Tag Archive | Geographic information science

Crisis Mapping with GIS: A Game Changer

by Nigel Waters, GeoWorld, May 13, 2011

Nigel Waters, editor of Cartographica, is a professor of geography and director for the Center of Excellence for Geographic Information Science, George Mason University; e-mail: nwaters@gmu.edu.

You may have missed it, but on Dec. 22, 1989, the 1990s were designated by the United Nations General Assembly as the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR). The objective was to mitigate by coordinated international cooperation “the loss of life, property damage, and social and economic disruption caused by natural disasters such as earthquakes, windstorms, tsunamis, floods, landslides, volcanic eruptions, wildfires … and other calamities of natural origin.” (See http://www.undemocracy.com/A-RES-44-236.pdf.)

GIS’ Promise, IDNDR’s Failure

At the start of the 1990s, many believed that GIS might help in the task of natural-disaster reduction. There was the obvious potential to use GIS to alleviate the impact of disasters due to human agency. …

For full text of the article, visit Crisis Mapping with GIS: A Game Changer | Articles – Publishing Titles | GeoPlace.


Grand Challenges in Geospatial Science Research

The  Directorate for the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences of the National Science Foundation (NSF/SBE) seeks to frame innovative research for the year 2020 and beyond that enhances fundamental knowledge and benefits society. NSF/SBE invited individuals and groups to contribute white papers in which authors were asked to outline grand challenge questions that are both foundational and transformative. At the conclusion of the submission period on October 15, 2010, 244 unique papers were received covering the full range of the SBE sciences.

The University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) submitted the following white paper on spatial dynamics and CyberGIS. The UCGIS Winter Meeting:  Place-Based Geospatial Summit will be held at the Doubletree Hotel in Washington, DC on February 3rd and 4th, 2011. For registration and the agenda, click here.


Spatial Dynamics and CyberGIS for NSF SBE 2020

Lead Author: Yuan, May

Abstract: University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) advocates that spatial dynamics and cyberGIS be identified as two grand research challenges for SBE 2020. Spatial dynamics and cyberGIS ask fundamental questions about the complexity, dynamics, and synthesis of social, behavioral, and economic systems. Making connections across space and time enables knowledge building beyond disciplinary boundaries to understand how new findings in one discipline relate to another for a holistic understanding of human dimensions. Expanding upon the spatial emphasis in geographic information science research, spatial dynamics research investigates cognitive and methodological advances to conceptualize, represent, analyze, and model the integrative spatiotemporal characteristics and processes of global systems. CyberGIS research enables a synthesis framework leveraging GIS and cyberinfrastructure to build a collaborative cybercommons of distributed benchmark datasets, computational testbeds, and knowledge webs for social, behavioral, and economic sciences. The fact that social network media is expanding rapidly and being accessed by a broad spectrum of society, and new generations of digital natives are stepping up to take center stage, gives unprecedented opportunities to allow real-time or near-real time spatially referenced data for SBE research. Grand research challenges of spatial dynamics and cyberGIS, both individually and more effectively together, are essential to understand spatial connections of activities, events, and processes across scales and dimensions for a cyber SBE knowledge enterprise with capabilities for SBE forecasting and predictions, and even nowcasting enabled by sensor networks, cell phone signals, or twitters.

For full text of the article, click here.


Other geospatial-related white papers submitted to NSF SBE 2020:

Getting to Know the Mapping Science Committee of the National Research Council

Getting to Know the Mapping Science Committee

by Keith Clarke, Chair, Mapping Sciences Committee, the National Research Council

Important to the GIScience research community and agenda, especially as far as the federal government is concerned, is the Mapping Sciences Committee (MSC), a standing committee of the Board on Earth Science Resources of the National Research Council. What is this committee; where did it come from; what are its activities and responsibilities; and how do they impact the world of geographic information science, especially with regard to research and development? In this essay, the current MSC chair attempts to answer these questions and reveal MSC as a unique and important vehicle for advancing the science relating to geographic information in the United States.

For full text of the article, click here.

Source: ESRI ArcNews, Fall 2010


See also the following websites for more information:

Recent Mapping Related Reports

  • Geodesy is the science of accurately measuring Earth’s shape, orientation in space, and gravity field, and changes in these parameters over time. Geodetic techniques and instrumentation have enabled scientists to determine the changing position of any point on Earth with centimeter accuracy or better. They also provide the underpinnings for surveying and navigation, determining flood maps, measuring sea level rise, assessing groundwate… More >>
  • Mapping the Zone: Improving Flood Map Accuracy (2009) Flooding is the leading cause of natural disaster in the United States. High-quality, digital mapping is essential to communicating flood hazards to those at risk, setting appropriate insurance rates, and regulating development in flood-prone areas. As the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) nears the end of its Map Modernization Program, the agency, along with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, asked the Nationa… More >> Report in Brief
  • National Land Parcel Data: A Vision for the Future (2007) Land parcel data (also known as cadastral data) provides geographically-referenced information about the rights, interests, and ownership of land and are an important part of the financial, legal and real estate systems of society. The data are used by governments to make decisions about land development, business activities, regulatory compliance, emergency response, and law enforcement. In 1980, a National Research Council report called fo… More >> Report in Brief
  • A Research Agenda for Geographic Information Science at the United States Geological Survey (2007) Comprehensive and authoritative baseline geospatial data content is crucial to the nation and to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The USGS founded its Center of Excellence for Geospatial Information Science (CEGIS) in 2006 to develop and distribute national geospatial data assets in a fast-moving information technology environment. In order to fulfill this mission, the USGS asked the National Research Council to assess current GIScienc… More >>
  • Successful Response Starts with a Map: Improving Geospatial Support for Disaster Management (2007) In the past few years the United States has experienced a series of disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which have severely taxed and in many cases overwhelmed responding agencies. In all aspects of emergency management, geospatial data and tools have the potential to help save lives, limit damage, and reduce the costs of dealing with emergencies. Great strides have been made in the past four decades in the development of geospatia… More >>
  • Elevation Data for Floodplain Mapping* (2007) Floodplain maps serve as the basis for determining whether homes or buildings require flood insurance under the National Flood Insurance Program run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Approximately $650 billion in insured assets are now covered under the program. Under a funded mandate from Congress, FEMA is modernizing floodplain maps to better serve the program. However, concerns have been raised to Congress as to the adequac… More >>
  • Beyond Mapping: Meeting National Needs Through Enhanced Geographic Information Science (2006) Geographic information systems (GIS), the Global Positioning System (GPS), remote sensing, and other information technologies have all changed the nature of work in the mapping sciences and in the professions, industries, and institutions that depend on them for basic research and education. Today, geographic information systems have become central to the ways thousands of government agencies, private companies, and not-for-profit organization… More >>
%d bloggers like this: