Understanding and Managing Our Oceans: Esri Ocean GIS Forum, 05-07 November 2014

Esri logoSee different ways that ocean and maritime agencies are successfully using geospatial analysis to better understand the ocean’s dynamic environment and make intelligent decisions. The Esri Ocean GIS Forum is your opportunity to explore new GIS technology.

Ocean scientists, hydrographers, and GIS experts will be addressing topics that are particularly relevant to people who work for research institutions, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, seafood companies, energy providers, local and state governments, port authorities, shipping companies, the US Coast Guard, and the US Navy.

The Esri Ocean GIS Forum is a unique event that offers these activities:

  • A rigorous agenda of session topics presented by GIS users that work in the ocean and maritime industries
  • Best practice presentations by project managers from ocean agencies
  • An ocean science forum to share and exchange ideas
  • ArcGIS and ArcGIS Online technical demonstrations set in an ocean and maritime context
  • Meet-and-greet opportunities for expanding professional networks
  • On-site GIS professionals and domain experts that can answer questions and offer advice
  • An EXPO sponsored by ocean and maritime business consultants and technology providers
  • An app contest for posters and Story Maps
  • Two GIS hands-on workshops
  • Learning Lab

Immerse yourself in all things GIS at the Esri Ocean GIS Forum.

GEOFIM: A WebGIS Application for Integrated Geophysical Modelling in Active Volcanic Regions

Computers & GeosciencesComputers & Geosciences, Accepted 02 May 2014

By Gilda Currenti, Rosalba Napoli, Antonino Sicali, Filippo Greco, and Ciro Del Negro

“We present GEOFIM (GEOphysical Forward/Inverse Modeling), a WebGIS application for integrated interpretation of multiparametric geophysical observations. It has been developed to jointly interpret scalar and vector magnetic data, gravity data, as well as geodetic data, from GPS, tiltmeter, strainmeter and InSAR observations, recorded in active volcanic areas. GEOFIM gathers a library of analytical solutions, which provides an estimate of the geophysical signals due to perturbations in the thermal and stress state of the volcano. The integrated geophysical modeling can be performed by a simple trial and errors forward modeling or by an inversion procedure based on NSGA-II algorithm. The software capability was tested on the multiparametric data set recorded during the 2008-2009 Etna flank eruption onset. The results encourage to exploit this approach to develop a near-real-time warning system for a quantitative model-based assessment of geophysical observations in areas where different parameters are routinely monitored.”

Photos: ArcNews Editor Tom Miller’s Retirement

Yesterday, long-time ArcNews editor and my friend Tom Miller retired.

He leaves a monumental legacy: 79 issues of a magazine that today reaches about a million people each quarter.

In a time when many people pass their lives by simply checking boxes and plodding through life, Tom was a true creator.  Whether putting together an issue of ArcNews or writing another book, Tom was–is–a master at taking a random assortment of half-baked ideas and rough drafts and nurturing them and growing them into documents that have meaning.

Jack Dangermond had some very kind words for Tom during his farewell lunch yesterday.  He praised Tom for his editing skills, but more importantly for the enormous impact his creations have had on the GIS community.

Tom's retirement lunch in the "Zen Room" in the Esri Cafe'.

Tom’s retirement lunch in the “Zen Room” in the Esri Cafe’.


Bill Derrenbacher, Esri’s director of professional services, chatting with Dr. Dawn Wright, Esri’s chief scientist.


Tammy Johnson, who designed many of Tom’s 79 issues of ArcNews; Monica Pratt, ArcUser editor and Publication Team Lead; and the man of the hour, Tom Miller.


Tom’s wife Jayne chatting with Pete Schreiber, Esri legal counsel.


Let’s eat!


After lunch, many friends and co-workers gathered for Tom’s retirement cake. The tables were covered with enlarged copies of ArcNews issues he created over the years.


ArcUser editor and Publication Team Lead Monica Pratt sharing some stories about Tom.


Karen Hurlbut, who was editor of ArcNews before Tom took over some 20 years ago, shares some stories.


Enough talking! Cut the cake!


Tom with his “card”–a custom issue of ArcNews with tongue-in-cheek articles, such as the one pasted below.


Nobel Prize for Literature Awarded to ArcNews Editor

The 2014 Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded to Thos. Kent Miller, editor of Esri’s ArcNews quarterly tabloid newspaper, for the issue titled “Spring 2014”.

While it is unusual for an editor of a newspaper to receive this prestigious honor, Dr. Borgus Jerkenhammer, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy and assistant to the director of the Nobel Prize for Literature Search Committee and Curling Team, noted that “Miller’s reoccurring story of the power and benefits of geospatial technology across different organizations and industries gives hope to a hopeless world.  And that article about Roger Tomlinson had me in tears from ‘It is with great sadness…’.”

