Diagnosis of Groundwater Quality and Assessment of Contamination Sources in the Megara Basin (Attica, Greece)

Arabian Journal of GeosciencesArabian Journal of Geosciences, Published Online 27 February 2012

D. Gamvroula, D. Alexakis and G. Stamatis

“In this study, hydrochemical analysis, statistical analysis and GIS database have been successfully used to explain the main factors and mechanisms controlling the distribution of major and trace elements in groundwater. The groundwater of Megara basin is subject to intense exploitation to accommodate all the water demands of this agricultural area. Water quality data obtained from 58 sampling sites of the Megara basin, aims to describe groundwater quality in relation to geology and anthropogenic activities. Factor analysis revealed that four factors accounted for 79.96% of the total data variability. The contribution of each factor at sampling sites was calculated. Evaluation of water samples by comparing quality standards and levels recorded in the literature for both drinking and irrigation uses is discussed. ”

Spatial-temporal Analysis of Malaria and the Effect of Environmental Factors on its Incidence in Yongcheng, China, 2006-2010

BMC Public HealthBMC Public Health 2012, 12:544

Yan Zhang, Qiyong Liu, Rongsheng Luan, Xiaobo Liu, Guangchao Zhou, Jingyi Jiang, Hongsheng Li and Zhifang Li

“Background: In 2003, Plasmodium vivax malaria has re-emerged in central eastern China including Yongcheng prefecture, Henan Province, where no cases have been reported for eleven years. Our goal was to detect the space-time distribution pattern of malaria and determine significant environmental variables contributing to malaria incidence in Yongcheng from 2006 to 2010, thus providing scientific basis for further optimizing current malaria surveillance and control programs.

“Methods: This study examined spatial and temporal heterogeneities in the risk of malaria and the influencing factors on malaria incidence using geographical information system (GIS) and time series analysis. Univariate analysis was conducted to estimate the crude correlations between malaria incidence and environmental variables, such as mosquito abundance and climatic factors. Multivariate analysis was implemented to construct predictive model to explore principal environmental determinants on malaria epidemic using a Generalized Estimating Equation (GEE) approach.

Yearly average temperature at county level from 2006 to 2010 in Yongcheng prefecture, China.

Yearly average temperature at county level from 2006 to 2010 in Yongcheng
prefecture, China.

“Results: Annual malaria incidences at town-level decreased from the north to south, and monthly incidences at prefecture-level demonstrated a strong seasonal pattern with a peak from July to November. Yearly malaria incidence has a visual spatial association with yearly average temperature. Moreover, the best-fit temporal model (model 2) (QIC= 16.934, P<0.001, R2=0.818) indicated that significant factors contributing to malaria incidence were maximum temperature at one month lag, average humidity at one month lag, and the incidence of the previous month.

“Conclusions: Findings support the effects of environment factors on malaria incidence and indicates that malaria control targets should vary with intensity of malaria incidence, with more public resource allocated to controlling source of infections instead of large scale An. sinensis control when malaria incidence is at a low level, which would benefit for optimizing the malaria surveillance project in China and some other countries with unstable or low malaria transmission.”

Brazil’s HIV/ AIDS Model: Is It Working Fortaleza? – Spatial Analysis of HIV/ AIDS

University of Texas at Austin, Masters Thesis, May 2012

Renata Cidrão Ponte

“The prevalence rate of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in Brazil has stabilized since the year 2000 at approximately 0.35 percent of the total population (600,000 people). Most researchers and political actors agree that the success in HIV management has been highly correlated with some of the policies that the Brazilian government has implemented concerning the HIV/ AIDS positive population (Levi et al 2002; Dourado 2006; Parker 2009). With worldwide recognition of this accomplishment, one must wonder why it is that the North and Northeast regions of Brazil have been experiencing trends of increasing HIV/ AIDS incidence in the past decade (Nunn et al 2009).

