Thursday, April 28, 2016

Georgetown Pizza Map

This map shows the locations of pizza places throughout Georgetown, Texas, as well as their proximity to Southwestern University. As you can see, most of the pizza places are located West of Southwestern, with only one located to the East. Overall, there are sixteen pizza spots in Georgetown, with a clustering around the downtown area. 

Monday, April 25, 2016

Small Business Doctors in the Georgetown Area

Small Business Doctors in the Georgetown Area

This map shows the locations of small locally owned Doctors businesses. The Red symbols show the businesses around the Georgetown location. Using the method of GTopography, these locations were mapped out. In the map, it shows clearly how no location is to the east of our campus (shown by the yellow symbol). All locations are west of our campus. Mapping out these small businesses could help students, who might prefer a local/smaller consultant, rather than a bigger company. I also tried to map out bigger emergency center, but there were so few near the Georgetown area. Having quite a bit of small doctor offices, it is surprising that many students still do not know about these locations. Hopefully in the future, knowledge of these doctors increases and students or the community in Georgetown use them.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

10SNE1?- Georgetown's Tennis Facilities

Georgetown has one of the highest senior citizen populations in the United States. Many seniors look for ways to stay active and involved in the community after retirement, and joining a tennis league is an answer to both. With regular meetings, matches, and tournaments, a league with people of all ages and levels of play is a great way to stay engaged with Georgetown. This map has the locations of the 65 tennis courts available to the public in Georgetown, Texas with locations in sports complexes, schools/universities, country clubs, and the VFW center. Diamonds mark the lighted courts and squares the conventional courts.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Burgers vs Sanwiches: The Battle for Healthy Food

This map displays the quantity and distribution of fast food restaurants in Georgetown, TX. Specifically, this map includes seven of the most well-known burger fast food companies and two of the most well-known sandwich fast food companies. "Fast food" is defined here as food that is accessible through a drive thru and is relatively cheap compared to strictly dine-in restaurants. Restaurants were chosen based on the type of item they're most well-known for (burgers versus sandwiches). 

As is shown in the map, Georgetown residents have far more access to ‘unhealthy’ fast food than ‘healthy’ fast food. This is problematic because the U.S. struggles with obesity rates, especially among children. For people who live in poverty, fast food restaurants are often the go-to for full meals, and if these restaurants are mostly unhealthy, people's health will be damaged.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Lab 6 Two Georgetowns: Izzy's Top Parks in Georgetown, Texas

Georgetown is a hidden gem for outdoor loving and adventurous people. About 30 minutes from Austin, this town has all the outdoor commodities but a fraction of the population. From swimming, hiking, to laying out in the sun, these parks have it all. On this map we have Izzy Lackner's top 15 parks of Georgetown, Texas. Izzy goes to Southwestern University and is a resident of Georgetown and has spent 2 years marking down the best places to be outside. These parks are her personal favorites for outdoor fun. The parks labeled in blue are perfect for swimming since they are by water. The parks labeled in black are not recommended for water activities by Isabella Lackner.
The exact location of each park was plotted by the longitude and latitude.  Each park is no more than 3-4 miles from another park.  
I marked Southwestern University with a different color font to show a central location for any one using this map.  I go to Southwestern University and this shows the distance from where  me and other college students live in proximity to the parks. 

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Spatiotemporal analysis and the swine flu

When an outbreak of the H1N1 swine flu started in Mexico and the U.S. it was quickly declared to be a pandemic. The World Health Organization or WHO, reported a total of 429 deaths world wide and over 90,000 serious cases. There were limited studies that have focused on global scale analyses of pandemics. The authors of “utilizing spatiotemporal analysis of influenza-like illness and rapid tests to focus swine-origin influenza intervention” did just as the title states. They used spatiotemporal analysis in order to study patterns that emerged from the swine flu outbreaks in order to assist the prevention of future outbreaks. From the data that they could access, they found that the swine flu was very prevalent by the US-Mexico border. The maps below show the cases of illnesses and their location.


By using spatiotemporal analysis, the authors were able to gain an understanding of how swine flu traveled and where outbreaks were likely to occur. In the future it will be helpful to use this technique in real time in order to stop pandemics from spreading and predict what areas are at the highest risk.

