Spatio-temporal Analysis of Mortality Among Children Under the Age of Five in Manhica (Mozambique) During the Period 1997-2005

International Journal of Health Geographics, 2011, 10:14

Georgia Escaramis, Josep L Carrasco, John J Aponte, Delino Nhalungo, Ariel Nhacolo, Pedro Alonso and Carlos Ascaso

“Background: Reducing childhood mortality is the fourth goal of the Millennium Development Goals agreed at the United Nations Millennium Summit in September 2000. However, childhood mortality in developing countries remains high. Providing an accurate picture of space and time-trend variations in child mortality in a region might generate further ideas for health planning actions to achieve such a reduction. The purpose of this study was to examine the spatio-temporal variation for child mortality rates in Manhica, a district within the Maputo province of southern rural Mozambique during the period 1997-2005 using a proper generalized linear mixed model.

“Results: The results showed that childhood mortality in all the area was modified from year to year describing a convex time-trend but the spatial pattern described by the neighbourhood-specific underlying mortality rates did not change during the entire period from 1997 to 2005, where neighbourhoods with highest risks are situated in the peripheral side of the district. The spatial distribution, though more blurred here, was similar to the spatial distribution of child malaria incidence in the same area. The peak in mortality rates observed in 2001 could have been caused by the precipitation system that started in early February 2000, following which heavy rains flooded parts of Mozambique’s southern provinces. However, the mortality rates at the end of the period returned to initial values.

“Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that the health intervention programmes established in Manhica to alleviate the effects of flooding on child mortality should cover a period of around five years and that special attention might be focused on eradicating malaria transmission. These outcomes also suggest the utility of suitably modelling space-time trend variations in a region when a point effect of an environmental factor affects all the study area.”

ArcGIS Online Basemaps Now Freely Available Regardless of Use

High-Quality, Ready-to-Use Basemaps for Your GIS Projects and Web Applications

As of the end of January, ArcGIS Online basemaps published and hosted by Esri are now freely available to all users regardless of commercial, noncommercial, internal, or external use. This means that you no longer have to pay a subscription fee for including ArcGIS Online basemaps in your commercial-use web applications.

Basemaps included in this new business model are World Imagery Map, World Street Map, World Topographic Map, USA Topographic Maps, and DeLorme World Basemap. The only restriction is a high-volume transaction limit of 50,000,000 transactions in a 12-month period, which is equivalent to 400,000,000 tile requests per year, or over 1,000,000 per day – a volume that most likely very few users will reach.

If you are concerned about reaching the high-volume level in a 12-month period, please contact the Esri regional office in your area to discuss alternatives. Local, state, and federal government users are not affected by this change. They can continue to make unlimited use of ArcGIS Online basemaps regardless of transaction volume. Developers also have unlimited access to ArcGIS Online basemaps for development and testing purposes via the ArcGIS Web Mapping APIs.

Read the ArcGIS Online blog to get the latest news and updates.

[Source: Esri announcement]

A Folksonomy-Based Recommendation System for the Sensor Web

Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 2011, Volume 6574/2011, 64-77

Rohana Rezel and Steve Liang

“This paper introduces a folksonomy-based recommendation system for the worldwide Sensor Web which aims to aid users to deal with the terabytes of data that are generated by the sensors. We demonstrate how folksonomies could be adopted for the Sensor Web and other geospatial applications dealing with large volumes of data, by exploiting the geospatial information associated with three key components of such collaborative tagging systems: tags, resources and users. We propose algorithms for: i) suggesting tags for users during the tag input stage; ii) generating tag maps which provides for serendipitous browsing; and iii) personalized searching within the folksonomy. We experimentally evaluate our algorithms using an existing large dataset. An implementation of the folksonomy for the emerging Sensor Web platform is also presented.”

Global Prediction of Abyssal Hill Root-mean-square Heights from Small-scale Altimetric Gravity Variability

Journal of Geophysical Research, Vol. 115, No. B12, B12104, 18 December 2010

John A. Goff

“Abyssal hills, which are pervasive landforms on the seafloor of the Earth’s oceans, represent a potential tectonic record of the history of mid-ocean ridge spreading. However, the most detailed global maps of the seafloor, derived from the satellite altimetry-based gravity field, cannot be used to deterministically characterize such small-scale (<10 km) morphology. Nevertheless, the small-scale variability of the gravity field can be related to the statistical properties of abyssal hill morphology using the upward continuation formulation. In this paper, I construct a global prediction of abyssal hill root-mean-square (rms) heights from the small-scale variability of the altimetric gravity field. The abyssal hill-related component of the gravity field is derived by first masking distinct features, such as seamounts, mid-ocean ridges, and continental margins, and then applying a newly designed adaptive directional filter algorithm to remove fracture zone/discontinuity fabric. A noise field is derived empirically by correlating the rms variability of the small-scale gravity field to the altimetric noise field in regions of very low relief, and the noise variance is subtracted from the small-scale gravity variance. Suites of synthetically derived, abyssal hill formed gravity fields are generated as a function of water depth, basement rms heights, and sediment thickness and used to predict abyssal hill seafloor rms heights from corrected small-scale gravity rms height. The resulting global prediction of abyssal hill rms heights is validated qualitatively by comparing against expected variations in abyssal hill morphology and quantitatively by comparing against actual measurements of rms heights. Although there is scatter, the prediction appears unbiased.”

Navy Federal Credit Union Adopts GIS for Branch Expansion

Esri Business Analyst and Data Will Help Analyze Growth, Product Offerings

Navy Federal Credit Union, the world’s largest credit union, headquartered in Vienna, Virginia, has licensed Esri Business Analyst software and an extensive array of business data to support its expansion strategy over the next several years. First organized in 1933 with only seven members, Navy Federal has grown to more than 3.6 million members and $44 billion in assets. To meet membership growth demands, the credit union will leverage the Business Analyst platform to optimize its network of bank branches and decide on a distribution strategy for financial services products.

