Nominations Sought for URISA’s GIS Hall of Fame

URISAThe Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA) is seeking nominations for its GIS Hall of Fame. URISA established the GIS Hall of Fame to recognize and honor the most esteemed leaders of the geospatial community. URISA Hall of Fame inductees are individuals or organizations whose pioneering work has moved the geospatial industry in a better, stronger direction.

The selection criteria for this honor are:

  • At least 25 years of sustained professional involvement in the GIS field.
  • Original and creative contributions to the field.
  • Well known and respected by a wide range of peers.
  • Consistent demonstration of sound professional and personal ethics.

Previous inductees include:

  • 2005 Inductees: Edgar Horwood, Ian McHarg, Roger Tomlinson, Jack Dangermond, Nancy Tosta, and the Harvard Lab
  • 2006 Inductee: Dr. Gary Hunter
  • 2007 Inductees: Don Cooke and Michael Goodchild
  • 2009 Inductees: Will Craig and Carl Reed
  • 2010 Inductee: C. Dana Tomlin
  • 2011 Inductees: William Huxhold and Barry Wellar
  • 2012 Inductees: National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Natural Resources Canada, Statistics Canada, United States Census Bureau, United States Geological Survey

URISA welcomes nominations from any profession and is not restricted to those having a past or current relationship with URISA.  Nominations must be submitted to URISA by May 1. For details and to learn more about current members of URISA’s GIS Hall of Fame:

[Source: URISA press release]

Developing Context-sensitive Livability Indicators for Transportation Planning: A Measurement Framework

Journal of Transport GeographyJournal of Transport Geography, Volume 26, January 2013, Pages 51–64

Harvey J. Miller, Frank Witlox, and Calvin P. Tribby


  • Community livability concepts are receiving new emphases in transportation planning.
  • This paper provides a framework for constructing quantitative livability indicators.
  • We critically review indicator construction methods based on multicriteria analysis.
  • We discuss methods for capturing diverse stakeholder perspectives and geographic context.
  • We also discuss strategies for integrating indicators into transportation planning.

“New emphases on livability and sustainability are creating demands for measuring and applying these concepts in transportation policy and planning. However, livability and sustainability are complex, multidimensional concepts that require careful measurement if they are to be applied meaningfully in plan evaluation and benchmarking.


Conceptual foundation of multidimensional indicators.

“This paper provides a framework for constructing and applying quantitative livability and sustainability indicators. In addition to critically reviewing principles of constructing indicators describing a multidimensional concept such as livability or sustainability, we also discuss methods for capturing local context, a critical feature for transportation planning. Specifically, we review methods for incorporating diverse stakeholder perspectives into indicator construction and spatial analytic tools for geographic entities and relationships. We also discuss spatial decision support systems and the Geodesign concept for organizing these tools and technologies as well as integrating livability indicators into the overall planning process.”

Mapping Different Forms of Mobility in the Milan Urban Region

Journal of MapsJournal of Maps, Volume 8, Issue 4, December 2012

Fabio Manfredini and Paolo Dilda

“The increase in urban mobility is one of the key issues of contemporary cities. The need for new types of data and representations useful to describe the new forms of daily urban mobility is widely known. The wider urban scale – named urban region – is the scale at which most of the urban and socio-economical phenomena are visible. Urban growth patterns, settlements and activities distribution, demographics and economics dynamics can be fully understood and interpreted at this macro scale, which is not recognizable on the administrative boundaries. The aim of this paper is to present three approaches to mobility mapping based on different data sources, both traditional and innovative, for the Milan urban region (Northern Italy). Traditional sources for the analysis of daily mobility are Census data or surveys based on interviews to mobile populations. They provide a very partial picture of the mobility practices in urban areas, because they collect only flows for job and study purposes. Innovative sources of data are mobile phone activity data that have been used for building a sequence of mobility maps in a typical working day. The Main Map is therefore composed of two parts: a representation of systematic and non-systematic mobility in the Milan urban region; and a sequence of maps created by using telephone traffic data showing daily mobility patterns. These maps can provide useful information for understanding the recent changes that had occurred in the Milan urban region, but they can also offer a methodological reference for the analysis of mobility in general.”

