) after correcting for the biologically expected SRB value and population size of zero-aged children. A local Moran’s Ii analysis of the zSRB values indicates a significant high-high cluster in the southwest of the province. The Ii, zSRB and female deficit (the difference of the observed from biologically expected number of zero-aged females) were then used to define two alternate configurations for the pilot counties. A comparison of the current and alternate configurations against a Monte Carlo randomisation analysis shows that the current configuration is significantly different from a random selection (p < 0.05) for the two criteria of maximising the aggregate female deficit and maximising the zSRB. Although this is a good result, both alternate configurations were more significant (p < 0.001), and therefore represent potentially better configurations for the campaign given the criteria used. The spatial analysis approach developed here could be used to improve the effectiveness of the Care-for-Girls campaign in Shandong province, and elsewhere in China.”

Determinants of Floodplain Forest Development Illustrated by the Example of the Floodplain Forest in the District of Leipzig

Forest Ecology and Management, 258 (5), p.887-894, Aug 2009

Haase, D. / Glaser, J.

“This paper discusses determinants of the historical and current spatial extent of the floodplain forest in Leipzig as well as its tree species composition using a GIS-data based delineation model and historical forest inventories for the floodplain forest in the district of Leipzig in Germany from the 19th to the 20th century. We found that the spatial extent of the floodplain forest remained considerably stable in spite of an overall decline in the entire floodplain area from the period where the city first experienced industrialisation in the 19th century to now. However, with river regulations and the alteration of forest management from coppice-with-standards forest to high forest in the 19th century, major changes can be found in the tree species composition of the floodplain forest. Comparing these findings with references from other European floodplain forests we discuss the impact of historical and current forest management as well as the city location’s influence on the extent and tree species composition of urban floodplain forests. For urban forest management in particular there is a great need to integrate biophysical, historical and forestry knowledge when predicting future developmental trends.”

GIS Helps Assessment of Climate Change Impacts on Sugarcane in Swaziland

Agricultural Systems, Volume 103, Issue 2, February 2010, Pages 63-72

J.W. Knox, J.A. Rodríguez Díaz, D.J. Nixon, and M. Mkhwanazi

“The spatial and temporal impacts of climate change on irrigation water requirements and yield for sugarcane grown in Swaziland have been assessed, by combining the outputs from a general circulation model (HadCM3), a sugarcane crop growth model and a GIS. The CANEGRO model (embedded with the DSSAT program) was used to simulate the baseline and future cane net annual irrigation water requirements (IRnet) and yield (t ha−1) using a reference site and selected emissions scenario (SRES A2 and B2) for the 2050s (including CO2-fertilisation effects). The simulated baseline yields were validated against field data from 1980 to 1997. An aridity index was defined and used to correlate agroclimate variability against irrigation need to estimate the baseline and future irrigation water demand (volumetric). To produce a unit weight of sucrose equivalent to current optimum levels of production, future irrigation needs were predicted to increase by 20–22%. With CO2-fertilisation, the impacts of climate change are offset by higher crop yields, such that IRnet is predicted to increase by 9%. The study showed that with climate change, the current peak capacity of existing irrigation schemes could fail to meet the predicted increases in irrigation demand in nearly 50% of years assuming unconstrained water availability.”

Urban Forest Landscape Patterns in Ma’anshan City, China

International Journal of Sustainable Development & World Ecology, 1745-2627, Volume 16, Issue 5, 2009, Pages 346 – 355

Yuan Wang; Ze-Min Wu; Xiang-Rong Wang

“The landscape pattern of Ma’anshan City was analyzed based on theories and methodologies of landscape ecology, remote sensing, global positioning, and a geographic information system (GIS). The study area encompassed the entire built-up area of 63.88 km2; a north-south transect 3-km wide and 13-km long was established along the long axis of the city. Five major landscape elements were assessed: urban land, urban forest, agriculture, water, and grass. Urban land was the dominant land cover type, and occupied 67% of total land area; while patches of urban forest occupied 16%, with a landscape element dominance of 0.42. Urban forest was classified according to land-use category and location into six types: scenic forest, yard forest, recreational forest, roadside forest, shelter forest, and nurseries. There were 2464 urban forest patches, the largest being 185.1 ha, with an average of 0.43 ha. The low nearest neighbor index and high patch density indicated that urban forest patches tend to be aggregated and have a high degree of fragmentation. This study also demonstrated that the spatial pattern of urbanization could be quantified using a combination of landscape metrics and gradient analysis. Urban forest has distinct spatial characters that are dependent on specific landscape metrics along the urbanization gradient. ”