Using ArcGIS Modelbuilder and Aerial Photographs to Measure Coastline Retreat and Advance: North of France

Journal of Coastal ResearchJournal of Coastal Research, Volume 28, Issue 6, November 2012

Fadi Chaaban, Hanan Darwishe, Yvonne Battiau-Queney, Barbara Louche, Eric Masson, Jamal El Khattabi, and Erick Carlier

“Coastal areas are naturally dynamic with changes occurring over periods of time. When the shoreline moves landward, coastal erosion becomes a serious problem, and the rate of change has to be calculated. Coastline retreat is one of the best indicators of coastal erosion. Here, the geographic information systems (GIS) platform (ArcGIS 9.3.1; Esri software) is used to study the long-term (last 59 years) shoreline change in the area of Hardelot-Plage and Sainte Cécile–Plage (a north–south 14-km-long beach), in northern France. The primary aim of this study was to develop a methodology for calculating shoreline change using ArcGIS Modelbuilder and aerial photographs. Changes in 14 coastlines over the course of 59 years (from 1946 to 2005) were digitized and represented in ArcGIS 9.3.1 platform. Two hundred and ninety-two transects perpendicular to the shoreline were used to estimate coastal erosion and deduce the recession rate.

“The Modelbuilders (two models) created and used in this work are generic models that can be used for geoprocessing linear features. One model can be used to ascertain the intersection between linear features (transects and shorelines), adding a new field to the attribute table and calculating the geometry of the intersection points. A second model can be used to add a new field to the attribute table and calculate the distance on the transect lines between the linear reference feature and other linear features, in this study between the baseline (established adjacent to the series of shoreline positions) and the shoreline. The results show that the shoreline change rates between 1947 and 2005 along the Hardelot and Sainte Cécile coasts are generally negative; 82.2% of transects have values less than zero (i.e., retreat) and outside of the error margin (±10 m). Nevertheless the shoreline change shows successive phases of advance and retreat over the same period.”

QPS Bundles Esri Technology for Bathymetric, Charting, and Survey Solution

Esri logoEsri and QPS Strengthen Partnership to Develop Ocean Science Tools

Quality Positioning Services (QPS) has signed an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) agreement with Esri, the world leader in GIS technology. The agreement enables QPSto bundle its QINSy and Fledermaus products with Esri software and provide a complete hydrographic survey, data management, and charting solution.

“This worldwide OEM agreement with Esri allows us to provide our clients with seamless access to comprehensive GIS software within a multifunctional, integrated survey software suite,” said Lindsay Gee, product manager, QPS.

QPS will incorporate two of Esri’s ArcGIS applications into an end-to-end hydrographic package, QINSy Premium. One application is ArcGIS for Maritime: Bathymetry, which indexes, searches, and models bathymetric data. The other is ArcGIS for Maritime: Charting, which makes it possible to capture, maintain, and manage nautical data in a centralized database. The package will also include QINSy hydrographic data acquisition and processing software as well as Fledermaus 3D visualization and data analysis technology.

“Esri’s partnership with QPS demonstrates our commitment to support all aspects of the marine community’s work at sea, on coastal areas, and in inland waters,” said Rafael Ponce, director of maritime business development, Esri.

The QINSy Premium solution will provide hydrographers, marine scientists, planners, and engineers with a seamless integrated solution for robust marine survey data collection, efficient processing, and state-of-the-art storage and distribution of data products. For more information on the QINSy Premium bundles, contact the QPS project manager at or

For more information about GIS for ocean management, visit

[Source: Esri press release]

Schistosomiasis Transmission and Environmental Change: A Spatio-temporal Analysis in Porto de Galinhas, Pernambuco – Brazil

International Journal of Health GeographicsInternational Journal of Health Geographics 11:51, 20 November 2012

Elainne Christine Gomes, Onicio Batista Leal-Neto, Jones Albuquerque, Hernande Pereira Silva and Constança Simões Barbosa

“Background: In Brazil, schistosomiasis mansoni infection is an endemic disease that mainly affects the country’s rural populations who carry out domestic and social activities in rivers and water accumulations that provide shelter for the snails of the disease. The process of rural migration to urban centers and the disorderly occupation of natural environments by these populations from endemic areas have favored expansion of schistosomiasis to locations that had been considered to be disease-free. Based on environmental changes that have occurred in consequent to an occupation and urbanization process in the locality of Porto de Galinhas, the present study sought to identify the relationship between those chances, measure by remote-sensing techniques, and establish a new endemic area for schistosomiasis on the coast of Pernambuco State – Brazil.

