A Spatial Analysis to Study Access to Emergency Obstetric Transport Services under the Public Private “Janani Express Yojana” Program in Two Districts of Madhya Pradesh, India

rhReproductive Health 2014, 11:57 (22 July 2014)

By Yogesh Sabde, Ayesha De Costa, and Vishal Diwan

The government in Madhya Pradesh (MP), India in 2006, launched “Janani Express Yojana” (JE), a decentralized, 24X7, free emergency transport service for all pregnant women under a public-private partnership. JE supports India’s large conditional cash transfer program, the “Janani Suraksha Yojana” (JSY) in the province and transports on average 60,000 parturients to hospital every month. The model is a relatively low cost one that potentially could be adopted in other parts of India and South Asia. This paper describes the uptake, time taken and geographic equity in access to the service to transport women to a facility in two districts of MP.

This was a facility based cross sectional study. We interviewed parturients (n = 468) who delivered during a five day study period at facilities with >10 deliveries/month (n = 61) in two study districts. The women were asked details of transportation used to arrive at the facility, time taken and their residential addresses. These details were plotted onto a Geographic Information System (GIS) to estimate travelled distances and identify statistically significant clusters of mothers (hot spots) reporting delays >2 hours.

In district 2, forests covered 52.4% of the total district area (Figure 8). Most of the hot spot mothers in dis trict 2 acted differently in that they travelled longer distances through the forest areas to ac cess the CEmOC located in the district head quarter. The majority of women will not require to de liver in a Comprehensive EmOC facility, but the alternative to not delivering in a CEmO C facility in this setting is nearly equivalent to delivering in a dysfunctional facility, as none of the other facilities provide complete Basic EmOC which is life saving.

In district 2, forests covered 52.4% of the total district area. Most of the hot spot mothers in district 2 acted differently in that they travelled longer distances through the forest areas to access the CEmOC located in the district head quarter. The majority of women will not require to deliver in a Comprehensive EmOC facility, but the alternative to not delivering in a CEmOC facility in this setting is nearly equivalent to delivering in a dysfunctional facility, as none of the other facilities provide complete Basic EmOC which is life saving.

JE vehicles were well dispersed across the districts and used by 236 (50.03%) mothers of which 111(47.03%) took >2 hours to reach a facility. Inability of JE vehicle to reach a mother in time was the main reason for delays. There was no correlation between the duration of delay and distance travelled. Maps of the travel paths and travel duration of the women are presented. The study identified hot spots of mothers with delays >2 hours and explored the possible reasons for longer delays.

The JE service was accessible in all parts of the districts. Relatively high utilization rates of JE indicate that it ably supported JSY program to draw more women f or institutional deliveries. However, half of the JE users experienced long (>2 hour) delays. The delayed mothers clustered in difficult terrains of the districts. Additional support particularly for the identified hot spots, enhanced monitoring by state agencies and GIS tools can facilitate better effectiveness of the JE program. ”

2014 GIS Managers’ Open Summit: Presentations and Round Table Discussion Notes

2014 GIS Managers Open Summit

2014 GIS Managers Open Summit

The 2014 GIS Managers’ Open Summit took place Tuesday, July 15th, 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at the Esri User Conference in San Diego, California. The Summit is a track designed for GIS managers, business and technology strategists, and other decision makers attending the Esri UC. It offers opportunities to engage in conversations with peers on topics that relate to business efficiencies, return on investment (ROI), managing data, and more.

Now in its fifth year, more than 400 people pre-registered for the event, and many more registered on-site. The format was a little different this year. Four scheduled speakers focused on GIS management issues:

  1. GIS for Big Data and Big Decisions: From the Citizen on the Street to the Leadership SuiteJim Geringer and Heather Blatchford
  2. A Modern Approach to GIS in the Enterprise – Adam Carnow
  3. Aligning People, Projects, and Strategic Priorities – Michael Green
  4. Planning, Managing, and Building a GISDave Peters

Each presentation was followed by round table discussions on highlighted topics that came up during the presentations. Like last year, we asked each table to fill out a card briefly summarizing what they talked about, and what their big takeaways were. A representative from each table then shared this information back with the larger group.

