Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Global Impact of Land-Use Change

This article is about why there has been an increase in land-use and changes in land use, as well as the effects this has on climate change. The main questions the authors set to address were:
1. How are land-use changes contributing to global environmental changes?
2. What social-economic factors determine land use, and how will they change?
3. How does land use modify processes that influence global change?
The article was published over 20 years ago now, so some the terms and information have been improved upon between the time of publishing and now, but it is still an interesting look at the way social and natural sciences can be used together to better understand the cause and impact of land use change. The authors took a good look at various land use practices and how they are influenced by people in different social contexts. The authors used this chart to better understand the relationship between people, socio-economic factors, and land use change:

Ojima, D. S. “The Global Impact of Land-Use Change.” BioScience, vol. 44, no. 5, Global Impact of Land-Cover Change, 1 May 1994, pp. 300–304. JSTOR

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Local food practices and growing potential: Mapping the case of Philadelphia

In their article 'Local food practices and growing potential: Mapping the case of Philadelphia' Kremer and DeLiberty set off by discussing the current state of the food system in the US. They write that because the system of food production has grown and become so removed from most people's everyday lives, "rating locally is no longer and obvious possibility to individuals living in major urban areas in the US." To map the local food system in Philadelphia the authors first interviewed various participants in the local system such as farmers, relevant government officers, etc. The mapping focus here was to use spatial analysis to show the locations of various types of local food, as well as their accessibility to people throughout the city. The authors concluded that because these local food systems are still developing and there is a lot to be learned from them it is important to continue to analyze them to see if they are making a valuable impact in communities, especially since most local food is generally marketed towards upper-middle class populations that may not need help with access.

Kremer, Peleg, and Tracy L. Deliberty. “Local Food Practices and Growing Potential: Mapping the Case of Philadelphia.” Applied Geography, vol. 31, no. 4, 2011, pp. 1252–1261.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017


As an environmental studies student interested in outdoor activities, I wanted to find out where the best hiking trails in Georgetown are located. This map shows several of the highest rated hiking trails in the Georgetown, TX area. Many of these trails are located around Lake Georgetown, along the San Gabriel River. There are many trails in Georgetown, so no matter where you're located in the city there are great places to hike nearby with beautiful foliage and various species to see.

GTography- PJ Quinters

This map shows all the chicken restaurants in Georgetown, Texas. As you can tell there are multiple places to fill your chicken needs. From fast food chicken places like Raising Cane's who only sells chicken, To places like Buffalo Wild Wings were there are a few other options. One thing is for sure, and that is Georgetown, Texas sure does love its chicken.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Late Night Dining in Georgetown, Texas

In the map above, I mapped out nine restaurants that are open after 10pm in Georgetown, Texas. I picked restaurants that are close to Southwestern's campus so that this can be helpful for Southwestern students. Late night fast food is becoming an important culture and economic aspect of life. As we continue innovating as a society, people tend to stay up later, trying to get more things done. This also is very important for a college town, because college age kids tend to be up late into the night. Late night restaurants are also important if they are close to a big highway, such as I-35, as some people travel late at night, and may get hungry and stop for food.

Gtography Haley Nicola Bars vs Coffee Shops

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Topography and Analysis of Inundation from Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans

This article discussed the use of geospatial data such as elevation data to estimate flooding in New Orleans. Light detection and ranging (lidar) remote sensing is a tool that is used to map this area. This data was used in response to Katrina to analyze inundation. Lidar data was collected in 2002 by the Louisiana Oil Spill Coordinator’s Office and made publicly available.

The data recorded in 2002 was valuable after Katrina to map the extent of flooding throughout New Orleans. The lidar elevation data was used to estimate the volume of floodwater in order to predict the amount of time required to remove it. The depths were relative to the elevation of water that was recorded by a gage on Lake Pontchartrain. 

The application of topographic data with gage data for mapping was very useful when information was needed. Elevation data is valuable to assess flooding in cities and may aid in planning and reconstruction of infrastructure in the future.

Gesch, Dean. "Topography-based analysis of Hurricane Katrina inundation of New Orleans." Science and the Storms: the USGS Response to the Hurricanes of (2005): 53-56.

The Prevalence of Obesity and Diabetes in Mexican-Americans

This article examines the influence of socioeconomic status on obesity among the Mexican-American community. A study was conducted along the United States-Mexico border town Brownsville, Texas to track the obesity rates in citizens. The study was conducted to observe whether obesity was related to socio-economic status. Data was collected from 810 people in the area. The sampling used census data to find a diverse variety of participants for the study in terms of socio-economic status. The census used 4 tracts and divided them into 4 strata that classified income. Sampling was then retrieved from the first (lowest) and third socioeconomic strata. The median household income was $17,830 for the lower socioeconomic strata and $31,747 for the higher socioeconomic strata. The study conducted to observe obesity among the recipients with measurements of BMI, waist circumference, insulin levels and blood glucose.

GIS was used in this experiment through census data and geocoding of the houses of the recipients of the study. GIS was also used to visualize the distribution of income among households and the density of where samples were derived.  Maps were then formed with this data.

The studies showed that more than half of the participants were morbidly obese and did not show a variation between both socioeconomic strata. The most significance difference between the socioeconomic strata was the amount of undiagnosed diabetes. 1 in 10 of the participants had diabetes that they were unaware of in the lower socioeconomic strata. When the first strata was compared with the fourth strata(highest socioeconomic status), results showed that there diabetes was among 20% of the lower SES and only 10% in the higher SES. Additionally, diabetes and undiagnosed diabetes was more prevalent among people aged 55 to 64 in the lower SES.
In conclusion, the study showed that obesity did not vary between strata; however, diabetes was significantly more prevalent among lower people with lower socioeconomic status. This information is important because it brings attention to the rate of diabetes in this specific area and represents a group of people that likely have little or no access to healthcare.

AR, Salinas JJ, et al. "Socioeconomic Status and Prevalence of Obesity and Diabetes in a Mexican American Community, Cameron County, Texas, 2004-2007." Center for Disease Control and Prevention 7 (2010).

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Gtography: Food delivery in proximity to Southwestern. This map depicts food delivery near Southwestern. There is not a large selection of food delivery in Georgetown. The majority of the delivery food is pizza, however there is also Mama Fu's and Chinese