Spatial Analysis of Injury-related Deaths in Dallas County using a Geographic Information System

BUMC Proceedings, 2012, Vol 25, No. 3

Adil Abdalla, DVM, MS, Mark Gunst, MD, Vafa Ghaemmaghami, MD, Amy C. Gruszecki, DO, Jill Urban, MD,
Robert C. Barber, PhD, Larry M. Gentilello, MD, and Shahid Shafi, MD, MPH

“This study applied a geographic information system (GIS) to identify clusters of injury-related deaths (IRDs) within a large urban county (26 cities; population, 2.4 million). All deaths due to injuries in Dallas County (Texas) in 2005 (N = 670) were studied, including the geographic location of the injury event. Out of 26 cities in Dallas County, IRDs were reported in 19 cities. Geospatial data were obtained from the local governments and entered into the GIS.

Density of trauma-related deaths per square mile in Dallas County, Texas, in 2005

Density of trauma-related deaths per square mile in Dallas County, Texas, in 2005, showing GIS “hot spots” for trauma-related deaths due to gunshot wound (GSW, purple circle), homicide (gray circle), and motor-pedestrian collision (MPC, blue circle).

“Standardized mortality ratios (SMR, with 95% CI) were calculated for each city and the county using national age-adjusted rates. Dallas County had significantly more deaths due to homicides (SMR, 1.76; 95% CI, 1.54–1.98) and IRDs as a result of gunshots (SMR, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.09–1.37) than the US national rate. However, this increase was restricted to a single city (the city of Dallas) within the county, while the rest of the 25 cities in the county experienced IRD rates that were either similar to or better than the national rate, or experienced no IRDs. GIS mapping was able to depict high-risk geographic “hot spots” for IRDs. In conclusion, GIS spatial analysis identified geographic clusters of IRDs, which were restricted to only one of 26 cities in the county.”

Assessment of Land Degradation East of the Nile Delta, Egypt using Remote Sensing and GIS Techniques

Arabian Journal of GeosciencesArabian Journal of Geosciences, Published Online 23 March 2012

E. S. Mohamed, A. Belal and A. Saleh

“Land degradation is one of the most common issues in the eastern part of the Nile Delta area that threatens the ongoing agricultural activities and prohibits further reclamation expansions. The different degradation types and the associated risk assessment of some soils types of western Suez Canal region during the period from 1997 to 2010 is discussed. The assessment of the different degradation degrees in the investigated area has been carried out through integrating remote sensing, GIS and GLASOD approaches. Results revealed that the salinization, alkalization, soil compaction and water logging are the main types of land degradation in the area. The main causative factors of human induced land degradation types are; over irrigation, human intervention in natural drainage, improper time use of heavy machinery and the absence of conservation measurements. Low and moderately clay flats, gypsifferous flats, have high to very high risk in both salinization sodication and physical degradation. Values such as EC, ESP, and ground water level reach 104.0 dS/m, 176  % and 60 cm, respectively. These results will be of great help and be basic sources for the planners and decision makers in sustainable planning. The spatial land degradation model was developed based on integration between remote sensing data, geographic information system, soil characteristics and DEM.”

Anthropogenic Habitat Disturbance and Ecological Divergence between Incipient Species of the Malaria Mosquito Anopheles gambiae

PLoS ONEPLoS ONE 7(6): e39453, Published online 22 June 2012

Colince Kamdem, Billy Tene Fossog, Frédéric Simard, Joachim Etouna, Cyrille Ndo, Pierre Kengne1, Philippe Boussès, François-Xavier Etoa, Parfait Awono-Ambene, Didier Fontenille, Christophe Antonio-Nkondjio, Nora J. Besansky, and Carlo Costantini

“Background: Anthropogenic habitat disturbance is a prime cause in the current trend of the Earth’s reduction in biodiversity. Here we show that the human footprint on the Central African rainforest, which is resulting in deforestation and growth of densely populated urban agglomerates, is associated to ecological divergence and cryptic speciation leading to adaptive radiation within the major malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae.

Larval habitats of the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae in the rainforest of Cameroon.

