Spatial Analysis of Surveyed Perceptions of Safety, Crime, and Lighting: A College Campus Case Study

Masters Thesis, Appalachian State University, December 2010

James Shaw Waynick

“With recent crime incidents at universities highlighted through the media, campus safety is of increasing importance to universities today. This research examines spatiotemporal relationships between surveyed perceptions of safety, reported incidents of crime, and exterior lighting. A GIS was used to digitize data from student surveys into digital points. Spatial analysis tools were used to convert these points into an enhanced campus perception of safety density surface. These point data were analyzed with spatial statistics tools in the CrimeStat application to examine relationships between daytime, nighttime, sexes, and other spatiotemporal characteristics. The perception points were compared with actual campus crime locations and the spatial extent of exterior illumination. The daytime perception data yielded results primarily and unexpectedly related to foot-traffic and transportation safety while the nighttime data related to more classic safety concerns. Results from this study suggest a high level of clustering of perceptions of unsafe areas but these do not necessarily correlate with areas in which crime actually occurs. However, there were similarities between poor lighting conditions and unsafe perceptions. Results from this study may potentially be used to create a safer real and perceived environment for students as well as offer a more focused crime prevention régime.”

Carl Steinitz: A Framework for GeoDesign, 2011 Esri UC Preconference Seminar

Preconference Seminar at the 2011 Esri International User Conference in San Diego, CA

In this seminar, Dr. Carl Steinitz provides an in-depth overview of GeoDesign processes, looking at both rural and urban environments. He describes a framework for doing GeoDesign (design in geographic space) using six model types for assessing the geographic context, for proposing changes and for evaluating the consequences of those changes. He then shows how this framework and these models can be used to understand, plan and manage a variety of landuse/management projects. He presents nine different strategies for proposing change and shows how they can be applied to different problem types at different scales, discussing the pros and cons of each in different situations. The seminar provides the participants with the equivalent of a graduate level seminar on GeoDesign. This half day seminar will be held on Sunday 09 July 2011 from 1:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Level: All

Prerequisites: None

Audience: Land Use Managers, Environmental Planners, Urban and Regional Planners Natural Resource Managers, Landscape Architects

Fee: $165

About Dr. Carl Steinitz

Dr. Carl Steinitz, Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Landscape Architecture and Planning Emeritus, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University, has devoted much of his career to improving methods of landscape planning and design. Professor Steinitz has organized and taught collaborative, multidisciplinary, semester-long studios and many one- to four-day workshops on large and complex landscape change problems for more than 40 years at Harvard and at many other universities.

His interests are reflected in his teaching and research on landscape change, methods of landscape analysis, visual quality assessment, and design methodologies. In 1984, he received the Outstanding Educator Award of the Council of Educators in Landscape Architecture; he also received the 1996 Distinguished Practitioner Award from the International Association for Landscape Ecology (U.S.A.). He has been honored as an outstanding teacher by Harvard University.

Call for Papers: Special Issue of Revue Internationale de Geomatique on GeoDesign

GeoDesign represents a renewed approach to the design and planning of sustainable communities and provides a framework for addressing current urban and environmental problems. GeoDesign is an emerging concept that aims to address key issues that impact the planning and management of human settlement and activities. Carl Steinitz from the Harvard Graduate School of Design considers that «GeoDesign is geography by design ». GeoDesign is not really a new concept, but it was updated in December 2008 at a specialist meeting on «Spatial Concepts in GIS and Design1» organized by the US National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis. Following this meeting, two GeoDesign Summits took place in Redlands (CA), in January 2010 and 2011. GeoDesign was defined by Mike Flaxman (from MIT) as « a set of techniques and enabling technologies for planning built and natural environments in an integrated process, including project conceptualization, analysis, design specification, stakeholder participation and collaboration, design creation, simulation, and evaluation (among other stages). GeoDesign is a design and planning method which tightly couples the creation of design proposals with impact simulations informed by geographic contexts». T he creative, deliberative, uncertain, multiactors, multi-scale and multi-thematic process of GeoDesign needs an innovative theoretical basis, tools, supports and practices in order to fit its complex requirements. The main aim of this special issue of Revue Internationale de Géomatique is to explore GeoDesign as a new challenging field for geomatics methods and technologies. We encourage papers from multiple perspectives, technological and conceptual advances, practices, methodologies, research and education.

