[ Ø ] Harsh Prakash – GIS Blog

Quiet Musings On Applied Spatial (Health, Disaster, Technology, Planning et al.)

Archive for the ‘Geography’ Category

Mashup on iPad

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OK, so tested Google, Bing, Yahoo, ESRI, Openlayers and MapServer mashups on the iPad, and much like on the iPhone, the slippy drag-and-droll interface doesn’t work. Except for one mashup. Take a guess?

Related:
* Safari
* WebKit

Written by Harsh

April 15th, 2010 at 10:50 pm

Technology Division of the American Planning Association (APA) Awards for 2010

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Category 1: The award for the ‘Best Use of Technology to Improve a Plan or Planning Process’ goes to Marc Schlossberg‘s (University of Oregon) ‘Engaging Citizens in Active Transportation Planning with Mobile GIS‘ for its creative use of technology in improving planning processes.

Category 2: The award for the ‘Best Use of Technology for Public Participation’ goes to Michael Baker Jr.‘s ‘More For 1604 Social Media Program‘ for its good use of technology to enhance public involvement and participation in planning and decision making processes.

Category 3: The award for the ‘Best Use of Technology for a University Urban and Regional Planning Program’ goes to the School of Policy Planning and Development‘s (University of Southern California) ‘Multimedia Boot Camps‘ for its effective use of teaching with technology in preparing future planners for professional work.

Our Award Committee comprised of elected members from the Division Leadership, namely Jennifer Evans-Cowley, Amiy Varma and yours truly. Join us at the award distribution ceremony at our Division Business meeting (National Planning Conference) on Monday, April the 12th (7 AM) in the Hilton New Orleans Trafalgar Room. Congratulations again to all our award winners!

Related:
* Technology Division of APA
* Planning & Technology Today

Written by Harsh

March 30th, 2010 at 3:48 pm

Interview: “Geographic Information Systems (GIS) – It’s Much More Than Google Maps – A Chat With GIS Experts”

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Written by Harsh

March 18th, 2010 at 9:27 am

GISP and AICP

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Although I am still on the fence on GISP given the relative lackluster, what APA has done with AICP‘s CM could give it some shine when it comes to creating a provider ecosystem.

To quickly fill you in: Last year at its Leadership Meetings, APA launched the CM program for AICP. In short, it required professional planners to continuously seek training in order to maintain their certifications, and allowed 3rd-party providers to offer that training.

For SIS, adopting a similar approach would require forsaking a fee-centric approach, letting someone like OGC bite a bigger share and sinking deeper into some sort of GIS accreditation, far beyond ESRI Authorized Training Program, before the “Surveyor Usurp” (see below).

–π

Related:
The Status of Professional Certification in GIS – Conclusion:
“GIS application areas range from engineering to computer and information sciences, geography, business, logistics, forestry, and many other academic and professional preparation fields. Because GIS professionals come from a wide variety of backgrounds and academic preparation, no one group can claim to represent all approaches and applications within the GIS community. Also, given the volatile nature of the field, and the rapid change currently underway in software development and application deployment, adequate preparation today does not guarantee competency in the future. For these reasons, an overarching program to ensure appropriate professional preparation and competency must be developed by those parties interested in safeguarding the viability of the field and the competency of those claiming professional status.

It is unlikely that voluntary certification can assure competency across the profession if most practitioners choose not to be certified or if employers don’t insist that their employees be certified. Therefore, it is essential that benefits of certification be clearly articulated. By including a wide range of professional organizations within the certification development process, and working to include the interests of all GIS professionals by developing both a reasonable core set of competencies and appropriate specialized evaluations within the certification process, all groups will benefit from certification.”