Incidence HIV in Fortaleza in 2000

Incidence HIV in Fortaleza in 2000

“This study concentrates on the spatial distribution of HIV incidence in the year 2000, as it uncovers how HIV distribution can be related to aspects of marginalization in the second-most populous Northeastern municipality; Fortaleza, Brazil. The central hypothesis of this research states that HIV incidence is positively correlated with rate of marginalization. Marginalization is considered as the sector of population without access to basic social services, such as education, running water, and appropriate housing. Spatial patterns of HIV and marginalization are examined and interpreted in the context of the Brazilian Model. This research suggests that although marginalization has a strong spatial pattern, HIV is not demographically or geographically discriminatory.”

Integration of Geospatial Science in Teacher Education

Journal of GeographyJournal of Geography, Volume 111, Issue 5, 2012

Peggy Hauselt and Jennifer Helzer

“One of the primary missions of our university is to train future primary and secondary teachers. Geospatial sciences, including GIS, have long been excluded from teacher education curriculum. This article explains the curriculum revisions undertaken to increase the geospatial technology education of future teachers. A general education class introducing geospatial technology to the general student body has been developed, a cartography class has been modified to provide applied geospatial experience explicitly for future teachers, and a service learning partnership with local K–12 schools has been established where students are working with teachers to integrate geospatial sciences in their academic programs.”

URISA Student Paper and Poster Competition Results Announced

URISAURISA is pleased to announce the results of the 2012 URISA Student Competition. Students were recognized in both Paper and Poster categories and their submissions are posted online to share with the GIS Community.

Four students were recognized in the Paper Competition:

  • First Place PaperImplementing a Utility Geographic Information System for Water, Sewer, and Electric: Case Study of City of Calhoun, Georgia
    Submitted by: Davie Crawford and Ming-Chih Hung – Northwest Missouri State University
    Abstract: This paper describes the design and implementation of a Geographic Information System (GIS) for the Water, Sewer, and Electric Departments for the City of Calhoun, Georgia. The objective of this paper is to explain how the design and implementation of a GIS for the City of Calhoun was established in order to efficiently manage their utility distribution systems and replace the existing CAD system. It also provides other small municipalities with an understanding of what it takes to design and implement a utility GIS. The design and implementation were divided into a set of phases that were carried out to ensure a successful completed system. The methodology used in the development of the GIS has been acquired through reviewing and evaluating other similar systems that involve utility data. The utility departments have relied on inaccurate CAD data for years. The departments all agreed that a more accurate and up to date system would help manage their assets. The conclusion of this paper demonstrates the improved efficiency after implementing the GIS compared with the previous CAD system.
  • Second Place PaperStudy of the Public Transit System Accessibility Based on the Average Opportunity Accessibility Measure – A Case Study of Fargo, North Dakota
    Submitted by: Nimish Dharmadkhari and Zijian Zheng – North Dakota State University
    Abstract: It is important for the college students to have a healthy diet for their wellness. The grocery store (supermarket) is the place where they can buy a range of healthy food products. This research studies the accessibility of the supermarkets with the public transport system with the help of case study of Fargo, North Dakota. Two types of accessibilities are studied in this research 1) accessibility to reach a particular place and 2) accessibility to reach the bus stop to ride the system. These two accessibilities are interdependent and cannot perform without each other. A step wise case study is performed with the development of the average accessibility measure for the transit routes. This research shows that the important supermarkets are accessible to the university students by combined use of walking and bus travel.
  • Third Place PaperClimate Change and its Impact on Coral Distribution in the Caribbean
    Submitted by: Ron Mahabir – George Mason University
    Abstract: Coral reefs are some one of the most diverse marine ecosystems on Earth. They are renowned hotspots of species biodiversity and provide home to a large array of marine plants and animals. Over the past 100 years in many tropical regions sea surface temperatures have increased by almost 1°C and are currently increasing at about 1–2°C per century. Corals have very specific thermal thresholds beyond which their temperature sensitive symbiot Zooxanthellae becomes affected and causes corals to bleach. Mass bleaching has already caused significant losses to live coral in many parts of the world. This paper looks at the key role that temperature plays in affecting the health and spatial distribution of coral in the Caribbean. The relationship between coral and symbiot is examined and some the evolutionary strategies necessary to ensure the future survival of coral with changing climate are reviewed.
  • Fourth Place PaperImpact of Distance, Traffic, and Elevation on Active Transportation to School for Children Using GIS
    Submitted by: Vu Dang – North Dakota State University
    Abstract: In the context of transportation modes to schools for children, there is the matter of distance, traffic, and elevation. Distance is prevalent in considering if the participant would use an active or passive option of transportation. While distance determines the mode, traffic influences the users’ decisions on picking the most efficient route to the final destination. Elevation also determines the exertion of physical activity required of the user. Previous studies and papers have yielded environmental, land use, age, income, race, gender, topography, traffic, and distance factors that have influences over the choice of mode to school. This study focuses on the factors of traffic based on average weekday traffic (AWT), land usage, and distance to determine: (1) the likelihood a child would exercise an active or passive mode of transportation and (2) the most efficient route from the origin to destination. By applying GIS methodologies, built environment characteristics based upon the factors of traffic, land use, and distance were established.

