Third Book in “Esri Guide to GIS Analysis” Series Details Modeling

Applications in Spatial Interaction, Site Selection, Routing, and Scheduling Highlighted

The Esri Guide to GIS Analysis, Volume 3: Modeling Suitability, Movement, and InteractionThe Esri Guide to GIS Analysis, Volume 3: Modeling Suitability, Movement, and Interaction, explains the best methods to apply modeling techniques to GIS analyses. With full-color maps and illustrations and sample applications, this new book by Andy Mitchell will help GIS professionals and students make better use of modeling to evaluate locations and analyze movement.

Michael F. Goodchild, professor emeritus of geography and former director of the Center for Spatial Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, wrote the foreword. “This third book in Andy Mitchell’s series follows the pattern of its siblings in presenting a very complex topic in a very simple and intuitive way,” Goodchild writes. “Unlike approaches that focus on navigating the user interface or on detailing functionality, the series begins with the basic questions GIS users need to answer and on the concepts that underlie those questions. I find this approach very attractive, as it strikes to the heart of what GIS is all about: using a powerful technology to address inherently simple questions about the geographic world.”

The first book in The Esri Guide to GIS Analysis series, Geographic Patterns and Relationships, explains how GIS is used to identify relationships and trends for better decision making. Spatial Measurements and Statistics, the second in the series, further details the use of GIS to identify patterns and clusters to analyze geographic relationships.

Mitchell, author of the entire The Esri Guide to GIS Analysis series and other Esri Press books, has more than 20 years of experience in analyzing and explaining the use of GIS technology.

The Esri Guide to GIS Analysis, Volume 3: Modeling Suitability, Movement, and Interaction, (ISBN: 978-1-58948-305-7, 432 pages, US$44.95) 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]

Web and Mobile Application Directs Voters to Polls in Cabarrus County, North Carolina

Easy-to-Deploy Templates Help Extend the County’s Geospatial Resources to Citizens

Citizens of Cabarrus County, North Carolina, now have quick access to voting information and directions to polling places from the web or their mobile devices. In just a few weeks, the county leveraged its existing geographic information system (GIS), along with a free mapping application template from Esri, to launch a polling place locator application in time for the county’s July 17 election. Officials expect the application to reduce the number of calls to the elections office on voting day, and the step-by-step directions will help new residents find their way to the polls more easily.

Election Polling Place Finder - Cabarrus County

Using the Cabarrus County Election Polling Place Finder

“The templates are great for getting apps out quickly,” says Cabarrus County information technology director Debbie Brannan. “We met with Esri about the polling place locator app, and by the next day our GIS administrator, Zachary Woolard, had it pretty much ready to go. The HTML-responsive design of the template allowed us to also deploy it as a mobile app in the iTunes and Google Play stores.”

In addition to being available via free mobile downloads, the application can be accessed online. It is embedded directly into the elections department’s website and is one of 48 offerings featured on the Cabarrus County Maps and Applications web page, which was also built with a free Esri template. The page brings together a variety of online resources from across county departments to provide a central place where local government employees and the public can find place-based information. Included are interactive mapping applications related to land parcels and floodplains, which have proved useful to local real estate professionals and attorneys, and a web-based countywide GIS that Brannan says local telecommunication crews have come to rely on for the detailed views and data they require for daily operations.

The free templates Cabarrus County uses are offered as part of Esri’s ArcGIS for Local Government model, which provides ArcGIS users with ideas and resources for maximizing their geospatial capabilities. The county plans to use Esri templates to create more tools soon, including a parks locator application and a unified online web resource for government service requests across the county and its municipalities. Instead of trying to find the correct city or county department website for commonly requested information related to activities such as trash pickup or reporting downed utility lines, citizens would be able to access all services from one place.

To learn more about Esri’s ArcGIS for Local Government model and resources, including free templates, visit esri.com/arcgisforlocalgov.

[Source: Esri press release]

No High Ground: Visualising Scotland’s Renewable Energy Landscapes using Rapid Viewshed Assessment Tools

Proceedings of the GIS Research UK 20th Annual Conference, 2012

Steve Carver and Michael Markieta

“Rapid viewshed modelling techniques are used to address the conflicts between landscape protection and renewable energy goals in Scotland. The area of the country currently without a view of a wind turbine is calculated and used to identify areas that could be developed as wind farms without further impacting on the non-visible areas.

