International Leaders Stress the Importance of Spatial Data Strategies for Improved Government Delivery

Carlos Zeferino Torreblanca Galindo, Governor of the State of Guerrero, Mexico and the former mayor of Acapulco spoke of the poverty within his state. Demographic data he showed put his state near the bottom of most statistics in basic services. Most support comes from the federal government but by the time the state uses funds to pay for basic services and debt finance, little is left to support services for the people.

The state of Guerrero is using GIS for land registry for property tax assessment as well as to inventory of public buildings such as schools, health centres, and other government buildings. The gain his government has reaped by using GIS comes in the form of additional income which he has turned back into building new schools and health facilities.”

Other key third world countries are already seeing financial benefits from utilising GIS. If Africa does not follow this lead, millions may be lost in potential revenue that could assist in building much need basic services in rural areas.

IQPC’s Spatially Enabled Government Southern Africa will provide practical knowledge on the systems and strategies needed for effective use of GIS systems. Held in Johannesburg South Africa, from 27 – 30 September 2010, the event will bring together international speakers as well as local to share best-practise in GIS case studies and applications.

This is your opportunity to exchange best-practices and practical solutions that can be implemented to improve service delivery and integrated planning.

Attendees will benefit from four days of industry-leading presentations and exclusive workshops. Industry experts who will be sharing their knowledge include: DEFRA, Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Department of Basic Education, Department of Health, Department of Science & Technology, Ministry of Land, Settlement and Rehabilitation –Namibia, Ministry of Lands – Department of Surveys – Kenya, Municipal Demarcation Board, City of Cape Town, State Information Technology Agency and The Ministry of Lands, Housing and Human Settlement Development – Tanzania.

For more information, visit

[Source: IQPC Middle East press release]

Digital Earth’s Nervous System for Crisis Events: Real-time Sensor Web Enablement of Volunteered Geographic Information

International Journal of Digital Earth, Volume 3, Issue 3 September 2010 , pages 242 – 259

Bertrand De Longueville; Alessandro Annoni; Sven Schade; Nicole Ostlaender; Ceri Whitmore

“Digital Earth (DE) is a powerful metaphor for the organisation and access to digital information through a multi-scale three-dimensional representation of the globe. Recent progress gave a concrete body to this vision. However, this body is not yet self-aware: further integration of the temporal and voluntary dimension is needed to better portray the event-based nature of our world. We thus aim to extend DE vision with a Nervous System in order to provide decision makers with improved alerting mechanisms. Practical applications are foreseen for crisis management, where up-to-date situational awareness is needed. While it is traditionally built through trusted sources, citizens can play a complementary role by providing geo-referenced information known as Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI). Although workflows have been implemented to create, validate and distribute VGI datasets for various thematic domains, its exploitation in real time and its integration into existing concepts of DE, such as spatial data infrastructures, still needs to be further addressed. In this paper we suggest to bridge this gap through Sensor Web Enablement for VGI, where VGI sensing becomes a sense of the DE’s Nervous System. We discuss this approach and its applicability in the context of a forest fire scenario.”

Abstracts Sought for 17th Annual California GIS Conference

Abstracts are currently being accepted for the 17th Annual California GIS Conference. CalGIS 2011 will take place March 28-31, 2011 in Fresno, California. The conference program, themed “Meeting California’s Challenges” will be developed through a Call for Presentations. Abstracts will be accepted through October 4, 2010.

The Conference Committee reviews all of the abstracts received by the deadline date, and organizes the educational sessions according to those abstracts. The Committee has specified these program tracks for the 2011 conference:

Geospatial Technologies – Geospatial technologies, Web GIS, COTS software developments, open source software, technical tips and tricks, GIS trends.

Agriculture – The Agriculture symposium brings together research scientists, farm advisors, growers, students, participants in ag-commerce and services, and state and federal agencies to demonstrate the various uses of geospatial technologies employed in California’s renewable resources: agriculture and natural resources.

Water Resources – At the forefront of critical state issues, water issues are important in California. This tract will focus on the use of GIS and spatial technology in the realm of water infrastructure, floodplain management, risk and emergency management, agriculture, water allocation, water storage, conservations, and environmental applications.

Local & State Government – Problems and successes with GIS in government including, data sharing, return on investment, decision making, efficiency, tools and applications, privacy, security, cloud computing for government, funding GIS.

Your Interest – In addition to the defined tracks, we want to see what interests you. Whether it is education, public safety, land use, utilities, transportation, renewable energy, tribal, military, health, software development or some extraordinary new use of GIS, please come and share it with us.

Numerous presentation formats will be considered from complete sessions and panel discussions to lightning talks and poster presentations.

For more information and an online submission form, visit

[Source: URISA press release]

Weevils in the Landscape: Using Spatial Analysis to Identify Potential Areas of Non-target Feeding by Introduced Biological Control Organisms

Entomological Society of America Annual Meeting, 9-12 December 2007

Greg Wiggins, Jerome Grant, Paris Lambdin, John Wilkerson, and Jack Ranney

“Despite their usefulness in integrated pest management programs, concern that many introduced biological control agents will eventually begin using non-target species and detrimentally impact native populations is growing. The efficacy of two weevils (Rhinocyllus conicus and Trichosirocalus horridus) introduced in the U.S. against the Eurasian musk thistle (Carduus nutans) is countered by their impact on some native Cirsium thistles. Non-target feeding of these weevils may impact plant reproduction and plant populations. Because the biologies of these weevils are closely linked with musk thistle, the distribution of musk thistle populations may influence non-target activity. The use of geographic information systems (GIS) could be useful in analyzing the spatial relationships among musk thistle, weevil and native thistles by characterizing suitable habitats for each thistle species over a large spatial scale. In Spring 2004 a four-year study was initiated to: 1) characterize habitats where exotic thistles and native thistles can occur and 2) identify potential areas of non-target feeding using spatial analysis. The study area (ca. 4,800 km2) for the spatial analysis consisted of four counties in eastern Tennessee. Two native thistles (C. carolinianum and C. discolor) and two introduced thistles (C. nutans and C. discolor) were selected as model species, and thistle population localities documented from 2005 through 2007 were used to generate the model. Mahalanobis distance was used to identify suitable habitats for each thistle species. Other spatial data used to generate the models, model testing procedures and results and applications of these spatial analyses will be discussed.”

Presenting Spatial Information: Granularity, Relevance, and Integration

Journal of Spatial Information Science, Number 1 (2010), pp. 49-51

Thora Tenbrink and Stephan Winter

“In recent years the availability of automatically generated spatial information of various kinds has developed dramatically. Route descriptions of diverse kinds can be obtained from many different sources and across different modalities, and maps and geographic information can be accessed in multifarious ways.

“Although this is situation improves the information availability and accessibility—think, for example, of car navigation, local search, or holiday trip planning, and how all of them have fundamentally changed over the past few years—Internet users may not always be comfortable with the ways in which the information has to be requested or is presented. Recent research has shown that automatically generated spatial information exhibits fundamentally different features from information provided naturally by humans, when asked about space and time in route directions, for example. The human-computerinterface remains the last barrier to easy-to-consume spatial information, or in other words to intelligent machines [3]. Therefore, our contention is that substantial further work is required in order to render spatial information services more supportive and cognitively suitable.”