Kernel maps show that the risk of disease occurrence and transmission were concentrated in the locality of Salinas in 2010.

Kernel maps show that the risk of disease occurrence and transmission were concentrated in the locality of Salinas in 2010.

“Methods: To gather prevalence data, two parasitological census surveys were conducted (2000 and 2010) using the Kato-Katz technique. Two malacological surveys were also conducted in the same years in order to define the density and infection rate of the intermediate host. Based on these data, spatial analyses were done, resulting in maps of the risk of disease transmission. To ascertain the environmental changes that have occurred at the locality, images from the QuickBird satellite were analyzed, thus resulting in land use maps.

“Results: Over this 10-year period, the foci of schistosomiasis became more concentrated in the Salinas district. This area was considered to be at the greatest risk of schistosomiasis transmission and had the highest prevalence rates over this period. The study illustrated that this was the area most affected by the environmental changes resulting from the disorderly urbanization process, which gave rise to unsanitary environments that favored the establishment and maintenance of foci of schistosomiasis transmission, thereby consolidating the process of expansion and endemization of this parasitosis. ”

Spatial Analysis of a Community-based Selection on Indigents Receiving the User Fee Exemption in Burkina Faso

2nd Global Symposium on Health Systems Research, 31 October – 3 November 2012, Beijing, China

V. Riddle, E. Bonnet, A. Nikiema, and K. Kadio

“Over recent decades, Burkina Faso has improved the geographic accessibility of its health centres. However, patients are still required to pay point-of-service user fees, which excludes the most  vulnerable from access to care. In 2010, 259 village committees in the Ouargaye district selected 2649  indigents to be exempted from user fees. The 26 health centre management committees that fund this  exemption retained 1097 of those selected indigents.

“Spatial analysis showed that the management  committees retained the indigents who were geographically closer to the health centres, in contrast  to the selections of the village committees which were more diversified. Using village committees to  select indigents would seem preferable to using management committees. It is not yet known whether  the management committees’ selections were due to a desire to maximize the benefits of exemption  by giving it to those most likely to use it, or to the fact that they did not personally know the indigents  who were more geographically distant from them, or that some villages are not represented at the  management committees.”

Town of Banff Launches New Mapping Site

New Web Site Uses Esri’s Cloud Solution to Increase Transparency and Provide Public Access to Maps and Applications

The Town of Banff has launched a new mapping site ( that provides free public access to the Town’s maps and geospatial applications. Banff has been using Esri’s server geographic information system (GIS) technology since 2005 to share maps and geographic data across municipal departments. To cost-effectively open up this data to the public, the Town leveraged ArcGIS Online, Esri’s cloud-based GIS solution. The solution allows them to efficiently serve up more than 20 Web maps and applications related to property, engineering, planning, operations, recreation and community services through the new Web site, making it easier for residents and visitors to find information they need to make decisions.

“This new mapping site helps to increase government transparency,” says Steve Nelson, GIS coordinator, Town of Banff. “Through easy-to-use Web maps, citizens can locate government services, learn about capital projects, check the condition of public infrastructure or explore land-use areas in the Town. It also allows them contribute to the Town’s efficient operations by providing a tool to report issues such as street light outages, as well as submit suggestions for improving transportation and other services.”

Tourism is the main economic driver for the Town, which is located inside the Banff National Park. More than 3 million visitors come to Banff each year. To enhance visitor experience, the Town developed the interactive Heritage Walking Tour application. Instead of providing general walking directions using main streets, the application displays routes that include scenic trails and pedestrian walkthroughs, allowing visitors to explore Banff like a local. The site also has applications that map recreation grounds and bike rack locations throughout the Town.

Banff leveraged their participation in Esri Canada’s Community Maps Program to access free basemaps for their applications. They also used Esri templates to easily create the maps and  applications, and present them in a community-oriented Web gallery. “With basemaps already available in ArcGIS Online, all we needed to do was publish the datasets for each themed application. Instead of publishing 20 separate data layers to create our own basemap, we simply pull the community basemap from Esri’s site and add two or three key layers. This has significantly simplified application development and maintenance, and also reduced demands on our internal servers,” notes Nelson.

