Esri Press Publishes Collection of Geospatial Lessons for Universities

SpatiaLABS from Esri Press

SpatiaLABS from Esri Press.

SpatiaLABS Teach College Students Spatial Thinking and Analysis Skills

SpatiaLABS from Esri Press are independent computer lab activities that introduce, enhance, and reinforce spatial reasoning and analytic skills that apply to a variety of disciplines. Students working with SpatiaLABS use mapping technology and visualization tools, including Esri’s ArcGIS software, to solve real-world problems.

The unique lab activities focus on teaching students how to approach a spatial problem rather than the mechanics of geospatial tools. Covering a broad range of subjects, SpatiaLABS include more than 50 titles such as Forest Planning for Sensitive Wildlife Species, Impacts of Sea Level Rise and Storms on Manhattan, Predicting West Nile Virus Outbreaks, and Customer Profiling: Demographic and Lifestyle Segmentation.

“I introduced all the topics from the [SpatiaLABS] description list to the class and then let the students pick the material they were interested in. I was intrigued with how devoted students became to doing these labs and how hard they were willing to work to discover the meaning of the information,” says Dave Skiles, GIS program coordinator, Front Range Community College.

Delivered on DVD, the labs are provided in editable file formats to allow educators to customize each lab for their specific courses or include local data if desired. The level of difficulty and time to complete each lab varies, providing a range of materials instructors can use to accommodate students with different abilities and interests.

SpatiaLABS are available for an annual site license fee. To learn more and to order, visit or call 1-800-447-9778. Outside the United States, visit to contact your local Esri distributor.

[Source: Esri press release]

Spatial Analysis of Multibeam Acoustic Data for the Prediction of Marine Substrates and Benthic Communities in Temperate Coastal Waters

34th International Symposium on Remote Sensing of Environment, Sydney, Australia, 10-15 April 2011

V. Lucieer, N. Hill, N. Barrett, and S. Nichol

“The combined use of acoustic backscatter and bathymetric data generated by multibeam echo-sounders provides a powerful tool to investigate substrate characteristics at fine spatial scales across large areas. New methods are now required to assess the links between the identification of physical substrate classes from multibeam data with visually classified classes from AUV data.

Multibeam sonar image of Hippolyte Rocks, Tasman Peninsula with survey lines for underwater video and AUV

Multibeam sonar image of Hippolyte Rocks, Tasman Peninsula with survey lines for underwater video and AUV

“In this paper, we use statistical algorithms to describe the patterns between the physical covariates derived from both the multibeam data, and substrate type observed in AUV images. We then use these relationships to predict substrate type and describe the biological biotopes across the mapped extent of south eastern Tasmania.”

URISA Invites Comments on the Geospatial Management Competency Model

URISAURISA invites experienced geospatial professionals of all kinds – particularly those with management experience – to review and comment on a draft Geospatial Management Competency Model (GMCM). Reviews by GIS professionals, professional surveyors, photogrammetrists and remote sensing scientists, programmers and application developers who specialize in geospatial applications, educators with specialized expertise in Geographic Information Science and Technology, and others whose work relies on geospatial technologies and data analysis are all welcome to participate.

A URISA Task Force prepared the draft for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (DOLETA). Reviews will be reported to the Task Force and DOLETA, and will used to refine and validate the GMCM. Reviewers who share contact information will also receive results of the public review as well as copies of the revised GMCM.

Links to the draft GMCM and an online questionnaire for reviewers are available at The questionnaire will remain open through March 31, 2012.

The Geospatial Management Competency Model (GMCM) specifies 74 essential competencies and 17 competency areas that characterize the work of most successful managers in the geospatial industry.

The GMCM builds upon DOLETA’s Geospatial Technology Competency Model, which specifies the foundational, industry-wide, and industry sector-specific expertise characteristic of the various occupations that comprise the geospatial industry (

URISA convened a task force composed of ten experienced geospatial managers and one facilitator at the 2011 GIS-Pro Conference in Indianapolis to produce the GMCM for the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration (DOLETA).

URISA’s qualifications to organize the GMCM effort include its nearly 50-year history as one of the founding organizations of the GIS profession, its successful organization of the GIS Certification Institute and the URISA Leadership Academy, and its healthy working relationships with other professional and scientific associations in the geospatial field through the Coalition on Geospatial Organizations (COGO).

[Source: URISA press release]