Wilson, J. G., Ballou, J., Yan, C., Fisher-Hoch, S. P., Reininger, B., Gay, J., ... & Lopez, L. (2010). Utilizing spatiotemporal analysis of influenza-like illness and rapid tests to focus swine-origin influenza virus intervention.Health & place16(6), 1230-1239.

I have acted with honesty and integrity in producing this work and am unaware of anyone who has not. Jolene Klenzendorf

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Environmental variability and fish population density

Using fine-scale GIS data to assess the relationship between intra-annual environmental niche variability and population density in a local stream fish assemblage

Knouft, J. H., Caruso, N. M., Dupre, P. J., Anderson, K. R., Trumbo, D. R., & Puccinelli, J. (2011). Using fine‐scale GIS data to assess the relationship between intra‐annual environmental niche variability and population density in a local stream fish assemblage. Methods in Ecology and Evolution2(3), 303-311.

Varying population densities has primarily been attributed to the suitability of species to inhabit varying habitat. Knoufr et al. (2011) uses GIS to understand how intra-annual variation in habitat effects niche characteristics and population density of fish species in a stream. This was done during four time periods which were July 2007, October 2007, January 2008, and April 2008. These were chosen because of varying flow rates and temperature throughout the year. The two most important units of measure in this study are niche breadth (habitats occupied by the species) and niche position (the difference between the habitat occupied by the species from overall habitat). These were correlated with seven different abiotic habitat parameters which were dissolved oxygen, benthic flow rate, midwater flow rate, surface flow rate, depth, lower canopy cover (riparian vegetation <3 m in height) and sediment. Habitat parameters were collected at 83 or more locations along a 675-m sample site. Locations were divided based on river habitats which can be divided into riffles, runs and pools based on water flow patterns. They georeferenced each sample location and imported them as shapefiles that contained the 7 habitat parameters. They ended up with 5 measures of habitat variability because benthic flow rate, midwater flow rate, and surface flow rate were highly correlated and could be combined to produce an average flow rate. Figure 1 (below) shows the distribution of the five habitat parameters within the stream. Variation in population density among species was successfully predicted for samples in October and January.

I have acted with  honesty and integrity in producing this work and am unaware of anyone who has not. Bianca Perez

Monday, February 22, 2016

The effects of deforestation and climate variability on the streamflow of the Araguaia River, Brazil

Agricultural demand and deforestation has transformed land use in Tropical South America in the last four decades. Changes in land use affect the hydrology of the region and can lead to a variety of hydrological and geomorphological changes. Previous studies (Costa et al. 2003 and Coe et al. 2009) have used models to correlate the increase in water discharge rate to deforestation of the area and climate variability. Coe et al. (2011) uses these methods to analyze discharge data and climate data in an 82,600 km2 basin of the Araguaia River in South America which is the center of agricultural and cattle production for the region. Discharge and precipitation data between two time periods (1970-1979 and 1990-1999) were used to compare low and high density land cover respectively. Two different simulations with different land cover (but identical climate forcing) were used. The first was IBIS-POT wand the second was IBIS-GRASS which represented undisturbed and disturbed land cover respectively.  

Mean discharge for the basin increased by 25% between the two decades and the mean ratio of runoff to precipitation in each decade increased significantly by 4.8%. Although precipitation rate increased by 2.5% between the two investigated decades, this change was not enough to explain the increased discharge rate. This means that discharge increased between the two decades analyzed, but was  not attributed to increased precipitation. Coe eta al. believe this change is a result of changed land cover because the climate data that was used to model the two-time period were exactly the same. This can be explained by the fact that changing the plants of the area often leads to increased discharge and soil erosion because water is not infiltrating the ground because agricultural crops often do not have the same root depth or density.

Coe, M. T., Latrubesse, E. M., Ferreira, M. E., & Amsler, M. L. (2011). The effects of deforestation and climate variability on the streamflow of the Araguaia River, Brazil. Biogeochemistry105(1-3), 119-131.

I have acted with honesty and integrity in producing this work and am unaware of anyone who has not. BP

Remotely sensed evidence of tropical peatland conversion to oil palm

Deforestation is being driven by global demand for food and biofuels. Oil palm is an edible vegetable oil from the oil palm tree that is primarily produced in Indonesia and Malaysia, accounting for 87% of global production. Although it has been proposed that the cultivation of oil palm has led to a decline in biodiversity, few studies have attempted to quantify the environmental impact. Koh et al. use GIS to analyze land use in Southeast Asia, quantify the amount of peatland transformed by oil palm production and quantify the effect of cultivation on biodiversity.