Larval habitats of the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae in the rainforest of Cameroon.

“Methodology/Principal Findings: In southern Cameroon, the frequency of two molecular forms–M and S–among which reproductive isolation is strong but still incomplete, was correlated to an index of urbanisation extracted from remotely sensed data, expressed as the proportion of built-up surface in each sampling unit. The two forms markedly segregated along an urbanisation gradient forming a bimodal cline of ~6-km width: the S form was exclusive to the rural habitat, whereas only the M form was present in the core of densely urbanised settings, co-occurring at times in the same polluted larval habitats of the southern house mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus–a species association that was not historically recorded before.

“Conclusions/Significance: Our results indicate that when humans create novel habitats and ecological heterogeneities, they can provide evolutionary opportunities for rapid adaptive niche shifts associated with lineage divergence, whose consequences upon malaria transmission might be significant.”

New Book Details Benefits of Geodesign in Planning

Geodesign: Case Studies in Regional and Urban PlanningGeodesign: Case Studies in Regional and Urban Planning, a new book from Esri, is an important addition to the growing body of knowledge contributing to our understanding of the geodesign process.

“Geodesign provides a new way of thinking that integrates science and analysis into the design process,” says author Shannon McElvaney, project manager at Esri. “It gives designers robust tools that support the rapid evaluation of different designs and visualization of the probable impacts of those design alternatives. Ultimately, the geodesign process helps us move from designing around nature to designing with it.”

Geodesign: Case Studies in Regional and Urban Planning presents case studies from around the world that exemplify the key steps, processes, and technologies crucial to geodesign. The book illustrates the burgeoning need today for simulating the impact of design decisions in near real time, enabling decision makers to meet or exceed goals of sustainability, regulatory compliance, cost reduction, or social equity. The book will be of particular interest to urban planners, geographers, and landscape architecture faculty and students.

Geodesign: Case Studies in Regional and Urban Planning (ISBN: 978-1-58948-316-3, 160 pages, US$19.95) is available at online retailers worldwide, at, or by calling 1-800-447-9778. Outside the United States, visit for complete ordering options, or visit to contact your local Esri distributor. Interested retailers can contact Esri Press book distributor Ingram Publisher Services.

[Source: Esri press release]

Spatial Analysis of Urban Edges in Arab Historic Walled Cities: Alexandria as a Case Study

Planning PerspectivesPlanning Perspectives, Volume 27, Issue 3, 2012

Nabil Mohareb and Robert Kronenburg

“Defensive walls in historic cities represent an urban edge between the old fabric and adjacent urban growth layers. Through history, the wall functioned as a main defensive element of the city, forming an urban edge for both accessibility and socio-cultural activities. It is only comparatively recently that its function has been altered. Despite this fact, walls continue to influence the surrounding fabric and affect city inhabitants’ daily life. This article aims to understand the urban edges formed by defensive walls of Arab historic walled cities in general and Alexandria City in particular. It proposes a preliminary classification framework to analyse the type of spatial configuration on both sides of the wall and their degree of interaction. The analysis focuses on the defensive wall’s footprint and its cumulative effect through history on the adjacent urban fabric. A greater understanding of the impact of historic city walls on urban patterns would inform the regeneration plans of these sites and contribute to improving and sustaining their relationship with the surrounding context.”

Using Image Analysis and ArcGIS to Improve Automatic Grain Boundary Detection and Quantify Geological Images

Computers & GeosciencesComputers & Geosciences, Available online 15 June 2012

Michael A. DeVasto, Dyanna M. Czeck, and Prajukti Bhattacharyya


  • We use an integrated method to rock texture image analysis and spatial statistics.
  • Semi-automatic digitalization of images uses readily available software.
  • Software used includes Adobe Creative Suite 5, Arc ModelBuilder, and ArcMap.
  • Rock textures digitized into ArcMap allow textural quantification and statistics.
  • The method is quick, economical, user-friendly, and pertinent to many applications.

