GIS Analysis of 30 Years of Water Quality Data at Gateway National Recreation Area

2010 GSA Denver Annual Meeting, 31 October –3 November 2010

AQUINO, Angelica, MINOTT, Tamara, OQUENDO, Lillian, ROSCH, Zachary, BRANCO, Brett, and BOGER, Rebecca

“Jamaica Bay is a shallow, urbanized estuary that lies within the jurisdiction of the Gateway National Recreation Area of the U.S. National Park Service. Approximately 89% of the nitrogen load to Jamaica Bay comes from wastewater treatment plants and the Bay exhibits many symptoms of cultural eutrophication. During rain events, the discharge of raw sewage into the Bay from combined sewer overflows poses a human health risk. For the past 30 years, the National Park Service has been conducting biweekly monitoring of water quality parameters in Jamaica Bay during the summer months. The measured parameters include water temperature, salinity, nitrate, orthophosphate, chlorophyll a, dissolved oxygen, pH, fecal coliform bacteria and Enterococcus. These data are included in hardcopy annual reports and are available in the EPA’s STORET database. In cooperation with staff at Gateway National Recreation Area, undergraduate students at Brooklyn College have consolidated the data into a single georeferenced database to allow spatial and temporal analysis using Geograpical Information System (GIS) tools. This work will allow an examination of long-term trends in water quality parameters as well as to determine the short-term drivers as a function of location. In addition, the students are obtaining valuable skills in GIS techniques and data analysis. For the initial analysis, we chose to examine the spatial and temporal variability of parameters during the year 2009. This year was chosen because it is the wettest summer season recorded during the past decade. The analysis will provide an understanding of the relationship between the measured parameters and the proximity of the sampling date to antecedent precipitation events. This understanding will allow a richer interpretation of long-term trends which may be biased by the choice of sampling dates in any given year.”

Submit Your Map for the Esri Map Book, Volume 26

Online submissions are being accepted  for the Esri Map Book, Volume 26. If you have an ArcGIS map you would like to be considered for publication, please visit the Map Book online submission site at There you will find contact and permission forms plus details about how to submit image files. The submission deadline is Friday, November 19, 2010, at 5:00 p.m. (PST).  If your map is chosen, you will receive an e-mail notification by early January. The Esri Map Book, Volume 26 will be released in July 2011 at the Esri International User Conference.

Video: GIS Provider Lowers Cost of Customer Entry, Opens New Markets with Hosted Services

Since 1969, Esri has led the development of Geographic Information System (GIS) software. Governments and businesses in dozens of industries use Esri products to connect business, demographic, research, or environmental data with geographic data from multiple sources. The company wanted to expand the reach of its GIS technology by offering a lightweight solution called MapIt that combines software plus services to provide spatial analysis and visualization tools to users unfamiliar with GIS. Esri began offering MapIt as a cloud service with the Windows Azure platform, and now Esri customers can deploy MapIt with Windows Azure and store geographic and business information in the Microsoft SQL Azure database service. By lowering the cost and complexity of deploying GIS, Esri is reaching new markets and providing new and enhanced services to its existing customers.

Free Seminar Focuses on How to Work with ArcGIS Viewer for Flex

Create Web Mapping Applications with No Programming

Esri will host a live training seminar this week that demonstrates how to easily develop Web mapping applications using the new, no-cost ArcGIS Viewer for Flex.

Introduction to the ArcGIS Viewer for Flex will air Thursday, September 23, 2010, on Sessions will begin at 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., and 3:00 p.m. (Pacific daylight time).

ArcGIS Viewer for Flex is Esri’s ready-to-deploy, configurable client application built on the ArcGIS API for Flex 2.1. The viewer can be used to create customized geographic information system (GIS)-enabled Web mapping applications without doing any programming.

Seminar attendees will learn how to

  • Download and set up the ArcGIS Viewer for Flex application.
  • Use the core widgets included with the viewer.
  • Customize the viewer without programming.
  • Access the ArcGIS Viewer for Flex resource center to find help documentation, samples, and support forums.

ArcGIS Viewer for Flex supports business workflows that need mapping visualization, editing, and analysis on the Web. The look and feel, functionality, and data content of ArcGIS Viewer can be easily customized by editing an XML configuration file. Organizations can add their own corporate logo and branding to the viewer, extend functionality by adding widgets, and set the viewer to work with their own GIS services. The viewer also simplifies access to ArcGIS Online and ArcGIS Server services. ArcGIS Viewer for Flex 2.1 includes more than a dozen core widgets that extend its functionality.

