An Assessment of Land Conservation Patterns in Maine Based on Spatial Analysis of Ecological and Socioeconomic Indicators

Environmental Management, Volume 45, Number 5, 1076-1095

Christopher S. Cronan, Robert J. Lilieholm, Jill Tremblay, and Timothy Glidden

“Given the nature of modern conservation acquisitions, which often result from gifts and opportunistic purchases of full or partial property rights, there is a risk that the resulting mosaic of conserved resources may not represent a coherent set of public values and benefits. With different public and private entities engaged in land conservation, one would further expect that each organization would apply separate goals and criteria to the selection and acquisition of its conservation portfolio. This set of circumstances raises an important question: what is the aggregate outcome of this land conservation process? Retrospective assessments provide a means of reviewing cumulative historical decisions and elucidating lessons for improving future conservation strategies. This study used GIS-based spatial analysis to examine the relationships of private and public conservation lands in Maine to a variety of landscape metrics in order to determine the degree to which these lands represent core ecological and socioeconomic values that are meaningful to a wide cross-section of citizens. Results revealed that the gains of past conservation efforts in Maine are counter-balanced to some extent by apparent gaps in the existing fabric of conservation holdings. Conservation lands capture a representative sample of diverse habitat, provide a large measure of protection for multiple conservation values and indicators, and offer an unusual mix of outdoor recreational opportunities for residents and visitors alike. Yet, the majority of parcels are relatively small and isolated, and thus do not provide contiguous habitat blocks that offset ongoing processes of landscape fragmentation. Furthermore, the majority of area associated with many of the ecological metrics examined in this report is located outside the boundaries of current conservation holdings. The under-represented metrics identified in this investigation can be viewed as potential targets for new strategic conservation initiatives.”

Primary Syphilis Cases in Guangdong Province 1995-2008: Opportunities for Linking Syphilis Control and Regional Development

BMC Public Health 2010, Published 30 December 2010

Li-Gang Yang, Joseph Tucker, Bin Yang, Song-Ying Shen, Xi-Feng Sun, Yong-Feng Chen, and Xiang-Sheng Chen

“Background: Syphilis cases have risen in many parts of China, with developed regions reporting the greatest share of cases. Since syphilis increases in these areas are likely driven by both increased screening and changes in sexual behaviors, distinguishing between these two factors is important. Examining municipal-level primary syphilis cases with spatial analysis allows a more direct understanding of changing sexual behaviors at a more policy-relevant level.

“Methods: In this study we examined all reported primary syphilis cases from Guangdong Province, a southern province in China, since the disease was first incorporated into the mandatory reporting system in 1995. Spatial autocorrelation statistics were used to correlate municipal-level clustering of reported primary syphilis cases and gross domestic product (GDP).

“Results: A total of 52,036 primary syphilis cases were reported over the period 1995-2008, and the primary syphilis cases increased from 0.88 per 100,000 population in 1995 to 7.61 per 100,000 in 2008. The Pearl River Delta region has a disproportionate share (44.7%) of syphilis cases compared to other regions. Syphilis cases were spatially clustered (p = 0.01) and Moran’s I analysis found that syphilis cases were clustered in municipalities with higher GDP (p = 0.004).

“Conclusions: Primary syphilis cases continue to increase in Guangdong Province, especially in the Pearl River Delta region. Considering the economic impact of syphilis and its tendency to spatially cluster, expanded syphilis testing in specific municipalities and further investigating the costs and benefits of syphilis screening are critical next steps.”

A New Framework to Define Familiar Strangers in Online Social Networks: Spacio-temporal Challenges

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


“With the exponential growth of social networks of Internet the identity of an individual has become numerical and thus diffused in both time and space dimensions. We cannot ignore that online social network has become a new platform for people to communicate and interact with each other. In our study we propose to focus on the Familiar Stranger notion in order to adapt it to virtual communities such as online social networks and micro blogging platforms. Familiar Strangers are critical in the understanding of our society (as they can become friend easily) and interesting for a lot of improvement of our community. In this study we propose to adapt and improve the actual formalization of Familiar Stranger applied to Social Networks by injecting both time and spatial constraint. This framework opens on some applications such as identifying the set of Familiar Strangers (FS) of a given micro-blogger in twitter.”

