Using GIS for Modeling a Spatial DSS for Industrial Pollution in Egypt

American Journal of Geographic Information SystemAmerican Journal of Geographic Information System, 2012;  1(3): 33-38

Christina Albert Rayed

“Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have become an effective tool for decision support. Spatial Decision Support System (SDSS) is a relatively new field developed based on Geographic Information System (GIS) and Decision Support System (DSS). SDSS will be an important component of DSS applications in future. This trend will be driven by the relevance of spatial information as a component of the information needed for a wide range of decisions. This class of DSS will make an important contribution, not because of its use of the latest technology, but because it will allow decision makers incorporate a spatial dimension in their decision making. So Spatial Decision Support Systems (SDSS) are decision support systems where spatial properties of the data to be analyzed play a major role in decision making special in many sectors. Maps and geographic features can be used to show decision related information and relationship between objects to solve important problems like in spreading diseases and industrial pollution.”

Understanding the Urban Sprawl in the Mid-Size Latin American Cities through the Urban Form: Analysis of the Concepción Metropolitan Area (Chile)

Journal of Geographic Information System

Journal of Geographic Information System, Vol.5 No.3, June 2013

Carolina Rojas, Iván Muñiz, and Joan Pino

“Latin American cities, like those from North America and Europe, experience problems of urban sprawl. However, few studies have dedicated exclusively to this phenomenon in specific cities, and this omission is particularly noticeable regarding cities not considered among the megalopolis of the continent. The present work analyzes urban sprawl through an urban form in the Concepción Metropolitan Area, Chile, between 1990 and 2009, considering local aspects that may have played a role in the process. The main empirical results obtained from this study reveal a metropolitan area that has expanded intensely over a 20-year period, growing from 9000 hectares to more than 17,000 ha for a 96% increment in the built-up area. The new urban surfaces consolidate a central conurbation that strengthens the role of the main downtowns, with less-intense occupation towards the sub-centers but in a structure that follows the transportation infrastructure. Over the last 20 years, the distance between the shapes has grown progressively by around 2 km, increasing the size of the ellipse by more than 1000 km2.

Standard deviational ellipses map

Standard deviational ellipses map

“In particular the complexity of the urbanized surfaces has grown, becoming more irregular in shape and less compact as they come to occupy larger areas. So our principal findings include: an increment of nearly 100% in the urban surface, the importance of a polycentric urban structure in the process of consolidation as a support for analyzing different spatial dynamics, and the growing morphological irregularity of the territory of the sprawl.”

A Spatial Analysis of Agricultural Land Prices in Bavaria

BavariaIn: Food Security and Development Policy, Factor Markets Working Papers, 17 June 2013

Paul Feichtinger and Klaus Salhofer

“This paper empirically analyses a dataset of more than 11,000 agricultural land sales transactions between 1999 and 2007 in order to identify the factors influencing agricultural land prices in Bavaria. The authors confirm strong spatial relationships in their dataset, and conclude that neglecting this leads to biased estimates, especially if aggregated data are used. They therefore use a general spatial model combining a spatial lag and a spatial error model, and find that the price of a specific plot increases by 32 cents/m2 when average sales prices in surrounding areas increase by €1.

Connections of Gabriel neighbour sales transactions in 1999

Connections of Gabriel neighbour sales transactions in 1999

“Research results also confirm the strong influence of land quality, urban pressure and land market structure, and that the involvement of public authorities as seller or buyer increases sales prices. The authors find that the Fischler Reform did not considerably change the market and its determinants.”

Living near High-voltage Power Lines: GIS-based Modeling of the Risk in Nigeria’s Benin Region

Applied GIS, 2013; 9(1), 1-20

Felix Ndidi Nkeki

“This paper demonstrates the capabilities of Geographic Information System (GIS) methods for identifying populations which are both exposed to Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs) and at risk of electrocution because they live within the zone of potential risk around power lines in the Benin region GIS buffering, overlay and address geo-coding were used to generate a database consisting of both spatial and non-spatial information from which it was possible to holistically visualize the areal extent of population at risk. Potential risk areas were classified into zones of double risk and single risk, and of the approximately 20 per cent of the built-up area that was shown to be exposed to electromagnetic radiation, double-risk zones accounted for 51 per cent of this and single-risk zones 49 per cent. Also, the majority of exposed zones were found to be in high-density, residential areas located in the periphery of the region. It is evident that our GIS-assisted database will enhance future epidemiologic research and serve as a framework for effective decision making.”

A Spatial Analysis of Cultural Ecosystem Service Valuation by Regional Stakeholders in Florida: A Coastal Application of the Social Values for Ecosystem Services (SolVES) Tool

coverthbUSGS Fact Sheet: 2012-3125

Coffin, Alisa W.; Swett, Robert A.; Cole, Zachary D.

