The Spatial Analysis on Hemorrhagic Fever with Renal Syndrome in Jiangsu Province, China Based on Geographic Information System

PLOS_ONEPLoS ONE 9(9): e83848, published online 10 September 2014

By Changjun Bao, Wanwan Liu, Yefei Zhu, Wendong Liu, Jianli Hu, Qi Liang, Yuejia Cheng, Ying Wu, Rongbin Yu, Minghao Zhou, Hongbing Shen, Feng Chen, Fenyang Tang, and Zhihang Peng

Background
Hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) is endemic in mainland China, accounting for 90% of total reported cases worldwide, and Jiangsu is one of the most severely affected provinces. In this study, the authors conducted GIS-based spatial analyses in order to determine the spatial distribution of the HFRS cases, identify key areas and explore risk factors for public health planning and resource allocation.

Methods
Interpolation maps by inverse distance weighting were produced to detect the spatial distribution of HFRS cases in Jiangsu from 2001 to 2011. Spatio-temporal clustering was applied to identify clusters at the county level. Spatial correlation analysis was conducted to detect influencing factors of HFRS in Jiangsu.

 Interpolated maps of HFRS by IDW in Jiangsu in 2001, 2004, 2007 and 2010. The incidence of HFRS per 100,000 residents is shown in the map. The incidence of HFRS has a positive relationship with color depth.

Interpolated maps of HFRS by IDW in Jiangsu in 2001, 2004, 2007 and 2010. The incidence of HFRS per 100,000 residents is shown in the map. The incidence of HFRS has a positive relationship with color depth.

Results
HFRS cases in Jiangsu from 2001 to 2011 were mapped and the results suggested that cases in Jiangsu were not distributed randomly. Cases were mainly distributed in northeastern and southwestern Jiangsu, especially in Dafeng and Sihong counties. It was notable that prior to this study, Sihong county had rarely been reported as a high-risk area of HFRS. With the maximum spatial size of 50% of the total population and the maximum temporal size of 50% of the total population, spatio-temporal clustering showed that there was one most likely cluster (LLR = 624.52, P<0.0001, RR = 8.19) and one second-most likely cluster (LLR = 553.97, P<0.0001, RR = 8.25), and both of these clusters appeared from 2001 to 2004. Spatial correlation analysis showed that the incidence of HFRS in Jiangsu was influenced by distances to highways, railways, rivers and lakes.

Conclusion
The application of GIS together with spatial interpolation, spatio-temporal clustering and spatial correlation analysis can effectively identify high-risk areas and factors influencing HFRS incidence to lay a foundation for researching its pathogenesis.”

Dr. Este Geraghty to Head Esri’s Health and Human Services Team

Accomplished Physician and Researcher Pledges to Make Health and Place Inseparable

pp_13370_195_165Since Dr. Este Geraghty first encountered GIS while working on her master’s degree in public health, she quickly understood that geography and health share an important link. In her new role as Esri’s health and human services industry manager, Dr. Geraghty plans to explore new ways geography can transform community health and modernize social services.

“As a physician, it’s obvious to me that you can’t tear apart place and health,” said Dr. Geraghty. “I’m thrilled to join Esri and look forward to making geospatial technology an integral part of the landscape in health and human services. My goal is that years from now, people will just expect to find geography in health.”

Before joining Esri, Dr. Geraghty was a practicing physician in general internal medicine at the UC Davis Health System. She also served as the deputy director of the Center for Health Statistics and Informatics at the California Department of Health, where she led the launch of the state’s first open health data portal. The portal exposed actionable information from official state records and relies on maps to help visitors visualize data. For example, Dr. Geraghty and her team used Esri technology to create an interactive map of birth weights in California from 1989 to 2012.

“We are excited to have an experienced physician with Este’s wealth of experience and knowledge leading our health team,” said Esri president Jack Dangermond. “As both a medical professional and a proven advocate for integrating health and technology, Este brings a unique understanding of policy and science that will help us develop meaningful solutions for health and human services organizations.”

Dr. Geraghty will share her vision for geography in health and human services at the upcoming Esri Health GIS Conference. The event, which will be held November 3–5 in Colorado Springs, Colorado, will emphasize how geography improves every aspect of health and human services, from epidemiology and social services to program administration and facility operations.