For the benefit of those who could not attend this event and the larger GIS community, Dave Peters collected all of the summary cards and has compiled the information presented below.


 1. GIS for Big Data and Big Decisions: From the Citizen on the Street to the Leadership Suite – Jim Geringer and Heather Blatchford

Budgets – if you had a 20% increase in your GIS budget, what would you do differently?

Table 1:

  • Main issues discussed
    • Strategic plans
    • Return on Investment study
    • Proof on concept
  • Takeaways
    • Staffing
    • Salaries
    • Data integrity investments

Table 2:

  • Main issues discussed
    • Difference between hardware and software deployment patterns
    • Employee enrichment with GIS training
    • Use funds for additional GIS staffing
  • Takeaways
    • Every organizations needs are different
    • We all have strategic plans with identified gaps that need to be addressed

Table 3:

  • Main issues discussed
    • Sustainability
    • Staffing
  • Takeaways
    • Each Agency and Participant has unique needs based on individual plans.

Table 4:

  • Main issues discussed
    • Not enough funding for current GIS needs
    • Not enough for needed system upgrades
    • What about on-going maintenance costs?
  • Takeaways
    • Different agencies, different problems
    • High demands, low budgets, understaffing
    • Not enough money (GIS budget) is common problem

Networking – sharing best practices, apps, data

  • Main issues discussed
    • Networking
    • Sharing best practices, apps, and data
  • Takeaways
    • Move away from the term GIS to make people less scared
      • i.e. Information portal
    • Open data – provide for commercial development
    • Provide $ to local government to share data
      • IGIC/Indiana example

Roll-up of local and state data into a national data set, such as addresses, parcels and road/street centerline records. This would be similar to the community basemap approach.

Table 1:

  • Main issues discussed
    • Data sharing
  • Takeaways
    • Willing to share data
    • Legal issues need to be addressed

Table 2:

  • Main issues discussed
    • Free vs for profit datasets
    • Level of detail
  • Takeaways
    • Standard schema needed

Cloud-Apps, computing, data, ArcGIS Online

Table 1:

  • Main issues discussed
    • Not clear understanding of available resources, ways to synchronize data, etc.
  • Takeaways
    • Bandwidth considerations (scalability)
    • Hybrid model options available
    • Good options for smaller environments
    • Security is a concern – need a trust relationship
    • Cloud is a great source for computing resources

Table 2:

  • Main issues discussed
    • Currency of online data
    • Data authority/quality/metadata
  • Takeaways
    • Uncertain about how this will fit in our organization

Table 3:

  • Main issues discussed
    • Data security and privacy
    • Knowing who gets permissions and regulating access
    • Administration strategies
  • Takeaways
    • Weigh security concerns against benefits
    • Do a lot behind the firewall – plenty internally (on-premise)

Table 4:

  • Main issues discussed
    • Data, Data, Data – Metadata
    • Authorization and currency of online dta
  • Takeaways
    • Collaboration is great using ArcGIS Online
    • WebMaps are nice
    • (Power of ArcGIS Online portal is not well understood.)

Communicating the value of GIS to senior management – securing support/resources

  • Main issues discussed
    • Alignment with purpose and strategy
    • Understand business needs
    • Resonate a solution in a language senior management can understand
  • Takeaways
    • Know business purpose and priorities
    • Establish meaningful metrics
    • Increase product throughput/improve workflow productivity, etc

Advocating GIS in your organization – know your audience, know their priorities

Table 1:

  • Main issues discussed
    • Cross department buy-in
    • Across department communications
  • Takeaways
    • GIS is an asset value add, not an end solution
    • Case studies
      • Walgreens
      • City of Roseville – GIS/IT
      • Sweden Grid – Utilities
      • PlaceWorks – urban planning

Table 2:

