A Visualization Method for Geographic Conceptual Modelling

Annals of GIS, Volume 17, Issue 1, 01 March 2011

Min Chen; Hong Tao; Hui Lin; Yongning Wen

“Because of the difficulty in sharing of modelling conceptions, the complexity of modelling methods, the difficulty of cooperative modelling for experts in different domains and so on, many problems have arisen during the geographic conceptual modelling process. A formalization and visualization method of geographic conceptual modelling is studied in this article for solving these problems. With respect to the traditional entity-relationship model, two issues are studied in this article: one is the establishment of a supporting system, in which the expression methods of geographic concept, the use of geographic conceptual icons as well as the designing methods are illustrated in detail. The other step is using the former to build geographic conceptual models as follows: the concept of geo-entities is represented by geographic conceptual icons and the concept of relationships between geo-entities is represented by directed lines; then geographic conceptual models can be built by dragging those elements into a geographic conceptual scenario in a guided way. Moreover, the geographic conceptual scenarios can be saved as templates for reuse and further modification. Experiments have shown that compared with traditional graphical conceptual modelling methods, apart from enhancing the intelligence of the modelling environment and promoting the visual ability during conceptual modelling process, this approach can also support conceptual model sharing and knowledge reuse.”

Enhancing Citizen Science Participation in Geoweb Projects through the Instance-based Data Model

Proceedings of Spatial Knowledge and Information – Canada (SKI-Canada) 2011, March 3-6 in Fernie, BC, Canada

Roman Lukyanenko, Jeffrey Parsons, and Yolanda Wiersma

“The increased popularity of user-supplied content on the Internet provides an opportunity to convert volunteered user information into a scientifically viable resource. Geoweb is a technology that combines geographic and user supplied data online. Yet, broader participation by members of the public in Geoweb is often constrained by varied levels of domain expertise of potential project participants. Further, if a Geoweb project is to have scientific utility, an additional constraint maybe placed upon participation – conformity with conceptual requirements of a given scientific domain. In this paper we propose an instance-based model of data collection and citizen science knowledge integration with scientific domain. To test the assumptions of the model, we propose an experiment to: (1) test of the applicability of basic level categories to citizen science observations and (2) to determine if subjects are able to describe a phenomenon using a small number of observable features.”

Rutgers Study Maps the Status of Barnegat Bay’s Seagrass Bed

Seagrass bed in Barnegat Bay shows sign of scars from boat propeller. Photo Credit: Scott Haag.

Density of seagrass beds are a key indicator of the health of the bay

Concern about the health of New Jersey’s Barnegat Bay is a hot button issue in New Jersey’s coastal zone. Governor Christie’s administration has embarked on an ambitious agenda to clean up the bay. Over-enrichment of nutrients from watershed runoff and atmospheric deposition has led to algal blooms, increasing turbidity and an overall degradation of the bay’s water quality.

“One of the Bay’s key resources that have suffered in recent years is the bay’s seagrass beds. These beds serve as habitat and food source for fish, shellfish, crabs and seabirds and are sensitive indicators of the overall health of the Bay,” explains Richard Lathrop Jr., director of the Rutgers Center for Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis (CRSSA).

Lathrop presented his findings on May 12 at the Barnegat Bay State of the Bay Conference held at Ocean County College, in Toms River, New Jersey. The conference was hosted by the Barnegat Bay Partnership, a partnership of federal, state, municipal, academic, business and private organizations working to restore and enhance the Barnegat Bay ecosystem. The partnership, one of 28 National Estuary Programs throughout the United States, is administered by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

For the study, Lathrop collaborated with Scott Haag, formerly with the Jacques Cousteau National Estuarine Research Reserve, using boats along the bay in addition to conducting surveys using aerial photography during the summer of 2009 to assess the status and trends of Barnegat Bay’s seagrass beds.

“The study has some good and bad news,” said Lathrop. “The good news is that the mapping showed the overall area of seagrass beds were similar in 2009 as compared to an earlier study conducted in 2003. Some sections of the Bay lost seagrass while others gained seagrass back. The bad news is that there is some indication that the densest beds have declined in area.”

Lathrop notes that this decline in the density of the seagrass beds is a cause for concern and underlines the need for increased mapping and monitoring to more conclusively assess the status and trends in seagrass coverage and density.

According to Michael J. Kennish, research professor at the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences (IMCS) at Rutgers, “Dr. Lathrop’s findings are significant, particularly the indication of nearly a 60% decline in the densest seagrass beds in the Barnegat Bay system.”

These research results are similar to the findings of an IMCS research team led by Kennish, which found that the aboveground biomass of seagrass beds in the bay from Tuckerton to Toms River declined by more than 87% in 2010 as compared to 2004.

The full report and an interactive seagrass map viewer are available at CRSSA’s website at http://crssa.rutgers.edu/projects/coastal/sav/.

[Source: Rutgers press release]