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geospatial matters

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Friday
Jul172015

Webinar on Drones (and Citizen Science with Muki Hacklay)

Check out the webinar: DRONES FOR THE EARTH SCIENCES: APPLICATIONS AND IMPLICATIONS, provided by the Board on Earth Science and Resources

There are also links to the webinar UNEARTHING CITIZEN SCIENCE with Muki Hacklay. 

Thursday
Jul162015

New scholarly open access journal: Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation

Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation is a new, fully open access journal from Wiley and the Zoological Society of London. The journal will provide a forum for the rapid publication of peer-reviewed, multidisciplinary research from the interface between remote sensing science and ecology and conservation. The journal defines remote sensing in its broadest sense, including data acquisition by hand-held and fixed ground-based sensors, such as camera traps and acoustic recorders, and sensors on airplanes and satellites. The journal's intended audience includes ecologists, conservation scientists, policy makers, managers of terrestrial and aquatic systems, remote sensing scientists, and students. 

Saturday
Jun062015

Spatial Data Science @ Berkeley May 2015

Bootcamp participants outside historic Mulford HallOur bootcamp on Spatial Data Science has concluded. We had three packed days learning about the concepts, tools and workflow associated with spatial databases, analysis and visualizations. 

Our goal was not to teach a specific suite of tools but rather to teach participants how to develop and refine repeatable and testable workflows for spatial data using common standard programming practices.

On Day 1 we focused on setting up a collaborative virtual data environment through virtual machines, spatial databases (PostgreSQL/PostGIS) with multi-user editing and versioning (GeoGig). We also talked about open data and open standards, and modern data formats and tools (GeoJSON, GDAL).

Analyzing spatial data is the best part! On Day 2 we focused on open analytical tools for spatial data. We focused on one particular class of spatial data analysis: pattern analysis, and used Python (i.e. PySAL, NumPy, PyCharm, iPython Notebook), and R Studio (i.e. raster, sp, maptools, rgdal, shiny) to look at spatial autocorrelation and spatial regression. 

Wait, visualizing spatial data is the best part! Day 3 was dedicated to the web stack, and visualization. We started with web mapping (web stack, HTML/CSS, JavaScript, Leaflet), and then focused on web-based visualizations (D3).  Web mapping is great, and as OpenGeo.org says: “Internet maps appear magical: portals into infinitely large, infinitely deep pools of data. But they aren't magical, they are built of a few standard pieces of technology, and the pieces can be re-arranged and sourced from different places.…Anyone can build an internet map."

All-in-all it was a great time spent with a collection of very interesting mapping professionals from around the country (and Haiti!). Thanks to everyone!

Friday
Jun052015

GIS in the Forest - 2015

Sean, Kelly, Alice and Maggi at Forestry CampOnce again members of the Kelly lab trooped into the forest to present GIS and web mapping workshops. We've been doing this since 2012 with Mike Delasaux's great organizational help. This year the workshops were coordinated between IGIS and the GIF, and we had help from Kelly Easterday, Alice Kelly, and Sean Hogan. The Berkeley Forestry Camp is 100 years old, and what fun it is to be in those woods sharing memories of Berkeley Forestry and talking about mapping. Here we are in front of the venerable Baker Forest sign. We of course missed Sam and Stefania!

Friday
Jun052015

Alice's first webmap at Forestry Camp

Here is my first webmap I made a camp!  This represents Berkeley's population from 2007.  

Tuesday
Jun022015

UC ANR group wins extension award

Several UC Cooperative Extension and UC scientists have been awarded the Western Extension Directors Association Award of Excellence for work to address the outbreak of sudden oak death in California. Led by Yana Valachovic, the group developed extension programming that achieved outstanding accomplishments, results and impacts in addressing this important issue. We were recognized for: 

  • understanding the issue and situation; 
  • working with stakeholders;
  • having a research base and an extension focus;
  • evidencing multidisciplinary and collaborative components;
  • incorporating innovative approaches;
  • achieving impacts; and
  • developing scholarly products. 

The people involved in the group award are: Yana Valachovic, Steve Swain, Matteo Garbelotto, Janice Alexander, Lisa Bell, Bendan Twieg, Dave Rizzo, Steve Tjosvold, David Lewis, Doug McCreary, Katie Palmieri, Kerri Frangioso, Jim MacDonald, Ellie Rilla, Maggi Kelly, Rick Standiford, Chris Lee, Doug Schmidt, Brice McPherson, and Richard Dodd. 