  • Main issues discussed
    • How to get their time to implement a huge integration
      • Core goals – build balanced infrastructure, keep user productivity and performance high
      • Align to strategic business plans – start there, GIS follows
    • Strong mayor who promotes change (management challenge)
      • Won’t take time to understand what’s already in place
      • GIS is put into county code w/ court orders to lock it in place (improve stability)
      • Understand organization core objectives, connect to these (improve value)
      • Commercial entity, fiber optics, can’t build infrastructure with two people on staff (need more infrastructure)
    • Understand the business
      • Go from scattershot to enterprise
      • Strategic plan – interview everyone
      • Many different workflow processes in several offices
        • Focus on short term “wins”, business gains.
      • Start with the younger employees, show them as they integrate
      • Continue to communicate successes
  • Takeaways
    • Understand the business (strategic goals and priorities)
      • Migrate from scattershot to enterprise
      • Have a strategic plan – interview everyone
      • Many different workflow processes in several offices
        • Focus on short term “wins”, business gains.
      • Start with the younger employees, show them as they integrate
      • Continue to communicate successes

Governance: Consolidation/optimization of GIS services as a separate entity or combined with overall IT

Table 1:

  • Main issues discussed
    • Current organizational model and challenges
  • Takeaways
    • Lots of organizational models all with pros and cons.

Table 2:

  • Main issues discussed
    • IT cost center vs Business Profit Center
    • Lots of talk – management challenges
      • Disconnects, challenges with IT consolidation
      • Business approaches, business strategies, business leadership (IT)
      • IT focus on back office automation/GIS focus on business workflow optimization
      • Power struggles/mixed business strategies
    • Takeaways
      • Complex problem to solve
        • GIS value in IT or Business – how to represent
        • Utilization of overall governance framework including stewardship and partnerships
        • Leverage business strategy to drive and influence IT Information Metrics
      • New CDO (Chief Digital Officer) approach (GIS/IT business enablement focus)
        • Reinvent IT more tightly integrated with business operations

Mobile Services – Devices, apps, workforce, security policy, support, wireless services

Table 1:

  • Main issues discussed
    • Disconnected capability is key
    • Security is a concern, especially with the Cloud integration
    • How do we build and maintain apps at the pace expected by users
  • Takeaways
    • Focused apps; new user configurable apps
    • Use templates
    • Develop a security plan

Table 2:

  • Main issues discussed
    • Security policies/defining methods and strategies
    • Support for security standards within organizations
    • Related table access with field applications
    • Mobile application deployment (development) patterns
      • Disconnected editing
      • One location (app service), many uses (multiple user interfaces)
    • Takeaways
      • Collector w/ related tables – wonderful
      • HTML5, Java – programing environment supported on all devices
      • Building apps to common standard (configurable applications)
      • Apps for multiple devices/multiple flavors
      • Setting device/app standards for handling customer security needs.

Open data and shared data – between and among departments within a single organization, between and among organizations. Fits with Esri Open Data App

  • Main issues discussed
    • Why are you doing open data
    • Organization, governance, and licensing of open data
    • So many apps already available
  • Takeaways
    • Not clear why you are doing open data

Prepping your executives to engage with Esri – leverage Esri partnership to expand use of GIS at your org

  • Main issues discussed
    • IT with Business and who does what
    • How does IT and GIS work together
  • Takeaways
    • How do you get IT to understand the value of GIS
    • Move from order taker to service provider

Data protection, training, and awareness

  • Main issues discussed
    • Marketing your data
  • Takeaways
    • Different levels of data security
    • Risk Assessment strategies

Advocating GIS in your organization – know your audience, know their priorities

  • Main issues discussed
    • Know individual roles within the organization
    • Need for GIS Department
  • Takeaways
    • Co-existence of GIS with IT to help advocate GIS
    • Understanding of GIS by management
      • Finding their language
        • Keep it simple (visualize solution opportunities)
    • understanding how to sell GIS benefits
      • Focus on areas that have greatest impact (benefits)
      • Share the value of GIS information throughput the workplace
    • Getting them to buy and commit implementation funding
      • High return on investment
      • Low risk implementation

Big data – definition, management, sharing, processing, authoritativeness

  • Main issues discussed
    • Definition – aggregation of a pervasive data set
    • Management – trust, open minded, top down management, support, collaboration
    • Technology – storage, services, enterprise architecture
  • Takeaways
    • Standards, Metadata
    • Products (GeoEvent Server and GIS Tools for Hadoop)
    • Guidelines, Architecture Design patterns

Finding a champion to broaden exposure with senior executives. Importance of key staff.

