Updated Demographics Data Now Available in the Windows Azure Marketplace

Variables from Esri’s Updated Demographics (2010/2015) data are now available from the Windows Azure Marketplace DataMarket. Demographic data categories such as population, income, and households enable market analysts to accurately research small areas and make better, more informed decisions.

Developed with industry-leading, benchmarked methodologies, Esri’s Updated Demographics data identifies areas of high unemployment, activity in the housing market, rising vacancy rates, reduced consumer spending, changes in income, and increased population diversity. The data variables ensure that analysts can conduct their research with the most accurate information available, particularly for fast-changing areas.

Esri created Updated Demographics data to give market analysts the most accurate small-area analysis at any geographic level. The accuracy of this data helped Esri identify the beginning of the bursting housing bubble and subprime mortgage crisis a full two years before the market collapsed.

“Esri pays close attention to economic and social trends and how they influence the needs of businesses, consumers, and citizens,” says Lynn Wombold, chief demographer and manager for data development at Esri. “The challenge of the current market underscores the importance of using accurate information for analyses.”

ArcGIS technology used in the Windows Azure Marketplace DataMarket is based on ArcGIS API for Silverlight.

For more information, visit esri.com/azure/datamarket. For more information about Esri’s Updated Demographics, visit esri.com/demographicdata.

[Source: Esri press release]

Standards-Based Coastal Sensor Web

IEEE International Conference on Data Mining Workshops, 15-19 December 2008

Durbha, S.S.; King, R.L.; Younan, N.H.; Rajender, S.A.; Bheemireddy, S.;

“Coastal buoys and stations provide frequent, high quality marine observations for oceanographic study, weather service, atmospheric and public safety. Sharing of the generated data sets requires tremendous efforts and coordination among the different sensor network agencies to come to a shared understanding and for dissemination in a uniform way. Syntactic standardization provides data description models that are agreed upon by all the stakeholders. In addition, there is a need for semantic enrichment of the information sources which would help to understand the context of the data and helps to resolve the meaning, interpretation or usage of the same or related data. The standardized data models facilitate improved information retrieval on a variety of Spatiotemporal scales. In this paper we describe the mining of these information sources through a Web services based framework. The sensor observation service component of this framework allows operations such as spatial, temporal subsetting, filtering etc. Further, the terminology involved in the coastal domain is being conceptualized in the form of Ontology. The knowledgebase being developed using this ontological model is amenable to querying using SPARQL which is a standardized RDF query language. The knowledge-enabled client being developed will allow to process queries on the coastal sensors networks that goes beyond the prevalent key words based searches.”

Spatio-temporal Footprints in Online Social Networks

Spatio-Temporal Constraints on Social Networks Workshop, University of California, Santa Barbara, Center for Spatial Studies, 13-14 December 2010

Linna Li

“Society is comprised of many different types of social networks on various levels. Social networks play a critical role in achieving goals and solving problems. While traditional social networks only existed within a very limited geographical distance (e.g., villages) constrained by temporal factors, modern technology—especially the growth of the Internet and cell phones—has greatly reduced the spatio-temporal limitations on human communication. People who live on different continents in different time zones can interact with each other using phones, emails, and websites. Particularly, online social networks provide an effective channel to enhance existing social networks and to initiate new ones. Facebook, for example, offers services to create profiles, add friends, and exchange information. Twitter, on the other hand, provides a platform to share and discover “what is happening right now?” Social network websites have been an alternative and complementary form of social networks with a growing number of users.”

First-ever Global Map of Surface Permeability Informs Water Supply, Climate Modelling

University of British Columbia researchers have produced the first map of the world outlining the ease of fluid flow through the planet’s porous surface rocks and sediments.

The maps and data, published Friday in Geophysical Research Letters, could help improve water resource management and climate modelling, and eventually lead to new insights into a range of geological processes.

“This is the first global-scale picture of near-surface permeability, and is based on rock type data at greater depths than previous mapping,” says Tom Gleeson, a postdoctoral researcher with the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences.

Using recent world-wide lithology (rock type) results from researchers at the University of Hamburg and Utrecht University in the Netherlands, Gleeson was able to map permeability across the globe to depths of approximately 100 metres. Typical permeability maps have only dealt with the top one to two metres of soil, and only across smaller areas.

“Climate models generally do not include groundwater or the sediments and rocks below shallow soils,” says Gleeson. “Using our permeability data and maps we can now evaluate sustainable groundwater resources as well as the impact of groundwater on past, current and future climate at the global scale.”

A better understanding of large scale permeability of rock and sediment is critical for water resource management–groundwater represents approximately 99 per cent of the fresh, unfrozen water on earth. Groundwater also feeds surface water bodies and moistens the root zone of terrestrial plants.

“This is really an example of mapping research from a new, modern era of cartography,” says Gleeson. “We’ve mapped the world, peering well below the surface, without ever leaving our offices.”

The study’s maps include a global map at a resolution of 13,000 kilometres squared, and a much more detailed North American map at a resolution of 75 kilometres squared.

The research also improves on previous permeability databases by compiling regional-scale hydrogeological models from a variety of settings instead of relying on permeability data from small areas.

[Source: University of British Columbia press release]