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Tuesday, August 07, 2012

The Huffington Post recaps the AAG's effort to get federal funding for geography eduction. The money quote:

"If students are not exposed to spatial thinking in K to 12 education, they will be challenged at some level to use GIS, GPS and other tools; this is a workforce development issue," John Wertman, AAG's senior program manager for government relations, told HuffPost.

The news (at least to me):

Note: AOL, the parent company of The Huffington Post has endorsed the AAG campaign for geography education.

GIS and cartography students at UW Madison like the topic so much they set up their own course. It meets twice a week and now includes faculty and guest speakers from the state cartographers office. It even has its own webpage which documents the topics covered.
... the Spatial Information Design Lab (SIDL) at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP), [...] translates data into beautiful and compelling maps to communicate statistical information.
Among its projects are analysis of Foursquare check-ins (equaly by population across NYC regardless of wealth) and the cost to the public by block of housing inmates. Columbia Magazine did a profile, which was recapped in SmartPlanet.
by Adena Schutzberg on 08/07 at 03:23 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

A geospatial industry association is lobbying the government to get skills in geospatial information systems recognised by immigration authorities and added to the long-term skill shortage list. Experienced geospatial specialists will then find it easier to enter New Zealand and to gain residency.

The group is the Spatial Industries Business Association (SIBA)  and note the effort is in smaller New Zealand, not larger Australia. Still, a shortage is a shortage. One hope is that experienced workers from areas where government cuts are high, like the UK, may be a good source of new workers. The immigration sector of the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment has yet to respond to the request.

- Computerworld NZ

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/07 at 03:08 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Today, City Planning has unveiled a new NYC Census FactFinder interface, giving us easier access to all kinds of demographic data about our neighborhoods. The data can be searched via the Census FactFinder site.

- Curbed NY

Accra,Ghana got a Smarter Cities Challenge grant from IBM.The company sent reps to figure out how the city can better manage and collect income during a high growth phase. Among the suggestions: GIS.

A GIS system would enable authorities to register the growing number of properties and businesses in the city, and provide the basis for an integrated finance management and analysis system that would enhance revenue generation and service delivery.

- The Financial

Christopher Devane, founder of Big Stick/Neighborhood Ties argues the city of Chicago stole his neighborhood map and is using it as its own.The city argues otherwise, basically that one of his books was one of several sources for its map.

In a letter from Corporation Counsel Stephen Patton to Devane last year, Patton claimed city personnel created the maps by drawing neighborhood boundaries on their own electronic map. The boundaries, he wrote, came from "various sources, including factual information" in a book Devane published and "their own knowledge." 

"Copyright protects creative expression, but not facts," he wrote. "Because the city did not copy your map, the city was and is under no duty to ask your permission or to pay any royalty." 

Are informal neighborhood boundaries facts, like state boundaries?
by Adena Schutzberg on 08/07 at 03:03 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

QUT Associate Professor Robyn Clark measured access to cardiac care in Australia using GIS.

“We looked at the distance to cardiac treatment centre locations in all of Australia’s 20,000 population centres,” Associate Professor Clark said.

“By mapping the huge amounts of statistical data we collected with GIS technology we were able to identify critical patterns and relationships that would not have been so apparent in table form.

“More specifically, we were able to identify locations and groups of people with limited access to cardiac services.

“For example, we found that only 40 per cent of indigenous people reside within an hour of appropriate cardiac medical facilities and cardiac rehabilitation services, while 12 per cent of indigenous Australians live three or more hours from any kind of hospital.”

- Esri AU press release

The IOM [Institute of Medicine] panel concluded a review of geographic adjustments to physician payments in the Medicare program by releasing its second report on the subject July 16. The committee had called on the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to break up its large payment jurisdictions into nearly five times as many smaller regions to reflect more accurately the costs of practicing medicine. The second report shows how the recommendations would impact Medicare rates.

- report


A team of computer-science researchers have reportedly discovered a way to use Twitter to figure out when you are going to catch a cold. Their application scans Twitter for telltale phrases — I’m guessing things like “How come nobody sells tissues at San Diego Comic-Con?” and “I’m so sick, I can barely lick all these doorknobs” — and uses them to map the progress of disease the way a weatherman maps the progress of his ratings.

That's the hot quicky version from Wired. Now the real story from New Scientist:

That may sound obvious, but Adam Sadilek at the University of Rochester in New York and colleagues have applied the idea to a pile of Twitter data from people in New York City, and found that they can predict when an individual person will come down with the flu up to eight days before they show symptoms.

- Wired

- New Scientist

by Adena Schutzberg on 08/07 at 03:00 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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