Presentation Proposals Invited for GIS-Pro 2013

URISAPresentation proposals are now being accepted for GIS-Pro 2013: URISA’s 51st Annual Conference for GIS Professionals taking place September 16-19, 2013 in Providence, Rhode Island.

All are welcome to submit proposals. There are no membership, certification nor experience requirements, and the presentation opportunities are plentiful… from formal speaking slots and panel discussions to casual luncheon presentations and ignite talks. GIS-Pro 2013 is the perfect venue to share big ideas, solicit feedback, and get noticed.

The GIS-Pro 2013 Conference Committee welcomes a wide range of presentation ideas and has proposed a comprehensive list of suggested topics for consideration, including:

  • GIS Return on Investment (ROI): measure it, document it, communicate it
  • Geospatial future: an incubator for next generation GIS applications
  • Communicating with maps: tell the right story in order to get the point across to decision makers
  • Maps in the cloud: visualization and publication of GIS information
  • Transportation & Transit: planning, mapping and management of transportation GIS
  • Addressing: more than just a number on the side of a building
  • How to identify ‘champions’ in your organization to propel your technology ideas forward
  • Public health: flu mapping, disease tracking, supporting healthy community initiatives
  • How to get the most out of crowd-sourced and volunteered information?
  • Business process re-engineering: how do organizations re-engineer themselves to be more agile in ever-changing markets?
  • RFPs that work: tailoring an RFP to encourage the right proposals for the job
  • How to leverage the tablet explosion for your organization

The suggested topics list from the committee is extensive. Take some time to review it and develop your own ideas.

Members of the GIS-Pro 2013 Program Committee will conduct a peer review of all submissions received and develop the program, in part, from those proposals.

To be considered:

1.      Prepare an abstract (title and a brief description of your proposed presentation).

2.      Select your preferred presentation format (individual presentations, complete sessions, luncheon presentations, panels, and lightning talks).

3.      Submit via the online abstract form by Monday, March 4, 2013.

URISA is pleased to announce that GIS-Pro 2013 is co-hosted by the New England Chapter of URISA (NEURISA). Program, registration and sponsorship details will be available shortly after the Conference Committee meeting in mid-March. For updates and more information, visit the GIS-Pro 2013 Conference website regularly.

[Source: URISA new release]

National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates – Geospatial Research and Mapping (GRAM) – Application Deadline March 1st 2013

Geography and Archaeology undergraduates, as well as others interested in the study of landscapes, may be interested in our summer 2013 field program on geospatial research and mapping (GRAM) that will take place at both California State University Long Beach and at the famous* Kualoa Ranch in the picturesque Ka’a’awa valley on the north shore of O’ahu.

This field research program is a joint effort between faculty in the Department of Geography and Anthropology at CSULB and is focused on the use of cutting edge geospatial techniques (e.g., satellite and aerial imagery, the use of UAVs, geographic information systems, spectral analyses, topography generation, landscape analyses, and near surface remote sensing).   The research being undertaken by GRAM includes the study of prehistoric landscapes as well as contemporary resources and environments.

Our website ( describes the overall program and include the research of last year’s students, the application form and additional program information. This is the second year of our 3 year project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) under their Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program.

This year’s GRAM project will take place June 2 to June 30 and include training in Long Beach and on Oahu. The NSF-REU program provides funding for student to cover travel, housing, tuition costs as well as a small stipend. Applications are competitive and open to undergraduates across the country.

Note that students must be enrolled as undergraduates in order to meet the requirements of the REU program — graduated seniors are not eligible per NSF rules.


* The site of the field work is famously known as the location of the filming for Lost, Jurassic Park, among other TV shows and films.

2013 Training Opportunity in GIS and Land Management

gsdi_logoThe Societal Impacts Committee of the GSDI Association will provide a free training opportunity for up to three candidates from Africa or Latin America to attend the ICLPST (International Center for Land Policy Studies and Training) training Seminar on Geographical Information Systems and Land Management in Taipei. The training seminar will begin on March 20, 2013 and conclude on April 02, 2013.

Chinese Taipei is the sponsor of the training program that entrusts ICLPST to carry out the project. Each candidate must satisfy the following guidelines:

(a) Candidates must be an individual member of the International Geospatial Society (IGS) or must be affiliated with an organization that is a member of the GSDI Association.