Submission Deadline:

30 Septmeber 2011

Topics to be Discussed in this Special Issue Include:

  • Participatory GeoDesign
  • Volunteered geographical information for GeoDesign
  • Sketch, inference and GeoDesign
  • Ontology for GeoDesign
  • Ethics and responsibility in GeoDesign
  • Aesthetics in GeoDesign
  • Spatial thinking in GeoDesign
  • Geospatial technologies and innovations for GeoDesign
  • Cross-cultural comparison of GeoDesign practices

Special Issue Scientific Committee:

  • Mike Batty, CASA, University College London
  • Nicholas Chrisman, Centre de recherche en géomatique, Université Laval and GEOIDE Network
  • Stephen Ervin, Graduate School Design, Harvard University
  • Mike Flaxman, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, MIT
  • Rob Feick, School of Environment, University of Waterloo
  • Florent Joerin, Centre de recherche en aménagement et développement, Université Laval
  • Thierry Joliveau, CRENAM CNRS, Université Jean Monnet, Saint-Etienne
  • François Golay, Lab SIG, EPFL, Lausanne
  • Sylvie Lardon, ENGREF, Clermont-Ferrand
  • Eric J. Miller, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Toronto
  • Mir Abolfazl Mostafavi, Centre de recherche en géomatique, Université Laval
  • Carlo Ratti, Senseable City Lab, MIT
  • Beverly A. Sandalack, Faculty of Environmental Design, University of Calgary
  • Stephen Sheppard, Collaborative for Advanced Landscape Planning, University of British Columbia
  • Frederick Steiner, School of Architecture, University of Texas at Austin
  • Geneviève Vachon, École d?Architectur e, Université Laval


  • Full papers submission: September 30, 2011
  • Notification of conditional acceptance: November 30, 2011
  • Final revised manuscripts due: January 30, 2012
  • Publication: March 2012

Publisher and Journal:


Penn State’s David DiBiase to Head Esri’s Education Team

Longtime GIS educator David DiBiase joins Esri as the director of education within the company’s Industry Solutions division. He succeeds current director, Dr. Michael Gould, who is returning to Europe to manage Esri’s education programs in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

DiBiase begins part-time consulting at Esri immediately and will assume leadership of the education team on August 1, 2011.

“I have followed the Esri education team with admiration for many years and look forward to contributing to its continued success as director,” says DiBiase.

DiBiase currently directs the John A. Dutton e-Education Institute within the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences at Pennsylvania State University. He is a senior lecturer in the university’s department of geography and faculty coordinator of its certificate and master of GIS degree programs, offered online through the university’s World Campus.

DiBiase has master of science and bachelor of science degrees in cartography from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He is both a certified mapping scientist, GIS/LIS (American Society for Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing) and a geographic information systems professional (GISP). DiBiase has written extensively on GIS, geography, and education for more than 20 years.

“We welcome David to the Esri campus,” says Lew Nelson, Esri’s industry solutions manager.  “With his extensive knowledge of GIS programs in higher education, I am sure he will soon make positive contributions to his team and the education community.”

[Source: Esri press release]

Spatial Analysis of Vicariance: A Method for Using Direct Geographical Information in Historical Biogeography

Cladistics, published online 26 April 2011

J. Salvador Arias, Claudia A. Szumik, and Pablo A. Goloboff

“Based on Hovenkamp’s ideas on historical biogeography, we present a method for analysis of taxon history, spatial analysis of vicariance, which uses observed distributions as data, thus requiring neither predefined areas nor assumptions of hierarchical relations between areas. The method is based on identifying sister nodes with disjunct (allopatric/vicariant) distributions. To do this across the tree, internal nodes are assigned distributions (as the sum of the distributions of the descendant nodes). When distributions are less than ideal, ignoring the distribution of the problematic node(s) when assigning a distribution to their ancestors may allow us to consider additional sister nodes (i.e. those resulting from splits basal to the problematic node) as having disjunct distributions. The optimality criterion seeks to find the best (possibly weighted) compromise between the maximum possible number of disjunct sister nodes and the minimum number of eliminated distributions. The method can also take overlap into account. The methodology presented is implemented in VIP, a computer program available at”