Abstracts Sought for GIS-Pro 2012: URISA’s 50th Annual Conference for GIS Professionals

URISAURISA is pleased to announce its milestone 50th year of fostering education and professional connections at its annual conference. GIS-Pro 2012: URISA’s 50th Annual Conference for GIS Professionals will take place September 30 to October 4, 2012 in Portland, Oregon.

The committee welcomes the submission of individual papers, complete sessions, luncheon presentations, panels, and lightning talks and has proposed a list of suggested topics for consideration (note that all abstracts received will be reviewed and considered for the conference program regardless of the list below):

Data and Applications of GIS

  • Data storage: cloud or in-house; new methods for compression; data de-duplication
  • Basemap updating/maintenance
  • Maps in the Cloud
  • Transportation & Transit (planning/mapping/management)
  • Addressing
  • Map communication: how to not make the “normal” mistakes


  • Open Source
  • Architecture
  • Server Technology/Cloud Computing
  • Leveraging the Tablet Explosion
  • Mobile Applications

Leadership and Management

  • GISP Certification
  • Esri ArcGIS Certification
  • Education: how to cope with reduction in budgets and still keep your people on top of the fast-paced changes

User and Business User

  • GIS Return on Investment (ROI)
  • Business process reengineering
  • GIS in the First Nations /Tribal Agencies
  • Reflections on the Past 50 years of URISA
  • GIS in the Social Sciences
  • “New” Uses for GIS
  • Geospatial Future
  • GIS in the Pacific Northwest

Abstract submissions will be accepted until Friday, February 17, 2012. Abstract submissions should include a presentation title and descriptive abstract text not to exceed 250 words.

URISA is pleased to welcome the Northwest GIS Users’ Group as co-host of GIS-Pro 2012.

The link to the Call for Presentations and general conference information is:  http://www.urisa.org/gispro2012

[Source: URISA press release]

Mapping Alteration Minerals at Malmbjerg Molybdenum Deposit, Central East Greenland, by Kohonen Self-organizing Maps and Matched Filter Analysis of HyMap Data

International Journal of Remote SensingInternational Journal of Remote Sensing, Vol. 33, No. 4, 20 Feb 2012

Enton Bedini

“The Malmbjerg molybdenum deposit in central East Greenland is a world-class porphyry molybdenum deposit. The porphyry molybdenum deposit occurs within a granite stock intruded into sedimentary rocks. The Malmbjerg molybdenum deposit is associated with a pronounced zone of hydrothermal alteration. The reflectance spectra of rock samples from the Malmbjerg alteration assemblage show absorption features of a number of minerals including topaz, jarosite, goethite, muscovite, phengite, epidote, chlorite and smectite. This study investigated the Malmbjerg alteration assemblage using airborne imaging spectrometer data recorded by the HyMap imaging system. The HyMap data were analysed using an unsupervised classification based on Kohonen self-organizing maps and partial spectral unmixing based on the matched filter algorithm. The mapping results show the spatial distribution of jarosite, goethite, phengite, epidote/chlorite, smectite, topaz and non-altered sediments. The remote-sensing mapping results bring new information for the alteration assemblage at Malmbjerg, especially for the occurrence and the spatial distribution of a phengite zone in the altered sediments overlying the molybdenum deposit and for the propylitic alteration zone. The study is an example of detailed characterization by imaging spectrometry of alteration assemblages associated with porphyry molybdenum deposits. This research also shows the potential of imaging spectrometry as a tool for geological mapping and exploration in the Arctic regions of East Greenland.”

Mapping the Supply Chain of Anti-malarial Drugs in Sub-Saharan African Countries

IJLSMInternational Journal of Logistics Systems and Management, Volume 11, Issue 1, 2012

Hokey Min

“With malaria emerging as one of the deadliest infectious diseases for young children and women in Sub-Saharan African countries, a growing number of healthcare organisations and government authorities have increased their relentless efforts to control malaria epidemics in Africa. One of the causes for malaria epidemics is the lack of accessibility to anti-malarial drugs that results from archaic logistics infrastructure, inefficient distribution channels and disruptive black markets in Africa. This paper identifies factors that either enhance or hinder the accessibility of anti-malarial drugs to African population sectors vulnerable to malaria epidemics. In addition, it develops a comprehensive supply chain map that reveals the labyrinths of the African logistics infrastructure, distribution channels, government regulations and business customs. Based on this supply chain map, this paper proposes various supply chain strategies that improve the access of anti-malarial drugs and reduce the possibility of drug supply chain disruptions.”

Estimation of Epidemic Model Parameters: A Spatial Analysis using Bayesian Techniques

Emory UniversityDissertaion, Doctor of Philosophy, Biostatistics, Emory University, 2011

Jeffrey M. Switchenko

“Infectious disease models attempt to evaluate the effects on the spread and transmission of disease. One particular model, the susceptible-infected-recovered (SIR) model, places individuals into classes of disease progression, where a series of differential equations tracks the rates of transmission and recovery for a given disease through a susceptible population. Two parameters, the transmission parameter and the recovery parameter, drive the dynamics of the model, and their ratio, R0, is the average number of cases caused by one infectious individual within a completely susceptible population. R0 is seen as one of the most important quantities in the study of epidemics, and signals how quickly a particular disease can spread amongst a susceptible population. Previous analyses have focused primarily on tracking these epidemic disease parameters over time, and classifying individuals due to baseline differences which reflect heterogeneity within the population. For example, these differences can be based on age, gender, vaccination status, or behavior.

