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.

Deforestation in Africa

'Throughout Africa as a whole, nearly 60% of new agricultural land was derived from intact forests, and another 35% came from disturbed forests. The remaining 5% of new agricultural land was taken from shrublands'. 

More than 80% of new agricultural land came from intact and disturbed forests in the 1980's and 1990's. Although differences occur across the tropical forest belt, the basic pattern is the same: The majority of the land for agricultural and tree plantation expansion comes from forests, woodlands, and savannas, not from previously cleared lands. The majority of the land for agricultural and tree plantation expansion comes from forests, woodlands, and savannas, not from previously cleared lands. The article explains that by the year 2050, worldwide demand for agricultural products is expected to increase by ∼50% and evidence suggests that tropical countries will be called on to meet much of this demand.

Without new provisions, lucrative and increasingly large-scale agriculture will continue to clear forests in the path of expansion. However, with policies such as REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation) in place, farmers and large-scale producers would have greater incentives to improve management of previously cleared land.

Gibbs, H. K., Ruesch, A. S., Achard, F., Clayton, M. K., Holmgren, P., Ramankutty, N., & Foley, J. A. (2010). Tropical forests were the primary sources of new agricultural land in the 1980s and 1990s. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences107(38), 16732-16737.

Locating Farmers Market

Most farmers’ markets operate on a weekly basis and they had to take this into account when creating these maps. Based on hours of operation, we can generally classify farmers’ markets into weekday morning noon markets, weekday afternoon evening markets, and weekend markets. Weekday morning noon markets usually run from 8am to 12pm or 9am to 1pm on weekdays. While these factors vary, we can still classify customers into two groups, workers and non-workers and assume that workers have regular work hours of 8am-5pm during weekdays.

The two models focus on identifying locations and associated operating times for farmers’ markets to maximize accessibility to all people in terms of travel distance. The PMP, or 'p-median problem', is a a mathematical formula used to asses a range of variants. Based on this PMP, this range of variants in the study can be explored more thoroughly. Additionally, studies have investigated alternative ways of modeling travel distance/time such as public transportation.

Tong, D., Ren, F., & Mack, J. (2012). Locating farmers’ markets with an incorporation of spatio-temporal variation. Socio-Economic Planning Sciences46(2), 149-156.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Usability Study on Different Visualization Methods of Crime Maps

Crime mapping has become one of the most common uses of GIS, and for good reason this is one of GIS’ most useful applications. This study set out to answer a few questions. The first question is how GIS methods can be applied to help visualize crime data through modeling, and how well people can define differences according to the classifications on the map. The second question is whether or not cartograms can give good representations of crime data. The study took place and focused on a Hungarian city that averaged between six and seven thousand crimes per year. The results were that they found that cartograms could indeed be good solutions to modeling crime data.

Podor, A. (2015). Usability Study on Different Visualization Methods of Crime Maps. International Journal of Geoinformatics11(4).

Toward critical spatial thinking in the social sciences and humanities by Michael F. Goodchild • Donald G. Janelle

The past couple of decades have opened floodgates of possibility in spatial representation via revolutionary computational power of GIS.  The hydropower of GIS has flowed far past scientific fields, the obvious candidate for GIS, seeping into the humanities.  The coupling of a recently discovered universalism of georeferencing (ease of spatially representing any field) and technology the modern computer has bestowed upon the world, GIS continues to gain momentum.  Economics, anthropology, archaeology, history, and religious studies utilize the GIS in tracking cultural heritage and societies, validated in the GIS in the Humanities and Social Sciences International Conference.

The integration of GIS into humanistic courses hints a shift from "disciplinary to integrative knowledge systems."  GIS technologies have issued the importance of place in humanities and are now instrumental in some policy making, what the White House calls place-based policies.  GIS also plays a role in research, social process, and environmental understanding.

In recent years, the term spatial has been used as an "umbrella term to include spatio-temporal."  Time and space warp their way into fields such as archaeology which analyzes ancient civilizations and archaeological development through time.  The concept of space is universal in its relation to an array of concepts and fields, and a necessary component in education.

GIS finds agency in humanities, which only marginally crosses with in-depth GIS analysis, because learning the theory is not a necessity in creating spatial representations, unlike in math and statistics.  A more embedded approach of spatial reasoning in education is necessary so that critical reasoning can meet spatial concepts; this is where GIS and the humanities collide.