� Groups – “The Usurp“: Spatial Sciences Institute (SSI), Australia and Board of Surveying and Spatial Information, New South Wales, Australia

� Degrees: University of Southern Queensland, Australia – Bachelor of Spatial Science (BSPS) and Bachelor of Spatial Science Technology (BSST)

� Ideas: For ideas on what required trainings could entail, here’re some courses (article) and my GIS suggestions for AICP’s CM:

— PLAN TECH 101 – Desktop GIS (vendor-neutral) —
Featuring:
– QGIS (opensource)
– ArcGIS (proprietary, $)
– MapInfo (proprietary, $)
Outline:
* Intro to GIS data
– Vector
– Raster
– KML, GML, WMS etc
* How to acquire GIS data – Resources
* How to work with maps – Common tasks
– Geocoding/Geoprocessing
– Spatial analyses
– Editing
– Printing, publishing
* Intro to spatial databases
* Best practices
* What lies ahead – Industry trends
* Other notable resources – handy tools and hacks

— PLAN TECH 102 – webGIS (vendor-neutral) —
Featuring:
– Mash-Up APIs
– Google Maps (proprietary, free)
– ArcWebServices (proprietary, $)
– Virtual Globes
– NASA World Wind (opensource)
– Google Earth and SketchUp (proprietary, free versions)
– IMS
– MapServer (opensource)
Outline:
* Intro to webGIS
* How to mash-up
– Text to maps etc
– How to use MapMaker, MyMaps and Charts
– License considerations
* How to use Virtual Globes
– How to add placemarks, polygons, photographs etc
– How to georeference photographs
– How to create network links
– How to create tours
– License considerations
– Other presentation considerations
– 3D models
* Intro to in-house interactive mapping
– How to set-up and serve
* Best practices
* What lies ahead – Industry trends
* Other notable resources – handy tools and hacks

— PLAN TECH 103 – Web 2.0 (vendor-neutral) —
Outline:
* Intro to Web 2.0
* How to set-up
– CMSs
– Blogs and forums
– Mailing lists
– webGIS
– Mash-Ups
* How to use Social Networking
– YouTube
– MySpace
– Facebook
* License considerations
* Intro to Section 508
– Guidelines
– Resources
– Tips
* Best practices
* What lies ahead – Industry trends
* Other notable resources – handy tools and hacks

Written by Harsh

July 11th, 2008 at 11:36 pm

Posted in Geography,Planning

Tagged with , , ,

Neogeography 101: Word Association

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Question:
‘Genre Books’ is to ‘Writer’
as
‘Web Maps’ is to …?

Choices:
• [a] iPhone […since the buzz is about it- the Paris Hilton of the technorati]
• [b] Paris Hilton […since the buzz is about her- the iPhone of the glitterati]
• [c] Geographer […since ESRI Press said so]
• [d] Programmer/Developer

Answer:
• If you answered [c], you have spent a lot of time around ESRI-championed web maps with 8 direction tags, a dogged insistence on not exploiting browser cache and a ridiculous north arrow on every map- never mind that so far no one has turned a browser upside down.

–π

Related:
• A Rose by Any Other Name
• Web Mapping
• The New Yorker

Written by Harsh

July 7th, 2007 at 11:30 am

Posted in Geography,GIS,Service

Tagged with , , ,

Follow Up [2]: Katrina Links

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Former senator Stafford of Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, familiar to anyone requesting, managing and mapping disaster grants under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program [HMGP] AKA Buyout Program, dies at 93.

Related:
“FEMA Told to Resume Storm Aid”
• Blogs about this article
• “Katrina Victims in Limbo as FEMA Appeals Aid Order”
• Government Accountability Office [GAO] Report: Abstract– Hurricanes Katrina and Rita Disaster Relief. Continued Findings of Fraud, Waste and Abuse. GAO-07-252T. December 6, 2006
• Video: Reactions from the Grassroots– Effects of Flood Map Modernization [Map Mod] Program’s Digital Flood Insurance Rate Maps [DFIRMs] on National Flood Insurance Program’s [NFIP’s] Ordinance Updates
• Pre-Disaster Mitigation [PDM] Grant Program

Written by Harsh

December 23rd, 2006 at 1:30 pm

Why do you like Geography?