Accessing Data from Sensor Observation Services: The sos4R Package

Daniel Nust, 17 January 2011

“The sos4R package provides simple yet powerful access to OGC Sensor Observation Service instances. The package supports both encapsulation and abstraction from the service interface for novice users as well as powerful request building for specialists.

“sos4R is motivated by the idea to close the gap between the Sensor Web and tools for (geo-)statistical analyses. It implements the core pro le of the SOS speci cation and supports temporal, spatial, and thematical filtering of observations. This document briefy introduces the SOS specication. The package’s features are explained extensively: exploration of service metadata, request building with fi lters, function exchangeability, result data transformation.

“The package is published under GPL 2 license within the geostatistics community of 52 North Initiative for Geospatial Open Source Software.”

Explore the Role of Crowdsourcing for Emergency Management

Redlands GIS Week Attendees Will Identify Best Practices in Volunteered Geographic Information

Thought leaders from academia, government, and industry will gather at Esri headquarters in Redlands, California, February 8–10, 2011, for the second annual Redlands GIS Week. The event will focus on the future of volunteered geographic information (VGI) and how it can be integrated into applications built with geographic information system (GIS) technology.

Attendees will take part in advancing the partnership of VGI and GIS technology into multiple decision-making workflows—from citizen science to emergency response to social media applications.

To start the week, two keynote speakers will share their experiences with GIS and VGI. The first speaker is Michael Goodchild, professor of geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and director of the university’s Center for Spatial Studies, who coined the term volunteered geographic information. The title of his presentation is It’s About Time: The Temporal Dimension in VGI. Lorant Czaran of the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs will present Coordinating Response: United Nations Platform for Space-Based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER).

In addition, attendees will have several opportunities to share ideas and applications for VGI with leading geospatial professionals. Guest speakers, demonstrations, and Lightning Talks will foster dialog and debate about advancing geospatial solutions throughout various industries. It is expected that 100 researchers from sponsoring institutions will attend and participate in group discussions, while other researchers will discuss and present the practical aspects of VGI.

Redlands GIS Week is cosponsored by the University of Redlands, the University of Southern California, and Esri. There is no cost to attend. For more information, visit

[Source: Esri press release]

Free Webinar: Timely, Accurate Decision Making Using ArcGIS and Lidar

02 February 2011, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. PST

Attend a free webinar to learn how to get the most out of lidar data using ArcGIS. Hear about airborne data and products that are valuable for GIS, along with recommended workflows for managing and disseminating the data.

Benefits of the upcoming event include the following:

  • Learn how to integrate lidar data into your data production and advanced design processes.
  • Find out how to reduce data duplication and manage lidar information efficiently.

Learn how to save time by working in one GIS environment.

Register Now

Relevance of Time Geography to Spatio-Temporal Constraints on Social Networks

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

Shih-lung Shaw

“Hägerstrand’s time geography examines human activities under various constraints in a space-time context (Hägerstrand, 1970). Space and time are connected through the concept of space-time path that tracks an individual’s sequence of activities at different locations over time. The space-time prism concept, on the other hand, delimits a feasible spatiotemporal opportunity space that an individual could conduct his/her activities under capability, authority, and coupling constraints. Although time-geographic concepts were developed mainly for human activities in physical space, these concepts are relevant and applicable to human activities in virtual space enabled by information and communication technologies (ICT) such as the Internet and mobile phones. For example, people who do not have access to a smartphone face more capability constraints on social networking than those who have a smartphone with an unlimited data plan. Different social networks often have their own policies on user access, information sharing, among others. These are examples of authority constraints. Instant chats still require all parties involved be available online at the same time, which represent a coupling constraint. It is clear that time-geographic concepts have potential of helping us gain better understanding of spatio-temporal constraints on social networks. However, some classical time-geographic concepts need to be modified and extended to accommodate the changing nature and characteristics of human activities and interactions in virtual space.”