  • Main issues discussed
    • Administration support (firewall)
    • Finding a champion to reach the executive staff
    • Silos – information resources and relationships
    • Enterprise operations, Legacy investments, Integration challenges
  • Takeaways
    • GIS is an analysis engine
    • Common challenges with both private and public organizations
    • Key focus targets can open doors to build success


2. A Modern Approach to GIS in the Enterprise – Adam Carnow

GIS Strategic Plan

Table 1:

  • Main issues discussed
    • Simplify the message/vision
    • Identify the type of language used
    • Who had a strategic plan for their organization
      • Half of those at the table
    • Takeaways
      • Line of sight strategy between Government/Company objectives
      • One pager for general staff consumption

Table 2:

  • Main issues discussed
    • Planning the strategy
    • Learn management priorities
  • Takeaways
    • Short term, mid-range, open strategy
    • Steering committee, meet every 6 months with operations and VP only present.

Table 3:

  • Main issues discussed
    • GIS not being held as important
    • Relationships between IT and GIS
    • CIOs and CEOs not having a GIS background
  • Takeaways
    • Need a long term and short term vision
    • IT/GIS plan or separate
    • Budgets cause issues with implementation

Table 4:

  • emphasizing communication without communicating
  • Main issues discussed
    • How to communicate technical details (dumb down UMD)
      • Leadership adopts catch phrases, hard to disabuse
      • Data/planning/analysis focus not clear
    • Data silos breakdown ownership
      • No communication
    • Too busy putting out fires
    • Strategic plan is
      • convincing Execs they should be leading leadership
        • Use their vision/language
        • Focus on the purpose
  • Takeaways
    • We know what we want to do
      • Communicate in their language
        • Why is it expensive?
        • What is their benefit?
        • Small app for the executive (show benefits)
        • Interpret for the user techies
      • Use ArcGIS Online/Esri Web site for COTS solutions vs reinvent
        • GIS = my GIS app
        • GIS liaisons

Table 5:

  • Main issues discussed
    • Should funding be included for strategic planning?
    • Alignment of issues with other partners/agencies and departments can be challenging.
  • Takeaways
    • The difficulties in aligning with other agencies and political involvement
    • Issues and challenges that alignment with other agencies creates.

GIS as a Location Platform

Table 1:

  • Main issues discussed
    • Like a poker game (ACE in your hand)
      • Share information/Secure data
      • Weak gets bigger, then concerns
    • Takeaways
      • It is an evolutionary process

Table 2:

  • Main issues discussed
    • Simplify (make it simple to use GIS)
    • Include location information with all data
  • Takeaways
    • Strategy about how we can link our data together (by location)

Marketing GIS

Table 1:

  • Main issues discussed
    • We think GIS Management thinks solutions
    • Don’t say GIS – have a solution
      • Nice, pretty, tells a story
      • Show it
    • Find the right sponsor
    • Find a partner with solutions that work
      • Fits your business model
    • What is the bottom line
      • Where is the most pain/exposure/bad press
      • Solutions/benefits/sustainable – back it up!
      • Repeatable
    • Everyone needs information
      • Find avenue of least resistance
      • Harvest the hanging fruits
      • Strategic goal – Fix it
    • Takeaways
      • Go mobile
      • Be proactive

Table 2:

  • Main issues discussed
    • We have done a lot of work, yet people are not aware of the value.
    • Getting people using what we’ve got
    • Spatial analysis – not just making maps
  • Takeaways
    • Focused maps that meet users’ needs
    • Join business meetings and listen for opportunities for GIS
    • Enable GIS where they do their work
    • Personal connections/relationships matter
    • Try your best to never say no
    • Be persistent – don’t give up

Engaging with Executives

Table 1:

  • Main issues discussed
    • Limited time and all about the $$
    • Filtering, segmenting, don’t bargain, dependencies
    • Communication up and down different management levels
  • Takeaways
    • Focus on upper management priorities
    • Keep it high level – focus on values, address the pain (solutions)
    • Demo – visualization (iPAD on elevator) – cool focused apps
    • One page executive summary – all about the value
    • Their focused “dashboard” to show GIS benefits