(b) Candidates must be proficient in both spoken and written English in order to be able to follow lectures and instructions conducted in English. Nominees with basic computer skills will be considered more suitable for this course.

(c) Candidates must be persons who are presently working as an administrator, planner or project analyst in areas such as land use and management, urban planning, land surveying, spatial data infrastructure, geographic information systems, etc.

(d) Candidates must be under the age of 55 and must be medically certified as fit for study and travel abroad. Please see the referenced Medical Report form for the required physical check-up. Those who are taking medication for chronic diseases have to prepare sufficient medication for the duration of the stay in Chinese Taipei.

All participants should have valid passports and visas (they shall apply for a visa valid for at least a one month stay) for entry into Chinese Taipei. Please note that each participant will receive a round-trip, economy-class air ticket for travel between his/her country’s capital city and Taipei by the most direct route, and will be provided with board and lodging expenses during the training seminar. The participant is fully responsible to pay for any and all other incidental expenses in connection with the travel such as visa fees, airport taxes, en-route hotel accommodations, etc.

To better facilitate discussions among the participants and with the lecturers, we require that every participant prepare a country paper about developments in their home country to be presented in class. The topic should be relevant to the theme of the course (see the curriculum). Each country-based presentation is limited to 20 minutes. A computer and projector will be provided by the Center (ICLPST) for the presentation. However, outside the presentation, participants are expected to bring and use their own laptop computers during the training seminar.

If you are interested in the training seminar, please fill in the application form and medical report form (only after selected) found at, and send it to Mr. Jeremy Shen, vice chair of the Societal Impacts Committee of the GSDI Association at or before January 31, 2013. Every application submitted will be reviewed by GSDI Association’s Societal Impacts Committee and the President of the International Geospatial Society. Selections should occur within 7 to 10 days.

Health, Poverty, and Place in Accra, Ghana: Mapping Neighborhoods

Journal of MapsJournal of Maps, Volume 8, Issue 4, December 2012

Gregory M. Verutes, Magdalena B. Fiocco, John R. Weeks, and Lloyd L. Coulter

“The overall objective of our research project is to understand the spatial inequality in health in Accra, the capital city of Ghana. We also utilize GIS technology to measure the association of adverse health and mortality outcomes with neighborhood ecology. We approached this in variety of ways, including multivariate analysis of imagery classification and census data. A key element in the research has been to obtain in-person interviews from 3200 female respondents in the city, and then relate health data obtained from the women to the ecology of the neighborhoods in which they live. Detailed maps are a requirement for these field-based activities. However, commercially available street maps of Accra tend to be highly generalized and not very useful for the kind of health and social science research being undertaken by this project. The purpose of this paper is to describe street maps that were created for the project’s office in downtown Accra and used to locate households of respondents. They incorporate satellite imagery with other geographic layers to provide the most important visual interpretation of the linkage between imagery and neighborhoods. Ultimately, through a detailed analysis of spatial disparities in health in Accra, Ghana, we aim to provide a model for the interpretation of urban health inequalities in cities of urbanizing and often poor countries.”

New Book — Linked Data: A Geographic Perspective

Linked Data: A Geographic Perspective

By Glen Hart and Catherine Dolbear
Published January 28, 2013 by CRC Press; 289 Pages


  • Explains how to model Geographic Information using Semantic Web technologies and publish it as Linked Data
  • Addresses the needs of both geographers and Linked Data practitioners
  • Draws on the expertise of authors with practical industry experience in Geographic Information and the Semantic Web
  • Reviews currently available software tools for publishing and modeling Linked Data—and provides a framework to help you evaluate new tools that come to market
  • Gives an overview of key languages and syntaxes associated with the Semantic Web, including RDF, OWL, and SPARQL
  • Uses simple English to explain technical jargon and code examples
  • Contains numerous examples, including a worked-through example of publishing Linked Data and linking to other data sources using ontology engineering methods


Geographic Information has an important role to play in linking and combining datasets through shared location, but the potential is still far from fully realized because the data is not well organized and the technology to aid this process has not been available. Developments in the Semantic Web and Linked Data, however, are making it possible to integrate data based on Geographic Information in a way that is more accessible to users. Drawing on the industry experience of a geographer and a computer scientist, Linked Data: A Geographic Perspective is a practical guide to implementing Geographic Information as Linked Data.