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Here’s one of many reasons:

“… And then the strange people of Asia- the Tartars, who are such splendid horsemen; the Arabs, who travel over the deserts upon camels, and at night stop and tell stories to each other; and the Hindoos, who burn their widows and drown their children, thinking these things are pleasing to God; and the Chinese, who eat puppies and rats, and furnish all the world with tea; and the Turks, with their big turbans- what a wonderful thing it is that in one little book we may learn all about these queer [sic] people.

Perhaps I like geography the more for this reason: Uncle Ben has a great many pictures of different countries, with the people who live there; and when I am studying about a country I look over these pictures…”

[Goodrich, Samuel G [Peter Parley]. pp 45. Chapter V- Geography. The Adventures of Billy Bump on the Pacific Coast- A tale of ’49. 1793-1860. http://www.openlibrary.org/details/billybump00goodarch ]

–π

Written by Harsh

August 26th, 2006 at 10:09 pm

Posted in Geography,Social

Tagged with ,

Follow Up [1]: Katrina Links

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Written by Harsh

August 16th, 2006 at 10:11 pm

Katrina Links

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Rethinking Flood Insurance” [09/21/2005]: A timely but poorly-researched editorial in The Washington Post on the levee problems plaguing the National Flood Insurance Program.

As much as some may cringe to what they see as their tax-dollars being spent on bail out, the often-omitted fact remains that many New Orleanians were not required by the National Flood Insurance Program to purchase flood insurance because they enjoyed the protection of levees. So the federal government through the Corps of Engineers is at least partly responsible for creating a false sense of security by failing to repair levees in a timely manner. Bear in mind that the State of California has been asked by its court to shoulder responsibility for damages from failure of levees for which it is a sponsor. And if we did not cry “welfare state” when the federal government stepped in to ease out the airline industry after 2001, surely we can hush our moans now.

For more discussion points, refer to this white paper by the Association of State Floodplain Managers.

While on this disaster as one watches events unfold, it becomes clear that an infuriating management style marked by a “hands-off” approach that is prone to making excuses for ignored red flags can only get rewarded for ideological and rhetorical reasons rather than merit. And such a management style finds a willing bed-partner in a “let’s-eat-at-steakhouse-since-the-proceeds-go-towards-relief-efforts” empathy-response. In itself, such a response cannot be right all the time for it is primarily detached and “feel good”.

The Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 had laid down clear requirements to plan for such events. And as I understand, the National Incident Management System laid down a similar framework with regards to response-coordination. But no amount of planning [State of Louisiana Hazard Mitigation Plan, State of Alabama Hazard Mitigation Plan] could prevent the failure from happening.

Having observed this breakdown in leadership and with some benefit of experience, I cannot stress enough how planners should restrict their impulse to pen a plan for every problem and how they should also focus on becoming “political actors” for one cannot write a plan that accounts for the failure in carrying out the plan itself.

On another note, many of the residents of New Orleans were not required by the National Flood Insurance Program to purchase flood insurance since they were protected by levees. Although non-discriminatory exceptions can always be made, this further complicates relief efforts as it currently limits the amount of disaster assistance available through certain agencies.

Related:
• Blogs about this editorial
• Katrina
• Craigslist: Lost and Found- New Orleans LA, Baton Rouge LA
• WIKI
• Red Cross: Family Links Registry
• Lycos: Missing Persons Search
• Housing Information Gateway
• Shelter Map
• Information Map
• ESRI: Katrina Disaster Viewer
• Google Earth: Imagery
• NYT: Draining New Orleans Map
• Contact: Mitigation Planners and Substantial Damage Assessors

Written by Harsh

September 21st, 2005 at 7:09 pm

Tsunami Links

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Written by Harsh

January 5th, 2005 at 6:10 pm