Simulation and Visualization of the Behavior of Handicapped People in Virtually Reconstructed Public Buildings

REAL CORP 2010 Proceedings/Tagungsband, Vienna, 18-20 May 2010

Martin Brunnhuber, Helmut Schrom-Feiertag, Gerd Hesina, Dietmar Bauer, Werner Purgathofer

“The planning of public transport infrastructures today must respect the needs of a wide variety of travelers. In particular the design of guiding systems needs to take the reduced reception capabilities of the elderly and handicapped people into account.

“Therefore tools for the evaluation of guiding systems need to be developed. Such tools must be based on empirical knowledge on the perception capabilities of the various user groups as well as detailed microscopic pedestrian movement models in order to represent typical paths taken. We model the cognition of guiding systems to enable a realistic representation for the motion and orientation behavior of elderly and handicapped people having difficulties perceiving the guidance information and not being familiar with a building.

“To demonstrate the feasibility of the approach we discuss a technique to virtually reconstruct public buildings in 3D and visualize the simulated crowd with detailed models for each individual. The lines of sight of selected, handicapped persons, who are moving amongst other persons, are also shown in order to evaluate the visibility of the guiding information in the infrastructure and to hint at possible improvements.”

Reconstructing Population Density Surfaces from Areal Data: A Comparison of Tobler’s Pycnophylactic Interpolation Method and Area-to-Point Kriging

Geographical Analysis, Volume 42 Issue 1  (January 2010) p 78-98

Eun-Hye Yoo, Phaedon C. Kyriakidis, Waldo Tobler

“We compare Tobler’s pycnophylactic interpolation method with the geostatistical approach of area-to-point kriging for distributing population data collected by areal unit in 18 census tracts in Ann Arbor for 1970 to reconstruct a population density surface. In both methods, (1) the areal data are reproduced when the predicted population density is upscaled; (2) physical boundary conditions are accounted for, if they exist; and (3) inequality constraints, such as the requirement of non-negative point predictions, are satisfied. The results show that when a certain variogram model, that is, the de Wijsian model corresponding to the free-space Green’s function of Laplace’s equation, is used in the geostatistical approach under the same boundary condition and constraints with Tobler’s approach, the predicted population density surfaces are almost identical (up to numerical errors and discretization discrepancies). The implications of these findings are twofold: (1) multiple attribute surfaces can be constructed from areal data using the geostatistical approach, depending on the particular point variogram model adopted—that variogram model need not be the one associated with Tobler’s solution and (2) it is the analyst’s responsibility to justify whether the smoothness criterion employed in Tobler’s approach is relevant to the particular application at hand. A notable advantage of the geostatistical approach over Tobler’s is that it allows reporting the uncertainty or reliability of the interpolated values, with critical implications for uncertainty propagation in spatial analysis operations.”

Why GIS In Education Matters

By Joseph J. Kerski, Geographer, ESRI (

People have always been fascinated with investigating their home—the Earth. To understand our planet, ancient scholars in Rome, Greece, and China founded the study of geography over 2,500 years ago. Today, geography is more relevant than ever before, as issues of climate change, cultural diversity, economic globalization, urban sprawl, biodiversity loss, sustainable agriculture, water quality and quantity, crime, energy, tourism, politics, and natural hazards grow in importance on a global scale but also increasingly affect our everyday lives. To grapple with these issues requires a populace that has a firm foundation in geography, a populace that can see the “big picture” but also that understands how different patterns and trends are related from a global scale down to the local community. Geography is concerned with all of the relevant issues of our time, because all of these issues have a geographic component.

For centuries, maps have stirred imaginations and inspired explorations of the unknown. Today, maps are used to help understand relationships across areas and regions. These spatial relationships are analyzed using maps in digital form within a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) environment. In this way, rather than as static documents, these maps can be grappled with and combined with other maps, as well as charts, databases, and multimedia. GIS, together with Remote Sensing and Global Positioning Systems (GPS), make up the geotechnologies, which help people make everyday decisions and plans more effectively and efficiently.

