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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Florida's Oil Spill Response

With a goal of more transparency, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, along with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, launched an interactive map complete with photos and descriptions of projects that have been completed, and those in the works or approved for funding, in the wake of the April 2010 [Deepwater Horizon] oil spill disaster.

It's in ArcGIS Online (image right).

Boston Solar Map

Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh launched Solar System Boston last week. It shows a particular roof’s solar-gathering potential, as well as cost estimates for solar panel installation. The map was created in partnership with Mapdwell, a spinoff from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which created some open source tech for the estimates. The map is based nominally on Google Maps.

Tracking Urban Homeless Via GPS

Odense Council in Denmark gave 20 of its homeless GPS devices to carry for a week as part of a voluntary test project. Participants get hot meal tickets for their trouble.

The council wants to know where the homeless move about during the day so it can place coffee rooms and benches strategically and also let the council know where the socially vulnerable community can be found.

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 09/24 at 03:02 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Friday, September 19, 2014

Drilling Maps of OklamomaEven with Insurance, ERs are Popular

The ER is a popular place for Connecticut residents who have asthma. Why not go to a clinic if you have insurance (as more Americans do)? The answer is not geography or money directly, but quality of care, which relates to both.

The main problem, Lewis said, was lack of comprehensive services at the community health centers. When a patient needed an X-Ray, for instance, he or she had to travel to another center where they have the equipment. For someone without much money or a means of travel, the cost of taking public transportation to one, maybe two or three other centers was daunting.

UCSF Tapping Google Earth Engine to Prep Underserved Countries to Tackle Malaria

UC San Francisco (UCSF) is working to create an online platform that health workers around the world can use to predict where malaria is likely to be transmitted using data on Google Earth Engine.

Funding comes from a Google Earth Outreach grant of $100,000. Crowdsources Health and Safety Info Near Drilling Sites [above right] was inspired after listening to multiple groups of parents tell stories about sick kids and families living in close proximity to various oil and gas drilling, refining and energy operations. The maps aim to document health and safety concerns by residents all over the World in an effort to provide more transparency about the risks. This map serves as a platform for people to express their safety concerns about oil operations that may be jeopardizing their health and safety.

It has companion sites focusing on power plants, fracking, and oil refineries.

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 09/19 at 03:02 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Geography World Record 2014OSGIS Presentations Available

All recordings from the September 2-3 OSGIS 2014 event, part of Geo For All are now available online.  The theme was “Building up Open Access, Open Education and Open Data for Open Science.” I don't see any index to the presentations but apparently audio and video are available. Via GIS Lounge.

Collaborative Mapping World Record Attempt

Esri UK, the Girls' Day School Trust and the UK Centres of Excellence will attempt to set a world record (unofficial) in creating a collaborative Map during GeoWeek (November 16-22). You can read more in a story map (right tool for the job?) or a website (right tool for the job). Via Esri Higher Ed List.
Funded Graduate Assistantships in Geography Graduate programs at the UNC Charlotte
The Department of Geography and Earth Sciences at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte (UNC Charlotte) is now accepting applications for Spring 2015 entry into our Masters in Geography and PhD in Geography and Urban Regional Analysis programs. 
To be considered for one of our competitive Graduate Assistantships for Spring 2015 (which include a generous living stipend and in some cases tuition support), completed applications should be submitted to the UNC Charlotte Graduate School by October 1, 2014 although the Department will continue to review applications for admission after that date. For those interested in Fall 2015 entry, the priority deadline for admission and funding consideration is February 15, 2015.

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 09/18 at 03:16 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Hall County ParcelApp for finding Oakland's Vulnerable Buildings

Built within OpenOakland, a volunteer civic technology group in California,  SoftStory has mapped and color-coded high risk, earthquake-vulnerable buildings based on data from the city and analysis by the Association of Bay Area Governments in 2013.

Hall County, GA GIS

Hall County Geographic Information Systems (GIS) officials have collaborated with a company called to provide a new web-mapping service, featuring a fast, easy to use interface. 

Nine different ways to search are available. This one is "by map." (image right) I see leaflet among other tools at the backend.

Langley's Open Data Portal

The Township of Langley [BC] has launched a new open data portal that makes public information on everything from property assessments and business licenses to municipal water systems and conservation areas available at the click of a button. The new portal, which can be found online at, presents non-personal information in a number of different and immediately accessible formats, so that users can find, read, and understand the information in ways that work best for them.

I see Socrata and Bing Maps in use.

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 09/17 at 03:21 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

In today's Directions on the News podcast, I suggested that the coming of sensors inside of the iPhone 6 and the advent of beacons plus other sensor technology might re-ignite enthusiasm for location-based sensors. This rebirth of sensors might potentially displace radio frequency identification (RFID) sensors that had fallen somewhat into disfavor because of cost. Readers may remember that Wal-mart was an early adopter of RFID technology and had mandated its use by suppliers so that inventory tracking of shipments to Wal-mart warehouses would become more efficient. Suppliers balked at the additional cost to them and Wal-mart has since backed down.

Not so fast! An article in the Wall Street Journal today provided details on how Zara, the Spanish retail fashion chain, was using RFID chips on individual apparel, something Wal-mart had once dreamed of as well. Zara's parent company Inditex SA has combined both its RFID chip and its theft prevention sensor within the same plastic tag. In this way, the chip can be removed at check-out and reused, according to the WSJ article.

Pablo Isla, Inditex's CEO said this about the RFID technology: "It gives us great visibility, knowing exactly where each garment is located," Mr. Isla said. "It really changes how we operate our stores."

The location of each garment ... you need to let that one sink in for a moment. Micro-geography is now possible at the individual item level. And according to Zara, taking regular inventory at the store level, a task that took hours and only feasible every six months, can now be performed more regularly using handheld scanners.

Mapping the store floor has been done manually and attempted digitally using estimates of customer foot traffic as well as an inventory of apparel. But perhaps now we're coming closer to more real-time estimates of sales by floor display that may lead to better store layout and promotions. With that understanding it may be possible to then integrate beacon technology and quickly disseminate promotional information to customers throughout the store.

The integration of these technologies is the tricky part and standardization of location tracking sensors was another issue we discussed in our podcast as well.

by Joe Francica on 09/16 at 12:03 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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