Kimon Onuma to Keynote GeoDesign Summit, 6–7 January 2011

Kimon Onuma, FAIA, President and Founder, Onuma, Inc.

GeoDesign Summit Explores the Power of Geography and Design; Attendees from Diverse Disciplines Will Take Part in Advancing New Concepts and Tools

Professionals and academics will convene at Esri headquarters in Redlands, California, January 6–7, 2011, for the second annual GeoDesign Summit. GeoDesign introduces geospatial technologies into any type of design process such as developing a community project or conducting scientific research. Attendees will take part in the development of GeoDesign concepts, technologies, and tools that will advance how our global society approaches design.

The keynote speaker will be architect Kimon Onuma, president and founder of Onuma, Inc., a firm that describes its team as “a unique blend of building and software architects.” His company, based in Pasadena, California, uses an integrated design approach for its projects and services for the building industry, using building information modeling (BIM) and other technologies such as geographic information system (GIS) software. The title of Onuma’s talk will be Getting Real with GeoDesign and BIM.

In addition, attendees will have several opportunities to share their ideas, challenges, and solutions with an international group of innovators from diverse disciplines. Guest speakers; lightning talks; idea labs; brainstorming workshops; and cross-disciplinary, hands-on learning will foster dialog about the advancement of design and geography.

With GeoDesign, geographic analysis is brought into the design process early on, when initial design sketches are evaluated against spatial data. Planners, engineers, architects, and others who use location information can benefit from this design framework. The resultant designs more closely follow natural systems, which benefits both people and nature and makes for a more synergistic coexistence.

For more information and to register, visit Registration deadline is Friday, December 3, 2010.

[Source: Esri press release]

A Spatial–temporal Analysis of the Impact of Access Restrictions on Forest Landscapes and Household Welfare in Tanzania

Forest Policy and Economics, Article in Press, Available Online 13 October 2010

Elizabeth J.Z. Robinson and Razack B. Lokina

“This paper explores the impact of the re-introduction of access restrictions to forests in Tanzania, through participatory forest management (PFM), that have excluded villagers from forests to which they have traditionally, albeit illegally, had access to collect non-timber forest products (NTFPs). Motivated by our fieldwork, and using a spatial–temporal model, we focus on the paths of forest degradation and regeneration and villagers’ utility before and after an access restriction is introduced. Our paper illustrates a number of key points for policy makers. First, the benefits of forest conservation tend to be greatest in the first few periods after an access restriction is introduced, after which the overall forest quality often declines. Second, villagers may displace their NTFP collection into more distant forests that may have been completely protected by distance alone before access to a closer forest was restricted. Third, permitting villagers to collect limited amounts of NTFPs for a fee, or alternatively fining villagers caught collecting illegally from the protected forest, and returning the fee or fine revenue to the villagers, can improve both forest quality and villagers’ livelihoods.”

Synthetic Sensor Observations: Integrating Computer Simulations with the Sensor Web

M.Sc. thesis, University of Windsor (Canada), 2010, 169 pages

Daniel S. D’Alimonte

“This project creates a link between landscape simulation and the Sensor Web. SIMSENSOR is an extension to the ECO-COSM simulation modelling framework that connects to a Sensor Observation Service (SOS). It consists of a library that supports SOS communications and ECO-COSM components that turn model state into synthetic sensor measurements.

“A simulation can produce synthetic observations and insert them into an SOS, where they exist alongside actual sensor data. The use of open standards for the Sensor Web component allows interoperability with other Sensor Web systems using the SOS for exchange.

“A simple TOPMODEL-based hydrology model was built, that sent “sensor measurements” of several phenomena for a small catchment to an SOS. These results were available from the SOS within a second on average, accessible by any SOS-aware application.”

Exploring the Efficiency of Users’ Visual Analytics Strategies based on Sequence Analysis of Eye Movement Recordings

International Journal of Geographical Information Science, Volume 24 Issue 10 2010, Pages 1559 – 1575: Geospatial Visual Analytics: Focus on Time Special Issue of the ICA Commission on GeoVisualization

A. Çöltekin; S. I. Fabrikant; Martin Lacayo

“Visual analytics is often based on the intuition that highly interactive and dynamic depictions of complex and multivariate databases amplify human capabilities for inference and decision-making, as they facilitate cognitive tasks such as pattern recognition, association, and analytical reasoning (Thomas and Cook 2005). But how do we know whether visual analytics really works? This article offers a generic evaluation approach combining theory- and data-driven methods based on sequence similarity analysis. The approach systematically studies users’ visual interaction strategies when using highly interactive interfaces. We specifically ask whether the efficiency (i.e., speed) of users can be characterized by specific display interaction event sequences, and whether studying user strategies could be employed to improve the (interaction) design of the dynamic displays. We showcase our approach using a very large, fine-grained spatiotemporal dataset of eye movement recordings collected during a controlled human subject experiment with dynamic visual analytics displays. With this methodological approach based on empirical evidence, we hope to contribute to a deeper understanding of how people make inferences and decisions with highly interactive visualization tools and complex displays.”