Nobody was more surprised with the award than Miller himself.  “When they called and told me I had received the 2014 Nobel Prize for Literature, I assumed it was because of my latest masterwork of H. Rider Haggard/Great Detective pastiche, Allan Quatermain at the Dawn of Time, which is now available on Amazon.com,” Miller said.  “When they said the award was for ArcNews, I though, wait, this must be a crank phone call.  I mean, ArcNews?  Really?”

Miller plans to use part of the $1.2 million in prize money to finally fix the heater in his Jacuzzi.  “Editing ArcNews is a very physically demanding job, and by the end of the issue my body feels like it’s been hit by a truck,” notes Miller.  “It will be nice to have that damn Jacuzzi working again.”

Enjoy your retirement, Tom–you certainly deserve it!

And I’ll leave everyone with this:

“Tom, you have left very big shoes to fill,” said Jack Dangermond.  “By the way, what size shoes do you wear?”


GeoPlanner for ArcGIS Enables Resilient Design

Create and Share Plans Easily with Esri Geodesign Application

Esri recently released a web app called GeoPlanner for ArcGISthat brings the power of geodesign to land-based planning. GeoPlanner for ArcGIS is a JavaScript-based application that requires no plug-ins and has been designed to run in web browsers on both desktop and standard-sized tablet devices supporting a minimum 1024 x 768 resolution.

GeoPlanner for ArcGISincorporates each aspect of a complete planning workflow—project creation, data identification, comparative analysis, and reporting—into a single web-based application. The app helps planners from a wide range of industries create and report on alternative planning scenarios to make geographically informed decisions.

Create, analyze, and report on alternative planning scenarios using the new GeoPlanner for ArcGIS app.

Create, analyze, and report on alternative planning scenarios using the new GeoPlanner for ArcGIS app.

GeoPlanner for ArcGIS comes with several ready-to-use planning templates for land-use planning, special event planning, and more, and it can be easily configured using ArcGIS for Desktop to meet the needs of your specific industry or organization.

You can purchase the GeoPlanner for ArcGIS app from ArcGIS Marketplace. You will need an ArcGIS Online subscription or a trial account to start using the app.

People outside the United States should contact Esri Offices in their area.

[Source: Esri press release]

GIS-based Hydrochemical Analysis Tools (QUIMET)

Computers & GeosciencesComputers & Geosciences, Available Online 08 May 2014

By V. Velasco, I. Tubau, E. Vázquez-Suñè, R. Gogu, D. Gaitanaru, M. Alcaraz, A. Serrano-Juan, D. Fernàndez-Garcia, T. Garrido, J. Fraile, and X. Sanchez-Vila


  • A software platform was developed for hydrochemical analysis in a GIS environment.
  • The geospatial database includes a wide range of physico-chemical records.
  • The tools, integrated in ArcGIS, improve the interpretation of hydrochemical data.
  • Results are shown consisting in a case study located in Badalona, Spain.

“A software platform (QUIMET) was developed to improve the sorting, analysis, calculations, visualizations, and interpretations of hydrogeochemical data in a GIS environment. QUIMET is composed of a geospatial database plus a set of tools specially designed for graphical and statistical analysis of hydrogeochemical data. The geospatial database has been designed to include organic and inorganic chemical records, as well as relevant physical parameters (temperature, Eh, electrical conductivity).

Map representing theStiff diagrams of the Badalonashallow aquifer for theperiod 1996-2001. This map waselaborated with thecommand Hydrochemical diagramtools.

Map representing theStiff diagrams of the Badalonashallow aquifer for theperiod 1996-2001. This map waselaborated with thecommand Hydrochemical diagramtools.

“The instruments for analysis cover a wide range of methodologies for querying, interpreting, and comparing groundwater quality data. They include, among others, chemical time-series analysis, ionic balance calculations, correlation of chemical parameters, and calculation of various common hydrogeochemical diagrams (Wilcox, Schöeller-Berkaloff, Piper, and Stiff). The GIS platform allows the generation of maps of the spatial distribution of parameters and diagrams. Moreover, it allows performing a complete statistical analysis of the data including descriptive statistic univariate and bivariate analysis, the latter including generation of correlation matrices and graphics. Finally, QUIMET offers interoperability with other external platforms. The platform is illustrated with a geochemical data set from the city of Badalona, located on the Mediterranean coast in NE Spain.”

A SMART Groundwater Portal: An OGC Web Services Orchestration Framework for Hydrology to Improve Data Access and Visualisation in New Zealand

Computers & GeosciencesComputers & Geosciences, Accepted 30 April 2014

By Hermann Klug and Alexander Kmoch


  • We contrast international state of the art data sharing with the present status in New Zealand.
  • We provide a Simple, Measurable, Achievable, Repeatable and Time-based web service orchestration.
  • Users Save Money and Reduce Time to achieve access to distributed groundwater data.

