Esri Homeland Security Summit to Feature Expert Presentations, Demos, and Networking Opportunities

Esri logoIssues of National Importance Covered during July 21–24 Event in San Diego

The 2012 Esri Homeland Security Summit promises to provide a unique opportunity to collaborate with and learn from Esri’s public safety staff, partners, and users. The summit will be held July 21–24 at the Hilton Bayfront in San Diego, California.

The Plenary Session will feature these speakers:

  • Rick Driggers, chief technology officer, Department of Homeland Security
  • Carla Boyce, director, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) National Integration Center
  • Joe Adduci, senior GIS project manager, Argonne National Labs
  • Alexander Fuchs, information management officer, Frontex Situation Center
  • Mike Sena, director, Northern California Regional Intelligence Center, and president, National Fusion Center Association

“We’re emphasizing interaction with global homeland security and national defense professionals,” said Paul Christin, homeland security industry manager, Esri. “We want people to connect to and join our global network of peers. It’s a terrific opportunity to stay on top of the latest best practices and proven technology deployed to achieve mission success.”

Attendees will learn how to extend the value of geotechnology in meeting mission requirements. By attending training sessions and demos, users will discover how to gain true situational awareness using one comprehensive system, get the right resources to the right place at the right time, and make informed decisions for a quicker and safer response.

In addition, a number of social events are lined up to foster collaboration and sharing among attendees, including the National Security Social and the Homeland Security Summit Welcome Social. People will be able to meet and connect with others to form lasting relationships.

Other highlights include those below:

  • Comprehensive demonstrations of ArcGIS 10.1, Esri’s most significant software release to date
  • Lightning Talks designed for executives and frontline staff
  • Presentations showcasing the value of GIS through enterprise, cloud, mobile, and web solutions
  • Two days of Esri User Conference access, including admission to the opening Plenary Session, Esri Public Safety Showcase area, and Esri homeland security and public safety speaker tracks

Learn more about the event and register at esri.com/hss.

[Source Esri press release]

Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Earth Networks Present “Taking the Pulse of the Planet: Observing Networks to Support Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation” at Rio+20

Earth Networks, the operator of the largest weather, lightning and climate observation networks, announces that its President and CEO Bob Marshall and Scripps Institution of Oceanography Director Dr. Tony Haymet will make a presentation entitled Taking the Pulse of the Planet: Observing Networks to Support Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation on June 19 in conjunction with Rio+20: United Nations Conference on Sustainable Developmentin Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Earth Networks, in close collaboration with Scripps Institution of Oceanography, is deploying a global greenhouse gas monitoring network that will observe and measure atmospheric carbon dioxide and methane trace gases on a regional-to-local scale as never before. To address climate change and mitigation challenges faced by countries around the world, Earth Networks is deploying advanced early warning systems utilizing its global automated weather networks.

During the presentation, Marshall and Haymet will provide information on the following topics:

  • Advances in weather technologies enabling early warning systems, including a cost-effective proxy radar solution for improved severe weather prediction, precipitation monitoring and forecasting,
  • An update on the progress being made by Scripps Institution of Oceanography and Earth Networks in the global deployment of the Earth Networks GHG network and new data findings, and
  • How the use of detailed emissions data will provide policy makers and researchers with data to understand the variability of GHGs in space and time.

WHAT: Taking the Pulse of the Planet: Observing Networks to Support Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation presentation at Rio+20.

WHERE: Room UN 3, Barra Arena, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

TIME: 1:15-2:45 pm on Tuesday, June 19.

FOR MEDIA: Media may schedule one-on-one interviews. To schedule an interview, please contact Rachel Hunt 301-250-4046, rhunt@earthnetworks.com or Jennifer Gilmore at 301-250-4239, jgilmore@earthnetworks.com.

Visit the conference website: http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.html

[Source: Earth Networks press release]

Cost–benefit Analysis of Ecological Networks Assessed through Spatial Analysis of Ecosystem Services

Journal of Applied EcologyJournal of Applied Ecology, Volume 49, Issue 3, pages 571–580, June 2012

Adrian C. Newton, Kathy Hodder, Elena Cantarello, Lorretta Perrella, Jennifer C. Birch, James Robins, Sarah Douglas, Christopher Moody, and Justine Cordingley

The development of ecological networks could enhance the ability of species to disperse across fragmented landscapes and could mitigate against the negative impacts of climate change. The development of such networks will require widespread ecological restoration at the landscape scale, which is likely to be costly. However, little information is available regarding the cost-effectiveness of restoration approaches.

“We address this knowledge gap by examining the potential impact of landscape-scale habitat restoration on the value of multiple ecosystem services across the catchment of the River Frome in Dorset, England. This was achieved by mapping the market value of four ecosystem services (carbon storage, crops, livestock and timber) under three different restoration scenarios, estimating restoration costs, and calculating net benefits.