Geospatial Location of Music and Sound Files

Using GIS to locate where something came from on the internet is a relatively new concept.  By mapping where different audio files come from it can benefit the public in a number of ways.  First of all, it can help narrow or refine searches based on what is most popular in your area, GIS can also help market certain types of music or inform artists where they should focus their music tours.  It can also help select sites that are geographically closer to users downloading music, therefore creating faster download times.  Having the knowledge of what is currently most popular and where can be difficult for research being done in music, and using GIS may help in that.  GIS used in collaboration with Music Information Systems, or MIR, will obtain the data necessary for these projects.  The MIR being used for this research is different from the rest in that it only uses information from what is available on the web.
The map shows European sound file distribution by percentage, meaning the numbers shown are the percentage of the sample's sound files retrieved.  Having the geographic information of these numbers is important to be able to compare it against other statistics that may be available for that country. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

In this article Sui points that the voter turnout of local and precinct levels indicate how involved the specific population is intrigued by local referendums. The image above shows three different elections and the voter turnout that participated in those elections in College Station, TX. In the top figure, voter turnout was poor. In the second figure, more of the population participated in the election. In the third sigure, you can see that there was a higher voter turnout than the previous elections and there was a high concentration of voters in a clustered location. This clustering in voter turnout if cause by the possible effects the proposed referendums could have in that specific area. The controversy level raised concerns amongst eligible voters persuading them to get involved in the political process in order to vote for against these propositions that could have positive or negative affects to the individual and the area.

Sui, D. Z., & Hugill, P. J. (2002). A GIS-based spatial analysis on neighborhood effects and voter turn-out:: a case study in College Station, Texas. Political Geography21(2), 159-173.

land change

The land is going to change constantly, and whether it's a subtle change in climate or a long term effect of deforestation changes will occur everywhere. The earth's population emits a lot of greenhouse gasses and those are causing major changes that will affect many parts of the world. Areas that are affected by greenhouse gasses will become extremely hot or just hot enough to change the environment, some adaptations from this could be an extension of the land used for crops. The land changes itself are not solely dependent on the amount of carbon we produce, many of the changes that occur are because of using up a resource too quick or building on top of important parts of the ecosystem. Underdeveloped countries can be affected greatly by changes like these, due to pressures from wealthy countries and political problems many of the tropical forests are becoming destroyed with little resistance. One land use that has had great change in its time is the temperate forests, the united states and Europe both used almost all available resources to become wealthy and have hurt the ecosystem terribly. The land use of many well developed countries has been shifted to suit more densely populated areas with food and water able to be brought in. The changing in environments have less of an effect on many well developed places due to the wealth that can support them. Changes in land are going to happen at a faster rate than normal due to human activity and can even be “controlled” by big spending and politics.

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Philly Phood habits

Efforts to define local food systems are widespread. One popular way to delineate “local” is circumscribing a circle of a radius around a chosen center point. The “100 mile diet” is one such popular definition. An important step in mapping local food systems is that there must be an identification process in order to recognize the relevant components of the local food system studied. To understand the structure and scope of the current local food system in Philadelphia, 'informal interviews were conducted with various participants in the system including urban farmers, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) owners, farmers’ market operators', among others. Essentially the study aimed to pinpoint the healthiness of local food practices in Philadelphia.

152 routes were computed representing all routes taken by farmers bringing products to the city’s farmers markets. The number of routes is larger than the number of farms because many farms supply more than one farmers market. Each trip is counted independently because most farmers supply markets operating on different days of the week requiring separate travels. In performing this analysis, there was no suggestion that all this land can or should be cultivated for food. Many other factors determine the use of land for food production within the city and require further study. 

Kremer, P., & DeLiberty, T. L. (2011). Local food practices and growing potential: Mapping the case of Philadelphia. Applied Geography31(4), 1252-1261.

Communicating Geographic Information in a Digital Age

Goodchild's article discusses how communication has helped promote the knowledge and use of GIS technology and services. It is argued that GISs should instead be considered media since it allows senders to share information and messages to the receiver, just as newspapers and other forms of media communicate more general information.However, Goodchild argues that GIS's information is more "intrusive" and in depth, as it gives precise information like how cold is "cold" with a precise temperature and where "here" is by giving a precise location.
Since the invention of digital media, the process of GIS has changed dramatically. This model shows the process of GIS and how it has changed with the change towards a digital age. 
Because of the digital transition, GIS software has become cheaper and more accessible and data-collecting systems have been able to collect more data at lower costs, making GIS more accurate and efficient. However, it is also cutting down on jobs like cartography and map-making by hand, now that maps can be created and drawn electronically. 

Goodchild, M. F. (2000). Communicating geographic information in a digital age. 
Annals of the Association of American Geographers90(2), 344-355.