The Town will soon deploy iPhone devices to a number of staff, who will be able to access and update GIS data through their smartphones. The site will also feature a new snow management application that tracks snow plow locations. Field staff will be able to update the Web map with their planned snow removal routes for the day using their iPhones. This will allow residents to see exactly where snow plows are, where they have been in the past 6 hours and where they will be next, helping them determine when their streets will be serviced. The public is also invited to submit their own maps and applications that use the Town’s data through the site to be included in the Web gallery.

Explore Banff’s mapping site at Learn more about Esri’s ArcGIS Online solution at and the Esri Canada Community Maps Program at

[Source: Esri Canada news release]

SeaSketch Provides a Platform for Organizations to Design Sustainable Ocean Management Plans

The University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), has now officially launched SeaSketch, an ocean planning tool supported by Esri, the world leader in GIS. Conservationists, planners, and ocean resource managers will use the GIS application and Esri’s ArcGIS Online to plan sustainable ocean use management.

“Helping people make better decisions in the environmental space is extremely important to me,” said Jack Dangermond, president, Esri. “Our support of the UCSB SeaSketch project is a component of the Esri Ocean GIS Initiative, which allows people to positively impact the future through a deeper, geographic understanding of the ocean.”

Researchers from the UCSB McClintock Lab designed SeaSketch to study human impacts on the ocean environment and plan responsible resource management. An agency that buys a SeaSketch subscription from UCSB can set up an online workspace and invite planners and stakeholders to design and study plan elements such as marine protected areas, aquaculture sites, and permitted fishing.

ArcGIS Online, which is a cloud-based, collaborative content management system for maps, applications, data, and other geospatial information, plays a major role in SeaSketch. It enables project managers to discover an enormous amount of geospatial data that may be helpful for their projects. Because SeaSketch incorporates Esri’s ArcGIS web development technology, project managers can easily move from ArcGIS environments into SeaSketch. Organizations can leverage existing investments in ArcGIS by directly pulling published map services into SeaSketch, ensuring the application uses the most current data available. Adding GIS tools and applications to SeaSketch extends its capabilities. For example, adding Esri and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Benthic Terrain Modeler (BTM) gives users a set of geoprocessing tools to analyze benthic terrain and classify surficial seafloor characteristics.

The United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) will use SeaSketch to facilitate dialog among businesses, organizations, and governments regarding the use of the high seas.

“SeaSketch is a great step forward in interactive marine spatial planning,” said Damon Stanwell-Smith, acting head, marine assessment and decision support program of UNEP-WCMC. “Marine data can be complicated and complex to many people who need it. SeaSketch provides a friendly, intuitive tool to help people understand ocean resources and work together to create a plan.”

[Source: Esri press release]

Esri Celebrates National Geographic’s Geography Awareness Week

Esri logoRedlands, California, Organizations Promote Geography through Engaging Events

Esri—in partnership with the City of Redlands, California; University of Redlands; Colton-Redlands-Yucaipa- Regional Occupational Program (ROP); and Inland Valley Newspapers Group—will host a series of activities that will educate about the importance and value of geographic information systems (GIS). The events are part of National Geographic’s Geography Awareness Week, which celebrates geography worldwide and will take place November 11–17, 2012.

“We’ve lined up fun, informative activities for all ages,” says Jacqueline Gimenez, Global Marketing Programs manager at Esri. “This is the most comprehensive set of geography-related events organized for the City of Redlands since GIS Day began in 1999. Our goal is to show how geography and GIS improve the community and impact citizens’ daily lives.”

The week’s events will kick off on Tuesday, November 13, at 5:30 p.m., with a presentation by former National Geographic chief cartographer and current Esri staffer Allen Carroll at the Redlands Forum on the Esri campus. He’ll share his experiences creating story maps and discuss the value of using maps and GIS to tell stories.

Celebrating GIS Day on Wednesday, November 14, Esri and its partners will provide interactive demonstrations, engaging presentations, and a special reception at the Redlands A. K. Smiley Library from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. This free event will be open to everyone.

GIS Day is an opportunity for Redlands residents to understand how GIS is used within their community. Several representatives from the five local hosts will give presentations on how their respective groups use GIS to improve the community. Student GIS projects will be featured, allowing a glimpse into how this technology will be used by future GIS professionals.

As a special treat, there will be interactive opportunities at the reception for children to learn about the importance of geography. Esri staff will read geography-related stories to children inside the library during two story times.

To round out the events, historical maps from the University of Redlands library collection will be displayed at the university and at the Smiley Library throughout the week.

