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Thursday, October 23, 2014

NACIS Student Winner Profiled

University of Cincinnati geography student Nate Wessel’s new map is a bike enthusiast’s best friend.

And, the map [right] won first place in the student come petition at NACIS. Wessel is profiled in a university news article.

AAG Tackles Mental Health

Spearheaded by Beverley Mullings, Kate Parizeau, and Linda Peake, a group of geographers organized a series of sessions at last year’s AAG meeting on mental health issues, established a listserv (MHGEOG-L [at] lists [dot] queensu [dot] ca), and are now proposing to establish a standing committee of the AAG. The proposed Committee on the Status of Mental Health in Geography will conduct research into the scope of the problem and assess the policies of other organization and institutions, provide professional guidance to the Council, the AAG, and geography departments in terms of protocols and ethical issues related to mental health, and engage in advocacy and awareness-raising within the AAG and academic institutions.

I'm not 100% clear if the research has a geographic focus, but I'd think so.

More Green Near Schools, Students do Better

A new study led by Chih-Da Wu, a scientist at the National Chiayi University in Taiwan and a visiting scientist at Harvard's Department of Environmental Health, suggests that the kids at schools surrounded by greenery tend to do better in language arts and math.

 The study used NVDI data and focused on students in Massachusetts. And yes, other factors were accounted for, apparently.

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/23 at 10:31 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

San Diego Geographer Looking for Influential Tweeters to get Emergency News Out

Official emergency messages from the county of San Diego in the future might be spread by the region’s most influential “tweeters,” San Diego State University announced Monday.

Ming-Hsiang Tsou, an SDSU geography professor, is compiling a list of 1,000 influential Twitter accounts based in San Diego, so emergency messages about evacuations, road closures and the like can be spread faster or targeted more closely to certain locations.

Top tweeters will be those who retweet the most news from the official city account and local news outlets.

“If we have 1,000 highly influential volunteers retweeting these messages, almost everybody in San Diego will get the message,” Tsou said.

I'm not sure I buy it. Who says the followers of these people are necessarily in San Diego? Perhaps Tsou is also looking at that with her NSF funding.

DigitalGlobe Helps Map Mongolia, Along with Mapbox

DigitalGlobe, a leading provider of global commercial Earth imagery and geospatial information, recently granted The Asia Foundation high-resolution satellite imagery for tracing in OSM. The new imagery is more recent and of higher quality than anything previously available to OSM editors, who will use it as a guide: adding roads, buildings, rivers, railways, and other features to OSM’s map of Ulaanbaatar. Mapbox, which provides a powerful and diverse platform for the creation of custom online maps, has processed the raw satellite imagery to prepare it for use in OSM and is hosting the resulting map tiles.

At right: Khan-Uul district shows a dense neighborhood butting up against the Tuul River. © 2014 DigitalGlobe

When Water Districts Collide

So, best I can tell, there was deal between a water district and a public utilities district that allowed them to share an Esri enterprise license. But then the deal was terminated, so each would have to pay it's own $27K. But, maybe a new deal will be made and the merger will again share a single license. The whole thing is going on in California...during a drought.

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/22 at 03:06 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Monday, October 20, 2014

It's with deep sadness that I learned of the passing (obituary) of Dr. David Huff, formerly a professor of business administration at the University of Texas, Austin. Huff passed away on August 30th.

David Huff, for those that have studied retail geography and market analysis, knew him best as the individual who developed the model for forecasting market share and retail attractiveness in 1964. The Huff Model has been widely applied since to locate convenience stores, shopping malls, and other types retail establishments. It is used today still by those doing sales forecasting and has been incorporated into GIS systems.

The photo above was taken with me in 2007 at the Esri User Conference in San Diego. David had consulted with Esri and supported the development of modeling for Business Analyst.

As many who knew him will recall, David would remind us that his model was NOT a gravity model. In fact, distance decay was only one factor of many that could be used in his model of attractiveness as were other non-spatial factors.

I can't say that I new David well, and surely his students would have many memories of his incredible intellect, but I can say that he was one of the greater influences in my career as I looked to study and write about retail geography and GIS. I first met him in 1989 at the Applied Geography Conference and would speak with him at conferences or by phone to discuss how to convey the integration of his theory with today's GIS. David was always willing to offer great counsel and I always felt honored to speak with him on matters both technical and personal.

During my career, I've had the pleasure of interviewing notable individuals, from politicians to writers to technologists. David Huff is at the top of this list. He will be greatly missed.

by Joe Francica on 10/20 at 04:51 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Friday, October 17, 2014

Daily Mail Infographic: CholeraDeadly Disease Interactive

The Daily Mail's interactive piece looks at the world’s deadlist outbreaks, as well as history’s most dangerous diseases.

Ebola Tracking Via Cell Phone

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking the approximate locations of cell phone users in West Africa who dial emergency call centers in an effort to predict the onset and spread of Ebola outbreaks.

"The data is just the number of calls by cell tower but from that you can get a rough idea of the area that the calls are coming in from, and then derive census, neighborhood data from that," CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund told Nextgov on Thursday.

There's also discussion of Esri's participation in the ebola response effort in the Mashable piece.

Is Geomedicine Reaching a Tipping Point?
While other industries have leveraged geospatial data, healthcare has yet to embrace the power of geospatial information systems (GIS) and analytics to improve outcomes, quality, access to care, and lower costs.
That's the word from participants at Duke's Geomedicine Summit held Oct 13-14. Participants argue the technology has reached a tipping point of interest, but major barriers remain. So, clearly there is room for expansion (Esri and Cerner were sponsors). Most interestingly, one challenge is simply capturing and geocoding current and past addresses of patients in their medical records. Said another way, there are still challenges put dots on a map!
There's more from the event on ebola, courtesy of Chris Woods, M.D., with the Duke Global Health Institute noted here.

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/17 at 03:02 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share

Thursday, October 16, 2014

State of the Art Campus Map

Claremont McKenna College (CMC) has launched a new interactive campus map. It's got 3D and is based on Google Maps. There's a story map-like tour, too. Suggestion: It might valuable to ask Claremont Graduate University GIS folks for some input on the next iteration.

Esri MOOC Certificate

Since students love certificates, one posted hers to Twitter. The Udemy/Esri certificate page text notes:

This certificate above verifies that xxx  successfully completed the course Going Places with Spatial Analysis on October 9, 2014 as taught by Linda BealeDavid DiBiase and Ephraim Ross on Udemy. The certificate indicates the entire course was completed as validated by the student.

You might notice it does not say Esri anywhere. @esrimooc responds:

"Why no 'Esri' tag on certificate?" There was supposed to be. Need to fix this at Udemy. One of the bugs in our pilot....

University of Denver FOSS4G Lab

OSGeo writes:

The global ICA-OSGeo-ISPRS labs are pleased to announce the launch of the University of Colorado Denver's FOSS4G Lab. Thanks to Dr. Rafael Moreno-Sanchez who has been leading this at University of Colorado, Denver, USA. It is also great to see the establishment of an international advisory board for the lab to review plans and activities and provide advice for the growth and future direction of the lab.

Continue reading...

by Adena Schutzberg on 10/16 at 03:14 AM | Comments | Bookmark and Share
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