Trevor Perkes from Brigham Young University was awarded First Place in the poster competition with his submission “Swine Flu Data Analysis with Excel & ArcGIS Desktop 10.0“. Denise Crittenden, of the University of Alabama, was awarded Second Place for her poster submission, “Impact of Future I-22 on Traffic Patterns & Fatal Accidents on Hwy 78“.

Congratulations to all who participated! All of the student submissions recognized in this annual competition are posted online: http://www.urisa.org/Student2012

[Source: URISA press release]

Satellite Tracking of Manta Rays Highlights Challenges to Their Conservation

PLoS ONEPLoS ONE 7(5), Published 10 May 2012

Rachel T. Graham, Matthew J. Witt, Dan W. Castellanos, Francisco Remolina, Sara Maxwell, Brendan J. Godley, and Lucy A. Hawkes

“We describe the real-time movements of the last of the marine mega-vertebrate taxa to be satellite tracked – the giant manta ray (or devil fish, Manta birostris), the world’s largest ray at over 6 m disc width. Almost nothing is known about manta ray movements and their environmental preferences, making them one of the least understood of the marine mega-vertebrates. Red listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature as ‘Vulnerable’ to extinction, manta rays are known to be subject to direct and incidental capture and some populations are declining.

Utilisation distribution of manta ray locations

Utilisation distribution of manta ray locations (a) (quartic kernelling; grey polygons showing 25%, 50%, 75%, from darkest to lightest grey). Blue polygons show marine protected areas, tourism ports are indicated (black crosses). Commercial shipping activity, showing transit of boats belonging to the World Meteorological Organisation Voluntary Observing Ship Scheme (b) (red showing higher density of ship transit) from [41]. Core manta ray foraging areas are indicated, with Mexican tourism ports (Holbox, Isla Mujeres, Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Cozumel).

“Satellite-tracked manta rays associated with seasonal upwelling events and thermal fronts off the Yucatan peninsula, Mexico, and made short-range shuttling movements, foraging along and between them. The majority of locations were received from waters shallower than 50 m deep, representing thermally dynamic and productive waters. Manta rays remained in the Mexican Exclusive Economic Zone for the duration of tracking but only 12% of tracking locations were received from within Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). Our results on the spatio-temporal distribution of these enigmatic rays highlight opportunities and challenges to management efforts.”

The Spatial Analysis of Hotel Strata and Rate of Tourists Inflow in the Hotel Industry: Calabar Scenario

Research on Humanities and Social SciencesResearch on Humanities and Social Sciences, Vol.2, No.5, 2012

Eja Eja.1., Ajake Anim.O, and Inah Sylvester.A

“Today, new investors are entering the market to pursuit strategies that would increase their existing supply of the facilities and services needed to ensure tourist comfort especially in the hotel industry. It is on this backdrop this paper seeks to analyzed hotel strata and the rate of tourist inflow in the various strata. The hotels were obtained from secondary sources and information such as tourist patronage of the hotels were obtained from customer registration form. Findings show that majority of hotels were located within the metropolis which affirms Von Thumen and Alonso empirical works on socio-economic activities location in a region. It was also noticed that there was great variation in the spatial distribution and variation in the number of hotels built in the two locations in Calabar. Beside, findings revealed that the rate of tourists inflow in Calabar varies in the different hotel strata located in each zone in Calabar. However, adequate measures should be put in place to avoid over concentration of hotels in one location in the area.”