Estimates for R0 across Baltimore using the following set of xed R0 values: f1:0; 1:1; 1:2g, f1:3; 1:4; 1:5g, f1:6; 1:7; 1:8g, f1:9; 2:0; 2:1g

Estimates for R0 across Baltimore using the following set of xed R0 values: f1:0; 1:1; 1:2g, f1:3; 1:4; 1:5g, f1:6; 1:7; 1:8g, f1:9; 2:0; 2:1g

“However, we choose to quantify the spatial heterogeneity that exists in spatially-referenced data in an effort to define core areas of disease rates and transmission. We first consider geographically weighted regression (GWR) models in an effort to assess the spatial variability that exists between disease rates and baseline tract- level characteristics which can define core disease areas. Next, we build hierarchical Bayesian models which incorporate random effects structures, inducing correlation in local estimates of disease transmission with exchangeable random effects, which smooth local estimates based on global averages, and conditionally autoregressive (CAR) random effects, which smooth local estimates based on neighboring estimates. We extend a chain binomial model to predict the spread of disease, while considering two different parameterizations of the chain binomial model, and simulate outbreaks to assess model performance. In addition, we extend a general epidemic model, which incorporates aspects of frailty models in assessing heterogeneity within the population. Through our modeling approaches, we are able to identify cores areas for the transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in Baltimore, Maryland from 2002-05.”

A Practical Review of Geostatistical Processing Applied to Geophysical Data: Methods and Applications

Geophysical ProspectingGeophysical Prospecting, published online 09 January 2012

Matthieu Bourges, Jean-Luc Mari, and Nicolas Jeannée

“Nowadays, geostatistics is commonly applied for numerous gridding or modelling tasks. However, it is still under used and unknown for classical geophysical applications. This paper highlights the main geostatistical methods relevant for geophysical issues, for instance to improve the quality of seismic data such as velocity cubes or interpreted horizons. These methods are then illustrated through four examples. The first example, based on a gravity survey presents how a geostatistical interpolation can be used to filter out a global trend, in order to better define real anomalies. In the second case study, dedicated to refraction surveying, geostatistical filtering is used to filter out acquisition artefacts and identify the main geological structures. The third one is an example of porosity being integrated geostatistically with a seismic acoustic impedance map. The last example deals with geostatistical time to depth conversion; the interest of performing geostatistical simulations is finally discussed.”

Analysis of the Relation between Spatial Structure and the Sustainable Development Level: A Case Study from Mashhad, Iran

Proceedings of the Eighth International Space Syntax Symposium, Santiago, PUC, 2012


“This research aims to study the relation between spatial structure and sustainable development level with the case of Mashhad, a city at the north‐east of Iran. The literature suggests that there is a positive relation between socio‐economic processes and the spatial form in a city, thus in order to comprehend socio‐economic processes, understanding the spatial form of the city is essential. Also the socio‐economic relations in different parts of a city can indicate sustainable development level of the areas by which the development indicators could be assessed.  In order to study this relation, 136 neighbourhoods in Mashhad have been examined in which space syntax is used to study the spatial structure of the city and factor analysis is used to identify sustainable development level. In this study 20 indicators in different subjects including social, economic, physical, environmental, and welfare are combined and are considered in the analysis as the indicator of the quality development.

Mashhad socio‐economic condition

Mashhad socio‐economic condition (Farnahad, 2009)

“The results suggest that there is a positive correlation between local integration and integration r‐r with the changes in sustainable development level; however, this is not the case for global integration. Thus, one of the main reasons for having inequality in socio‐economic conditions in different parts of the city could be a heterogeneous spatial structure in the city.”

Climate Change and Human Health: Spatial Modeling of Water Availability, Malnutrition, and Livelihoods in Mali, Africa

Applied GeographyApplied Geography, Volume 33, April 2012

Marta M. Jankowska, David Lopez-Carr, Chris Funk, Gregory J. Husak, and Zoë A. Chafe


  • Trend and sigma analysis of climate change in the Sahel is performed.
  • DHS malnutrition of children in Mali is modeled with climate and livelihood zones.
  • Both climate and livelihoods are significant for malnutrition.
  • Climate and demographic trends are projected to 2025 and future impacts are assessed.
  • A moving climatically driven vulnerability front-line is identified.

