Temporal Analysis of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Land Surface Temperature (LST) Parameters to Detect Changes in the Iberian Land Cover between 1981 and 2001

International Journal of Remote Sensing, Vol. 32, No. 7, 10 April 2011, 2057–2068


“In past decades, the Iberian Peninsula has been shown to have suffered vegetation changes such as desertification and reforestation. Normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and land surface temperature (LST) parameters, estimated from data acquired by the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) sensor onboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) satellite series, are particularly adapted to assess these changes. This work presents an application of the yearly land-cover dynamics (YLCD)methodology to analyse the behaviour of the vegetation, which consists of a combinedmultitemporal study of the NDVI and LST parameters on a yearly basis.Throughout the 1981–2001 period, trend analysis of the YLCD parameters emphasizes the areas that have endured the greatest changes in their vegetation. This result is corroborated by results from previous studies.”

Poland Implements Esri-Based INSPIRE Solution

Spatial Data and Services Will be Accessible throughout the Country

The Head Office of Geodesy and Cartography in Poland (GUGiK) is implementing an Esri-based solution to support compliance with the European Union’s Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe (INSPIRE) Directive. The directive sets out a framework and timetable for implementing a pan-European spatial data infrastructure (SDI) to address multinational and multi-agency issues. GUGiK is the central state administration unit responsible for national policy related to geodesy and cartography.

Esri’s ArcGIS technology will be used to create GUGiK’s GeoPortal2, a project designed to improve access to government datasets and provide mapping and survey services to other government agencies, citizens, and businesses.

GeoPortal2 includes Esri’s ArcGIS for INSPIRE product as well as software from Esri business partner con terra GmbH. The project is being implemented by Esri distributor ESRI Polska sp. z o.o.; Esri partner GISPartner; and the largest IT company in the country, Asseco Poland SA.

GeoPortal2 is scheduled to be completed in November 2012 and will include

  • Geographic names and addresses throughout Poland
  • Integrated and unified distribution of spatial data services defined by the INSPIRE Directive
  • Streamlined and improved data maintenance
  • Digital archive of spatial data for the central registry of data
  • Uniform maintenance on all orders of data products and services
  • More accurate monitoring of distributed resources

“ESRI Polska is excited by this opportunity and fully committed to working with GUGiK to implement this strategic project successfully,” says Lech Nowogrodzki, president, ESRI Polska. “We look forward to making a real difference to the development of Poland’s, and Europe’s, SDI.”

Passed by the member states of the European Union and the European Parliament, INSPIRE’s goal is to tie European geospatial information producers and users together into a single community to improve decision making and operations for a productive and sustainable Europe.

For more information about ArcGIS for INSPIRE, visit esri.com/INSPIRE.

[Source: Esri press release]

Using Decision Tree to Develop a Soil Ecological Quality Assessment System for Planning Sustainable Construction

Expert Systems with Applications: An International Journal, Volume 38 Issue 5, May 2011

Joonhong Park, Dongwon Ki, Kangsuk Kim, Suk Jun Lee, Dong Ha Kim, Kyong Joo Oh

“Soil ecology is the foundation of the entire biosphere and plays a significant role in global ecosystems. Soil ecology is important in the decision-making aspects of mega-construction projects. Despite its significance, soil ecological quality is not normally included in environmental impact assessments for sustainable development. This study develops and presents a new expert system to assess soil microbial diversity as an indicator of soil ecology quality using decision tree (DT) algorithms and GIS (geographic information system)-based spatial analysis. Our modeling results show that forward and backward DT models provide development-oriented and conservation-oriented information maps. To resolve potential conflicts by the different model predictions, a new mapping approach was developed for identifying strict conservation and potential development areas. These results suggest that the newly developed soil ecological quality assessment system can be used for planning mega-construction projects.”

Spatial Analysis of Contraceptive Use and Unmet Need in Kenya

MEASURE Evaluation PRH, Working Paper Series, April 2011

Remare R. Ettarh

“Objective:The objective of this study was to examine the geographical variation in the use of modern contraceptive use and unmet need for family planning across Kenya and in Nairobi slums, and to identify associated individual and contextual determinants.

“Methods: Data were obtained for women aged between 15-49 years from the 2008-09 Kenya Demographic Health Survey (DHS) and the Maternal and Child Health Project (2007-09) of the Nairobi Urban Health and Demographic Surveillance System (NUHDSS). Multilevel logistic regression was used to identify associated determinants of modern contraceptive use and unmet need, and spatial techniques used to map prevalence at district and village level for the national and slum data respectively.

“Results: Significant variation in the prevalence of modern contraceptive use and unmet need was found among districts in Kenya. Age, educational attainment, parity, and household wealth were associated with contraceptive use and unmet need across Kenya and in Nairobi slums.

“Conclusion: The geographical variation in modern contraceptive use and unmet need in Kenya suggests that unidentified district-level factors influence these outcomes and need to be the focus of strategies to address the low prevalence across parts of the country.”