Navy Federal will use Business Analyst to gain a better understanding of its members and competition as it looks to identify expansion opportunities. The credit union wanted to ensure that it had a solution that was able to provide different modeling scenarios, such as the effects of cannibalization on existing branches.

Its field of membership includes all US Department of Defense personnel and contractors, other US government personnel assigned to or stationed at the Department of Defense installation, and family members of both.

“Navy Federal is a shining example of how businesses that know their community well can apply geographic knowledge to serve them even better,” says Simon Thompson, director of commercial business at Esri. “This innovative organization has built a business based on loyalty, service, and understanding client needs. Working together, we have created an ideal match between two companies that have the same client and employee values.”

Navy Federal is currently implementing Business Analyst along with Esri’s Traffic Counts and Banking Potential datasets. Esri partner 4CTechnologies, located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is providing training to staff members, as required by Navy Federal, to ensure that they are able to apply the technology to their marketing analysis regardless of software experience levels.

For more information on how commercial businesses use geographic information system (GIS) technology, visit

[Source: Esri press release]

The Applications of Model-based Geostatistics in Helminth Epidemiology and Control

Advances in Parasitology, 2011; 74:267-96.

Magalhães RJ, Clements AC, Patil AP, Gething PW, and Brooker S.

“Funding agencies are dedicating substantial resources to tackle helminth infections. Reliable maps of the distribution of helminth infection can assist these efforts by targeting control resources to areas of greatest need. The ability to define the distribution of infection at regional, national and subnational levels has been enhanced greatly by the increased availability of good quality survey data and the use of model-based geostatistics (MBG), enabling spatial prediction in unsampled locations. A major advantage of MBG risk mapping approaches is that they provide a flexible statistical platform for handling and representing different sources of uncertainty, providing plausible and robust information on the spatial distribution of infections to inform the design and implementation of control programmes. Focussing on schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis, with additional examples for lymphatic filariasis and onchocerciasis, we review the progress made to date with the application of MBG tools in large-scale, real-world control programmes and propose a general framework for their application to inform integrative spatial planning of helminth disease control programmes.”

Geostatistical Approach for Operating Speed Modelling on Italian Roads

4th International Symposium on Highway Geometric Design, 02-05 June 2010, Valencia, Spain

A.Mazzella, F.Pinna, and C.Piras

“Injuries are one of the main causes of death according to W.H.O. For this reason the attention of road safety researchers especially regards the study of the relationship between driver and road environment.

“Several research works show that operating speed is an excellent driver behavior parameter. This article describes a different approach to the classical definition of prediction models for operating speed on horizontal curves. In this paper, the fundamental theories, the applied operating procedures and the first results obtained with the application of Geostatistics are discussed. The mathematical models expressing operating speed in function of horizontal curves characteristics found in International scientific literature, have mainly been built on the basis of Classical Statistics. For this reason, it needs to be pointed out that the interpolative techniques found in Classical Statistics are based upon the use of canonical forms (linear or polynomial regressions) that completely ignore the correlation law between collected data. As such, the determined interpolation stems from the assumption that the data represent a random sample.

“The models described in this article have instead been created with the geostatistical interpolation technique (i.e. Kriging). This technique allows to obtain the “best” estimates possible because it considers the true correlation law between the measured data.

“The applied methods are then described along with the results obtained in the field of road safety by applying Geostatistics which, for several years, have been used, with positive results, in all scientific and engineering fields dealing with empirical data analysis and processing.”

Free Esri Widget Embeds Mapping in IBM Lotus and WebSphere Mashups

The new Map Widget for ArcGIS is available for IBM Lotus Greenhouse and WebSphere Portal Business Solutions Catalog users. It allows them to embed mapping and geographic information system (GIS) capabilities in mashup applications. The map widget can be used within IBM products such as the IBM Mashup Center and IBM WebSphere Portal Server.

“Map Widget for ArcGIS is an Enterprise 2.0 solution,” says Josh Lewis, director, Esri Partner Network. “It provides a direct link between two enterprise ecosystems: IBM’s Lotus and WebSphere Portal and Esri’s ArcGIS Online maps and services.”

Developers and end users can employ the map widget to create easy-to-use, highly visual enterprise mashups that display dynamic business information on interactive maps. The widget does not require programming and is entirely configurable. The end user has the ability to change basemaps and connect to ArcGIS services as well as combine the map widget with other widgets and portlets.

For example, within a single portal environment, an organization can use the widget to configure a spatially enabled, operational dashboard with multiple maps for monitoring and managing distinct assets distributed across multiple locations.

The widget is based on ArcGIS API for JavaScript and adheres to IBM’s iWidget specification. The download includes an optimized, compiled widget ready for deployment, user documentation, and license text.

Developers can obtain the source code released under the open source Apache license, version 2.0, directly from ArcGIS Online.

[Source: Esri press release]

Social Network Interaction among Nested Sets in Dynamic Contexts: Disaster Operations as a Laboratory for Social Change

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

Louise K. Comfort

“Disaster operations represent a classic laboratory for the study of social network interactions that are constrained by both space and time and that involve multiple modes of communication. Further, these interactions vary significantly at different levels of authority, capacity, and severity of damage to the affected community. At each level of operation, differences in resources, number of skilled personnel, extent of prior knowledge, and experience affect significantly the frequency and type of interactions among organizations in a given community as well as access to outside sources of assistance, and potential strategies for reducing risk and minimizing losses.”