Table 2:

  • Main issues discussed
    • Expectations – knowing your audience (pain points)
    • Executive have a shelf life, shorter than yours
  • Takeaways
    • Visualization works best

Sustainability – COTS over Custom

Table 1:

  • Main issues discussed
    • Cost of custom applications when budgets are limited
    • Federal (BLM) – Structured process – National contracting
      • Contracted for custom apps
      • COTS
      • Common portal
        • Publishing GIS Services/utilities
  • Serving very large communities
    • Tempo is increasing
    • Still much paper processes
  • Small business (COTS drivers)
    • Cost effective
    • Limited budget
    • Open source
  • Takeaways
    • Flexibility of COTS when budgets are limited
    • Larger organizations can meet the needs of broad audiences

Table 2:

  • Main issues discussed
    • Custom apps require data model changes
    • 3rd party integration requires data model changes
    • Stitching COTS = Custom Solution
    • New relationships require attention and present moving targets
    • Redundancy in custom solutions
    • 3rd party source in escrow (Washington)
  • Takeaways
    • Hybrid solution allows for sustainability and flexibility

Table 3:

  • Main issues discussed
    • Often COTS don’t do exactly what is needed, so customization is needed.
    • It’s one thing to build something; it’s another to maintain it.
    • However COTS over Custom can have similar problems when Esri supported tools are no longer supported with subsequent releases.
  • Takeaways
    • Focus on “throw away apps”.
    • Need to use COTS where applicable, but need to be flexible to create when necessary.
    • Follow good project management
      • Prioritizing your business needs
      • Use business needs to define if COTS is acceptable or not
      • In other words, 7 of 10 tools in COTS are good, but you may need to build and maintain the other 3 tools as custom applications.

Table 4:

  • Main issues discussed
    • COTS don’t meet all our business needs
    • Maintained legacy apps can satisfy critical business needs
  • Takeaways
    • To go COTS: need to make the case (benefits to the stake holders)
    • Develop a strategic plan
      • Challenge of migration from legacy to COTS
      • Need a champion

Power of Spatial Analysis

Table 1:

  • Main issues discussed
    • Automation
    • Marketing GIS
    • What kinds of analysis opportunities
    • Understanding business needs for spatial analysis
  • Takeaways
    • Maps answer where and what
      • Spatial analysis answers why
    • Communicates purpose, efficiency
    • Automation available, along with documentation

Table 2:

  • Main issues discussed
    • Main benefits of GIS come from spatial analysis
      • Data in/of itself is not useful
    • Takeaways
      • We have always done analysis, but doing it spatially can help you do it faster and see things you can’t see in tabular data.

System architecture design

  • Main issues discussed
    • Implementation costs (budget)
    • Hardware/software needs
    • Location of GIS in the organization
    • Security
    • Interoperability
  • Takeaways
    • Leadership buy-in/Department buy-in
    • Know your audience
    • Sell your solution


3. Aligning People, Projects, and Strategic Priorities – Michael Green

Skill/Will Matrix

Table 1:

  • Main issues discussed
    • GIS is a small field (skilled workforce needed)
      • State and private marketplace
      • Will ArcGIS Online help address skill challenges?
    • Salaries don’t match required skills in the workplace
    • Depend on contractors to fill skill gaps
    • Will is a primary motivating component
      • Will to do cool things
      • Not willing to learn is a problem
      • Is it a job or a passion?
    • Takeaways
      • Build a culture for success
        • Common vision
        • Empowerment
      • One on one meetings with staff

Table 2:

  • Main issues discussed
    • People are the issue/Collins says people first (right people in the right job)
    • Then we have some control over our team, but not all users
  • Takeaways
    • Private vs public – people in the wrong quadrant should transition out
      • Public workplace – we have less control over apathy and incompetence.
    • Remove obstacles to users
    • Make sure the technology is not the problem
    • Make the technology easy and even fun
    • Bring end users and GIS Techs together
      • Embed GIS with the user community
      • Bring GIS liaisons to GIS group
    • Identify liaisons who are both “doers” (skill and will) and influential

