L to R: Jack Dangermond, Logan Hardison, Scott Morehouse, and SJ Camarata.
International Journal of Geographical Information Science, Volume 24 Issue 10 2010, Pages 1577 – 1600: Geospatial Visual Analytics: Focus on Time Special Issue of the ICA Commission on GeoVisualization
Gennady Andrienko; Natalia Andrienko; Urska Demsar; Doris Dransch; Jason Dykes; Sara Irina Fabrikant; Mikael Jern; Menno-Jan Kraak; Heidrun Schumann; Christian Tominski
“Visual analytics aims to combine the strengths of human and electronic data processing. Visualisation, whereby humans and computers cooperate through graphics, is the means through which this is achieved. Seamless and sophisticated synergies are required for analysing spatio-temporal data and solving spatio-temporal problems. In modern society, spatio-temporal analysis is not solely the business of professional analysts. Many citizens need or would be interested in undertaking analysis of information in time and space. Researchers should find approaches to deal with the complexities of the current data and problems and find ways to make analytical tools accessible and usable for the broad community of potential users to support spatio-temporal thinking and contribute to solving a large range of problems.”
The National Science Foundation has awarded $4.4 million to an initiative led by the University of Illinois that will combine cyberinfrastructure, spatial analysis and modeling, and geographic information science to form a collaborative software framework encompassing many research fields.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software has been widely used for spatial problem solving and decision making applications since the 1960s. It has become an invaluable tool for geography-related fields, its uses spanning archaeology, disaster preparedness, public health, resource management, urban planning and much more. However, conventional GIS software isn’t capable of handling the huge volumes of data and complex analysis required for many modern applications.
Cyberinfrastructure is a system that integrates data management, visualization, high-performance computing and human elements to tackle complex problems. This type of supercomputing power could address many GIS scenarios where current software falls short.
Led by Shaowen Wang, a professor of geography and also a senior research scientist at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at Illinois, an interdisciplinary team of researchers will work to develop CyberGIS, a comprehensive software framework that will harness the power of cyberinfrastructure for GIS and associated applications. Computer science professor Marc Snir chairs the project steering committee.
“The overarching goal of this project is to establish CyberGIS as a fundamentally new software framework encompassing a seamless integration of cyberinfrastructure, GIS, and spatial analysis and modeling capabilities,” Wang said. “It could lead to widespread scientific breakthroughs that have broad societal impacts.”
The project is part of NSF’s Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation program, which aims to promote scalable, sustainable, open-source software elements. In addition to the advanced problem-solving capabilities, the researchers hope that CyberGIS will enhance sharing among researchers and facilitate cross-disciplinary interaction through multiple-user, online collaboration.
“CyberGIS will empower high-performance, collaborative geospatial problem solving,” Wang said. “For example, it could dramatically advance the understanding of disaster preparedness and response and impacts of global climate change.”
The project involves partnerships among academia, government, and industry with an international scope. Partners institutions include Arizona State University, the Computer Network Information Center of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), Georgia Institute of Technology, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, University College London Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (England), University Consortium for Geographic Information Science, University of California-San Diego, University of California-Santa Barbara, University of Washington, the U.S. Geological Survey, and Victorian Partnership for Advanced Computing (Australia). The five-year project began in October 2010.
[Source: University of Illinois press release]
Journal of Marine Biology, Volume 2011
Kelvin D. Gorospe and Stephen A. Karl
“Thermal stress can cause geographically widespread bleaching events, during which corals become decoupled from their symbiotic algae. Bleaching, however, also can occur on smaller, spatially patchy scales, with corals on the same reef exhibiting varying bleaching responses. Thus, to investigate fine spatial scale sea temperature variation, temperature loggers were deployed on a 4 m grid on a patch reef in Kāne’ohe Bay, Oahu, Hawai‘i to monitor in situ, benthic temperature every 50 minutes at 85 locations for two years. Temperature variation on the reef was characterized using several summary indices related to coral thermal stress. Results show that stable, biologically significant temperature variation indeed exists at small scales and that depth, relative water flow, and substrate cover and type were not significant drivers of this variation. Instead, finer spatial and temporal scale advection processes at the benthic boundary layer are likely responsible. The implications for coral ecology and conservation are discussed.”