Tag Archive | Geography

Why Maps Matter

by Frank Konkel, FCW, March 17, 2014

And as mapping technology advances, it allows for far more than foolproof directions. Federal agencies now use geospatial data, geo-analytics and multi-layered maps for myriad purposes, including gathering intelligence, predicting disease outbreaks and sharing data pools with the public.

For full text of the article, please click here.


The Importance of Spatial Thinking

by Kirk Goldsberry, Harvard Business Review, September 30, 2013

In its 375 years, Harvard has only ever eliminated one entire academic program. If you had to guess, what program do you think that was and when was it killed off? The answer: Harvard eradicated its Geography Department in the 1940s, and many universities followed suit. … As I look out on the world of data visualization, I see a lot of reinventing of the wheel precisely because so many young, talented visualizers lack geographical training. … Which brings us back to the sheer lack of geographical training available.”

To read this thoughtful and timely essay, visit: http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/09/teaching-and-learning-visualiz/


Zero Geography: Situating Neogeography

Situating Neogeography: Special Issue of Environment and Planning A

The special issue of Environment and Planning A on neogeography that Mark Graham edited with Matthew Wilson is now out an available to download. It will undoubtedly be a useful collection for anyone interested in thinking about the coming-togethers of information, the internet, and place.

For table of contents and links visit Zero Geography: Situating Neogeography: Special Issue of Environment and Planning A.


Neogeography and the delusion of democratisation

by Muki Haklay, Po Ve Sham Blog,  22 June, 2012

“At the end of 2010, Matt Wilson (University of Kentucky) and Mark Graham(Oxford Internet Institute), started coordinating a special issue of Environment and Planning Adedicated to ‘Situating Neogeography’, asking ‘How might we situate neogeography? What are the various assemblages, networks, ecologies, configurations, discourses, cyborgs, alliances that enable/enact these technologies?’ My [Muki Hakly’s] response to this call is a paper titled ‘Neogeography and the delusion of democratisation’ and it is finally been accepted for publication. I am providing below an excerpt from the introduction, to provide a flavour of the discussion:

“Since the emergence of the World Wide Web (Web) in the early 1990s, claims about its democratic potential and practice are a persistent feature in the discourse about it. While awareness of the potential of ‘anyone, anytime, anywhere’ to access and use information was extolled for a long while (for an early example see Batty 1997), the emergence of Web 2.0 in the mid-2000s (O’Reilly 2005) increased this notion. In the popular writing of authors such as Friedman (2006), these sentiments are amplified by highlighting the ability of anyone to ‘plug into the flat earth platform’ from anywhere and anytime. …”

For full text of this thought provoking article, visit Neogeography and the delusion of democratisation « Po Ve Sham – Muki Haklay’s personal blog.

Mandatory use of Geo-spatial Data for Delhi Government

by The Economic Times, April 8, 2012
“Delhi government’s 30 departments and agencies will have to mandatorily use geo-spatial data of overground and underground assets before planning any infrastructure projects, when an ambitious legislation comes into force in the city in May. The IT Department has already completed a three-year project under which images of all overground and underground utilities like telephone lines, power cables, water and sewer lines and roads have been made available on a single portal to facilitate better urban planning and governance. The Delhi Assembly in March passed the Geo-spatial Data Infrastructure (Management, Control, Administration, Security and Safety) Bill which was brought to make sure that each of the 30 selected agencies like the PWD, DDA and MCD use the portal to ensure better planning for projects and proper co-ordination among the agencies for their implementation.” For full text of the article, visit Mandatory Use of Geo-spatial Data for Delhi Govt Departments – EconomicTimes.
See also:
Delhi Geo-spatial Data Infrastructure (Management, Control, Administration, Security and Safety) Act of 2011
Mandatory Geospatial Data Use in Delhi: 3D Modelling To Expand
Sharing geospatial information on infrastructure mandated by Delhi NCT

Congressional Research Service Update to Federal GIS Report

The Congressional Research Service has published an update to one of their GIS reports:

Issues and Challenges for Federal Geospatial Information (R41826)

by Pete Folger, Specialist in Energy and Natural Resources Policy, April 27, 2012


Congress has recognized the challenge of coordinating and sharing geospatial data from the local, county, and state level to the national level, and vice versa. The cost to the federal government of gathering and coordinating geospatial information has also been an ongoing concern. As much as 80% of government information has a geospatial component, according to various sources. The federal government’s role has changed from being a primary provider of authoritative geospatial information to coordinating and managing geospatial data and facilitating partnerships. Congress explored issues of cost, duplication of effort, and coordination of geospatial information in hearings during the 108th Congress. However, challenges to coordinating how geospatial data are acquired and used—collecting duplicative data sets, for example—at the local, state, and federal levels, in collaboration with the private sector, are not yet resolved. Two bills introduced in the 112th Congress, H.R. 1620 and H.R. 4322, would address aspects of duplication and coordination of geospatial information.

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URISA Data Policy and Amicus Brief Decision Statement

URISA Data Policy & Amicus Brief Decision Statement E-mail

Written by URISA, 28 February 2012

February 27, 2012 (Des Plaines, IL) At its February 24, 2012 meeting, the URISA Board of Directors again considered the draft Sierra Club vs. Orange County, California amicus brief. A Board motion to sign an earlier version of the brief on February 2 failed to pass a vote.

The Board’s deliberation followed a joint URISA Board and Policy Committee conference call to discuss the Board’s February 2 decision in light of the Policy’s Committee’s recommendation to sign the brief. Glenn O’Grady, Policy Committee Chair, was invited to again discuss the matter with the Board during the February 24 meeting.

Before considering the question of signing the SC v. OC amicus brief, the Board drafted and approved the following data sharing policy that reflects URISA’s role as an international organization and the need for the organization to be aware of data policies and situations in many countries:

“It is URISA’s policy that all units of government should freely provide the means for their citizens to fully participate in their own governance by publishing and otherwise supplying geospatial data to all interested parties. URISA believes that governmental geospatial programs must be appropriately funded and that there are multiple acceptable mechanisms for such funding. Credible studies have shown that the value of geospatial data to the governmental agencies and the people they serve increases with the breadth of data sharing.”

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