by Tripti Lahiri, WSJ India, December 30, 2012
In the wake of the fire at a Bangladesh factory that killed at least 112 garment workers on Nov. 24, U.S. and European retailers who buy from the South Asian country have said they will drastically improve safety checks at the factories they use. … But few of the plans being considered by retailers seem likely to address issues that labor groups have raised with regard to the present safety audit system – that they don’t allow workers a way to alert retailers to issues that crop up when the brands’ representatives are not around. Another complaint is that information on fire safety is generally kept confidential and rarely shared in a comprehensive way with the workers most likely to be at risk. Indian-American entrepreneur Kohl Gill is hopeful that cellphones, which are now widespread in exporting countries like Bangladesh and China, could help.Through his two-year-old company LaborVoices, Mr. Gill has been developing a voice-activated system that workers can call to leave messages about workplace conditions. ….
For full text of this article, please visit Can Mobile Phones Improve Factory Fire Safety? – India Real Time – WSJ.
- In Bangladesh, the Garment Factories Keep Burning (businessweek.com)
- Walmart said no to paying for fire safety in Bangladesh factories (dailykos.com)
- Bangladesh Fire Kills More Than 100 and Injures Many (nytimes.com)
by Felicity Barringer, NYT, May 30, 2011
IRVINE, Calif. — Scientists have been using small variations in the Earth’s gravity to identify trouble spots around the globe where people are making unsustainable demands on groundwater, one of the planet’s main sources of fresh water. They found problems in places as disparate as North Africa, northern India, northeastern China and the Sacramento–San Joaquin Valley in California, heartland of that state’s $30 billion agricultural industry. Jay S. Famiglietti, director of the University of California’s Center for Hydrologic Modeling here, said the center’s Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment, known as Grace, relies on the interplay of two nine-year-old twin satellites that monitor each other while orbiting the Earth, thereby producing some of the most precise data ever on the planet’s gravitational variations.
- Precise Geodetic Infrastructure: National Requirements for a Shared Resource (National Research Council), see for example page 41 (Box 3.1 GRACE satellite) and pages 55-58 (Measuring Surface and Groundwater Storage).
Earlier this year, a government official from Cambodia wrote a letter to Google, complaining about one of the company’s maps. The letter claimed that Google’s depiction of a stretch of border between Cambodia and Thailand was “devoid of truth and reality, and professionally irresponsible.” As editor John Gravois points out in Washington Monthly, 21st-century mapmaking can be politically thorny.
Source: On the Media, July 23, 2010, transcript to be available on July 26th: http://www.onthemedia.org/transcripts/2010/07/23/04
John Gravois, 2010. The Agnostic Cartographer: How Google’s Open Ended Maps are Embroiling the Company in some of the World’s Touchiest Geopolitical Disputes, Washington Monthly (July/Aug 2010).
Google’s New and Improved Map Borders – How do They Fare? Ogle Earth, July 21, 2010
India and China
- Arunachal Pradesh: Indian or Chinese in Google Earth? Ogle Earth, November 4, 2007.
- India, China Begin Talks on Border Disputes, Reuters, August 7, 2009.
- Google Maps’ Arunachal Pradesh place names turn Chinese, Google admits error, Ogle Earth, August 9, 2009.
- Google Placates India, China with Different Map Versions, Reuters, October 23, 2009.
Cambodia and Thailand
- Cambodia blasts Google map of disputed Thai border, Reuters, February 5, 2010.
Azerbajjan and Armenia
- From Nakhchivan to Nagorno-Karabakh: What’s in a name? Ogle Earth, January 3, 2010.
- Azerbaijan to Google: Nakhchivan is (still) ours, Ogle Earth, Ogle Earth, July 13, 2010.
Office of the Science and Technology Adviser, U.S. Department of State
March 9, 2009
Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) are an increasingly vital resource for national security, development, public health, the environment, and other aspects of foreign policy. A GIS integrates remotely sensed satellite or aerial imagery, Global Positioning System (GPS) information, and many other kinds of geographically referenced data, using mapping software to create a visually accessible display. For example, crop yields, prices, and socioeconomic data can all be factored into assessments of food security across a particular region. Policy makers are using such tools for:
- Urban planning for transportation, water, energy, sanitation, land use and service delivery
- Environmental monitoring of deforestation, desertification, illegal logging, land use and land cover
- Natural resource management, including freshwater and marine ecosystems
- Delineation and mapping of watersheds, resolving water disputes across international boundaries
- Public health, mapping of disease transmission for prevention and treatment efforts
- Emergency preparedness and disaster response
- Monitoring and planning for effects of climate change
- Monitoring human rights violations
- Verifying arms control and nonproliferation treaties
… for full text of article, visit: http://www.state.gov/g/stas/2009/120150.htm
Also visit the following websites:
American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Human Rights Program:
- Science and Human Rights Program: http://shr.aaas.org/internships.htm
- Geospatial Technology & Human Rights: http://shr.aaas.org/geotech/whatareGIS.shtml
URISA GIS Corps
Operating under the auspices of URISA, GISCorps coordinates short term, volunteer based GIS services to underprivileged communities
Vision & Goals
GISCorps volunteers’ services will help to improve the quality of life by:
- Supporting humanitarian relief.
- Enhancing environmental analysis.
- Encouraging/fostering economic development.
- Supporting community planning and development.
- Strengthening local capacity by adopting and using information technology.
- Supporting health and education related activities.
GISCorps implements URISA’s vision of advancing the effective use of spatial information technologies.
GISCorps makes available highly specialized GIS expertise to improve the well being of developing and transitional communities without exploitation or regard for profit.
GISCorps coordinates the open exchange of volunteer GIS expertise cooperatively among and along with other agencies.