In the classroom, GIS offers a powerful decision-making toolkit that helps students understand content in a variety of disciplines, not only geography, but history, mathematics, language arts, environmental studies, chemistry, biology, civics, and much more. GIS is used as an inquiry-driven, problem-solving, standards-based set of tasks that incorporates fieldwork and provides career pathways that are increasingly in demand. It helps students think critically, use real data, and connects them to their own community. It does so in informal, primary, secondary, and university settings and appeals to today’s visual learners. Geotechnologies, along with biotechnologies and nanotechnologies, are the three key skills and job markets identified by the US Department of Labor for the 21st Century.

What is the relationship between birth rate and life expectancy? How does acid mine drainage in a mountain range affect water quality downstream? How will climate change affect global food production? With GIS, students explore the relationships between people, climate, land use, vegetation, river systems, aquifers, landforms, soils, natural hazards, and much more.

Using GIS provides a way of exploring not only a body of content knowledge, but provides a way of thinking about the world. The geographic perspective informs other disciplines. When epidemiologists study the spread of diseases, scientists study climate change, or businesspersons determine where to locate a new retail establishment, they use spatial thinking and analysis. In each case, GIS provides critical tools for studying these issues and for solving very real problems on a daily basis.

GIS-based questions begin with the “whys of where”—why are cities, ecoregions, and earthquakes located where they are, and how are they affected by their proximity to nearby things and by invisible global interconnections and networks? After asking geographic questions, students acquire geographic resources and collect data online and from their own fieldwork. They analyze geographic data and discover relationships across time and space. Geographic investigations are often value-laden and involve critical thinking skills. For example, students investigate the relationship between altitude, latitude, climate, and cotton production. After discovering that much cotton is grown in dry regions that must be irrigated, they can ask “Should cotton be grown in these areas? Is this the best use of water and other natural resources?” Finally, students present the results of their investigations using GIS and multimedia. Their investigations usually spark additional questions, and the resulting cycle is the essence of geographic inquiry.

Our world is constantly changing. These changes include those brought about by physical forces such as erupting volcanoes, meandering rivers, and shifting plates, but also those brought about by human forces, such as urbanization. Students use GIS to understand that the Earth is changing, think scientifically and analytically about why it is changing, and then dig deeper: Should the Earth be changing in these ways? Is there anything that I should be doing or could be doing about it? This captures the heart of spatial thinking, inquiry and problem-based learning. It empowers students as they become decision-makers to make a difference in this changing world of ours.

Application of GIS in Temperature Management

Indian Journal of Science and Technology, Vol. 3 No. 4 (Apr. 2010)

Gholam Reza Janbaz Ghobadi and Mehrdad Ahmadi Kamarposhti

“In recent decades, because of computer technologies development, Geographic Information System (GIS) makes possible to keep reference land data and to combine different data set, effectively. GIS technology enables to depict events, predicting results and preparing the maps clearly.

“Use of GIS in climatology is quickly developing. A big center of producing climate data such as Nova is the pioneers of GIS application in climatology. The samples of climate studies had practical and operational using GIS. For an example, Dyras et al. (2003) have made a model for predicting and informing road ice bounds in Europe. Baban and Parry (2001) used GIS for establishing wind turbines.”

The Potsdam Housing Market: A GIS-based Spatial Analysis using FOS

REAL CORP 2010 Proceedings/Tagungsband, Vienna, 18-20 May 2010

Harald Schernthanner and Hartmut Asche

“Housing in Potsdam varies from flats in redeveloped prefabricated high-rise buildings to apartments in historical townhouses to condominiums in Germany’s first gated community. Increasing demographic development and a stagnant public housing sector generate potential for spatial conflicts. For the time being in-depth GIS-based spatial analysis of the housing market lacks. This article analyses spatial trends and distribution patterns of the Potsdam housing market, using geostatistical methods implemented in free opensource geographic information systems (FOS GIS). To assemble a spatially differentiated picture of the housing market, methods such as spatial interpolation techniques and spatial declustering are applied. The analysis presented here is based on a representative sample of recent housing market data from 2009. The study provides a basis for discussion of a generic approach to housing market analysis based on free opensource geoinformation systems.”