“This study develops a novel approach for projecting climate trends in the Sahel in relation to shifting livelihood zones and health outcomes. Focusing on Mali, we explore baseline relationships between temperature, precipitation, livelihood, and malnutrition in 407 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) clusters with a total of 14,238 children, resulting in a thorough spatial analysis of coupled climate-health dynamics. Results suggest links between livelihoods and each measure of malnutrition, as well as a link between climate and stunting. A ‘front-line’ of vulnerability, related to the transition between agricultural and pastoral livelihoods, is identified as an area where mitigation efforts might be usefully targeted. Additionally, climate is projected to 2025 for the Sahel, and demographic trends are introduced to explore how the intersection of climate and demographics may shift the vulnerability ‘front-line’, potentially exposing an additional 6 million people in Mali, up to a million of them children, to heightened risk of malnutrition from climate and livelihood changes. Results indicate that, holding constant morbidity levels, approximately one quarter of a million children will suffer stunting, nearly two hundred thousand will be malnourished, and over one hundred thousand will become anemic in this expanding arid zone by 2025. Climate and health research conducted at finer spatial scales and within shorter projected time lines can identify vulnerability hot spots that are of the highest priority for adaptation interventions; such an analysis can also identify areas with similar characteristics that may be at heightened risk. Such meso-scale coupled human-environment research may facilitate appropriate policy interventions strategically located beyond today’s vulnerability front-line.”

Quantitative and Spatial Analysis of Fluvial Erosion in relation to Morphometric Attributes of Sarujharna Basin, East Singhbhum, Jharkhand

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF GEOMATICS AND GEOSCIENCESInternational Journal of Geomatics and GeosciencesInternational Journal of Geomatics and Geosciences, Volume 2, No 1, 2011

Sandipan Ghosh

“Being  the  south­eastern part  of famous Chotanagpur Plateau  of India, the Sarujharna Basin  is deemed  to be  considered  as a  small museum of Indian geology and  geomorphology. On the tectonically stable and  frequently modified Dhanjori Highlands (south­west of Singhbhum Shear Zone, copper belt) rivers like Sankh, Netra, Sarujharna, Jou, Gara  etc. crave  out  several geomorphic  architects (youth­old  phase)  which signify the  variable  intensity of fluvial  erosion. Having  different magnitude  of rock  résistance and  spatial variability of forest  cover, the  monsoonal wet­ dry type  of climate  plays a crucial role in  hillslope erosion and channel erosion.

Erosion intensity map

Erosion intensity map

“The  present article emphasizes on the  spatial distribution and  quantification of fluvial erosion taking  drainage  basins and slope facets as an ideal geomorphic unit. Side by side, to realize the pattern of erosion we have focused on surface runoff, length of overland flow, constant of channel maintenance, hillslope  erosion model, length and  number  of 1st order  stream which are  the  indirect morphometric measurements of normal erosion. Along with it Geographical Information System (GIS) is used to depict the physical appearance of erosion in thematic maps.”

Integrating Remotely Sensed Data, GIS and Expert Knowledge to Update Object-based Land Use/Land Cover Information

International Journal of Remote SensingInternational Journal of Remote Sensing, Vol. 33, No. 4, 20 Feb 2012

Zhi Huang and Xiuping Jia

“Remote-sensing technology provides a powerful means for land use/land cover (LU/LC) monitoring at global and regional scales. However, it is more efficient and effective to combine remote-sensing measurements with a geographic information system (GIS) database and expert knowledge for change updating than to use remote-sensing technology alone. In this article, these different sources of information are integrated in the proposed framework, which is able to provide rapid updating of LU/LC information. An object-based data analysis is adopted for thematic mapping, taking both spectral and spatial properties into consideration. An expert knowledge coding is introduced and combined quantitatively with other evidence provided by remotely sensed data and the GIS database. A case study using Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) datasets demonstrated an overall successful LU/LC map updating and a satisfactory change detection using the proposed change-updating framework.”

Social Housing: Introducing Spatial Analysis to Andean Communities

IAACInstitute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, Master in Advanced Architecture 2011-12

Diana Leon

““Architecture become a brainwashing work, the whole way of thinking has been already conditioned” (LEACH, 2011). The legacy of modern functionalism is recognized in the universal formulas applied to architecture. However; the next design agenda should be structured in the dynamic network of societies. The contemporary tasks require specific studies of the systems to generate coherent interactions.

“Design answers should preserve the unique character and sense of the places. Generic solutions came from general assumption of the problems, which is not real. Social patterns and spatial process are interaction forces highly define by the environment and the time. For this reason the comprehension of how people work together with the form and function gives particular variations that should be organized and shaped by the architecture.

“The aim of this paper is to study how logics and functions of the space should be properly introduced before designing architectural strategies. The present research is based on the analysis of the cultural, social, economic and environmental configurations in the Andean unplanned settlements in Ecuador. These studies show that the mentioned settlements have complex systems of social and environmental interactions based on the cultural and economic configuration of the communities. The complexity of the spatial layouts constitutes the conceptual framework for architectural strategies. For this reason the spatial configuration analysis is an important tool to diagnostic how people conceive and work on living places. In the same way, the social and spatial image of the Andean settlements should be projected in social housing solutions and in the articulation plans between unplanned settlements and urban areas.”