“The non-market value of additional services (cultural, aesthetic and recreational value) was elicited from local stakeholders using an online survey tool. Flood risk was assessed using a scoring approach. Spatial Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA) was conducted, incorporating both market and non-market values, to evaluate the relative benefits of restoration scenarios. These were compared with impacts of restoration on biodiversity value.

Spatial variation in species richness index

Spatial variation in species richness index (standardised number of BAP species per ha) across the Frome catchment under (a) the pre-project baseline (PP), (b) LS 30, (c) LS 30–60 and (d) LS 60. Maps classes range between 0 and 1 where 0 = lowest biodiversity value, 1 = highest biodiversity value.

“Multi-Criteria Analysis results consistently ranked restoration scenarios above a non-restoration comparator, reflecting the increased provision of multiple ecosystem services. Restoration scenarios also provided benefits to biodiversity, in terms of increased species richness and habitat connectivity. However, restoration costs consistently exceeded the market value of ecosystem services.

Synthesis and applications. Establishment of ecological networks through ecological restoration is unlikely to deliver net economic benefits in landscapes dominated by agricultural land use. This reflects the high costs of ecological restoration in such landscapes. The cost-effectiveness of ecological networks will depend on how the benefits provided to people are valued, and on how the value of non-market benefits are weighted against the costs of reduced agricultural and timber production. Future plans for ecological restoration should incorporate local stakeholder values, to ensure that benefits to people are maximised.”

New Book “Tribal GIS” Details Native American Use of Geospatial Technology

Tribal GIS: Supporting Native American Decision Making Tribal GIS: Supporting Native American Decision Making chronicles the challenges and successes of Native American tribes in implementing and using geographic information systems (GIS) to address their unique circumstances as sovereign nations.

Published by Esri Press, the book provides Native American policy makers, administrators, scientists, and instructors with information on how GIS and the spatial perspective can be used to make their organizations more efficient and effective. It illustrates how they can use GIS to solve problems on their lands and in tribal programs on local, regional, and national levels.

“Native American tribal governments are some of the earliest adopters of GIS technology and have used it to support thousands of programs and initiatives,” says Jack Dangermond, Esri president. “As GIS has evolved into an enterprise platform for information management, many tribes are establishing enterprise GIS platforms within their governments, enabling them to better address the complex challenges of sovereign nations.”

Tribal GIS was coauthored by Anne Taylor, David Gadsden, Joseph J. Kerski, and Heather Warren. The book offers insight into how tribal governments and supporting organizations are employing GIS, from day-to-day operations to special projects for tribal leadership. Tribal GIS also highlights how GIS is being used to embrace a new movement in tribal governance toward improving citizen services, decision support for community leadership, sustained economic development, and the protection of tribal assets.

“The importance of the book, in my view, is that the people telling the stories are actually working with GIS on a day-to-day basis in tribal governments, colleges, schools, and other organizations,” says Kerski. “These people are dedicated and visionary, and their stories are real, diverse, and powerful.”

Tribal GIS: Supporting Native American Decision Making (ISBN: 978-1-58948-320-0, 174 pages, US$19.95) is available at online retailers worldwide, at esri.com/esripress, or by calling 1-800-447-9778. Outside the United States, visit esri.com/esripressorders for complete ordering options, or visit esri.com/distributors to contact your local Esri distributor. Interested retailers can contact Esri Press book distributor Ingram Publisher Services.

[Source: Esri press release]

A Spatial Analysis of International Stock Market Linkages

EFMAEuropean Financial Management Association Annual Meeting, Barcelona, Spain, 2012

Hossein Asgharian, Wolfgang Hess, and Lu Liu

“We employ spatial econometrics techniques to investigate to what extent countries’ economic and geographical relations affect their stock market co-movements. We propose an econometric model that is particularly suitable for financial data, where common time trends prevail. In general, among the relations that we analyze, bilateral trade and exchange rate stability prove to be best suited to capture return co-variations. An analysis of three regionally dominant countries shows that bilateral trade is the most important relation regarding the transmission of shocks from the US and Japan to other countries, whereas the UK affects mostly its geographical neighbors.”

Collective Behavior in the Spatial Spreading of Obesity

Scientific Reports 2, Article number 454, Published 14 June 2012

Lazaros K. Gallos, Pablo Barttfeld, Shlomo Havlin, Mariano Sigman, and Hernán A. Makse

“Obesity prevalence is increasing in many countries at alarming levels. A difficulty in the conception of policies to reverse these trends is the identification of the drivers behind the obesity epidemics. Here, we implement a spatial spreading analysis to investigate whether obesity shows spatial correlations, revealing the effect of collective and global factors acting above individual choices. We find a regularity in the spatial fluctuations of their prevalence revealed by a pattern of scale-free long-range correlations. The fluctuations are anomalous, deviating in a fundamental way from the weaker correlations found in the underlying population distribution indicating the presence of collective behavior, i.e., individual habits may have negligible influence in shaping the patterns of spreading.