Viewshed analysis of core wild land areas in Scotland

Viewshed analysis of core wild land areas in Scotland

“The analysis is repeated for protected landscapes and core wild land areas and lowest impact zones identified. The method used relies on the use of voxel-based real-time viewshed modelling techniques to make these analyses practical.”

IUCN Director General to Speak at Esri International User Conference

Julia Marton-Lefèvre

Julia Marton-Lefèvre

Keynote Speaker Julia Marton-Lefèvre Will Present the Value of Sustainable Resource Management

Julia Marton-Lefèvre, director general of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the world’s largest conservation/environment membership organization, will speak at the Esri International User Conference (Esri UC) in San Diego, California, on July 23, 2012. Esri is the largest developer of geographic information system (GIS) technologies in the world.

Distinguished in the global conservation community for her commitment to the sustainable management of natural resources, Marton-Lefèvre will talk about how IUCN champions the idea of valuing and conserving nature and using nature-based solutions to advance human well-being.

“Our mission is to influence society to conserve nature and natural resources in an equitable and sustainable manner,” said Marton-Lefèvre. “I am glad to be the keynote speaker at the Esri UC this year, because Esri and IUCN share a common vision of harmony between nature and people.”

Of particular interest to the Esri UC audience of GIS enthusiasts will be Marton-Lefèvre’s discussion of the upcoming release of the map browser for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the world standard for measuring the extinction risk of plant and animal species. This online interactive map service is built on Esri’s ArcGIS 10.1 for Server. Website visitors can easily explore the globe as they examine the abundance of scientific data available for threatened species and see the range of these species on a map.

“Using cutting-edge geographic knowledge, IUCN mobilizes conservation action for the benefit of nature and all the seven billion people who depend on it,” added Marton-Lefèvre.

Marton-Lefèvre has served as the rector of the University for Peace (UPEACE), the executive director of Leadership for Environment and Development International (LEAD), and the executive director of the International Council for Science (ICSU). She has served on boards, councils, and committees that include the United Nations (UN) Global Compact, the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED), and the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Group on Sustainable Energy for All.

Marton-Lefèvre has coauthored numerous books and papers. In 1999, she received the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Award for International Scientific Cooperation. In 2008, she was named both Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur by the French government and Global Ambassador for Hungarian Culture by the Hungarian minister of education and culture. In 2011, Marton-Lefèvre was named Chevalier dans l’Ordre de Saint-Charles by His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco. She is a fellow of the World Academy of Art and Science and a councilor of the World Future Council. Born in Hungary, Marton-Lefèvre studied history, ecology, and environmental planning in the United States and France.

[Source: Esri press release]

Spatial Analysis of Urban Built Environments and Vehicle Transit Behavior

Master’s thesis, University of Southern California, August 2012

Daniel Currie Eisman

“In an effort to explore smart growth principles, this study offers an empirical test of the influence of the built environment at the neighborhood scale on vehicle transit behavior. Using U.S. Census data combined with spatial analysis techniques, the study conducts a cross-sectional analysis of the effect of the built environment on household automobile ownership and vehicles miles traveled (VMTs) in 75 block groups across five metropolitan statistical areas. Variables are measured for density, job and retail access, transit accessibility, and street connectivity. The study also considers confounding variables including household income, regional density, extent of regional transit network, age of neighborhood population, and individual transit expenditure.

Detail of Chicago MSA.

Detail of Chicago MSA.

“From these data, best-fit regression models are developed for VMTs and automobile ownership. Although there is significant unexplained variation, the regression models confirm a statistically significant association of VMTs and automobile ownership with the built environment. Among the implications of these findings are that (1) neighborhood density should be encouraged in areas well-served by transit, (2) transit and smart-growth projects will have a greater impact on VMTs in regions that have robust, existing transit systems, and (3) new transit projects will likely be most effective in reducing vehicle ownership if planners focus on better serving moderate and low-income neighborhoods. Future research should examine statistical associations longitudinally, based on updated data from the 2010 U.S. Census, and should attempt to gather primary data on VMTs at the household and neighborhood scales.”