“ArcGIS Viewer for Flex allows nondevelopers to set up and deploy a fast, modern-looking Web mapping application very quickly,” says Derek Law, product manager for the viewer and seminar presenter. “Mapping content from ArcGIS Online is already preloaded in the application, including worldwide street, imagery, and topographic maps, as well as a set of sample ArcGIS Server map services and several widgets.”

This seminar will be of interest to anyone who wants to quickly deploy a GIS-enabled Web mapping application without writing a single line of code.

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]

Practical Approaches to Spatial Estimation of Disaster-Affected Populations

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

Lisa Jordan; Benjamin Watkins; Patrick Biegon; Margaret Mwangi; Rob Rose

“When a disaster occurs, the response depends critically on an estimate of the affected population. However, retrieval of crucial statistics can be time consuming, often at the expense of the neediest populations. This article reviews spatial population estimation techniques and datasets that facilitate disaster response and management. The authors conclude that the LandScan population distribution estimates best suit the needs of Population Explorer, an Internet GIS that presents a way to quickly deliver answers to queries about local population and demographic composition to users who may not be formally trained in GIS or demography. By referencing LandScan population distributions, Population Explorer retrieves adjusted, official census population counts, for user-defined point buffers, line buffers, or polygons on a global map. Participants from a variety of agencies, i.e., government and non-government, local and international, can collaborate in updating baseline population estimates with local information that can then be queried with the baseline counts.”

Geospatial Revolution: Episode One

We live in the Global Location Age. Where am I? is being replaced by, Where am I in relation to everything else?

Penn State Public Broadcasting is developing the Geospatial Revolution Project, an integrated public media and outreach initiative about the world of digital mapping and how it is changing the way we think, behave, and interact.

The project will feature a web-based serial release of eight video episodes—each telling an intriguing geospatial story. Overarching themes woven throughout the episodes will tie them together, and the episodes will culminate in a 60-minute documentary. The project also will include an outreach initiative in collaboration with our educational partners, a chaptered program DVD, and downloadable outreach materials.

Spatial Approaches to the History of Child Labour in Colonial Ghana

Polyvocia SOAS Journal of Graduate Research, 2 (2010). pp. 31-45.

Jack Lord

“This article uses spatial analysis to explore the nature of child labour in colonial Ghana (the Gold Coast). Spatial analysis of traditional archival sources and secondary literature demonstrates that our historical knowledge of child labour is narrowly focused on the colony’s most ‘colonial’ spaces and institutions. This article uses a novel set of sources – primarily autobiographies and probation records – to begin filling in the epistemological void surrounding the use of child labour in the domestic economy. Spatial analysis of these sources reveals that children were vital economic actors at scales ranging from the hearth and the household, to the town and the region. Child labour was used within the household to produce directly and to increase the mobility of more productive adults. Child labour was also key to the articulation of the household to wider economic spaces. The colonial period saw dramatic spatial changes in the use of child labour. Children began to work in new places, in new ways and at a greater distance from their natal household – these processes shed light on how the socio-economic and geopolitical reshaping of West Africa impacted upon the everyday lives of individual children.”

Spatial Analysis of Climate in Winegrape Growing Regions in the Western United States

American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, 61:3:313-326 (2010)

Gregory V. Jones, Andrew A. Duff, Andrew Hall, and Joseph W. Myers

“Knowledge of the spatial variation in temperature in wine regions provides the basis for evaluating the general suitability for viticulture, allows for comparisons between wine regions, and offers growers a measure of assessing appropriate cultivars and sites. However, while tremendous advances have occurred in spatial climate data products, these have not been used to examine climate and suitability for viticulture in the western United States. This research spatially maps the climate in American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) throughout California, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho using the 1971–2000 PRISM 400 m resolution climate grids, assessing the statistical properties of four climate indices used to characterize suitability for viticulture: growing degree-days (GDD, or Winkler index, WI), the Huglin index (HI), the biologically effective degree-day index (BEDD), and average growing season temperatures (GST). The results show that the spatial variability of climate within AVAs can be significant, with some regions representing as many as five climate classes suitable for viticulture. Compared to static climate station data, documenting the spatial distribution of climate provides a more holistic measure of understanding the range of cultivar suitability within AVAs. Furthermore, results reveal that GST and GDD are functionally identical but that GST is easier to calculate and overcomes many methodological issues that occur with GDD. The HI and BEDD indices capture the known AVA-wide suitability but need to be further validated in the western U.S. Additionally, the research underscores the necessity for researchers, software developers, and others to clearly communicate the data time period and method of calculating GDD so that results can be correctly interpreted and compared.”