Combine Geographic Information from Multiple Sources Using Linked Data

After an introduction to the building blocks of Geographic Information, the Semantic Web, and Linked Data, the book explores how Geographic Information can become part of the Semantic Web as Linked Data. In easy-to-understand terms, the authors explain the complexities of modeling Geographic Information using Semantic Web technologies and publishing it as Linked Data. They review the software tools currently available for publishing and modeling Linked Data and provide a framework to help you evaluate new tools in a rapidly developing market. They also give an overview of the important languages and syntaxes you will need to master. Throughout, extensive examples demonstrate why and how you can use ontologies and Linked Data to manipulate and integrate real-world Geographic Information data from multiple sources.

A Practical, Readable Guide for Geographers, Software Engineers, and Laypersons

A coherent, readable introduction to a complex subject, this book supplies the durable knowledge and insight you need to think about Geographic Information through the lens of the Semantic Web. It provides a window to Linked Data for geographers, as well as a geographic perspective for software engineers who need to understand how to work with Geographic Information. Highlighting best practices, this book helps you organize and publish Geographic Information on the Semantic Web with more confidence.

A Scale-adaptive DEM for Multi-scale Terrain Analysis

International Journal of Geographical Information ScienceInternational Journal of Geographical Information Science, published online 15 November 2012

Yumin Chen and Qiming Zhou

“A scale-adaptive digital elevation model (S-DEM) method is proposed for multi-scale terrain analysis using a single high-resolution digital elevation model (DEM) database. The motivation is to construct a DEM that is self-adaptive to a given scale of an application, rather than letting the application fit into the built-in scale of the DEM. The method is based on an adaptive compound point extraction (CPE) algorithm that extracts surface ‘significant points’ from a high-resolution DEM according to their degree of importance (DOI) to the scale of an application. A data structure can be established to match the demand from an application at a coarser scale. Based on the data structure, a triangulated irregular network (TIN) model can be generated to support the terrain analysis at the desired scale. The aim of the S-DEM is to support multi-scale applications in three aspects, namely, ‘one database for all scales and scale-adaptive’ (i.e. matching any application scale using a single high-resolution DEM), ‘consistent measurement’ (i.e. delivering more constant measurements of terrain parameters with changing scales), and ‘skeleton preservation’ (i.e. preserving basic streamlines with changing scales). Compared with the raster resampling algorithm and the maximum z-tolerance algorithm, we find that the proposed method offers better performance, providing values that meet the accuracy requirements set by DEM data standards for different scales, and producing analytical derivatives that retain terrain features with consistent measurements of terrain parameters.”

Complexity Aided Design: The FuturICT Technological Innovation Paradigm

The European Physical Journal,  Special Topics, Published Online 05 December 2012

A. Carbone, M. Ajmone-Marsan, K.W. Axhausen, M. Batty, M. Masera, and E. Rome

“In the next century, planet earth will don an electronic skin. It will use the Internet as a scaffold to support and transmit its sensations. This skin is already being stitched together. It consists of millions of embedded electronic measuring devices: thermostats, pressure gauges, pollution detectors, cameras, microphones, glucose sensors, EKGs, electroencephalographs. These will probe and monitor cities and endangered species, the atmosphere, our ships, highways and fleets of trucks, our conversations, our bodies–even our dreams ….What will the earth’s new skin permit us to feel? How will we use its surges of sensation? For several years–maybe for a decade–there will be no central nervous system to manage this vast signaling network. Certainly there will be no central intelligence…some qualities of self-awareness will emerge once the Net is sensually enhanced. Sensuality is only one force pushing the Net toward intelligence”.”

Scheme of the interrelationship between the Exploratory of Technology and other FuturICT components.

Scheme of the interrelationship between the Exploratory of Technology and other FuturICT components.

“These statements are quoted by an interview by Cherry Murray, Dean of the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and Professor of Physics. It is interesting to outline the timeliness and highly predicting power of these statements. In particular, we would like to point to the relevance of the question “What will the earth’s new skin permit us to feel?” to the work we are going to discuss in this paper. There are many additional compelling questions, as for example: “How can the electronic earth’s skin be made more resilient?”; “How can the earth’s electronic skin be improved to better satisfy the need of our society?”;“What can the science of complex systems contribute to this endeavour?””