Critical Incident Management and Geographically-based Systems

International Journal of Applied Geospatial Research, Vol. 1, Issue 3, 2010

David Webb and David Hoffpauir

“In the United States there is a strong dependence on decentralized policing services, distributed by thousands of police departments. As a primary police professional development management institute in the United States, the Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas (LEMIT) identified that there existed a paucity of management development opportunities for police command staff engaged in critical incident management. This paper describes how LEMIT met this challenge and became a leading U.S. institute in this exciting field of operation.”

Bicycle Crash Casualties in a Highly Motorized City

Accident Analysis and Prevention, 2010; 42(6): 1902-1907

Loo BP, Tsui KL

“The characteristics of bicycle crashes in cities where bicycles are a minor transport mode have received little attention in road safety research. However, the characteristics of these injury-inflicting bicycle crashes are expected to be very different from those happening in cities where cycling is generally considered as one of the major transport modes. Specifically, this study has the following three objectives: (1) to conduct the first scientific spatial analysis of bicycle crashes in Hong Kong; (2) to analyze the circumstances leading to bicycle crashes; and (3) to conduct an epidemiological study on injury patterns of cyclist casualties. Various spatial and statistical tools, including buffer analysis, chi-square tests, analysis-of-variance and binary logistic regression, are used to analyze the bicycle crashes in Hong Kong from 2005-2007. An important finding of this paper is that the bicycle safety problem has a clear spatial dimension. The crash circumstances in different parts of the city differed systematically. Furthermore, the findings suggest that initiatives to develop new cycle tracks and to encourage bicycles as a transport mode must be planned carefully with new infrastructure and policies to ensure the safety of cyclists.”

An Agent-based Micro-simulation Framework for Modelling of Dynamic Activity–travel Rescheduling Decisions

International Journal of Geographical Information Science, Volume 24, Issue 8 August 2010 , pages 1149 – 1170

Theo Arentze; Claudia Pelizaro; Harry Timmermans

“The simultaneous implementation of daily activity-travel schedules of individuals in a given spatial environment generally gives rise to time- and location-varying congestion levels, which affect the conditions for subsequent activity and travel choices. Although such dynamics are commonly recognized, current activity-based models typically ignore the adaptive behaviour of individuals. In this article, we propose an agent-based simulation system that allows one to simulate, in addition to activity-scheduling behaviour, also the execution of schedules in space and time. Congestion levels at specific times and places emerge in the system and may lead to discrepancies between scheduled and actual activity and travel times. Agents respond to such unforeseen events by reconsidering an existing schedule (within-day re-planning) and by adapting their expectations about traffic conditions for subsequent days (learning). The system is illustrated using the activity-travel diary data collected in the Eindhoven region, the Netherlands, to better understand the choice of urban parks in the study area. We discuss the merits of the system for transport and spatial planning and identify avenues for future research.”

Learn to Conduct Network-Based Spatial Analysis

Free Esri Training Will Show How ArcGIS Network Analyst Solves Routing and Location Problems

An upcoming live training seminar will demonstrate how Esri’s ArcGIS Network Analyst technology can answer logistics and other questions such as: What is the quickest and most cost-effective way for a fleet of trucks to deliver 300 packages in one day? Where should a fire station be opened to ensure fast response time to a new residential development?

How many customers can reach a specific store or restaurant within five minutes?

To learn how to use the software extension, tune in to Using Network Analyst in ArcGIS Desktop 10 on Thursday, September 2, 2010. This seminar will air on at 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 3:00 p.m. (Pacific daylight time).

ArcGIS Network Analyst helps users conduct network-based spatial analysis such as calculating drive times, defining service areas, and completing optimum route and shortest path analyses.

Seminar attendees will learn how to

  • Solve problems where network travel time or costs must be minimized.
  • Work with time windows, curb approach restrictions, and other constraints.
  • Find the best routes between multiple locations.
  • Find the best set of routes for a fleet of vehicles.
  • Find the optimal location for a new facility to minimize overall travel time or costs.

This seminar will be of interest to geographic information system (GIS) analysts, managers, dispatchers, planners, or researchers who want to use ArcGIS Desktop or ArcGIS Server to do distance-based analysis where distance or travel time is measured on transportation networks.

A broadband Internet connection and an Esri Global Account are needed to participate in the training seminar. Creating a global account is easy and free: visit, click Login, and register your name and address. A few weeks after the live presentation, this seminar will be archived and available for viewing on the Esri Training Web site.

[Source: Esri press release]

University of Florida Researchers to Document Boating Patterns; Could Aid Endangered Whales

One of the world’s most endangered whale species makes its way south every winter to give birth in waters near northeast Florida and southeast Georgia.

During that trip, North Atlantic right whales face two major threats: fishing gear and boats.

University of Florida researchers are embarking on a two-year study that is the first attempt to map boating traffic patterns in the northeast Florida area.

Mapping those patterns could, in turn, allow whale managers to better focus outreach efforts and more accurately assess the effects of future marine-related projects on protected species.

The UF researchers, Bob Swett and Charles Sidman, will use geographic information system, or GIS, technology to better understand boater travel patterns off the coasts of St. Johns, Duval and Nassau counties. The work will begin with boater surveys, answering questions about their usual routes and seasonal boating habits.