Sacramento Opens Redistricting to Citizens via Free Online App

Esri Technology Enables the Public to Create and Propose District Scenarios

The City of Sacramento, California, is opening its redistricting process to the public with the help of a free online tool built on Esri technology. Now through May 16, the City of Sacramento Redistricting Online application enables anyone to develop new district boundaries for consideration by the city’s redistricting citizen advisory committee, which will make recommendations to the city council.

“By offering a central place to create and submit plans, we can expand participation and communicate the objectives and challenges of redistricting,” says Maria MacGunigal, City of Sacramento IT manager. “Our goal is to make sure the community has the ability to develop a plan in a timely manner that works for both the citizens and the council.”

Sacramento IT staff worked with Esri to create the customized app based on Esri Redistricting, a comprehensive web-based redistricting solution, which was released in February and is also available as Software as a Service (SaaS). The Sacramento app enables users to redraw district boundaries to meet new population targets while keeping communities intact and adhering to federal, state, and city requirements. The online platform allows plans to be shared and revised before submission, enabling collaboration among citizen groups.

“Sacramento played a key role in developing a version of the solution that provides basic redistricting tools for citizens,” says Larry Boden, Esri professional services chief technology officer. “The easy-to-use interface and simple workflow are geared toward guiding non-GIS users through the process.”

Upon the release of the 2010 US Census data in March, the app was configured to include the latest official population and demographic information before its public launch on April 4. It is available for a six-week period ending on the May 16 public plan submission deadline.

Sacramento has a history of progressive efforts to engage citizens and leverage GIS technology to improve efficiency and services. In the previous redistricting cycle, in 2001, the city sought public input by offering a free GIS-based desktop redistricting tool, since online offerings were not yet widely embraced. MacGunigal says strong participation and positive feedback from that experience created an expectation of continued public involvement in redistricting, supporting the decision to offer an online app.

For information on Sacramento’s redistricting process, visit www.cityofsacramento.org/redistricting. To learn more about Esri Redistricting and sign up for a free 30-day trial, visit esri.com/redistricting.

[Source: Esri press release]

Macroscopic Cellular Automata for Groundwater Modelling: A First Approach

Environmental Modelling & Software, Volume 26 Issue 5, May 2011

G. Ravazzani, D. Rametta, and M. Mancini

“A groundwater model representing two-dimensional flow in unconfined aquifers is presented. The model is based on the paradigm of macroscopic cellular automata, that represents dynamical systems which are discrete in space and time, operate on a uniform regular lattice and are characterised by local interactions. Physically based equations are implemented to simulate the flow of water between adjacent cells. The model was validated against solutions of simple problems in both steady state and transient state conditions including analytical solutions and simulations performed with the MODFLOW-2000 model. The developed code is simple enough to facilitate its integration into other models such as land-surface models. The good performance without detriment to accuracy makes the model adequate to perform long simulation time analysis.”

OGC Seeks Participants for 3D Portrayal Interoperability Experiment

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) is launching a 3D Portrayal Interoperability Experiment (IE) on 26 May 2011 to advance best practice for implementing standards for publishing and streaming 3D geospatial assets related to urban planning and landscape visualization.

The 3D Portrayal IE will focus on the use of recently developed draft 3D portrayal service interface specifications within the context of the OGC standards baselines. These are the Web 3D Service (W3DS), which streams geospatial 3D models using interactive web formats, and the Web View Service (WVS), which generates images of projective views on massive, complex 3D worlds.

Objectives for the 3D Portrayal IE are to test and further develop these services and workflows that support rapid visualization of extremely large and complex 3D geodata. Such services and workflows are anticipated to be major building blocks of spatial data infrastructures. The IE will include digital landscape models, city models, and interior models, e.g., in the CityGML data format, as well as different client configurations such as thin clients and web portals. The IE will clarify the specifics of 3D portrayal services; provide best practices and guidelines for their implementation, integration, and usage; and directly support current standardization efforts.

The 3D Portrayal IE is initiated by OGC members Hasso Plattner Institute at the University of Potsdam, GIScience Group at the University of Heidelberg, and Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics Research.

A summary of the activity plan, requirements for participation, schedule, and kick-off meeting details are available at  http://www.opengeospatial.org/projects/initiatives/3dpie. Expressions of interest in participating are due by 22 May 2011.

Contact Benjamin Hagedorn (Benjamin.Hagedorn@hpi.uni-potsdam.de) for further details or to register as a participant.

OGC testbeds, pilot projects and interoperability experiments are part of the OGC’s Interoperability Program, a global, hands-on collaborative prototyping program designed to rapidly develop, test and deliver proven candidate specifications into the OGC’s Standards Program, where they are formalized for public release.

An OGC Interoperability Experiment is a rapid, low-overhead, formally structured OGC-facilitated activity, where members achieve specific technical objectives that further the OGC Technical Baseline. A key outcome of this activity will be an OGC Engineering Report.

[Source: OGC press release]