Jack Dangermond to Showcase Community Maps at Gov 2.0 Expo

ESRI Staff Will Share In-depth Development and Implementation Strategies

On Thursday, May 27, 2010, at 2:20 p.m., ESRI president Jack Dangermond will speak to government and technology enthusiasts at the Gov 2.0 Expo in Washington, D.C., about using the power of geographic information system (GIS) technology to transform government. In his presentation GeoEnabling Gov 2.0, Dangermond will highlight the new Community Maps Program, which allows governments to contribute their authoritative data to online world basemaps while retaining ownership of the data.

“Governments of all sizes benefit from integrating their accurate, up-to-date data into a quality online world map,” says Dangermond. “These fast maps with ESRI data and authoritative user-generated content [UGC] reduce the cost of making data widely available and offer a reliable way to access critical information when emergencies or disasters strike. It also establishes a valuable resource for citizens and businesses that is available all day, every day.”

The Community Maps Program has three basemaps: World Topographic Map, World Street Map, and World Imagery. Organizations that have contributed data include MassGIS, Commonwealth of Massachusetts; City of San Francisco, California; District of Columbia Geographic Information System; and Instituto Geográfico Português. The community basemaps are available on

Conference attendees will also learn in-depth information about using geographic information for better analysis, visualization, and problem solving during the Wednesday, May 26, session The Geographic Advantage for Gov 2.0 to be held at 11:00 a.m. This presentation will show how Web developers and designers can create Web mapping solutions that harness the power of crowd-sourced and authoritative data, social media, and cloud technology.

Throughout the conference, ESRI staff will be available in the Expo Hall to talk about GIS in the cloud, crowd-sourced GIS data, and how the ArcGIS platform supports Gov 2.0 throughout all levels of government.

For more information about GIS for Gov 2.0, visit

[Source: ESRI press release]

Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries Management Papers at the 2010 ESRI International User Conference

Modeling Forest Fire Behavior and Risk Using GIS

  • Modeling Lightning-Ignited Fires in the Great Smoky Mountains using FARSITE
  • Evaluation of Forest Fires with GIS
  • Simulating Forest Fire Behavior with Geoprocessing Tools

Wildlife Habitat Management and Assessment

  • Habitat Impact Analysis for Mountain Caribou Recovery in British Columbia
  • Conserving Crucial Wildlife Habitats and Corridors in Arizona
  • Multi-scale Wildlife Habitat Assessment Mapping using the HAB Method

Using GIS for Urban Forest and Wildlife Management Issues

  • Quantifying Urban Forest Coverage in Mixed Development Areas
  • Integrating ArcGIS Server and Flex: Highlighting Trees in Washington, DC
  • Incorporating Community-Based Collaboration in Urban Elk Habitat and Corridor Modeling

GIS Methods for Forest Fire Monitoring

  • ArcGIS for forest fire monitoring in Himalayan Region
  • Forest Fire Alert System in Carajás National Forest, Amazon, Brazil

Using GIS to Address Decision Support for Forestry and Wildlife

  • Rapid Completion of a Statewide Resource Assessment Utilizing a Contractor
  • Evaluating Multimodal Access to the Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge
  • GIS in Precision Forestry: Current Trends and Future Needs

Analyzing the Availability and Impact of Forest Product Production

  • Aquatic Habitat Conservation Plan (AHCP) – Road GIS DB
  • Spatial Distribution and Relative Abundance of Non-Timber Forest Products
  • Forest Planning Based on Territory Definition using GIS

Modeling and Management of Trout and Salmon Habitat

  • Klamath Basin Stream Gradient Modeling, California and Oregon
  • Modelling of Fish Community by GIS in River
  • State of Southern Steelhead, case study Santa Ynez River, California
  • Spatial Analysis of Beach Stranding of Juvenile Salmonids by Vessels

Fisheries Mapping and Monitoring

  • eCatch – web based co-management of fisheries
  • Flying Fisheries: Aerial Survey Monitoring Tools for Impact Assessment
  • Using Side-Scan-Sonar and ArcGIS to Map Riverine Habitats
  • Linking Fish-Population Characteristics with Habitat Structure using GIS