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Friday, December 05, 2014

WHO Ebola Story Map ScreenshotWHO Story Map on Ebola

WHO has a story map [right] on ebola that provides the current status of the epidemic.

Esri Health GIS Webinar

Patient "Hot Spotting" - How GIS Helped An Organization Cut Healthcare Costs By 50%
December 3, 2014
Time: 2:00 PM ET

It's with HealthIT Outcomes and occured earlier this week. It's probably worth looking up the video.

Measuring City Liveability

A national research collaboration led by Professor Billie Giles-Corti from the University of Melbourne is tackling  the National Liveability Study to develop Australia’s first set of national “health liveability indicators”.

The goal is a tool to create healthier cities.

Evidence already supports the notion that if we make our neighbourhoods more liveable, then our health will benefit. An interesting thing about this project is the way it will add to the knowledge base − it will use a Geographic Information System (GIS) to examine five domains of liveability: access to alcohol outlets, food outlets, public open space, transport, and “walkability” i.e. street connectivity, land-use mix and residential density.

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/05 at 03:05 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Why High Schools Don't Teach GIS

There aren’t many high schools that teach GIS as it’s a not obvious where the course belongs.

“It’s difficult to figure out where to put it because it’s so non-traditional,” [Hans] Bodenhamer [GIS instructor at Bigfork High and Middle School in Montana] said. “But it’s real world. It’s a model of education I really like.”

He just got a grant for some laptops to be used for a mobile lab and for teaching other educators about GIS and I guess using ArcGIS Online via ConnectED.

GeoTech Center Offers Mentors for Growing Two-Year Geospatial Programs

The GeoTech Center offers assistance to two-year schools on using some of its resources including Model Courses, the Geospatial Technology Competency Model (GTCM), and Geospatial Technology Meta-DACUM. Mentors can provide support for up to a year including a site visit. It's among some updates to the website:

  • A new National Geospatial Program Locator map has been created
  • A new email geospatial educator list has been added
  • A two year college mentoring program has been added 
  • A partners page has been added 

Geoliteracy is Critical

Kenneth D. Madsen, assistant professor of geography at The Ohio State University at Newark argues Geographic literacy as critical as reading. I learned from his opinion piece, among other things, that Ohio State has a campus in Newark, Ohio.

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/04 at 03:09 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Calgary data More Canadian Open Data

Airdrie, near Calgary, Alberta released its geodata on a regional open data website, Nov. 19.

The portal,, was created in collaboration with the Calgary Regional Partnership (CRP) and other CRP member municipalities.

What's available?

Initially, the City will release the following types of GIS and mapping datasets: City Boundary, Neighbourhood Boundary, Quadrants, Address Points, Road Centre Lines, Building Footprints, Land Use, Water Bodies, Schools, Churches, Digital Elevation Models (DEM), TINs, Contour lines and aerial imagery.

Data on the site is under the Calgary Regional Partnership Open Data Licence (pdf).

Grundy County to Share Data for Free with Non-Profits

Or at least that's how things are heading for the Illinois county.

The Technology/Elections Committee members unanimously approved Tuesday the GIS data sharing for nonprofits agreement, which is set to go before the full board for approval Dec. 9.

The county currently share data with government agencies for free but charges companies for it at 35 cents/parcel.

David Ostrander, GIS coordinator for Grundy County describes the agreement as allowing "nonprofits to have a whole copy of a data set so staff can run their own analysis." Perhaps the county should consider open data as above?

Meet Your Government
The column interviews Ruth Emerick, GIS Analyst at the City of Charlottesville, WA who studied GIS at Cal Poly.

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/03 at 03:20 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

BombardmentSociety posted this on Reddit/GIS:

In December 2013, I graduated with a Masters in geography with emphasis on GIS. After a year in the real world, here's some things I wish I would've known then. 

  • Learn to function in AutoCAD. 
  • Pay attention in your stats class -- that stuff will matter. 
  • Learning some Python will make your life much easier. So will JavaScript. 
  • Don't box yourself into ESRI, there are a lot of other options that companies are leaning toward because they're sick of paying ESRI's enormous licensing fees.
  • However, learn the Field Calculator in and out. This will solve about 68% of the problems that you have. 
  • Take a remote sensing class. 
  • Take a LiDAR class, that [...] is the future. 
  • Familiarize yourself with 3d modeling. 
  • Do not, under any circumstances, trust a governmental or municipal office to create reliable data. The spatial data is usually correct but the attributes...not so much. I've seen integers coded as text more time than I can count. It's infuriating every time. 
  • Don't come out of school expecting to know everything about geography/GIS. You won't. I'm constantly learning new techniques and functions on the job that I didn't know about before. 
  • Don't trust that your work is going to pay for a spatial analyst extension. Learn to think around your limitations.

The author asked for additions and got a few. I'd add:

  • Be ready, willing and able to learn whatever is needed to do the job.
by Adena Schutzberg on 12/02 at 03:07 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Monday, December 01, 2014

Directions with a photo in ZiiioJules White is an assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Vanderbilt University. I interviewed him earlier this year on a special IEEE issue on augmented reality. I did not know he was working on an indoor navigation system at his company  Ziiio, Inc. The app already in use at the new convention center in Nashville, Tennessee and there a pilot underway for a hospital.

To find a location, you download the app which knows where you are in a building. After selecting where you want to go (from a displayed list), the app shows you picture by picture how to get there. [right] "Pictures work a lot better than just a list of directions," White adds. He mentions using the app in large shopping centers as well.

The locating is done via Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) single sent out from locations across the structure. I like the idea of pictures as it helps those who do not read or do not read English well. And, I can see how in a convention center or other structure that doesn't change much the app would not need to be updated too often. On the other hand, a big box store or even a mall may see significant change over weeks or months as displays and stores are changed. The would me significant "reshooting" of imagery.

by Adena Schutzberg on 12/01 at 03:47 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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