To learn more about the Redlands events, visit

[Source: Esri press release]

Using Spatially Explicit Simulated Data to Analyze Animal Interactions: A Case Study with Brown Hyenas in Northern Botswana

Transactions in GISTransactions in GIS, Volume 16, Issue 3, pages 271–291, June 2012

Jennifer A. Miller

“New developments in global positioning systems (GPS) and related satellite tracking technologies have facilitated the collection of highly accurate data on moving objects, far surpassing the ability to analyze them. Within geographic information science, ‘movement pattern analysis’ (MPA) has developed as a subfield that addresses concepts and theories used to explore the spatio-temporal structure in data, although the methodological and analytical framework associated with MPA is new and still evolving. Interactions between individuals can be considered a second order property of movement and have been far less studied. The nature of interactions between individuals in a population is a fundamental aspect of a species’ behavioral ecology and information on the frequency and duration of these interactions is vital to understanding mating and territorial behavior, resource use, and infectious disease epidemiology.

Makgadikgadi Pans Study area in Northern Botswana. Real locations are shown for each of five hyena dyads.

Makgadikgadi Pans Study area in Northern Botswana. Real locations are shown for each of five hyena dyads.

“The focus of this work was to explore how spatially explicit simulated data can be used to analyse dynamic interactions between individuals. Five different techniques that have been used to quantify dynamic interactions based on GPS data of pairs of individuals were utilised, and all were compared in the context of spatially explicit simulated data intended to represent biologically realistic null models for individual movement, and subsequently paired interactions.”

New Terrains of Taste: Spatial Analysis of Price Premiums for Single Origin Coffees in Central America

Applied GeographyApplied Geography, Volume 35, Issues 1–2, November 2012, Pages 499–507

Bradley R. Wilson, Jamison F. Conley, Trevor M. Harris, and Frank Lafone


  • Cup of Excellence certified coffees generate price premiums at 4–5 times conventional market prices.
  • We analyze 607 Cup of Excellence certified coffees to regress production variables with price premiums.
  • Geographic variables such as altitude, country and sub-region of origin influence price premiums in Cup of Excellence coffees.
  • Cup of Excellence certified coffees from Guatemala generate the largest price premiums.

“Coffee retailers often court discriminate consumers through the marketing of single origin coffees with distinct flavor attributes. The Cup of Excellence has become a key mechanism for locating and certifying single origin coffees. In this paper use hedonic regression analysis to examine the price premiums for farmers generated by the origin attributes of 607 Cup of Excellence certified coffees from Central America. We find that while the greatest impact on the price premiums for a pound of coffee is the jury score awarded by coffee cuppers, several geographic factors, including the altitude of the farm, coffee farm size, country of origin and even sub-region of origin have significant effects on price premiums. While the price premiums conferred represent opportunities for farmers who have access to such markets, we argue that the appetite for single origin coffees may also contribute to uneven development.”

Evaluation of Classical Spatial Analysis Schemes of Extreme Rainfall

Natural Hazards and Earth Systems ScienceNatural Hazards and Earth Systems Science, 12, 3229–3240, 2012

D. Ceresetti, E. Ursu, J. Carreau, S. Anquetin, J. D. Creutin, L. Gardes, S. Girard, and G. Molini´e

“Extreme rainfall is classically estimated using raingauge data at raingauge locations. An important related issue is to assess return levels of extreme rainfall at ungauged sites. Classical methods consist in interpolating extreme value models. In this paper, such methods are referred to as regionalization schemes. Our goal is to evaluate three classical regionalization schemes. Each scheme consists of an extreme-value model (block maxima, peaks over threshold) taken from extreme-value theory plus a method to interpolate the parameters of the statistical model throughout the C´evennes-Vivarais region. From the interpolated parameters, the 100-yr quantile level can be estimated over this whole region. A reference regionalization scheme is made of the couple block maxima/kriging, where kriging is an optimal interpolation method. The two other schemes differ from the reference by replacing either the extreme-value model block maxima by peaks over threshold or kriging by a neural network interpolation procedure. Hyper-parameters are selected by cross-validation and the three regionalization schemes are compared by double cross-validation.

Kriging error for RS3 evaluated as the kriging standard deviation normalized by the 100-yr return levels.

Kriging error for RS3 evaluated as the kriging standard deviation normalized by the 100-yr return levels.

“Our evaluation criteria are based on the ability to interpolate the 100-yr return level both in terms of precision and spatial distribution. It turns out that the best results are obtained by the regionalization scheme combining the peaks-over-threshold method with kriging.”