For more information about GIS in health and human services, visit esri.com/health. For more information about the Esri Health GIS Conference, visit esri.com/healthgis.

[Source: Esri press release]

Map Stories Can Provide Dynamic Visualizations of the Anthropocene to Broaden Factually Based Public Understanding

ARThe Anthropocene Review, Published Online 15 July 2014

By Andrew Zolnai

“Provision of broadly accessible and spatially referenced visualizations of the nature and rate of change in the Anthropocene is an essential tool in communicating to policy makers and to the wider public, who generally have little or no contact with academic publications and often rely on media-based information, to form and guide opinion. Three examples are used to demonstrate the use of geo-referenced data and GIS-based map compilations to provide accurate and widely accessible visual portrayals of historical processes.  The first example shows the spread of Neolithic agriculture from Mesopotamia west and north across Europe over several millennia. The second plots the history of the drainage of the Fens (wetlands) in eastern England from the early seventeenth century onward. A third example illustrates one way in which releasing data in the public domain can lead to the enhancement of public data holdings.

Data posted directly on the internet (Zolnai, 2012) from sources discussed in the text: this map story has the abstract at left, the map at centre and the legend at rig ht. It is a synoptic view putting all information in the line of sight along with its geographical context. Panning left and right or zooming in and out helps orient the reader and facilitate a better grasp of the details.

Data posted directly on the internet (Zolnai, 2012) from sources discussed in the text: this map story has the abstract at left, the map at centre and the legend at right. It is a synoptic view putting all information in the line of sight along with its geographical context. Panning left and right or zooming in and out helps orient the reader and facilitate a better grasp of the details.

“A concluding discussion outlines ways in which the methodology illustrated may be applied to processes key to understanding the Anthropocene.”

SDM Toolbox: A Python-based GIS Toolkit for Landscape Genetic, Biogeographic, and Species Distribution Model Analyses

MEE_CoverMethods in Ecology and Evolution 2014, 5, 694–700

By Jason L. Brown

“1. Species distribution models (SDMs) are broadly used in ecological and evolutionary studies. Almost all SDM methods require extensive data preparation in a geographic information system (GIS) prior to model building. Often, this step is cumbersome and, if not properly done, can lead to poorly parameterized models or in some cases, if too difficult, prevents the realization of SDMs. Further, for many studies, the creation of SDMs is not the final result and the post-modelling processing can be equally arduous as other steps.

Illustrative overview of SDMtoolbox. Basic Tools. SDMtoolbox contains 19 basic tools for converting and batch processing shapefile and raster data.

Illustrative overview of SDMtoolbox. Basic Tools. SDMtoolbox contains 19 basic tools for converting and batch processing shapefile and raster data.

2. SDMtoolbox is designed to facilitate many complicated pre- and post-processing steps commonly required for species distribution modelling and other geospatial analyses. SDMtoolbox consists of 59 Python script-based GIS tools developed and compiled into a single interface.

3. A large set of the tools were created to complement SDMs generated inMaxent or to improve the predictive performance of SDMs created inMaxent. However, SDMtoolbox is not limited to analyses of Maxent models, andmany tools are also available for additional analyses or general geospatial processing: for example, assessing landscape connectivity of haplotype networks (using least-cost corridors or least-cost paths); correcting SDM over-prediction; quantifying distributional changes between current and future SDMs; or for calculating several biodiversity metrics, such as corrected weighted endemism.

4. SDMtoolbox is a free comprehensive python-based toolbox for macroecology, landscape genetic and evolutionary studies to be used in ArcGIS 10.1 (or higher) with the Spatial Analyst extension. The toolkit simplifies many GIS analyses required for species distribution modelling and other analyses, alleviating the need for repetitive and time-consuming climate data pre-processing and post-SDManalyses.”