“Transboundary and cross-catchment access to hydrological data is the key to designing successful environmental policies and activities. Electronic maps based on distributed databases are fundamental for planning and decision making in all regions and for all spatial and temporal scales. Freshwater is an essential asset in New Zealand (and globally) and the availability as well as accessibility of hydrological information held by or held for public authorities and businesses are becoming a crucial management factor. Access to and visual representation of environmental information for the public is essential for attracting greater awareness of water quality and quantity matters.


“Detailed interdisciplinary knowledge about the environment is required to ensure that the environmental policy-making community of New Zealand considers regional and local differences of hydrological statuses, while assessing the overall national situation. However, cross-regional and inter-agency sharing of environmental spatial data is complex and challenging. In this article, we firstly provide an overview of the state of the art standard compliant techniques and methodologies for the practical implementation of simple, measurable, achievable, repeatable, and time-based (SMART) hydrological data management principles. Secondly, we contrast international state of the art data management developments with the present status for groundwater information in New Zealand. Finally, for the topics (i) data access and harmonisation, (ii) sensor web enablement and (iii) metadata, we summarise our findings, provide recommendations on future developments and highlight the specific advantages resulting from a seamless view, discovery, access, and analysis of interoperable hydrological information and metadata for decision making.”

URISA’s Student Competition Revolutionized for GIS-Pro 2014

URISAIn a recent development for GIS-Pro 2014: URISA’s Annual Conference taking place September 8-11, 2014 in New Orleans, the URISA Vanguard Cabinet has revitalized the traditional student presentation competition.

Help revitalize traditional poster contests by joining the Vanguard Cabinet for a showcase of recent ‘maptastic’ GIS student innovations. Instead of traditional printed and thumb-tacked maps, we are going completely digital. There will be a series of brief presentations (no longer than five minutes each) during the competition session on September 9th at 2:00 PM where students will compete for the “Best Presentation” cash award*. Additionally, digital submissions will be accepted for students unable to attend the conference, where they can compete for additional cash prizes in various categories. All approved submissions will be uploaded online and displayed in the common area during the conference, to allow conference attendees to vote on a “People’s Choice” award. All awards will be presented to select competitors during the Wednesday morning awards ceremony at GIS-Pro 2014: URISA’s 52nd Annual Conference in New Orleans.

“With today’s GIS students becoming the future leaders of our industry, it’s essential to offer students a platform to continue learning, present analysis results, and get feedback to improve their skills,” said Ashley Hitt, a current URISA board member. “As young GIS professionals, the Vanguard Cabinet recognizes this and is offering more opportunities for students and other young professionals to get involved and take advantage of the opportunity.”

Students may submit a map or poster .pdf (or image file), a PowerPoint presentation, or a video walk-through of a web app., mobile app., model, or script they have developed. All submissions will be reviewed, to ensure appropriate content, and competitors will receive an email confirmation upon approval. We encourage competitors to attend the conference to present their work, but those unable to attend will still be able to compete for all but the “Best Presentation” award. All students are welcome to compete, as long as they submit evidence of at least half-time enrollment at an accredited college for the Fall 2014 term. More details, as well as the competition application form, can be found at https://sites.google.com/site/gispro2014studentcompetition/.

Additional opportunities for GIS students to get involved with the URISA GIS-Pro Conference – to be held in New Orleans, LA from September 8-11, 2014 – include a panel designed for students/young professionals and student volunteer opportunities.

  • Young Professional/Student Panel: This will be an educational session for students and young GIS professionals to learn more about GIS career paths, how to keep up with skills and technology changes required for more advanced positions, advice on creating effective resumes and portfolios, interview tips, and resources for open job positions. This session will take place on Tuesday, September 9 from 4-5 p.m.
  • Student Volunteer Opportunities: URISA strives to involve students as much as possible in its annual conference. There are a limited number of opportunities to attend the conference through a complimentary registration, in return for volunteering at the conference. An application is posted here: https://sites.google.com/site/gispro2014studentcompetition/volunteer

If you have any questions about the student competition, or would like additional information, please contact urisa.vc@gmail.com.

About URISA: URISA – Fostering Excellence in GIS – is a leading provider of learning and knowledge for the GIS community. URISA connects great ideas and great people to inspire leadership and achievement. We strive to provide exceptional educational experiences, a vibrant and connected community, and the essential resources you need to be successful in your career. URISA is a multidisciplinary association where professionals from all parts of the spatial data community come together to share concerns and ideas. www.urisa.org

About the URISA Vanguard Cabinet: The vision of the Vanguard Cabinet is to provide students and young professionals within the geospatial profession with opportunities to further professional development and represent their interests with the URISA organization. http://www.urisa.org/about/vanguard

* URISA is seeking a total of $1,500 in sponsorship funds to award cash prizes to the top submissions in various categories. Demonstrate your commitment to future GIS leaders by sponsoring this important event.  If your organization is interested in sponsoring the student competition, or would like additional information, please contact Wendy Nelson at wnelson@urisa.org.

