Jack Dangermond to Receive Global Citizen Award

GSDI Association Honors Esri President for Worldwide Contributions in Geographic Information and Geospatial Technologies

Jack Dangermond, founder and president of Esri, has been named to receive the Global Citizen Award of the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure (GSDI) Association. The award will be presented on the opening day of the GSDI 12 World Conference, to be held in Singapore October 19–22, 2010. Dangermond, as the recipient, will give the lead Keynote Address on October 19, focusing on a global vision for spatially enabling society.

The Global Citizen Award is an occasional award of the GSDI Association. Recipients have provided exemplary thought leadership and substantive worldwide contributions in both promoting informed and responsible use of geographic information and geospatial technologies for the benefit of society and fostering spatial data infrastructure (SDI) developments or geospatial advancements supporting sustainable social, economic, and environmental systems integrated from local to global scales.

A landscape architect by training, Dangermond is one of the founding fathers of geographic information system (GIS) technology and is considered to be one of the most influential people in GIS. For more than 40 years, he has been an outspoken proponent of GIS as one of the most promising decision-making tools for urban, regional, environmental, and global problems. Esri, which he and his wife, Laura, founded in 1969, has the largest GIS software installation base in the world, with over one million users in more than 300,000 organizations representing business, government, nongovernmental organization (NGOs), and academia. Dangermond has been a leader and visionary in the field, promoting GIS technology beyond that of his own company. He has delivered keynote addresses at international conferences, published hundreds of papers, and given thousands of presentations. His passion for GIS and its application to solving problems, particularly for the causes of the environment and the less empowered in society, is well known throughout the industry.

He has been awarded 10 honorary doctorates and received a number of awards, including the Carl Mannerfelt Medal from the International Cartographic Association in 2008; the Public-Private Partnership Award from the National Governors Association in 2009; the Patron’s Medal from the Royal Geographical Society in June 2010; and, most recently, the National Geographic’s Alexander Graham Bell Medal.

[Source: Esri press release]

Sightline-based GIS Model for Building Height Control

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

Tong, Ziyu and Ding, Wowo

“In the city, there always have some special areas like historical districts, landscape areas or areas with landmark. With the development of city, such areas limit the building height of surrounding blocks. And the building height control is very important for conserving the features of these areas. Urban designers usually set a viewpoint and a target point, and then draw a sightline to get the building height limit. However, the fixed viewpoint can’t represent the movement of people, and the 2-D section can’t represent the 3-D block areas. Even adding more viewpoints, the sightlines can’t cover the whole areas. It’s lack of effective technique to accurately achieve the limit of height. Based on the principle of sightline, a GIS-based building height control model is established. Instead of setting viewpoint and target point, view path and target path are introduced into the GIS model. Based on the view path and target path, a TIN model is created. New model can generate the sight surface and calculate the height limits between the view path and target path, which could solve the problems very efficiency. In the case of urban design of Jiangsu Road in Lhasa, to meet the requirement of visual control through Potala Palace, the model was applied to obtain the limit of building height around the blocks.”

Attribute Assignment to a Synthetic Population in Support of Agent-Based Disease Modeling

RTI Press publication #MR-0019-1009, September 2010

James C. Cajka, Philip C. Cooley, and William D. Wheaton

“Communicable-disease transmission models are useful for the testing of prevention and intervention strategies. Agent-based models (ABMs) represent a new and important class of the many types of disease transmission models in use. Agent-based disease models benefit from their ability to assign disease transmission probabilities based on characteristics shared by individual agents. These shared characteristics allow ABMs to apply transmission probabilities when agents come together in geographic space. Modeling these types of social interactions requires data, and the results of the model largely depend on the quality of these input data. We initially generated a synthetic population for the United States, in support of the Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study. Subsequently, we created shared characteristics to use in ABMs. The specific goals for this task were to assign the appropriately aged populations to schools, workplaces, and public transit. Each goal presented its own challenges and problems; therefore, we used different techniques to create each type of shared characteristic. These shared characteristics have allowed disease models to more realistically predict the spread of disease, both spatially and temporally.”

Geostatistical Analyses of the Spatial Variation of Soil Cadmium in Rice Producing Area in the Luxian County, China

4th International Conference on Bioinformatics and Biomedical Engineering (iCBBE), 18-20 June 2010

Shi Rong-Guang,  Zhao Yu-Jie,  Li Xiao-Hua,  Liu Feng-Zhi,  Zheng Xiang-Qun, and   Zhou Qi-Xing

“In recent years, much attention has been paid to the problem of farmland soil contamination by heavy metals in China. Cadmium (Cd) is an important heavy metal which can cause adverse ecological effects, in particular, can be easily accumulated by rice plants. On the basis of determining the concentrations of Cd in 303 farmland soil samples from the rice producing area in the Luxian County, Sichuan Province, China, the spatial variability and distribution character of the relevant data were further analyzed using geostatistical methods. The results of the exploratory spatial data analysis showed that there was the autocorrelation of soil Cd and the experimental semivariogram was isotropic. The spherical model and the exponential model were used to match the experimental semivariogram. The results of the cross-validation showed that the exponential model with sill could best simulate the experimental semivariogram. Ordinary kriging were used to estimate the Cd distribution in the study area. The significant correlation between the estimated values and the monitoring values was found. No system errors could be tested. The areas with high soil Cd presented the strip belt-shaped. At the same time, the high soil Cd concentration patches and the low soil Cd concentration patches show relative decentralization distribution character. This distribution character testified that non-point pollution and atmospheric precipitation were the main sources of soil Cd contamination in the study area. In addition, the spatial distribution character was also affected by wasterwater irrigation from polluted rivers in the study area.”