“Livelihoods and lifestyles of people throughout the world depend on essential goods and services provided by marine and coastal ecosystems. However, as societal demand increases and available ocean and coastal space diminish, better methods are needed to spatially and temporally allocate ocean and coastal activities such as shipping, energy production, tourism, and fishing. While economic valuation is an important mechanism for doing so, cultural ecosystem services often do not lend themselves to this method. Researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey are working collaboratively with the Florida Sea Grant College Program to map nonmonetary values of cultural ecosystem services for a pilot area (Sarasota Bay) in the Gulf of Mexico. The research seeks to close knowledge gaps about the attitudes and perceptions, or nonmonetary values, held by coastal residents toward cultural ecosystem services, and to adapt related, terrestrial-based research methods to a coastal setting. A critical goal is to integrate research results with coastal and marine spatial planning applications, thus making them relevant to coastal planners and managers in their daily efforts to sustainably manage coastal resources. Using information about the attitudes and preferences of people toward places and uses in the landscape, collected from value and preference surveys, the USGS SolVES 2.0 tool will provide quantitative models to relate social values, or perceived nonmonetary values, assigned to locations by survey respondents with the underlying environmental characteristics of those same locations. Project results will increase scientific and geographic knowledge of how Sarasota Bay residents value their area’s cultural ecosystem services.”

Call for Volunteers to Update the FGDC United States Thoroughfare, Landmark, and Postal Address Data Standard

URISAURISA, in conjunction with NENA (the National Emergency Number Association), is calling for volunteers to assist with an update to the FGDC United States Thoroughfare, Landmark, and Postal Address Data Standard.

URISA’s Address Standard Working Group (ASWG), a collaboration of volunteers from over 50 federal, state, tribal, local and private organizations, was convened in 2005 to draft an address data standard for submission to the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC). That task culminated in February 2011 with the formal endorsement of the United States Thoroughfare, Landmark, and Postal Address Data Standard by the FGDC. The US Census Bureau is the maintenance authority for the Standard.

Since the endorsement in 2011, some issues and problems with the current version of the Standard have been brought to light, and opportunities for collaboration have been identified to improve the standard.

Under the auspices of the US Census Bureau, the ASWG is reconvening  to draft a revision to the current version of the Standard to:

  • Correct typos, errors and omissions in the standard
  • Make adjustments to improve and ease the implementation and usage of the standard
  • Improve its coordination with other national and international standards
  • Correct any issues that have arisen due to implementation of the Standard

The ASWG is aware that agencies, entities, and individuals have made significant investments in the current version of the Standard. To protect their investments, the revision will:

  • Be backward compatible with the current version of the Standard
  • Not impose hardship on those who have already started or completed implementation

If you have professional or academic expertise in address or information exchange systems, you are encouraged to volunteer by sending an email to Keri Brennan at URISA Headquarters ( by Monday, July 15.

The current FGDC-endorsed standard is available on the FGDC website and also on the URISA website.

[Source: URISA press release]

Social Inequalities in Neighborhood Conditions: Spatial Relationships between Sociodemographic and Food Environments in Alameda County, California

Journal of MapsJournal of Maps, Volume 8, Issue 4, December 2012, pages 344-348

Catherine Cubbin, Jina Jun, Claire Margerison-Zilko, Nicolas Welch, James Sherman, Talia McCray, and Barbara Parmenter

“Previous research suggests that neighborhoods in the United States with high concentrations of poverty or of racial/ethnic minorities have lower access to healthy foods and greater access to unhealthy foods, compared with higher income or predominantly White, non-Hispanic neighborhoods. Lower access is thought to influence dietary habits and resulting health consequences, such as obesity. While most studies have focused on either neighborhood SES or features of the built environment, few have explicitly examined both. Using data from the Geographic Research on Wellbeing study, we map the spatial relationships between sociodemographic characteristics (poverty trajectories, racial/ethnic/nativity composition) and food environments in Alameda County, California. Our map presents poverty trajectories and racial/ethnic/nativity composition at the tract level, as well as maps depicting accessibility to healthy, unhealthy, and a composite of both, based on rasterized maps and a network analysis of food types within a quarter-mile walking distance. We found that neighborhoods that have experienced long-term poverty have the greatest access to both healthy and unhealthy food outlets compared with more economically advantaged neighborhoods. We also found that predominantly Black/Latino neighborhoods had the greatest access to healthy foods compared with other neighborhoods with a different race/ethnicity/nativity composition. Neighborhoods experiencing long-term affluence, as well as predominantly White neighborhoods, had the lowest access to any of the food types, which likely reflects their surburban locations. Results suggest that spatial relationships between sociodemographic characteristics and food access at the neighborhood level depend upon place and urbanization.”