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]

Long-Term Exposure to Fine Particulate Matter: Association with Nonaccidental and Cardiovascular Mortality in the Agricultural Health Study Cohort

EHP_newEnvironmental Health Perspectives, Published 01 June 2014

By Scott Weichenthal, Paul J. Villeneuve, Richard T. Burnett, Aaron van Donkelaar, Randall V. Martin, Rena R. Jones, Curt T. DellaValle, Dale P. Sandler, Mary H. Ward, and Jane A. Hoppin

Background

Few studies have examined the relationship between long-term exposure to ambient fine particulate matter (PM2.5) and nonaccidental mortality in rural populations.

Objective

We examined the relationship between PM2.5 and nonaccidental and cardiovascular mortality in the U.S. Agricultural Health Study cohort.

Methods

The cohort (n = 83,378) included farmers, their spouses, and commercial pesticide applicators residing primarily in Iowa and North Carolina. Deaths occurring between enrollment (1993–1997) and 30 December 2009 were identified by record linkage. Six-year average (2001–2006) remote-sensing derived estimates of PM2.5 were assigned to participants’ residences at enrollment, and Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HR) in relation to a 10-μg/m3 increase in PM2.5 adjusted for individual-level covariates.

Spatial distribution of participants and estimated PM2.5 concentrations (μg/m3) in North Carolina (left) and Iowa (right). Dots outside state lines reflect the small number of participants who were enrolled in the study but lived outside North Carolina or Iowa.

Spatial distribution of participants and estimated PM2.5 concentrations (μg/m3) in North Carolina (left) and Iowa (right). Dots outside state lines reflect the small number of participants who were enrolled in the study but lived outside North Carolina or Iowa.

Results

In total, 5,931 nonaccidental and 1,967 cardiovascular deaths occurred over a median follow-up time of 13.9 years. PM2.5 was not associated with nonaccidental mortality in the cohort as a whole (HR = 0.95; 95% CI: 0.76, 1.20), but consistent inverse relationships were observed among women. Positive associations were observed between ambient PM2.5 and cardiovascular mortality among men, and these associations were strongest among men who did not move from their enrollment address (HR = 1.63; 95% 0.94, 2.84). In particular, cardiovascular mortality risk in men was significantly increased when analyses were limited to nonmoving participants with the most precise exposure geocoding (HR = 1.87; 95% CI: 1.04, 3.36).

Conclusions

Rural PM2.5 may be associated with cardiovascular mortality in men; however, similar associations were not observed among women. Further evaluation is required to explore these sex differences.”

Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Sessions and Special Exhibit at the 2014 Esri User Conference

Esri logoGroup on Earth Observations (GEO) Special Exhibit

Come learn about the Group on Earth Observations (GEO). Comprised of 90 member nations, the European Commission and 77 Participating Organizations who are working together to unleash the power of open Earth observation data.

Designed to improve the quality of life of people everywhere, GEO focuses putting sound science to work across nine essential areas: agriculture, biodiversity, climate, disasters, ecosystems, energy, health, water and weather.

GEO’s mandate is to drive the interoperability of many thousands of space-based, airborne, and in situ Earth observations around the globe.

Esri in cooperation with Institute of Atmospheric Pollution Research of the National Research Council of Italy (CNR-IIA) have team together to make it easy for the Esri user community to benefit from and to contribute to GEO. Esri has also supported the work of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) in their contributions to the work of GEO.

Come see the GEO Data Access Broker of CNR-IIA Florentine Division and Esri Community Portal for GEO to see how you can participate; and to learn about the good work of GEO.


GEO Sessions

“Introduction to GEO”
Tuesday: 3:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., Room 29 A/B (SDCC)

  • Hear from the Director of GEO-Dr. Barb Ryan
  • Panel of GEO activist
  • See Demonstration of Esri Community Portal for GEO

“Esri Community Portal for GEO”
Thursday: 1:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m., Room 3 (SDCC)

  • Tech Workshop
  • Learn about GEO Appathon

Mapping the Potential for Biofuel Production on Marginal Lands: Differences in Definitions, Data and Models across Scales

isprsISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information, 2014, 3(2), 430-459

