Highly Anticipated Events Scheduled For GIS-Pro 2011 in Indianapolis

GIS-Pro 2011: URISA’s 49th Annual ConferenceA number of events will be featured at GIS-Pro 2011: URISA’s 49th Annual Conference taking place November 1-4, 2011 in Indianapolis. An “All Things Geospatial” evening Ignite session, Lightning Talks, an OpenStreetMap Lab, Esri Technical Workshops and User Group Meeting, and a DevMeetUp are all on the program this year.  In addition to full-day URISA Certified Workshops, peer presentations and invited speakers and panelists, URISA is also hosting a working group during the conference to develop the final tier of the Geospatial Technology Competency Model for the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). This tier will establish the competencies needed for GIS managers.

Conference Chair, Geney Terry, GISP noted that the educational content of the conference will “cover professional development, tools to measure the success of GIS like ROI and maturity models, state of the art technologies, geospatial industry trends, sharing of leadership experience, and cross-jurisdictional collaboration.  Several sessions will be conducted more like a training class and you will have information in your hands that you can take back to work and implement immediately. One area of the GIS profession that the conference has not focused on extensively in the past is the developer community, both application and web.  That’s changing this year.  We’ve included several sessions, both daytime breakout sessions and evening events, that will provide opportunities for developers to learn, collaborate, and network.  These sessions cover industry standard software and open source applications.”

URISA Certified Workshops, this year offered at no additional cost with your conference registration, will be presented on November 1. Attendees may choose one workshop to attend (note that some of the workshops are already nearing capacity):

  • Business Intelligence and Data Integration for the GIS Professional
  • Cartography and Map Design
  • 3D Geospatial: Project Implementation Methods and Best Practices
  • Open Source GIS
  • GIS Strategic Planning
  • Public Data, Public Access, Privacy and Security

Featured Sessions include:

One Government and Data Sharing – Vincent Hoong, Executive Director of the Singapore Land Authority will discuss in the Opening Keynote how they use a ‘one government’ approach to motivate agencies to work together and how they’ve developed a policy framework to successfully guide data sharing.

Thought Leaders Panel – Executives from a variety of national and international corporations that use GIS to solve their own problems will tell you why they decided to use GIS, and how they convinced their organizations to invest in geospatial data and technology.

Geospatially Enabling Decision-making – Find out how the Kansas Legislature is integrating geospatial data and location into the process of making laws.  You’ll gain ideas about how to geospatially enable your own state or provincial legislatures, county commissions, municipal councils, tribal councils, or any deliberative body.

Recognize the 2011 GIS Hall of Fame inductees, Exemplary Systems in Government and URISA Service Award winners during the Awards Breakfast; network at the GISP and Young Professional receptions; and expand your professional community at the various social events during the conference. Sponsors/Exhibitors are a focus for the conference, with the general sessions and meals taking place in the same ballroom as the exhibition.

GIS-Pro 2011 will take place at the new JW Marriott Indianapolis which has already garnered customer satisfaction awards since opening in February. Discounted rooms are being offered for only $139 (including internet access), but the offer is only valid until October 7.

Visit the conference website at www.gis-pro.org for complete program and registration details and follow the conference on twitter (#gispro2011).

[Source: URISA press release]

A Multiscale Geographic Object-based Image Analysis to Estimate Lidar-measured Forest Canopy Height using Quickbird Imagery

International Journal of Geographical Information Science International Journal of Geographical Information Science, Volume 25, Issue 6, 2011

Gang Chen, Geoffrey J. Hay, Guillermo Castilla, Benoît St-Onge, and Ryan Powers

“Lidar (light detection and ranging) has demonstrated the ability to provide highly accurate information on forest vertical structure; however, lidar data collection and processing are still expensive. Very high spatial resolution optical remotely sensed data have also shown promising results to delineate various forest biophysical properties. In this study, our main objective is to examine the potential of Quickbird (QB) imagery to accurately estimate forest canopy heights measured from small-footprint lidar data. To achieve this, we have developed multiscale geographic object-based image analysis (GEOBIA) models from QB data for both deciduous and conifer stands. In addition to the spectral information, these models also included (1) image-texture [i.e., an internal-object variability measure and a new dynamic geographic object-based texture (GEOTEX) measure that quantifies forest variability within neighboring objects] and (2) a canopy shadow fraction measure that acts as a proxy of vertical forest structure. A novel object area-weighted error calculation approach was used to evaluate model performance by considering the importance of object size.

(a) A sample area in the study site, and the SCRM-derived segmentation boundaries overlaid on the corresponding area with the mean object size (MOS) of (b) 0.04 ha, (c) 0.36 ha, (d) 1.00 ha, (e) 4.00 ha, and (f) 6.00 ha.

“To determine the best object scale [i.e., mean object size (MOS)] for defining the most accurate canopy height estimates, we introduce a new perspective, which considers height variability both between- and within-objects at all scales. To better evaluate the improvements resulting from our GEOBIA models, we compared their performance with a traditional pixel-based approach. Our results show that (1) the addition of image-texture and shadow fraction variables increases the model performance versus using spectral information only, especially for deciduous trees, where the average increase of R 2 is approximately 23% with a further 1.47 m decrease of Root Mean Squared Error (RMSE) at all scales using the GEOBIA approach; (2) the best object scale for our study site corresponds to an MOS of 4.00 ha; (3) at most scales, GEOBIA models achieve more accurate results than pixel-based models; however, we note that inappropriately selected object scales may result in poorer height accuracies than those derived from the applied pixel-based approach.”

Space-time Confounding Adjusted Determinants of Child HIV/TB Mortality for Large Zero-inflated Data in Rural South Africa

Spatial and Spatio-temporal Epidemiology, Available online 18 July 2011

Eustasius Musenge, Penelope Vounatsou, and Kathleen Kahn

“South Africa has the greatest burden of HIV/TB, with a prevalence of 17% and 2.1 million AIDS orphans. We used data from Agincourt located in rural northeast South Africa, collected longitudinally over the years 2000 and 2005. A total of 187 deaths were observed from 16,844 children aged 1-5 years coming from 8,863 households. In this paper we employ two zero inflated models adjusting for household spatiotemporal random effects using Bayesian inference. Bayesian zero inflated spatiotemporal models were able to detect hidden patterns within the data. Our main finding was that maternal orphans were almost thrice at greater risk of HIV/TB death compared to those with living mothers (AHR=2.93, 95% CI[1.29;6.93]). Risk factor analyses which adjusts for person, place and time enables policy makers to use estimates and maps for interventions. We conclude saying child survival is dependent on the mother’s survival and advocate for policies that promote maternal longevity.”