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]