Resilience Analysis of the Interaction between Typhoons and Land Use Change

Landscape and Urban PlanningLandscape and Urban Planning, Volume 106, Issue 4, 30 June 2012, Pages 303-315

Szu-Hua Wang, Shu-Li Huang, and William W. Budd


  • Typhoons’ precipitation is the main disturbance in Taiwan’s social-ecological system.
  • Land use change from forests to agricultural use or urban use causes a loss of ecosystem resilience.
  • An increased frequency and intensity of typhoons’ rainfall also affects ecosystems’ resilience.

“Recent typhoons impacting Taiwan have produced heavy rains and flooding, causing tremendous property damage and human casualties. Interactions between typhoons, urban sprawl and economic development are rapidly changing social-ecological systems, increasing the sensitivity of peri-urban areas and their natural environments. These complex dynamic human–environment interactions can be studied using a resilience approach ( [0445], [0450], [0150], [0160], [0460], [0385] and [0410]). This paper presents a resilience analysis approach to evaluate the probability that Taiwan’s social-ecological systems can resist changes associated with an increased frequency and intensity of typhoons. This resilience analysis is composed of three parts: system performance (SP), recovery duration (RD) and recovery efforts (RE). It examines changes in the resilience of social and ecological systems to typhoons and is applied to the Taipei-Taoyuan area using Geographic Information System (GIS) software. The results of the analysis show the changing patterns of system performance (SP), recovery duration (RD) and recovery efforts (RE) in response to changes in land cover and extreme weather, which degrade ecosystem services.”

URISA’s GISCorps Launches Milestone 100th Mission: Forensic Oceanography Mediterranean

URISAURISA’s GISCorps is pleased to announce its milestone 100th mission. Since GISCorps was founded in 2003, 362 GISCorps volunteers have been deployed to 100 projects in 46 countries. They have collectively contributed over 11,500 hours to these projects. The deployed volunteers come from 35 countries.

The 100th mission, “WatchTheMed”, is in partnership with several academic and research organizations led by the Forensic Oceanography (FO) research project (GISCorps’ second project with this group). They requested volunteers for a project concerning the death of migrants at sea (Mediterranean). Three volunteers are providing remote sensing, data mining, and data conversion services to their team.

In addition to this project, GISCorps has recently launched several new projects and have concluded a few others. These include: A 3-phased project with USAID resulting in deploying 58 volunteers; deploying 20 additional volunteers to DRPK project; conclusion of a K-12 mission in Albania; and finalizing two remote sensing related projects in Mozambique and Oklahoma (Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge). Several more missions are also underway at this time.

Earlier this year, GISCorps was recognized by the White House with the 2012 Presidential Volunteer Service for ‘making a difference through volunteer service’ and also received a Daily Point of Light award.

As in previous years, URISA’s GISCorps will be well-represented at the 2012 Esri User Conference, with a substantial display in the Map Gallery and several planned activities. Of course, the celebration will continue this Fall during GIS-Pro 2012: URISA’s 50th Annual Conference in Portland, Oregon.

“It is amazing what volunteers can do to make the world a better place. So many individuals have given their valuable time since 2003 to make GISCorps the successful program it has become. From responding to disasters like Hurricane Katrina and the earthquake in Japan to mapping health clinics in Mexico and teaching GIS to kids in Albania, they are truly making a difference with GIS,” noted Greg Babinski, URISA President.

GISCorps started life in October 2003 in Atlanta, Georgia, when the URISA Board unanimously approved it as an initiative of URISA. GISCorps is now a URISA program and operates entirely on a volunteer basis. The core committee members, most of whom are themselves GISCorps volunteers, run the program with administrative help from the staff at URISA. They reside in different states across the United States and Canada and use a wiki site to work collaboratively, mostly at nights and on weekends. For more information about the mission and operations of GISCorps, visit www.giscorps.org.

[Source: URISA press release]

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]