GIS Day 2017!

As it does every year, GIS Day snuck up on me! From the GIS Day page, you can see local events as well as some really cool visualization/data projects (My favorites are the 100 Years of the NPS and Lakota Language). ESRI’s GeoNet community will also lead you to some interesting information. One of my favorite non-science databases is Social Explorer, which allows you to visually explore all types of demographic data. Other cool/interesting sites include:

  • Atlas of Early Printing: an interactive timeline that traces the spread of printing in conjunction with trade routes, paper mills and other factors.
  • Atlas of the Biosphere: Provides visualized information about the environment and human interactions with the environment.It contains maps with geographically explicit data broken down into four general categories (Humans, Land Use, Ecosystems, and Water Resources) and animated schematics that look at the various resource flows and pools that make up individual Earth systems.
  • CityNature combines spatial analysis of parks and other natural areas in cities with text mining of planning documents and published historical narratives to explore why.
  • HealthMap: deliver real-time intelligence on a broad range of emerging infectious diseases. (Spoiler alert: Either we are pretty lucky in PDX or our outbreaks aren’t getting reported.)
  • Herodotus’s Histories: all the place names mapped so you can follow in Herodotus’s footsteps. Virtually.
  • Landscope America & other NatureServe maps: brings together maps, data, photos, and stories about America’s natural places and open spaces to inform and inspire conservation.
  • Mapping Inequality: Redlining in New Deal America: I’m not sure this one really needs an explanation. Looking at the area description/security map of each area makes me sad.
  • National Geologic Map Database: a distributed archive of standardized geoscience information.
  • Racial Dot Map: an accessible visualization of geographic distribution, population density, and racial diversity of the American people in every neighborhood in the entire country.
  • ShakeMap: from the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program. An accessible visualization of geographic distribution, population density, and racial diversity of the American people in every neighborhood in the entire country.

Looking for books about GIS? Try some of these:
Encyclopedia of GIS
Qualitative GIS: A mixed Methods Approach
GIS Research Methods: Incorporating Spatial Perspectives
A Primer of GIS
The Spatial Humanities GIS and the Future of Humanities Scholarship

Find of the Week: Search for LaTeX code!

One of our favorite (ok, MY favorite) eBook and journal publishers, Springer, has LaTeX coding searching! Instead of trying to type an equation in google or another search engine, a searcher can enter the code for an equation and search within Springer publications. LaTeXSearch can find equations containing specific or similar LaTeX code, equations belonging to a specific DOI and equations belonging to articles with a particular word or phrase in their title.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Space Junk!

Closing Session: Scientia In Absentia: An Inconvenient Truth About Space Traffic

This is the session I was looking forward to all conference! Dr. Moriba Jah catalogs “space debris” left over from all of our space exploration.  His slides are here, so I’ll just hit the highlights! (Although this man was a phenomenal speaker & I wanted to write down pretty much every word he said!)

There is a lack of scientific research being done into the abundance of man-made objects in space…Of the 23 thousand objects floating around in space (that we know about!) only about 1300 are functioning! 96% is TRASH!l

 

Why do we care? degradation/interruption of space capabilities (DISH signal going down during the game…), climate impacts? This issue has turned into a Tragedy of the Commons” (people are acting in their own self-interest…space junk is someone else’s problem!”

Space Environment has harsh effects on items. Modeling has all been done up to now with all items as spheres, but all objects aren’t spheres )or, if they were they don’t stay that way!) poor communication and NO TAXONOMY. There are lots of known icebergs, but really poor communication and very little sharing of information.

Things to do/think about:

  • Make everything we send up there trackable
  • need space “Rules of the Road”
  • Monitor what is already there to inform policy
  • Use physics to make predictions about what is there.
  • COMMUNICATE

Dr. Jah’s TedTalk on Space Traffic

 

 

 

Water, Water, Everywhere!

Water in the Southwest: History, Policy, and Data

There were two speakers for this session, Sarah Porter, Director of the Kyl Center for Water Policy, and Grant Weinkam, Research Analyst at the Water Resources Research Center, University of Arizona.

Porter outline the history of the “water problem” in the southwest, going back to the ancient indigenous peoples who “engineered” water by digging canals. She went on to William Augustus Hancock, the “father” of Phoenix, who saw the usefulness of the canals. Then to John Wesley Powell, first director of the USGS, who mapped the Colorado River and was partly responsible for the Newlands Reclamation Act of 1902 (Pub.L. 57–161), which helped established irrigation efforts for the 13 western arid states. Then to Babbit’s Groundwater Management Act of 1980. Areas of high growth aren’t supposed to develop unless they have the water to support the growth. Biggest challenge are areas where there isn’t CAP.

Weinkam (slides) presented on the Desert Flows Database, a database of available articles and agency reports on the environmental flow needs and flow responses for flora and fauna in watersheds of the deserts of the U.S. and Mexico. To gather the data they surveyed land managers and water managers throughout the Western US and Mexico. They currently have data from over 400 studies including depth of groundwater,legal or regulatory requirements for the species that are being considered and species abundance and age structure.

Miscellaneous notes:

Why has agricultural needs for water decreased in recent years? AZ ag is focusing more on reuse, is becoming more efficient, and overall, there is less ag.

There are obvious issues with people who can’t afford to upgrade their systems (Najavo)

 

Books mentioned

Stegner, W., & De Voto, B. (1992). Beyond the hundredth meridian: John Wesley Powell and the second opening of the West. New York: Penguin Books.

August, J.L.,Jr. (1999). Vision in the Desert: Carl Hayden and Hydropolitics in the American Southwest. Fort Worth : Texas Christian University Press.

Fleck, J. (2016). Water is for fighting over : And other myths about water in the West. Washington, DC: Island Press.

Analytics with Library Data

What do I do with all these numbers? Improving libraries through data analytics (slides)

I was hoping this session would again be more practical, but it was very technical! Basically, the question was how do we make meaning from all the data we gather? The slides are pretty through, so I will list a few things that I thought were interesting:

  • ASU ILL — looked at article borrowing because demand was increasing, but needed cut costs. Goal was fill 80% w/in 3 days. Used DMIAC. Found that using document supplies to speed up process wasn’t worth it.
  • Six Sigma — set of techniques and tools for process improvement.
  • DMAIC: structure problem solving technique; drives Six Sigma–Define; Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control

Books mentioned:

Farmer, L., & Safer, A. (2016). Library improvement through data analytics. Chicago: ALA.

Showers, B. (Ed.) (2015). Library analytics and metrics. London: Facet.

Hernon, P., Dugan, R., & Matthews, J. (2015). Managing with data: using ACRLMetrics and PLAmetrics. Chicago: ALA.

Brassard, M. et al. (2017). Six Sigma memory jogger II. Salem, NH: GOAL.

George, M.et al.(2005).Lean Six Sigma pocket toolbook. New York: McGraw Hill.

Tague, S. (2005). Quality toolbox (2d ed.). Milwaukee: ASQ.