Wednesday, June 1, 2016

GTography- Late Night Dining in Georgetown, Texas

I mapped nine of the late-night restaurants that are open till at least midnight in Georgetown, Texas. I chose restaurants that are a reasonable driving distance for Southwestern University students. Additionally, this map could be useful for other Georgetown residents that may not have a traditional 9-5 job. Late night fast food is an important cultural and economic aspect of a given location. Especially a place like Georgetown that is so close to I-35. A few dine-in restaurants on the square (like Gumbos) are open until midnight, however their grill closes before hand, usually at ten or eleven. Below the Restaurants will be listed by the number associated on the map. NOTE; the first three listed are open 24 hours.

#1 Jack in the Box
#3 Whataburger
#4 Subway
#5 Subway (alt. location)
#6 Burger King
#7 Wendy's
#8 Taco Cabana
 #9 Taco Bell


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Linguistic Landscape of San Antonio

A linguistic landscape is visual languages that are used and seen in public places of a given region. I a looking at the linguistic landscape of San Antonio, TX. Hult went around multiple major highways in San Antonio and documented what languages are used in the visible signs. He went here because of the know powerful influence that Mexico has had in the region. These are the highways that were used to analyze and process.

For this study he only used billboard and business signs to analyze for practicality. Hult made a table of the results and these are his findings.

He found that there is clear English linguistic dominance in the LL of San Antonio. This is interesting when you compare it to census data that is given that take account Spanish speakers in the city. The sociolinguistic practices of the people who live in San Antonio are not being represented along the major highway systems that are commonly used by most of the cities population.

Hult, F. M. (2014). Drive-thru linguistic landscaping: Constructing a linguistically dominant place in a bilingual space. International Journal of Bilingualism18(5), 507-523.

Accuracy of iPhone Locations

There are many apps available to purchase that advertise reliable location information including emergency services, navigational and social networking apps. A GPS receiver provides accurate location and time to the user. A study of 3G iPhones, which were the first integration of Assisted GPS, WiFi positioning and cellular network positioning available to the general public, evaluates the accuracy of location obtained using all three modes on a 3G iPhone.

It was concluded that the performance of Assisted GPS on the iPhone at outdoor locations was substantially poorer than that achieved using a consumer-grade GPS receiver. The positional error for Assisted GPS was quite a bit larger compared to autonomous GPS. The average RMSE value for ten 20-minute tests was 9 meters horizontal and 10.6 meters vertical, several times larger than those for the consumer-grade GPS receiver. This is because the concessions that are made in the design of the Assisted GPS hardware on the iPhone, including antenna, power and other considerations.

Zandbergen, P.A. Accuracy of iPhone Locations: A Comparison of Assisted GPS, Wifi and Cellular Positioning, Transactions in GIS, 2009, 13(s1): 5-26, (Department of Geography: University of New Mexico).

The Aggregate Impact of Online Retail

Internet can be considered the largest technological innovation of the past two decades and it has had  profound effect on the retail sector with online retailers growing at an average rate of 17.5 percent per year as of 2000 according to Allen Tran of the Economics Department of the University of California in Los Angeles. This is compared to the entire retail sectors growth of 3.3 percent.

To asses the impact of online retail on both retailers and consumers, Tran calculated a spatial equilibrium model of retail with a geography based on the U.S. retail industry. A spatial equilibrium model can be defined as model can be determined on the basis of given regional supply and demand function. In this case, Tran used zip code level demographic data from the US Census of Retail Trade, demographic data from the Current Population Survey and Economic Census years 1997, 2002, and 2007. 

It was concluded that there is a strong position association between internet accessibility and the submergence of online utility from purchasing online like shipping eliminating the need to travel to stores in return improving productivity of courier companies like FedEx and UPS.

Millennial Migration in the U.S. After 2008

There is always a steady flow of migration in the United States especially when economic conditions are good. However, Megan Benetsky from the University of California describes the Great Recession as the turning point in migration of millennials due to the housing/credit crisis which is also associated with the rise in unemployment. By using data from the U.S. Census, the American Community Survey and  the National Bureau of Economic Research, Benetsky was able to conclude that young adult were the most mobile population of the United States usually reasons for moving were job or housing related. When the market crashed the migration rate declined . Young was also defined as those ages 18 to 34. In order to analyze changes in migration of young adults, an analysis of demographic, economic, household, and geographic changes among the young adults who moved and where the moved after the recession was made.

Figure 1 shows the migration rate across age during pre- and post-  recession. The decline in migration within the U.S. is most apparent for the 18 to 34 age groups. 

Figure 2 shows that even though more education is one has the less migration decline, school enrollment is associated with fewer declines in migration. 

Figure 3 shows that those who were employed has among the smallest migration declines. 

