NASA and Esri Agreement Supports GIS Initiatives

ArcGIS software brings geospatial intelligence to research, exploration, and operations

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) recently signed an enterprise license agreement (ELA) with Esri, making ArcGIS software tools available for unlimited use by authorized NASA employees and contractors. The agreement reflects NASA’s extensive and growing use of Esri’s ArcGIS software to bring geospatial intelligence to a wide variety of mission-critical efforts, from streamlining operations to enabling research and exploration.

“NASA is one of the most innovative users of geographic information system [GIS] technology,” says Esri president Jack Dangermond. “NASA has demonstrated the power of geospatial thinking by applying GIS to a wide variety of areas to solve problems and advance understanding of our world and the universe.”

GIS plays a key role in NASA’s earth science research initiatives, which involve global efforts to monitor and study the factors of climate change. Esri technology supports collaboration between NASA and other organizations worldwide by providing a strong platform for sharing and analyzing geospatial data.

“GIS increases our understanding of the world around us through the visualization of information,” says Stennis Space Center environmental GIS lead Kelly Boyd. “Esri’s ArcGIS platform provides the tools to leverage this understanding each day to inform decisions in our work.”

The NASA Langley Research Center pioneered the use of GIS in facilities management to reorganize its 800-acre campus to cut costs while fully supporting existing activities, a move that could save hundreds of millions of dollars in the coming years across NASA and other facilities.

To learn more about Esri government ELAs, visit esri.com/ela.

[Source: Esri press release]

Visual and Spatial Modes in Science Learning

International Journal of Science Education, Vol. 31 (February 2009), pp. 301-318

Jayashree Ramadas

“This paper surveys some major trends from research on visual and spatial thinking coming from cognitive science, developmental psychology, science literacy, and science studies. It explores the role of visualisation in creativity, in building mental models, and in the communication of scientific ideas, in order to place these findings in the context of science education research and practice.”

Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Landfill Leachate Characteristics at Trail Road Landfill Site

M.A.Sc. thesis, University of Ottawa, 2010, 107 pages

Mohammad Hafizur Rahman

“This study is conducted at the Trail Road Landfill, located in Nepean, Ontario, Canada. The objective is to investigate the leachate characteristics of changing spatial-temporal patterns in a landfill groundwater environment by comprehensive analyses of annual spatial data.

“Exploratory statistical data analysis identified the association of B (boron) with K, NH3 and TKN. Raster layers (maps) are created based on the concentrations of required variables in each time interval (year). In this study, it is notable that the raster data layers are used instead of discrete well data.

“Several change detection methods are applied to determine the spatial and temporal changes of B and its associated variables and to identify the well locations where the changes occurred. These included post-classification visualization, principal component analysis, standard deviation and unsupervised classification (clustering) methods. The suitability of these methods is also discussed. The results determined that during the 1993-95 time period the concentrations of B and its associates was initially increasing, and then decreased substantially.

“In summary, the study analysed characteristics of pollutants in landfill site groundwater environmental monitoring by using raster data in different change detection methods, and discussed the suitability of the applied methods. The same methodology and analysis techniques can be applied to other variables in similar environmental monitoring studies.”

Children’s Views on Child-friendly Environments in Different Geographical, Cultural and Social Neighbourhoods

Urban Studies, March 2010; vol. 47, 3: pp. 514-528., first published on November 18, 2009

Maria Nordström

“The aim of this study was to determine how the dimensions in a theoretical framework for environmental child-friendliness developed by Horelli apply to responses about child-friendly environments from 12-year-old children living in geographically, culturally and socially different urban neighbourhoods. Children’s written responses to the question of what they find to be a child-friendly city have been analysed according to these dimensions. The results show that three of the dimensions in particular apply to the children’s responses: ‘safety and security’, ‘urban and environmental qualities’ and ‘basic services’. However, other dimensions of that framework, containing more abstract phenomena, do not seem to apply to these children’s environmental experiences. A child-friendly perspective on cities, with children’s age in mind, seems to involve a local perspective on environment, a result that indicates a need for change in current city planning practice.