Health Outreach

GIS can be impactful just by its self, but when it’s combined with information like the census data collected by the government the outcomes are limitless. Libraries caught on to this trend and began to provide census packed GIS products. In 2011, the Preston Medical Library in Tennessee combined the U.S. census data and various GIS programs to create an outreach program called Consumer and Patient Health Information Service (CAPHIS). This program is an outreach program that equips medical risk customers with information that they are able to understand.

The whole purpose and goal of the program is to match information with the literacy rate and socioeconomic status of the consumer. When someone calls asking for medical information the library would use Microsoft Access to locate the caller using a zip code. From there, they are able to use the GIS information that has already been created to match a literacy rate with socioeconomic status for the individual. CAPHIS can then provide information to the individual that is easily accessible for their personal level.

Along the way CAPHIS was able to track the number and location of the callers to determine where the greatest need was. Each caller had a specific question relating to a certain medical issue. The library was able to see which diseases and medical conditions were prevalent in certain counties. GIS helped to provide and collect information on a larger scale that could be visualized.

Socha, Y. M., Oelschlegel, S., Vaughn, C. J., & Earl, M. (2012). Improving an outreach service by analyzing the relationship of health information disparities to socioeconomic indicators using geographic information systems. Journal of the Medical Library Association: JMLA, 100(3), 222.

Five Essential Properties of Disease Maps

As the disease map user group grows, these disease maps should prioritize some essential properties that support public health.  The example is the filtered maps based on disease and population data aggregated from the 949 Iowa five digit Zip codes. (1) Control the Population Basis of Spatial Support for Estimates of Rates.  In Figure 1, it  illustrate the difference between the use of an administratively defined spatial support and a support controlled to be appropriate to the phenomenon of interest. (2) Display Rates Continuously through Space. It is closely related to the previous property like presenting the disease rate visually so that it is easy to estimates the true disease risk pattern might look like on the ground.  Also in Figure 1 instead of a spatial pattern that stops at the boundaries of  the county, the spatially filtered maps continuously over geographic space. (3) Provide Maximum Geographic Detail across the Map. In Figure 1, more populous counties are able to provide intracounty detail. (4) Consider Directly and Indirectly Age-Sex_adjusted Rates. The traditional disease mapping in the United States has used direct age adjustment. When the purpose of the map is to compare the impact of different disease rates on local populations, the indirect adjustment should be used. (See Figure I Panel 2 and 3). (5) Visualize Rates within a Relevant Place Context to Enhance Interpretation. It is recognized that disease maps can not be produced in a vacuum and hidden from public audiences. Instead, it should be available to public so that they can be used in improving population health. (Figure 2)
Beyer, K. M., Tiwari, C., & Rushton, G. (2012). Five essential properties of disease maps. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 102(5), 1067-1075.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

In much of the world flooding is a serious issue. The water and erosion caused by flooding does damage to crops, private, and public property. GIS can be used to identify and map out problems caused by flooding, it can also be used to analyze these problems, make predictions, and come up with solutions in order to try and reduce the damage caused by these floods. The purpose of this study was to use GIS in order to do just that, predict flooding and erosion, in hopes of keeping people safe and minimizing damage. They used physics equations to measure the speed and force with which the erosion occurred, they used these equations and numbers to map out the erosion. Not only was the erosion mapped but they also mapped the areas that were most dangerous. In this study they were able to map out areas that would be most likely to be destroyed by flooding. Information like this is incredibly valuable in improving the quality of life and protecting the people who live in areas that are so heavily impacted by floods.

De Roo, A. P. J. (1998). Modelling runoff and sediment transport in catchments using GIS. Hydrological processes12(6), 905-922.

Neighborhoods and Health

Researchers in New Zealand wanted to develop a method to be able to analyze and compare the association between contextual attributes of neighbourhoods and the health status of its residents. In order to do this they used the variety of GIS tools to develop precise measures of community resource accessibility for the smaller areas (differing neighbourhoods) within a country. Pearce, Witten, and Bartie created a list of 16 different types of community facilities that could possibly be health related.

After this chart was created they were able to run various tests to track the distance between areas of population and the locations. They wanted to be able to see the difference between residential, urban, and rural areas.

Looking at this map it is clear that there are large time differences especially between the urban and rural areas. The travel time to the nearest food shop ranged from one minute to 244 minutes. While they can’t measure the health of every single person in the population they can get a good feel for potential outcomes by analyzing the accessibility for various locations.

Pearce, J., Witten, K., & Bartie, P. (2006). Neighbourhoods and health: a GIS approach to measuring community resource accessibility. Journal of epidemiology and community health, 60(5), 389-395.