[Source: URISA press release]

Spatial MCDA in Marine Planning: Experiences from the Mediterranean and Baltic Seas

mpMarine Policy, Volume 48, September 2014

by Ilpo Tammi and Risto Kalliola


  • Joint use of GIS and multi-criteria decision analysis in marine planning is tested.
  • Two different methodological approaches are applied in two different European seas.
  • Spatial MCDA aids in structuring and evaluating marine planning decision problems.
  • The methods enable participation, communication and iterativity in MSP.
  • Proper sensitivity analysis is required due to diversity in data and model quality.

“This paper examines ways to guide spatial decision making processes by the combined use of geographical information systems (GIS), multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) and related decision support systems – also called spatial MCDA. Two local-scale case studies were conducted in multi-objective marine and coastal spatial planning problems, one focusing on experimental artificial reef siting in the Mediterranean Sea and one on spatial rearrangement of aquaculture production in the Baltic Sea.

Example datasetsfortheAegeancase,waterdepth(m)andprimaryproduction(mg/m3 chl-a, basedonMERISdata©ESA2012).

Example data sets for the Aegean case, water depth (m) and primary production (mg/m3 chl-a, based on MERIS data ©ESA 2012).

“In both cases similar analytical frameworks were utilized, yet the applied spatial MCDA techniques were tailored case-specifically according to local characteristics and the nature of the decision problems at hand. In both cases the joint use of GIS and MCDA was able to generate concrete, easily interpretable inputs for decision support via quantification and visualization of decision criteria, trade-offs, alternatives and uncertainty, thus supporting further use of GIS-based spatial decision support tools. Albeit such tools may provide valuable insight to MSP and ICZM, they also come with certain limitations which are commonly related to the quality of the input data and the used valuation criteria in situations that may contain a mixture of subjective and objective information. Based on the empirical findings, the applicability of spatial MCDA in these settings and in marine spatial planning in general is discussed.”

Identification of Optimum Scopes of Environmental Factors for Snails using Spatial Analysis Techniques in Dongting Lake Region, China

pnvParasites & Vectors 7:216, Published Online 09 May 2014

By Jin-Yi Wu, Yi-Biao Zhou, Lin-Han Li, Sheng-Bang Zheng, Song Liang, Ashley Coatsworth, Guang-Hui Ren, Xiu-Xia Song, Zhong He, Bin Cai, Jia-Bian You, and Qing-Wu Jiang

Owing to the harmfulness and seriousness of Schistosomiasis japonica in China, the control and prevention of S. japonica transmission are imperative. As the unique intermediate host of this disease, Oncomelania hupensis plays an important role in the transmission. It has been reported that the snail population in Qiangliang Lake district, Dongting Lake Region has been naturally declining and is slowly becoming extinct. Considering the changes of environmental factors that may cause this phenomenon, we try to explore the relationship between circumstance elements and snails, and then search for the possible optimum scopes of environmental factors for snails.

Moisture content of soil, pH, temperature of soil and elevation were collected by corresponding apparatus in the study sites. The LISA statistic and GWR model were used to analyze the association between factors and mean snail density, and the values in high-high clustered areas and low-low clustered areas were extracted to find out the possible optimum ranges of these elements for snails.


A total of 8,589 snail specimens were collected from 397 sampling sites in the study field. Besides the mean snail density, three environmental factors including water content, pH and temperature had high spatial autocorrelation. The spatial clustering suggested that the possible optimum scopes of moisture content, pH, temperature of the soil and elevation were 58.70 to 68.93%, 6.80 to 7.80, 22.73 to 24.23[degree sign]C and 23.50 to 25.97 m, respectively. Moreover, the GWR model showed that the possible optimum ranges of these four factors were 36.58 to 61.08%, 6.541 to 6.89, 24.30 to 25.70[degree sign]C and 23.50 to 29.44 m, respectively.

The results indicated the association between snails and environmental factors was not linear but U-shaped. Considering the results of two analysis methods, the possible optimum scopes of moisture content, pH, temperature of the soil and elevation were 58.70% to 68.93%, 6.6 to 7.0, 22.73[degree sign]C to 24.23[degree sign]C, and 23.5 m to 26.0 m, respectively. The findings in this research will help in making an effective strategy to control snails and provide a method to analyze other factors.”