By Sarah Lewis and Maggi Kelly

“As energy policies mandate increases in bioenergy production, new research supports growing bioenergy feedstocks on marginal lands. Subsequently there has been an increase in published work that uses Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to map the availability of marginal land as a proxy for bioenergy crop potential. However, despite the similarity in stated intent among these works a number of inconsistencies remain across studies that make comparisons and standardization difficult. We reviewed a collection of recent literature that mapped bioenergy potential on marginal lands at varying scales, and found that there is no common working definition of marginal land across all of these works. Specifically, we found considerable differences in mapped results that are driven by dissimilarities in definitions, model framework, data inputs, scale and treatment of uncertainty. Most papers reviewed here employed relatively simple GIS overlays of input criteria, distinct thresholds identifying marginal land, and few details describing accuracy and uncertainty. These differences are likely to be major impediments to integration of studies mapping marginal lands for bioenergy production. We suggest that there is future need for spatial modeling of bioenergy, yet further scholarship is needed to compare across countries and scales to understand the global potential for bioenergy crops.  ”

A Dynamic GIS as an Efficient Tool for Integrated Coastal Zone Management

isprsISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information 2014, 3(2), 391-407

By Françoise Gourmelon, Damien Le Guyader, and Guy Fontenelle

“This contribution addresses both the role of geographical information in participatory research of coastal zones, and its potential to bridge the gap between research and coastal zone management. Over a one year period, heterogeneous data (spatial, temporal, qualitative and quantitative) were obtained which included the process of interviews, storing in a spatio-temporal database.

Activity zones for supervised maritime activities in the Bay of Brest (A) and boats density

Activity zones for supervised maritime activities in the Bay of Brest.

“The GIS (Geographic Information System) produced temporal snapshots of daily human activity patterns allowing it to map, identify and quantify potential space-time conflicts between activities. It was furthermore used to facilitate the exchange of ideas and knowledge at various levels: by mapping, simulation, GIS analysis and data collection. Results indicated that both captured data and the participatory workshop added real value to management and therefore it was deemed well managed by stakeholders. To incorporate a dynamic GIS would enhance pro-active integrated management by opening the path for better discussions whilst permitting management simulated scenarios. ”

Projecting Invasion Risk of Non-Native Watersnakes (Nerodia fasciata and Nerodia sipedon) in the Western United States

PLOS_ONEPLOS ONE, Published Online 25 June 2014

“Species distribution models (SDMs) are increasingly used to project the potential distribution of introduced species outside their native range. Such studies rarely explicitly evaluate potential conflicts with native species should the range of introduced species expand. Two snake species native to eastern North America, Nerodia fasciata and Nerodia sipedon, have been introduced to California where they represent a new stressor to declining native amphibians, fish, and reptiles. To project the potential distributions of these non-native watersnakes in western North America, we built ensemble SDMs using MaxEnt, Boosted Regression Trees, and Random Forests and habitat and climatic variables. We then compared the overlap between the projected distribution of invasive watersnakes and the distributions of imperiled native amphibians, fish, and reptiles that can serve as prey or competitors for the invaders, to estimate the risk to native species posed by non-native watersnakes. Large areas of western North America were projected to be climatically suitable for both species of Nerodia according to our ensemble SDMs, including much of central California.

Projection of the potential distribution of the Common Watersnake, Nerodia sipedon.  Suitability from an ensemble model representing the average output from a MaxEnt, Boosted Regression Tree, and Random Forests model.

Projection of the potential distribution of the Common Watersnake, Nerodia sipedon. Suitability from an ensemble model representing the average output from a MaxEnt, Boosted Regression Tree, and Random Forests model.

“The potential distributions of both N. fasciata and N. sipedon overlap extensively with the federally threatened Giant Gartersnake, Thamnophis gigas, which inhabits a similar ecological niche. N. fasciata also poses risk to the federally threatened California Tiger Salamander, Ambystoma californiense, whereas N. sipedon poses risk to some amphibians of conservation concern, including the Foothill Yellow-legged Frog, Rana boylii. We conclude that non-native watersnakes in California can likely inhabit ranges of several native species of conservation concern that are expected to suffer as prey or competing species for these invaders. Action should be taken now to eradicate or control these invasions before detrimental impacts on native species are widespread. Our methods can be applied broadly to quantify the risk posed by incipient invasions to native biodiversity.”