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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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:
- Kasakoff, Alice Bee. Scaling Down: Social and Economic Processes over time at a Local Scale in the US
- Gregory, Ian N. Using Historical GIS to understand space and time in the social, behavioural and economic sciences: A white paper for the NSF
- Yuan, May. Spatial Dynamics and CyberGIS for NSF SBE 2020
- Corrigan, John.The Spatial Humanities: GIS and the future of humanities scholarship
- Lobao, Linda M. Spatial Inequality: A Research Agenda for the Social Sciences
- Owens, J. B. Understanding the impact of nonlinear dynamics on the processes of human systems
User-friendly web mapping: lessons from a citizen science website – International Journal of Geographical Information Science
User-friendly web mapping: lessons from a citizen science website
Authors: Greg Newman; Don Zimmerman; Alycia Crall; Melinda Laituri; Jim Graham; Linda Stapel
International Journal of Geographical Information Science (IJGIS), Vol 24, Issue 12, December 2010, pages 1851-1869
Citizen science websites are emerging as a common way for volunteers to collect and report geographic ecological data. Engaging the public in citizen science is challenging and, when involving online participation, data entry, and map use, becomes even more daunting. Given these new challenges, citizen science websites must be easy to use, result in positive overall satisfaction for many different users, support many different tasks, and ensure data quality. To begin reaching these goals, we built a geospatially enabled citizen science website, evaluated its usability, and gained experience by working with and listening to citizens using the website. We sought to determine general perceptions, discover potential problems, and iteratively improve website features. Although the website was rated positively overall, map-based tasks identified a wide range of problems. Given our results, we redesigned the website, improved the content, enhanced the ease of use, simplified the map interface, and added features. We discuss citizen science websites in relation to online Public Participation Geographic Information Systems, examine the role(s) websites may play in the citizen science research model, discuss how citizen science research advances GIScience, and offer guidelines to improve citizen-based web mapping applications.
Keywords: Public Participation GIS; usability; citizen science; Web GIS; Internet GIS
- Citizen Science: No Ph.D. Required (sierraclub.typepad.com)
- Citizen Science, Anarchy Evolution Reviewed, Glen Beck Behaves Badly [Greg Laden’s Blog] (scienceblogs.com)
- Could citizen science projects run out of volunteers? (carolune.org)
- Getting to Know the Mapping Science Committee of the National Research Council (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- Planet Hunters: another citizen-science project (guardian.co.uk)
- Galaxy Zoo shows how well crowdsourced citizen science works (arstechnica.com)
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:
- Mapping Science Committee Website: http://dels.nas.edu/global/besr/MSC
- Geographical Science Committee Website: http://dels.nas.edu/global/besr/GSC
- Geography and Mapping Committee Reports: http://dels.nas.edu/besr/Geography-and-mapping/Reports-Academies-Findings
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 >>
Dr. Lea Shanley is the founder and former co-Chair of the Federal Community of Practice on Crowdsourcing and Citizen Science, a vibrant community of 200 federal employees from more than 35 agencies. She is also a co-founding member of the Citizen Science Association. Dr. Shanley recently served as a Presidential Innovation Fellow at NASA, where she helped to foster a culture of open innovation. Prior to this, she founded and directed the Commons Lab at the Wilson Center, served in the US Senate as a Congressional Science Fellow, and worked with local and tribal communities to develop GIS-based decision support systems for city planning, natural resource management, coastal management, and disaster response through the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Disclaimer: This is a personal blog of links to relevant news, events, and reports, provided for educational purposes only. The opinions and views contained therein are those only of the authors of the original articles. These opinions do not necessarily reflect those of the editor of this blog or or associated organizations.
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