Change Management

Table 1:

  • Main issues discussed
    • Change management – broad – people are strong
    • Micro management – slows change
  • Takeaways
    • Turned a light on myself
      • I show interest and then resist
    • Patience is important – look inward

Table 2:

  • Main issues discussed
    • Managing data
    • Integrating the IT workflow into GIS
  • Takeaways
    • Creating a repeatable process

ArcGIS Online and what it means for a platform

Table 1:

  • Main issues discussed
    • Host applications
      • decrease development costs
    • Credit usage
      • how to control costs
      • ELA concerns
    • Esri Jumpstart
      • Esri help to get started
    • Takeaways
      • ArcGIS Server deployment
        • Host local or leverage the cloud

Table 2:

  • Main issues discussed
    • GAP in technology (online vs on-premise)
    • Security concerns
    • Managing public vs private operations
  • Takeaways
    • Shareable
    • Limited functionality and usability for advanced users (does not yet replace the core GIS)
    • More development needed in some cases (future potential)
    • Empowerment to larger user base – focused apps and templates
    • More education needed about credits

Speaking a different language

  • Main issues discussed
    • Losing organizational language – capturing institutional language
    • IT paradigm “it’s just data”
  • Takeaways
    • Understand from the others viewpoint
      • What’s the thing that inspires them
        • Tie to funding or other payoff/benefits
      • We often don’t think in terms of budgets
        • Removing pain/obstacles
        • Goal: work myself out of a job

Are you seeing the growth of GIS the way that you want within your organization?

  • Main issues discussed
    • Executive buy-in important
    • High level champion for the GIS platform
    • Getting positive field user feedback as proof of value
    • Too many SaaS offerings and technology overload
    • Language barriers with terminology
  • Takeaways
    • Better communication involving success stories
    • Educate new management with history
    • Involve management in the process steps

3 A’s (Alignment, Analysis, Action)

  • Main issues discussed
    • Effective top down management (local government)
    • Dealing with elected officials / Business needs.
    • Continuity with rollover of executive status
    • Getting the message to upper management
  • Takeaways
    • Have training elements available
    • Not always change the process – but change the message as necessary.
    • Story maps are a useful tool for messages to executive management.


4. Planning, Managing, and Building a GIS – Dave Peters

Building effective GIS operations

  • Main issues discussed
    • Under staffing
    • No/Little buy in from senior stake holders
    • Relative – based on your organization culture
    • Build marketing skills – take responsibility to improve communications.
    • Find the solutions
    • Lack the power to influence the persons who are decision makers
      • Not that you are inadequate
      • Bridging the gap so each party hears that same thing.
    • Take responsibility, manage expectations, listen, do requests, produce
  • Takeaways
    • Senior management wants a GIS, but expects GIS managers to do it.
    • Not a collaborative effort

Engaging with executive management

  • Main issues discussed
    • Getting the meeting
    • Showing what is possible
    • Analytics, grants and building
    • Tie in with existing plans and needs
    • Power of speaking with one voice
    • Geoenable existing solutions such as customer location, and easy win
    • “We have always done it that way” – ask why.
    • Note: Executives are strategic thinkers
  • Takeaways
    • Have something to show
    • Find out (identify) their pain points
    • Have a middle manager or director champion

Enterprise GIS Vision

  • Main issues discussed
    • Tried to define what enterprise GIS is
      • Consistency of use across the organization
      • No duplication of effort and staffing
      • Integrated GIS organization across departments
    • +/- of distributed/centralized management model
  • Takeaways
    • Component (distributed) verses corporate (centralized)
      • Centralized – enterprise governance and strategy
      • GIS craft – understanding + opportunity – specific disconnects

Governance and political landscape

Table 1:

  • Main issues discussed
    • GIS steering committees
      • Good for buy-in if properly done
    • Where GIS is situated in the organization
    • Role of committees
    • IT/GIS mix
  • Takeaways
    • IT/GIS relationship is important
      • Some confusion in roles
      • Position hoarding can be a problem
      • IT formal processes can be valuable
      • Steering committee TOR (terms of reference) process can be valuable
    • Who should be on the committees?

Table 2:

  • Main issues discussed
    • Interagency conflict and silos – political challenges
  • Takeaways
    • Migrate from us vs you => we.
    • Older and bigger => harder to change
    • Educate executive -> has to be rebuilt every 5-7 years

Managing technology change

  • Main issues discussed
    • How to bring together all of the disparate parts that don’t cleanly connect.
    • GIS and IT system requirements need to be aligned
    • May need SQL Server + Oracle for optimum solution
  • Takeaways
    • Getting administrators on board (GIS training and business value)
    • Training (GIS and IT management and administration)
    • Management oversight/support

GIS business workflows

  • Main issues discussed
    • How do you document business workflows
      • Tools: Word, excel, Visio project, mind mapper
    • Who updates existing workflows
    • Managing wants over willing to learn
  • Takeaways
    • User interviews with all stakeholders
    • Embracing change – innovation
    • Winning over stubborn clients – learning to turn heads
    • Be available at the very beginning – early involvement

GIS Staffing

  • Main issues discussed
    • Common problem: (1) person is the manager, analyst, developer, etc
    • Challenge: training new hires to be productive
  • Takeaways
    • Hire productive (experienced) employees that do not require a lot of coaching and training that takes time from senior level employees
    • Outsourcing – generating partnerships with contractors to fill the missing gaps

GIS Matrix Management

  • Main issues discussed
    • Often no direct management authority over users
    • Leadership buy-in, sponsorship, and support critical
  • Takeaways
    • Matrix organization is common structure throughout GIS community
      • Integrates IT, applications, database, and GIS user community
    • What works has to be shared

Development of a GIS-Based Tool for Aquaculture Siting

isprsISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, 2014, 3(2), 800-816

By Noelani Puniwai, Lisa Canale, Maria Haws, James Potemra, Christopher Lepczyk, and Steven Gray

“Nearshore aquaculture siting requires the integration of a range of physical, environmental, and social factors. As a result, the information demand often presents coastal managers with a range of complex issues regarding where specific types of aquaculture should be ideally located that reduce environmental and social impacts. Here we provide a framework and tool for managers faced with these issues that incorporate physical and biological parameters along with geospatial infrastructure.

Summary of attributes for selected hexagons with legend and layer options visible on the right.

Summary of attributes for selected hexagons with legend and layer options visible on right.

“In addition, the development of the tool and underlying data included was undertaken with careful input and consideration of local population concerns and cultural practices. Using Hawaiʻi as a model system, we discuss the various considerations that were integrated into an end-user tool for aquaculture siting.”

URISA Recommends the Addition of Addresses as a Framework Data Theme

URISAThe URISA Board of Directors recently recommended that the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC) add addresses as an eighth framework data theme to the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI), and, in support of that, incorporate the FGDC address data standard into the Geographic Information Framework Data Content Standard. In addition, URISA recommends that the FGDC specify procedures for adding other new data themes to the NSDI, and proposes criteria to assure that new data themes will be significant, well-defined, and consistent with other NSDI data themes.

The recommendation is intended to strengthen other FGDC NSDI and address data initiatives.To review the recommendation in detail, visit http://www.urisa.org/main/advocacy/#policystatements.

Additional Resource: United States Thoroughfare, Landmark, and Postal Address Data Standard

{Source: URISA press release]

OGC Calls for Public Comment on Candidate Standard for Encoding Coverages in JPEG2000

OGC_Logo_Border_Blue_3DThe Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) membership seeks public comment on the candidate OGC GML Application Schema – Coverages – JPEG2000 Coverage Encoding Extension (abbreviated as “GMLCOV for JPEG2000”). This candidate standard can be downloaded from http://www.opengeospatial.org/standards/requests/123

GIS coverages (including the special case of Earth images) are two- (and sometimes higher-) dimensional metaphors for phenomena found on or near a portion of the Earth’s surface. Coverage instances may be encoded using the OGC GML Application Schema – Coverages (GMLCOV) Encoding Standard, which is based on the Geography Markup Language (GML), an XML grammar written in XML Schema for the transport and storage of geographic information. GMLCOV for JPEG2000 specifies an encoding of GML coverages for the JPEG2000 data exchange formats for still imagery (i.e. JPC, JP2, JPX). This document is the basis for the GML in JPEG2000 encoding standard v2.0 and a future format extension for WCS.