The researchers will also take to the air to log positions and characteristics of recreational boats. Then, all of the information will become part of a graphic representation that will help managers and policy makers understand what’s happening in area waterways.

“Once you have the patterns, you can start comparing them to the known sightings of right whales—to find the hotspots, if you will,” said Sidman, associate director for research for Florida Sea Grant, a UF-hosted ocean and coastal science program that works closely with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

Swett, a GIS expert, is an associate professor in UF’s school of forest resources and conservation. He also coordinates the Florida Sea Grant Boating and Waterway Management Program.

Somewhere between 325 and 400 whales remain of the species that was hunted nearly to extinction by 18th- and 19th-century whalers.

It’s been illegal to hunt right whales since 1935, but vessel strikes and fishing gear entanglement continue to be a threat to the creatures, which can grow 55 feet long and weigh 70 tons.

The whales typically arrive off the Florida-Georgia coast in December and stay until early spring, said Barb Zoodsma, a biologist with the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration who coordinates right whale recovery efforts in the Southeast. NOAA is funding the $246,000 study.

Awareness among recreational boaters about right whales is not as high as it could be, she said, and the whales are more frequently seen bearing scars from collisions with boat-engine propellers.

Although rules state that boaters must keep well away from right whales, captains she’s spoken with after collisions said they never saw the animal before impact.

“From what captains have described to me, the impact is so tremendous that at first, they thought they’d hit a large container that had fallen off a ship,” she said. “So it’s not just about protecting the whales, it’s a boater-safety issue, too.”

[Source: University of Florida press release]

Gas Utility Upgrades to GIS for Outages, Compliance

Jefferson-Cocke County Utility District (JCCUD) is taking advantage of Esri’s Small Utility Enterprise License Agreement (ELA) program to improve outage response and better meet regulatory requirements with the use of geographic information system (GIS) technology. The Newport, Tennessee, gas utility company serves 7,300 homes and businesses in two counties.

Before the move to GIS, field crews had to rely on paper maps that were costly to produce and often outdated. Now JCCUD can respond to outages equipped with laptops and up-to-date GIS-based maps. Within the GIS, utility staff can view the entire gas network along with customer information, proposed and as-built data, orthophotographs, topographic maps, and street centerlines. The initial mobile GIS training session went smoothly, and JCCUD plans to make all work orders paperless by the end of the year.

Access to mobile GIS technology is also helping the gas utility in regulatory compliance reporting. JCCUD crews will have the ability to input data from the field and synchronize with the home database to ensure accuracy of valve and regulatory station maintenance as well as odorization and cathodic protection reports.

“Without the Small Utility ELA, we could not have managed this upgrade,” said Larry Masters, engineering/GIS coordinator for JCCUD. “We cut $1,200 this year in the cost of printing map books, not to mention the hours saved working on the map books and returning to the office for sketches. When we looked at the cost of the ELA and what it was saving our utility, we needed to do it.”

Through Esri’s Small Utility ELA program, small utilities receive unlimited deployments of Esri’s core ArcGIS platform as well as maintenance and support for products, staff training, passes to the Esri International User Conference, and Esri data models. The Small Utility ELA program is open to utilities with 100,000 meters or fewer.

For more information on the Small Utility ELA program and to listen to a podcast about it, visit To speak to an expert, call 800-447-9778, extension 2990.

[Source: Esri press release]

Spatial Analysis of Soil Water Balance in an Agricultural District of Southern Italy

Crop Modeling and Decision Support, 2009, 282-290

D. Ventrella, E. D. Giacomo, L. Giglio, M. Castellini and D. Palumbo

“An efficient management of water resources is considered very important for Italy and in particular for Southern areas characterized by a typical Mediterranean climate in order to improve the economical and environmental sustainability of the agricultural activity. The purpose of this study is to analyze the components of soil water balance in an important district of 110 Km2 situated in the Ionical coastal area of Southern Italy and mainly cropped with horticultural crops. The study was performed by using the spatially distributed and physically based model SIMODIS in order to individuate the best irrigation management maximizing the water use efficiency and minimizing water losses by deep percolation and soil evaporation. SIMODIS was applied for 24 soil types distributed in 96 cadastral units for three years characterized by low, normal and high spring summer rainfall. Water melon cultivation was simulated adopting three water supply managements: rainfed and two irrigation strategies based on ➀ soil water availability and ➁ plant water status adopting a threshold daily stress value. For each year and management, several water management indicators were calculated and mapped in GIS environment. For seasonal irrigation depth, actual evapotranspiration and irrigation efficiency, the cumulative distribution functions were also determined. The analysis allowed to individuate the areas particularly sensitive to water losses by deep percolation because of their hydraulic functions characterized by low water retention and large values of saturated hydraulic conductivity. For these areas, the irrigation based on plant water status caused very high water losses by drainage. At the contrary, the irrigation scheduled on soil base allowed to control better this component of soil water balance. SIMODIS resulted a useful tool to analyse the soil water balance at spatial scale and to support the local irrigation authority for planning the irrigation water distribution not only for economical and productive purposes but also for minimizing the pollution risks of deep soil and groundwater resources.”

More information