Detail of the evolution of obesity clusters near percolation as indicated.

Detail of the evolution of obesity clusters near percolation as indicated. The map shows the shape of the first (red), second (yellow), and third (violet) clusters around SC1, and the largest (green) cluster at SC2, together with the location of the red bonds responsible for the transitions. The epicenter is Greene county, AL with 43.7% obesity prevalence.

“Interestingly, we find the same scale-free correlations in economic activities associated with food production. These results motivate future interventions to investigate the causality of this relation providing guidance for the implementation of preventive health policies.”

Esri Promotes Environmental Geodesign at Rio+20

GIS Framework Featured as a Sustainable Development Tool at International Conference

By special invitation from the European Environment Agency (EEA), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the US Department of State, Esri will take part in several important side events at the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20). The conference will be held June 20–22 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Esri will use this opportunity to explain and promote the concept of geodesign, a design framework and the supporting technology for designing more sustainable cities.

“Providing solutions that support sustainable development has been at the forefront of Esri software development,” said Esri president Jack Dangermond. “We are honored to be recognized as a key technology provider by these agencies and pleased to be supporting them with a framework for decision making.”

At Rio+20, world leaders will write a focused political document renewing their commitment to sustainable development. In the days before this conference, thousands of participants from governments, the private sector, civil society, and intergovernmental organizations will attend side events and sessions to learn about sustainable themes and technologies.

During this time, a team from Esri will present the value of GIS for making place-based decisions. At the EEA side event, Esri’s global affairs team lead, Carmelle Terborgh, PhD, will provide examples showing how the information technology industry is ensuring increased access to information for all.

Terborgh will join representatives of the USDA, the US Department of State, and the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to present My Community, Our Earth (MyCOE). This partnership program encourages and supports geographic learning for sustainable development. In addition, the Esri team will show Change Matters, a web mapping service that follows US government open data sharing policies. Esri will also demonstrate its cloud-based mapping service ArcGIS Online at the US Center pavilion demonstration alley.

[Source: Esri press release]

Geospatial Examination of Lithium in Drinking Water and Suicide Mortality

International Journal of Health GeographicsInternational Journal of Health Geographics 2012, 11:19

Marco Helbich, Michael Leitner, and Nestor D. Kapusta

“Background: Lithium as a substance occurring naturally in food and drinking water may exert positive effects on mental health. In therapeutic doses, which are more than 100 times higher than natural daily intakes, lithium has been proven to be a mood-stabilizer and suicide preventive. This study examined whether natural lithium content in drinking water is regionally associated with lower suicide rates.

“Methods: Previous statistical approaches were challenged by global and local spatial regression models taking spatial autocorrelation as well as non-stationarity into account. A Geographically Weighted Regression (GWR) model was applied with significant independent variables as indicated by a spatial autoregressive (SAR) model.

“Results: The association between lithium levels in drinking water and suicide mortality can be confirmed by the global spatial regression model. In addition, the local spatial regression model showed that the association was mainly driven by the eastern parts of Austria.

Significant suicide hot and cold spots.

Significant suicide hot and cold spots.

“Conclusions: Accordingly to old anecdotic reports the results of this study support the hypothesis of positive effects of natural lithium intake on mental health. Both, the new methodological approach and the results relevant for health may open new avenues in the collaboration between Geographic Information Science, medicine, and even criminology, such as exploring the spatial association between violent or impulsive crime and lithium content in drinking water. However, further research is needed before a voluntary intake of lithium may be recommended for the individual.”

ArcGIS Online Will Change How You Think about Mapping and GIS

Organizations Can Now Purchase ArcGIS Online Subscriptions and Immediately Unlock Their Geospatial Content

Esri, the global leader in geographic information systems (GIS), today officially released ArcGIS Online for organizations, a groundbreaking service that offers expanded collaboration tools for cataloging, visualizing, and sharing geospatial information.

“ArcGIS Online is a new cloud-based mapping system for organizations that is essentially changing how GIS managers, as well as IT managers, think about mapping and GIS,” said Jack Dangermond, president, Esri. “ArcGIS Online works with all types of data and is built on a powerful enterprise mapping platform that lets users simply manage their geospatial content, such as data, maps, images, applications, and other geographic information.”

Early adopters of ArcGIS Online have realized immediate benefits from extending their existing geographic information to reach more people across the enterprise and the public. The system supports better collaboration among teams and departments by allowing data to be easily integrated and shared. ArcGIS Online provides on-demand, self-serve mapping and is closely integrated with Excel for making maps from spreadsheet data commonly accessible.