A land cover map (250-m spacial resolution) and digital elevation data was used to map the oil palm cultivation in Southeast Asia. Land cover was classified into clusters using an algorithm which were then assigned to one of five types of land cover (water, forest, plantation/ regrowth, mosaic or open) and 12 land cover classes. Accuracy of identification was assessed using satellite images at 1-m resolution. According to Koh et al., 98% of the area analyzed was correctly categorized to be oil palm and 85% of closed canopy oil palm could be identified. A majority of the land that was used for oil palm production was not peatland (90%) and only “6% of total peatlands within our study region had been planted with oil palm” (5129). Sub-regions had the highest percentages of peat-swamp loss to oil palm with the most affected regions being North Sumatra, Bengkulu and Peninsular Malaysia. These data show that the analysis used was able to correctly identify large (>200 ha) oil palm plantations and that plantations have had a larger impact on the sub-region level than on the regional level.

Koh, L. P., Miettinen, J., Liew, S. C., & Ghazoul, J. (2011). Remotely sensed evidence of tropical peatland conversion to oil palm. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences108(12), 5127-5132.

I have acted with honesty and integrity in producing this work and am unaware of anyone who has not. BP


Karen Willett and Eric Sanderson

Over the past 10 years, the use of GIS as an analytical and visualization tool for conservation purposes has experienced dramatic growth. As a conservation application, GIS has been used for population estimates of forest elephants, planning nature reserves, evaluating management scenarios in space and time, and range-wide priority setting for tigers and jaguars. Increases in the use of GIS applications have been caused by improvements in software and hardware that make GIS easier to use and cost less. Easier use and affordable cost allows some small nonprofit organizations and even individual scientists and researchers to have access to a tool that was primarily only accessible to large agencies and experts(primarily the government). Due to the improvements seen today, analysis with GIS is accessible to most ecologists, land managers, and conservationists (even those who work out of the country). Because GIS has become more useful to researchers and conservationists it is being brought out to those who work out in the field, in particular the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)(Founded in 1895 as the NY Zoological Society headquartered at NYC Bronx Zoo, works to save wildlife and wild lands around the world). The Geographic Information and Analysis Program of the WCS consists of a landscape ecologist, a GIS Analyst, GIS interns, postdoctoral associates, and 300 supporting field biologists practicing conservation in over 50 countries. The program is dedicated to supporting landscape ecology, and geographic analysis including GIS, remote sensing and GPS. The goal of most scientific conservation efforts is to apply information to influence anthropogenic impact natural resources. Data collected by conservation biologists is usually spatially explicit, meaning where the population is observed, where the park boundary is located, and which village is closest. This data is often collected in remote and rural areas but it needs to be communicated quickly in order to help wildlife and wild lands. While training conservation scientists about GIS, it’s been noted that although GIS instructional books and textbooks are easy to understand they can sometimes give unrealistic impressions of how GIS is actually utilized. Tutorials make the use of GIS seem a lot easier than it is in reality when conduction real spacial analyses. In order to effectively use GIS, field scientists need to possess a core set of ideas, vocabulary, and skills attained from literature on spatial analysis techniques. This set of ideas can also be acquired from geography, geodetics, computer science and landscape ecology. The WCS helps scientists acquire GIS skills be providing workshops twice a year in New York, and in different countries that they may be conducting research on. Their curriculum is focused on vocabulary and operations such as raster vs. vector, spatial primitives, spatial data layers and associated data tables, map projections, scale, and other compete at the center of GIS applications. Other topics such as the importance of metadata and the use of remote sensing is also taught. Other than language barriers, some challenges that WCS have encountered while teaching field researchers is that they come to their lessons with preconceived ideas about GIS that are untrue. One such misconception is that “doing research in a carpeted and air-conditioned room will be less frustrating than their field work”(Willett, "Ecology 101: Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America", 2000), others think that GIS is “primarily a tool to print big, pretty maps”(Willett, "Ecology 101: Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America", 2000). GIS is a tool for comprehending and analyzing spatial information, not just an art tool. 

Images from article

Willett, K., & Sanderson, E. (2000). TAKING GIS INTO THE WILD: TEACHING GIS TO PRACTICING INTERNATIONAL CONSERVATION BIOLOGISTS. Ecology 101: Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America.