Benetsky, M.J. & Fields, A. (2015).  Millennial Migration: How has the Great Recession affected the migration of a cohort as it came of age?, Journey to Work and Migration Statistics Branch, (Social, Economic, and Housing Statistics Division: U.S. Census).

Mapping in the English Lake District: a literary GIS by David Cooper and Ian N Gregory

In GIS recent past, a shift transformed the often criticized singular nature of GIS, consisting mostly with only quantitative data,  into a critical GIS.  The humanities has an equal and opposite development on its side, the critical thinking is present but technology is not; humanities has shifted to a more IT approach.  A geographical site, the English Lake District is referenced in "examining the conceptual and critical potentiality of literary GIS."  A symbiotic relationship emerges.

Critics have in recent years urged for a spatial turn in literary theory, for "cognitive mapping."  GIS answers that problem.  On a technical level, non-scholars can utilize recent developments and ease of use in GIS through friendlier software.

Cooper and Gregory fall under the expanding blanket of GIS, mapping submerged in the emergence of literary theory, mapping poet Thomas Gray in 1769 tour through nature.  Some of the maps:

While these literary maps are not perfect, the future of GIS and its recently enhanced accessibility indicates a bond between, GIS, spatial reasoning, and the humanities.

Cooper, D., & Gregory, I. N. (2011). Mapping the English lake district: A literary GIS. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers36(1), 89-108.

Five Essential Properties of Disease Maps by Kirsten M. M. Beyer

There are many issues that come with creating disease maps, especially when it comes to choropleth maps, or maps that show differences in characteristics based on color change. Some of these issues include having trouble with small populations and changes in what the map shows depending on how zoomed in the maps are. In order to forgo these issues five important properties to include in these maps have been identified. The first is to "control the population basis of spatial support for estimates of rates", meaning a broad enough look at the population has to be taken to properly asses the map. The second property is to "display rates continuously through space".  Proper units have to be used to represent the continuous patterns that appear in nature. "Providing maximum geographic detail across the map" is the third property, and this is simply to adjust for the spatial boundaries that can sometimes appear when maps are too political. "Considering directly and indirectly age-sex-adjusted rates" is important in comparing small population disease outbreaks to what would match the number nation-wide.  The final property is to "visualize rates within a relevant place context to enhance interpretation" which makes these maps more accessible to the public, and therefore overall more useful.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Swine Flu

This article discusses the Swine Flu outbreak of 2009, specifically in Cameron County, Texas, which is on the US–Mexico border at the mouth of the Rio Grande. Wilson et al. evaluate the effectiveness of ILI (influenza-like illness) and RIDT (rapid influenza diagnostic tests) in estimating the course of S-OIV (swine-origin influenza A virus) cases at various time periods during an outbreak. This article also comments on how to take advantage of ILI and RIDTs as a mean to keep track of the outbreak to inform us in the absence of confirmed S-OIV results, since it could take more than six weeks to get confirmed test results back.
This map portrays the area discussed in the study, showing the county's proximity, specifically the city Brownsville's proximity, to the suspected origin of the outbreak, La Gloria, Veracruz.

This article and the research therein may be useful in understanding the nature of S-OIV outbreaks in space and time, ultimately informing real-time intervention and control such that outbreak impacts are minimized.

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.

Quantifying the extent and cost of food deserts in Lawrence, Kansas, USA

Food deserts are places in the urban environment of otherwise developed nations that are poorly served by access to healthful food. This include fruits, vegetables and other health food needed for daily diet. A situation like this is going to cause high cost of transportation and poor diet. In this article, using GIS to examine and refine the discussion of food deserts and  to measure the costs of distance for consumers. The author chose a small city, Lawrence, Kansas, USA. By applying the technique to measure the total cost of travel to obtain groceries, and then compare those costs with total expenditures on food to identify areas in which residents need to spend a disproportionate share of their time or income to obtain food.
Where TCd 1⁄4 = total cost, driving; TCw = 1⁄4 total cost, walking; cpm =1⁄4 U.S, Internal Revenue Service value for cost of operating a motor vehicle; m = 1⁄4 miles to nearest full-service food outlet by road network; fmw = 1⁄4 U.S. federal minimum wage; vw = 1⁄4 velocity, walking.

Hallett, L. F., & McDermott, D. (2011). Quantifying the extent and cost of food deserts in Lawrence, Kansas, USA. Applied Geography31(4), 1210-1215.

History of Landsat

The Thermic Mapper was designed in the 1970’s and that has slowly evolved and been improved into the technology of Landsat today. The technology was used by NASA to be  satellites and used to map out different parts of the globe. Many of the new additions were very similar and in some cases identical other than some bug fixes. In the 1990’s the technology gained funding and support and 1992 Landsat-7 was made on an improvement from Landsat-6. The advancements today have helped to produce new maps but even now failures happen all the time. The future is bright when talking about accurate digital maps and with Landsat mapping more accurate than ever it is possible to examine the earth on a new level.