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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The USGS has provided maps and other details of the devasting 7.0 magnitude earthquake 10 miles SW of Port au Prince, Haiti.

by Joe Francica on 01/12 at 10:10 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

The most interesting this to me is the choice to offer a podcast by Jack Dangermond to explain it. The What’s New in ArcGIS 9.4 page notes the renaming and links to the podcast.

I’m betting it’ll be one of the most listened to ESRI or geospatial podcasts to date.

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/12 at 01:30 PM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

In a study by two University of Alabama, Birmingham professors, Stephanie and Andreas Rauterkus, in conjunction with noted University of Florida business geographics scholar, Grant Thrall, research revealed that "lifestyle and life stage" was strongly correlated to mortgage default and not necessarily income or job loss. As an example, two neighborhoods with similar incomes were compared and the results suggest that "a borrwer’s lifestyle and social orientation has a significant impact on the ability (or) willingness to repay a mortgage and thus avoid foreclosure." According to Dr. Stephanie Rauterkus, "The implications of this finding are that neighborhoods matter to lenders because foreclosure rates vary greatly across neighborhood due in part to the lifestyle and lifestage of the residents." The study used data from 7,000 mortgage deeds filed between 2004 and 2008 for Jefferson County, Alabama with 239 mortgages ending in foreclosure. The authors hope that this finding will help banks evaluate their lending practices and avoid mortgage defaults.

Source: The Birmingham News

by Joe Francica on 01/12 at 08:37 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Portland Oregon is one of 41 cities among recipients of a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation multi-year grants to 41 communities across the country as part of the Healthy Kids, Healthy Communities initiative, a landmark national program to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic by 2015. The city will use GIS to help locate areas where new resources for healthy living are needed.

Portland, Oregon, will use GIS (geographic information system) mapping to identify disparities such as a lack of parks, grocery stores, or safe walking paths. The project will then build such features into lower-income areas of the city.

My city, Somerville, MA is a past recipient of Robert Wooed Johnson Foundation grant for our Shape Up Somerville program.

- QSR Magazine

To track the tiny 3.5 ounce arctic turn on its 43,000 mile round trip you can’t use GPS. Instead you use a tiny light sensor:

A team from Greenland, Denmark, the US, the UK and Iceland attached small (1.4g/0.05oz) “geolocators” to the animals to find out exactly where they went on this polar round trip.
The devices record light intensity. This gives an estimate of the local day length, and the times of sunrise and sunset; and from this information it is possible to work out a geographical position of the birds.


Blizzard lets tribe map residents with health conditions

That headline is so clear I’m not going to change it. The story, in short, is that a blizzard at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation made it clear that authorities did not have a complete list of residents with health issues that required regular visit to health service providers - including those on dialysis, those with cancer or in hospice situations. Luckily, the recent blizzard results in no injuries or issues, but it did prompt collection of names and addresses so that public works officials could provide needed assistance to these individuals in case of a weather or other type of emergency. I am aware of several senior services organizations looking to collect similar data for municipal residents. While there are privacy issues, there can also be great benefits.

- Rapid City Journal

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/12 at 08:15 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

GeoVantage was based north of Boston and sold, briefly, to John Deere. Now it’s back in the hands of the pair who started it (MassHighTech article). One of them Jim Kain has a vision for aerial imagery use in Africa for the comapany now considered, at least in this article, an NGO.

Jim said the objective is to establish an international business coop to help developing countries of the world understand what is happening to them. From the photos they can help develop forestry, agriculture and urban planning.

- The Walton Sun (Florida)

by Adena Schutzberg on 01/12 at 06:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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