Software and Data Helps Journalists Research Health Trends

Esri Provides Free Data to AHCJ Members

Esri and the Association of Health Care Journalists, Inc. (AHCJ), have created a program providing easy, no-cost access to demographic and market data to AHCJ members. The program has two components: a no-cost, subscription to Esri Business Analyst Online (BAO) Web-based software for background data exploration and reports, and a data request service to meet specialized story requirements. By providing AHCJ members access to this on-demand reporting and mapping service, the program allows demographic patterns to be identified, investigated, and reported.

“Reporters can pick existing areas—including states, counties, cities, ZIP Codes, and Census tracts—or define specific areas to profile and compare,” says Jeff Porter, director of special projects, AHCJ. “With a built-in business search tool, a reporter could, for example, create a map showing income demographics, then overlay specific locations of grocery stores for a story about a local food desert, which is an area that does not have access to affordable, nutritious food.”

BAO does not require special expertise and runs in a Web browser without the need to install software. BAO data includes

  • Demographic data
  • Street basemaps
  • Imagery
  • Data from government sources
  • Microsoft’s Bing Maps business location information

Using the data request service, AHCJ members can contact  the Esri Product Marketing who has extensive experience in providing data to the news media. In addition to demographic data, Esri’s Market Potential and Consumer Spending databases provide a wealth of medical data including amounts spent for  medical insurance and medical supplies, along with the potential for healthcare spending by market area.

Esri employs many data sources and proven methodologies to ensure delivery of the industry’s most accurate current-year demographic data estimates and five-year forecasts. Updated Demographics, Consumer Spending, Market Potential, Retail MarketPlace, and Tapestry Segmentation databases are available in a wide variety of geographies, including national, state, county, census tract, and block group.

AHCJ members can obtain more information and access their complimentary BAO subscription at For more information on how Esri supports the media and journalists, visit

[Source: Esri press release]

When Spatial Analysis Meets OLAP: Multidimensional Model and Operators

International Journal of Data Warehousing and Mining (IJDWM), Volume 6, Issue 4, pp. 33-60, 2010

Sandro Bimonte; Maryvonne Miquel

“Introducing spatial data into multidimensional models leads to the concept of Spatial OLAP (SOLAP). Existing SOLAP models do not completely integrate the semantic component of geographic information (alphanumeric attributes and relationships) or the flexibility of spatial analysis into multidimensional analysis. In this paper, the authors propose the GeoCube model and its associated operators to overcome these limitations. GeoCube enriches the SOLAP concepts of spatial measure and spatial dimension and take into account the semantic component of geographic information. The authors define geographic measures and dimensions as geographic and/or complex objects belonging to hierarchy schemas. GeoCube’s algebra extends SOLAP operators with five new operators, i.e., Classify, Specialize, Permute, OLAP-Buffer and OLAP-Overlay. In addition to classical drill-and-slice OLAP operators, GeoCube provides two operators for navigating the hierarchy of the measures, and two spatial analysis operators that dynamically modify the structure of the geographic hypercube. Finally, to exploit the symmetrical representation of dimensions and measures, GeoCube provides an operator capable of permuting dimension and measure. In this paper, GeoCube is presented using environmental data on the pollution of the Venetian Lagoon.”

Geostatistical Analysis of China Inbound Tourism Spatial Distribution Structure

18th International Conference on Geoinformatics, 18-20 June 2010, Beijing, China

Liu, Fajian; Zhang, Jie; Zhang, Jinhe; Zhu, Yawen; and Chen, Dongdong

“As an important method of GIS-based spatial analysis, geostatistics has been applied in a variety of scientific disciplines, which has expanded from natural phenomena to some socio-economic problems (metropolitan house price, land price), for its special power to reveal the spatial characteristics, structure and process of regionalized variables. China inbound tourism phenomenon can also be taken as regionalized variable as well, according to its random, structural characteristics. Yet the research existing about it paid more attention to the regional differences in individual and microscopic ways, rather than the macroscopic, totalistic, relative, dynamic characters and divergence of inbound tourism. This paper attempts to introduce geostatistics into inbound tourism research after interpreting the necessity and feasibility, and uses kriging method to analyze scales of inbound tourists of 321 prefecture-level cities from 2003 to 2007. By comparing the five semivariograms and contour maps of scales of inbound tourists, we come to the conclusion that Pearl River Delta Region, Yangzi River Delta Region and Beijing-Tianjin-Tangshan Region have been the three centralized areas and diffusion sources of China inbound tourism, while they have different modes, directions and routes of diffusion. The pole diffusion has been altering to pole-axis diffusion gradually. Meanwhile, the gap of inbound tourism scales in eastern coastal regions of China has been reducing and the homogeneity increasing. Guangxi and Yunnan, which have been developing rapidly in recent years, together with Sichuan and Shanxi constitute the sub-highlands of inbound tourism, while the tourism sinking downfall of Central China has been more apparent. This paper not only displays the spatial distribution patterns of China inbound tourism, gives advice to the planning and tactics of regional inbound tourism development, but also expands the applicable scope of geostatistics and makes contributions to the diversity of tourism research methods.”

Finding OGC Web Services in the Digital Earth

Proceedings of the Workshop “Towards Digital Earth: Search, Discover and Share Geospatial Data 2010” at Future Internet Symposium, Berlin, Germany, September 20, 2010

Aneta Jadwiga Florczyk, Patrick Maué, Francisco Javier López Pellicer, Francisco Javier Nogueras Iso

“The distribution of OGCWeb Catalogues (CSW) across professional communities, the expert profile of the catalogue user and also the low coverage of OGCWeb Services (OWS) in standard search engines reduce the possibility of discovery and sharing geographic information. This paper presents an approach to simple spatio-temporal search of OWS retrieved from the web by a specialized crawler. The Digital Earth could benefit from this solution as it overcomes technical boundaries and solves the limitation of CSW acceptance only within professional community.”