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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving food source map - cranberries

(This weekly education post is typically published on Thursdays; I moved it up a day due to the Thanksgiving holiday this week!)

Thanksgiving Food GIS

 "Where Does Thanksgiving Dinner Grow?" is mapping and data project from Linda Zellmer, government and data services librarian at Western Illinois University Libraries. The map is currently static but there's also an ArcGIS Online implementation to explore. And, she's working on a story map. That's the cranberry layer at right.

Northeastern University Graduate Certificate in Urban Informatics

Our new Graduate Certificate and Master of Science in Urban Informatics combines the analysis of big data with an understanding of the big questions faced by cities. As some of the first interdisciplinary, cross-college programs to fully integrate core study in data analytics with urban policy, the programs prepare you to leverage data science skills to solve major social, political, and environmental challenges confronting cities today.

The first cohort is still open; applications are due Dec 1. The certificate (there's a masters, too) includes a required GIS course and an options advanced spatial analysis course.

Professional Development from Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership includes GIS

In collaboration with Ancestry, and its affiliates and, the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership is inviting teachers to participate in a professional development seminar on how to engage students in a service-learning program using primary source-based research. This service-learning program introduces students to primary source documents as they examine fallen Civil War soldiers from their own communities. By learning about these men, history—both local and national—comes alive for the participating researchers. As they get to know “their” soldier, students make connections between their lives and those that came before them, ultimately allowing them to understand that this war impacted every single American.

There's a $350 stipend to attend and participating teachers are expected to implement some of the curriculum in their classes. Registration info.

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 11/26 at 06:01 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The 2014 Spatial Salary Survey [27 page pdf] was conducted online during July and August 2014 by SIBA on behalf of the Spatial Industry Statistics Program participants. A total of 1489 valid responses were included in this analysis. This is the third year the survey has been conducted.
Some quick highlights:
  • 81% men, 19% women
  • 66% over 35
  • 51% have a bachelors
  • salaries in Australia run from less than $50,000 to $400,000

- announcement via Spatial Source

by Adena Schutzberg on 11/25 at 05:41 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Pierce County Data Icons(This weekly government post is typically published on Wednesdays; I moved it up a day due to the Thanksgiving holiday this week!)

Pierce County Washington Open Data Site

In celebration of International GIS Day, Pierce County is launching a free new site that makes it easy to research census data, zoning, local parks, property parcels, and more!

Data License: Accepts Terms of Service on home page. I was hoping for a standard license. The paper chose the International adjective for GIS Day; I've seen national and global, too.

Jamaican Development and Impact Map

JAMAICANS now have greater access to information about infrastructure developments and their environmental impact, following the launch last night of a new interactive website -- Development Alert! -- created by the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET), World Resources Institute, and the Access Initiative, with support from software developers Blue Raster of the United States.

The website uses an interactive GIS map of Jamaica to provide easy-to-understand information about recently approved or proposed highways, housing projects, hotel developments, energy projects, water abstraction, forest removal, and mining that are likely to have significant health, environmental, social or cultural impact. 

The announcement does not note an Esri backend.

Census Celebrates 25 Years of TIGER

The Topologically Integrated Geographic Encoding and Referencing (TIGER) database — the first nationwide digital map of roads, boundaries and water — was initially created for the 1990 Census to modernize the once-a-decade head count. However, its impact has extended well beyond its initial purpose by offering common map data in electronic form that powers today’s geographic information system industry.

But, the press release also addressed the future of TIGER, too:

 ...the U.S. Geological Survey will use TIGER as the primary roads layer on The National Map Viewer and US Topo map product starting in 2015. The TIGER roads layer, which consists of all roads in the U.S., joins the TIGER governmental unit boundaries layer as an authoritative source of current, accurate and high-quality geospatial data for The National Map, which delivers topographic information for the nation. The National Map has many uses, ranging from recreation to scientific analysis to emergency response. 

by Adena Schutzberg on 11/25 at 03:10 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Wall Street Journal reports that the FAA will require commercial drone operators to have a pilot's license and restrict flight times to daylight hours. The new rules will also limit flights to the pilot's line of sight and altitude to 400-feet. The really bad news is that these rules won't just apply for big Predator-sized drones. They'll apply to any unmanned aircraft under 55 pounds. That would include small, affordable, easy-to-fly drones like the DJI Phantom line and the new Parrot Bebop.

That's Gizmodo's recap of the (paywalled) WSJ news. The source is "people familiar with the rule-making process." The post notes that the rules may be announced before the end of the year but won't be finalized for some time.

by Adena Schutzberg on 11/24 at 02:59 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Friday, November 21, 2014

Rate of sterilization of womenSterilization as Birth Control

The Washington Post looked at worldwide use of sterilization for women and men after the recent deaths in India due to these procedures.

Sterilization is the most widespread form of birth control in the world, but it is especially prevalent in India. According to 2013 data from the United Nations, more than 35 percent of Indian women who were married or in a relationship were sterilized. [right]

New Ways of Looking at Health Neighborhoods: By Individual

University of Leicester Professor Lex Comber, from the Department of Geography, just published his research on factors impacting diabetes.

The research, published in Public Health Nutrition, found that there was a higher number of fast-food outlets within 500 metres of inner-city neighbourhoods described as non-white as well as in socially deprived areas. The study provides a new public health understanding that could influence policies to limit the number of fast food outlets in deprived areas.
“Postcodes provide a way of locating people or properties.  We created a database of fast food outlets by scraping a business directory for fast food outlets in Leicester. For each of the people that were screened we calculated the number of fast food outlets within 500m using their postcode.
“The study discovered there is TWICE the number of fast-food outlets in inner city neighbourhoods with high density non-white ethnic minority groups and in socially deprived areas.
“The work was unusual because it analysed the neighbourhood factors from an individual perspective. We created  a personal neighbourhood for each individual, rather than placing the individual in a set pre-defined neighbourhoods.

He's giving a talk on the research Dec 2 at the University.

Wikipedia Predicts Disease Outbreaks

Research from scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory reveals that hits on Wikipedia and other Web resources do a good job predicting disease outbreaks.

... researchers used two data sources — Wikipedia article access logs and official disease incidence reports from the World Health Organization — to build a linear model to analyze around three years of data for seven diseases (cholera, dengue, Ebola, HIV/AIDs, influenza, plague, and tuberculosis) in nine different locations (Haiti, Brazil, Thailand, Uganda, China, Japan, Poland, United States, and Norway). Basically, the Internet keeps track of a user's health-related searches, and these searches can be captured and used to derive actionable information.

With the WHO's data and online traffic of select Wikipedia articles, researchers were able to warn against (forecast) incidences of disease at least 28 days ahead of time. The one exception were rates of tuberculosis in China. 

The article is open access in PLOS Computational Biology (press release).

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 11/21 at 03:32 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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