Suggested additions, changes, and comments on this candidate standard are welcomed and encouraged. Such suggestions may be submitted at by 20 August 2014.

The OGC® is an international consortium of more than 475 companies, government agencies, research organizations, and universities participating in a consensus process to develop publicly available geospatial standards. OGC standards support interoperable solutions that “geo-enable” the Web, wireless and location-based services, and mainstream IT. Visit the OGC website at http://www.opengeospatial.org/.

[Source: OGC press release]

A Flexible Spatial Framework for Modeling Spread of Pathogens in Animals with Biosurveillance and Disease Control Applications

isprsISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, 2014, 3(2), 638-661

By Montiago LaBute, Benjamin McMahon, Mac Brown, Carrie Manore, and Jeanne Fair

“Biosurveillance activities focus on acquiring and analyzing epidemiological and biological data to interpret unfolding events and predict outcomes in infectious disease outbreaks. We describe a mathematical modeling framework based on geographically aligned data sources and with appropriate flexibility that partitions the modeling of disease spread into two distinct but coupled levels. A top-level stochastic simulation is defined on a network with nodes representing user-configurable geospatial “patches”. Intra-patch disease spread is treated with differential equations that assume uniform mixing within the patch. We use U.S. county-level aggregated data on animal populations and parameters from the literature to simulate epidemic spread of two strikingly different animal diseases agents: foot-and-mouth disease and highly pathogenic avian influenza.

Inter-county level spread of FMD. Green dots indicate where there are susceptible populations of cattle, hogs and/or sheep according to the 2007 USDA NASS agricultural census data. Blue dots indicate where there are 10 or greater asymptomatic animals, red dots indicate where there are one or more symptomatic animals. Black crosses indicate counties which either had no initial susceptible populations or that are depopulated of susceptibles by mitigative measures, i.e., quarantine, culling and/or vaccination.

Inter-county level spread of FMD. Green dots indicate where there are susceptible populations of cattle, hogs and/or sheep according to the 2007 USDA NASS agricultural census data. Blue dots indicate where there are 10 or greater asymptomatic animals, red dots indicate where there are one or more symptomatic animals. Black crosses indicate counties which either had no initial susceptible populations or that are depopulated of susceptibles by mitigative measures, i.e., quarantine, culling and/or vaccination.

“Results demonstrate the capability of this framework to leverage low-fidelity data while producing meaningful output to inform biosurveillance and disease control measures. For example, we show that the possible magnitude of an outbreak is sensitive to the starting location of the outbreak, highlighting the strong geographic dependence of livestock and poultry infectious disease epidemics and the usefulness of effective biosurveillance policy. The ability to compare different diseases and host populations across the geographic landscape is important for decision support applications and for assessing the impact of surveillance, detection, and mitigation protocols. ”

Esri Celebrates Outstanding Applications of Geographic Technology

Esri logoMore than 170 Organizations Recognized for Innovative Maps and Apps

Esri celebrated more than 170 organizations during the Special Achievement in GIS (SAG) Awards ceremony yesterday at the Esri User Conference (Esri UC) in San Diego, California. The SAG Awards highlight users that have shown vision, leadership, hard work, and innovation in their use of Esri’s geographic information system (GIS) technology.

“Every day, people and organizations are improving our world and driving change through geospatial technology,” says Esri president Jack Dangermond. “We are humbled by their passion and deeply appreciative of their tireless work. It’s an honor for us to recognize their efforts and it’s something that I personally look forward to every year.”

Organizations from around the world honored at the Esri UC span industries including environmental management, education, government, health and human services, natural resources, nonprofits, telecommunications, transportation, and utilities.

The SAG Awards ceremony was held at the San Diego Convention Center on July 16, 2014. For more information about the 2014 Special Achievement in GIS Award winners, including project information and photos, visit esri.com/sag.

[Source: Esri press release]