ArcGIS Online provides new insights and opportunities for organizations to visualize their information spatially and quickly turn these visualizations into web services that can be shared anywhere. Organizations can mash up map services coming from a variety of sources and configure an array of ready-to-use applications that can be embedded and run in browsers and on mobile devices.

Through the purchase of an annual subscription, an organization can obtain a private and secure instance in Esri’s cloud that’s scalable and ready to use. No additional hardware or software has to be purchased or installed. An organization has access to tools for mapping and location analytics, global basemaps and imagery, demographic information, a library of templates, and applications for browsers and mobile devices.

Users can catalog and discover maps and applications, set up groups to collaborate, and share items with each other, the entire organization, or publicly. For example, without any programming, any user that’s part of an ArcGIS Online subscription can quickly share maps by embedding them in a website or blog, through social media, or using a preconfigured web application template.

Because ArcGIS Online is integrated with ArcGIS for Desktop and ArcGIS for Server, maps created by GIS professionals can now be made accessible to others in the organization using the same system. Everyone in the organization can view and interact with these maps via a browser, smartphone, tablet, or other mobile device.

Registering ArcGIS for Server services in ArcGIS Online only takes a few steps and puts them into the hands of those who need this information to get their work done. In addition, non-GIS professionals, such as knowledge workers who have a need for GIS, now have a way to quickly create maps from the unstructured information they work with in spreadsheets and text files and share these maps with others who can access them on any device.

This type of on-demand and self-serve mapping frees up GIS professionals from having to respond to constant requests for maps and instead concentrate on making and publishing authoritative information products. An ArcGIS Online subscription also includes access to an API that developers in the organization can use to extend the system or integrate a custom solution with the ArcGIS system.

A flexible, annual subscription plan structured to accommodate different sizes of organizations or departments is available—from small workgroups to an enterprise-wide implementation. What plan to purchase depends on the size of an organization and the online resources it plans to consume. You can purchase separate subscriptions for each department or one large subscription for the entire organization.

The subscription plans start as small as 5 users and 2,500 service credits all the way to a multidepartment plan with 1,000 users and 110,000 service credits or even larger for enterprise plans. Regardless of which plan your organization chooses, more users and service credits can be added to the plan at any time.

Service credits are the currency of the ArcGIS Online system. Each service credit entitles your organization to consume a set amount of ArcGIS Online services, such as storing features or tiled map services and geocoding. Providing a pool of credits gives your organization flexibility to use the system to fit your organizational workflows and other needs. Organizations that have an existing enterprise license agreement (ELA) with Esri receive an ArcGIS Online subscription as part of their agreement with a certain number of service credits allocated and unlimited users.

There are three roles in ArcGIS Online: administrators, publishers, and users. Administrators of the ArcGIS Online subscription have the ability to publish and use content and also monitor service consumption through a dashboard. If the dashboard indicates that the service credits are at a low level, more credits can be purchased either online or by contacting Esri. Administrators also have the ability to invite and add users, remove users, assign user roles, delete content and groups, and set and manage the security policy.

Administrators also have the ability to customize an organization’s ArcGIS Online home page to represent the organization’s brand and identity. Customization options include adding a logo and banner, creating a custom URL, and featuring maps and applications important to the organization.

Publishers do not have administrative privileges but can publish content and use content published by others. Users can interact with and consume content but not publish it. It is important to note that organizations retain all the rights and title to, and interest in, any content they publish in ArcGIS Online.

For organizations that didn’t have the opportunity to participate in the ArcGIS Online beta program or be part of the early adopters program, a 30-day evaluation is available. To get more details about ArcGIS Online and sign up for the free 30-day trial, visit esri.com/agol.

[Source: Esri press release]

Building Pattern Recognition in Topographic Data: Examples on Collinear and Curvilinear Alignments

GeoInformaticaGeoInformatica, Published Online 27 October 2011

Xiang Zhang, Tinghua Ai, Jantien Stoter, Menno-Jan Kraak, and Martien Molenaar

“Building patterns are important features that should be preserved in the map generalization process. However, the patterns are not explicitly accessible to automated systems. This paper proposes a framework and several algorithms that automatically recognize building patterns from topographic data, with a focus on collinear and curvilinear alignments. For both patterns two algorithms are developed, which are able to recognize alignment-of-center and alignment-of-side patterns. The presented approach integrates aspects of computational geometry, graph-theoretic concepts and theories of visual perception. Although the individual algorithms for collinear and curvilinear patterns show great potential for each type of the patterns, the recognized patterns are neither complete nor of enough good quality. We therefore advocate the use of a multi-algorithm paradigm, where a mechanism is proposed to combine results from different algorithms to improve the recognition quality. The potential of our method is demonstrated by an application of the framework to several real topographic datasets. The quality of the recognition results are validated in an expert survey.”