County-level Poverty Estimates for the Contiguous United States, 2001, 2005

Journal of Maps, Volume 8, Issue 4, December 2012, pages 334-339

Joseph J.A. Campbell and Corey Sparks

“Efforts to estimate various sociodemographic variables in small geographical areas are proving difficult with the replacement of the Census long form with the American Community Survey (ACS). Researchers interested in sub-national demographic processes have generally relied on Census long form data products in order to answer research questions. ACS data products promise to begin providing up-to-date profiles of the nation’s population and economy; however, unit and item-level non-response in the ACS have left researchers with gaps in sub-national coverage resulting in unstable and unreliable estimates for basic demographic measures. Borrowing information from neighboring areas and across time with a spatiotemporal smoothing process based on Bayesian statistical methods, it is possible to generate more stable and accurate estimates of rates for geographic areas not represented in the ACS. This research assesses this spatiotemporal smoothing process in its ability to derive estimates of poverty rates at the county level for the contiguous United States. These estimates are then compared to more traditional estimates from the Census, and error rates are calculated to evaluate the practical application of this smoothing method. The resulting summary choropleth map displays the Bayesian estimates of county-level poverty at a scale of 1 to 12,000,000 along with summary choropleth maps of the more traditional estimates at a scale of 1 to 37,000,000 for 2001 and 2005. Error rates indicate that the Bayesian estimates of county-level poverty produced by our succinct model produce results similar to more complex traditional estimates produced by the Census.”

Debris in the Deep: Using a 22-year Video Annotation Database to Survey Marine Litter in Monterey Canyon, Central California, USA

Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, Available Online 28 May 2013

Kyra Schlining, Susan von Thun, Linda Kuhnz, Brian Schlining, Lonny Lundsten, Nancy Jacobsen Stout, Lori Chaney, and Judith Connor

“Anthropogenic marine debris is an increasing concern because of its potential negative impacts on marine ecosystems. This is a global problem that will have lasting effects for many reasons, including: 1) the input of debris into marine environments is likely to continue (commensurate with population increase and globalization), 2) accumulation, and possibly retention, of debris will occur in specific areas due to hydrography and geomorphology, and 3) the most common types of debris observed to date will likely persist for centuries. Due to the technical challenges and prohibitive costs of conducting research in the deep sea, little is known about the abundance, types, sources, and impacts of human refuse on this vast habitat, and the extreme depths to which this debris is penetrating has only recently been exposed.

Examples of marine debris items observed on MBARI ROV dives: (a) aluminum can, 1,529 m at Axial Seamount; (b) plastic chip bag, 3,506 m in Monterey Canyon; (c) rope crab pot “ghost fishing”, 1,091 m in Astoria Canyon; (d) plastic bag wrapped around a deep-sea gorgonian, 2,115 m in Astoria Canyon; (e) lost fishing rope, 999 m in Monterey Canyon; (f) foreign glass soda bottle, 1,727 m at Davidson Seamount; (g) shoe with rockfish, 472 m in San Gabriel Canyon; (h) tire with rockfish, anemone, and sea cucumber, 868 m in Monterey Canyon; (i) cardboard (paper) with an undescribed species of the sponge Hyalonema, 3950 m offshore of Santa Barbara. [COLOR].

Examples of marine debris items observed on MBARI ROV dives: (a) aluminum can, 1,529 m at Axial Seamount; (b) plastic chip bag, 3,506 m in Monterey Canyon; (c) rope crab pot “ghost fishing”, 1,091 m in Astoria Canyon; (d) plastic bag wrapped around a deep-sea gorgonian, 2,115 m in Astoria Canyon; (e) lost fishing rope, 999 m in Monterey Canyon; (f) foreign glass soda bottle, 1,727 m at Davidson Seamount; (g) shoe with rockfish, 472 m in San Gabriel Canyon; (h) tire with rockfish, anemone, and sea cucumber, 868 m in Monterey Canyon; (i) cardboard (paper) with an undescribed species of the sponge Hyalonema, 3950 m offshore of Santa Barbara. [COLOR].

“We reviewed 1,149 video records of marine debris from 22 years of remotely operated vehicle deployments in Monterey Bay, covering depths from 25 m to 3,971 m. We characterize debris by type, examine patterns of distribution, and discuss potential sources and dispersal mechanisms. Debris was most abundant within Monterey Canyon where aggregation and downslope transport of debris from the continental shelf are enhanced by natural canyon dynamics. The majority of debris was plastic (33%) and metal (23%). The highest relative frequencies of plastic and metal observations occurred below 2,000 m, indicating that previous studies may greatly underestimate the extent of anthropogenic marine debris on the seafloor due to limitations in observing deeper regions. Our findings provide evidence that submarine canyons function to collect debris and act as conduits for debris transport from coastal to deep-sea habitats.”