“Geological images, such as photos and photomicrographs of rocks, are commonly used as supportive evidence to indicate geological processes. A limiting factor to quantifying images is the digitization process; therefore, image analysis has remained largely qualitative. ArcGIS, the most widely used Geographic Information System (GIS) available, is capable of an array of functions including building models capable of digitizing images. We expanded upon a previously designed model built using Arc ModelBuilder to quantify photomicrographs and scanned images of thin sections.

“In order to enhance grain boundary detection, but limit computer processing and hard drive space, we utilized a preprocessing image analysis technique such that only a single image is used in the digitizing model. Preprocessing allows the model to accurately digitize grain boundaries with fewer images and requires less user intervention by using batch processing in image analysis software and ArcCatalog.

“We present case studies for five basic textural analyses using a semi-automated digitized image and quantified in ArcMap. Grain Size Distributions, Shape Preferred Orientations, Weak phase connections (networking), and Nearest Neighbor statistics are presented in a simplified fashion for further analyses directly obtainable from the automated digitizing method. Finally, we discuss the ramifications for incorporating this method into geological image analyses.”

Abstracts Sought for 17th Annual GIS/CAMA Technologies Conference

URISAThe International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO) and the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) are pleased to announce the 17th Annual GIS/CAMA (Geographic Information Systems / Computer-Assisted Mass Appraisal) Technologies Conference, to be held March 4-7, 2013 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

The conference committee, composed of IAAO and URISA members, will develop the educational program after a thorough review of abstract submissions received through the Call for Presentations. Three overall themes will be used to organize the educational sessions:

  • Get It Done – At a time when budgets and staff sizes are dwindling, getting your work done better and more efficiently is critical.  Presentations in this track are designed to give you ideas for improving processes from field data collection to data integrity.
  • Run the Numbers – Accurate and equitable valuations are the cornerstone of an assessment office.  Learn new ways of analyzing data and take away the lessons learned from statistical models that are being used all over the world.
  • Serve It Up – Public confidence can rise and fall based on the effective sharing and communication of property data and values with taxpayers, businesses, and other entities.  Let peers show you how they have stepped up to the challenge and changed the ways or methods they utilize, display, and communicate data.

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

  • Modeling unstable markets using advanced techniques
  • Funding assessment operations and projects
  • Mobile technology in action
  • Raising public understanding – New ways of showing the public what we do and how we do it
  • Best practices and lessons learned
  • Technology implementations
  • GIS in Crisis – Sharing data instantly using GIS when nature wreaks havoc
  • For Better or For Worse – Keeping staff engaged in the face of cutbacks and other workforce development challenges
  • ROI – Resource or technology investments that paid off
  • On the Up and Up – Tales of recovery after economic or natural disaster
  • The best idea we had this year was…
  • Mineral rights – big business or bust?
  • Public data versus privacy rights
  • Utilizing GIS tools for appeals
  • Going viral – using YouTube and other social media
  • Parcel Numbering
  • Web interfaces – from electronic submission of appeals to comparable sales maps for public use
  • Statistical models for commercial property
  • Personal property from PCs to wind farms
  • Utilizing GIS for change detection
  • Geospatial valuation tips and tricks
  • GIS in the ‘Cloud’
  • The value of ‘Green’ construction
  • Technology and Customer Service
  • Special Assessments, Surrogate Taxes, and Alternative Funding Mechanisms
  • Using GIS to Support Personal Property Assessments
  • Housing Development Trends (alternative housing, rental market, combined households, tiny houses, new development)
  • Nondisclosure and Property Value Discovery Techniques
  • Geospatial Standards Panel Discussion
  • Organizational models for IT and GIS services to Assessment (where do staff sit and who do they report to?)
  • Land Record integration with CAMA/GIS
  • Getting all the Building permits in a timely manner (working with all your jurisdictions)
  • Implementing the subparcels – what it means to CAMA and GIS
  • CAMA Models using SPSS, blame it on the statistics!
  • Zoning as a new type of neighborhood?
  • Multiple source data verification (imagery, GIS, CAMA) to support assessments.
  • Modern workflows:  where we’ve come from and where we are going?

Abstract submissions will be accepted until October 5, 2012. The link to the Call for Presentations and general conference information is:

[Source: URISA press release]