Tuesday
May122015

Wow! New world view Chrome plugin

Kelly turned us on to this plugin from Google. Each time you get a new tab on your browser, you get treated to a new picture of the earth! But, check this one out: 

From Drebkau, Germany. I have no idea what this is an image of - could it be grain fields of some kind, or is it just someone at Google's garage sale carpet? Any thoughts? 

Here is another view of the same area:

Wednesday
Apr292015

Governor Brown's new Executive Order, issued today is a banner day for our climate change efforts

From Bruce Riordan, at the Climate Readiness Institute. 

Bay Area Climate Stakeholders: Governor Brown's new Executive Order, issued today is a banner day for our climate change efforts. 

1. The Executive Order sets a new interim goal for GHG reduction—40% below 1990 levels by 2030.

2. The Executive Order, for the first time, outlines a series of steps the State will take to address climate adaptation and resilience. 

See the press release, reaction from world leaders, and the full Executive Order at: http://gov.ca.gov/home.php

Monday
Apr272015

Kelly Lab SPUR Students Visit Point Reyes National Seashore

Kelly Lab SPUR Students Drew Adamski and Ryan Avery have been participating in lab research all semester.  In particular they have been helping classify trails within the Pacific West's National Parks.  This month we were lucky enough to travel out with them to Point Reyes National Seashore to see some of those trails in person.  We were also lucky enough to spend the day with Chief Ranger Schifsky who was kind enough to talk to us about what issues different trails in the park were facing and which trails seemed to be changing most rapidly.  Chief Schifsky was also kind enough to show us some of the points in the park where the landscape had changed dramatically over time due to fire, restoration projects, or differing management strategies.  Overall it was a really inspiring and informative trip!

Friday
Apr242015

AAG wrap up 2015

Photo of Chicago from Frank Kehren, Flickr Creative Commons LicenseI focused on a series of CyberGIS sessions at AAG this year. This was partly to better situate our spatial data science ideas within the  terminology and discipline of Geography, and partly to focus on a new topic for me in AAG conferences. There were a number of organized sessions over three days, including a plenary by Timothy Nyerges from UW.  Talks ranged in topic: online collaboration, participatory analytics, open tool development such as python-based tools for parallelization of GIS operations, case studies of large area computation, introduction to languages that might be less familiar to geographers (e.g., Julia, R).

There was a session that focused on education in which ideas about challenging in teaching “cyberGIS” to undergraduate students, among other things. Additionally, Tim Nyerges gave the CyberGIS plenary: "Computing Complex Sustainable Systems Resilience" in which he made the case that CyberGIS is a framework for studying socio-economic systems, resilience, and system feedbacks.

About the term Cyber. I am not alone in my dislike of the term "CyberGIS" (Matrix 4, anyone?), but it seems to have stuck here at AAG. In many of the talks “cyber” meant “bigger". There were mentions of the “cyber thing”, which I took to be a placeholder for cluster computing. However, there are many other terms that are being used by the speakers. For example, I saw talks that focused on participatory, structured, analytic-deliberation from UW, or high performance geocomputation from ORNL; the latter term I think better captures what earth system science people might recognize. Many talks used as their entry point to Cyber the proliferation of data that characterizes modern geography and life.

These sessions were organized through an NSF-funded center: The CyberGIS Center for Advanced Digital and Spatial Studies http://cybergis.illinois.edu/.  Their formal definition of CyberGIS is:  “geographic information science and systems (GIS) based on advanced infrastructure of computing, information, and communication technologies (aka cyberinfrastructure)". They say it "has emerged over the past several years as a vibrant interdisciplinary field and played essential roles in enabling computing-, data- and collaboration-intensive geospatial research and education across a number of domains with significant societal impact."

And of course, we had excellent talks by the Kellys: Kelly presented on our VTM work: "Quantifying diversity and conservation status of California's Oak trees using the historic Vegetation Type Mapping (VTM) dataset” as part of an organized Historical Ecology session. Alice presented her paper: "Policing Paradise: The Evolution of Law Enforcement in US National Parks" as part of the session on Green Violence 2: Interrogating New Conflicts over Nature and Conservation.

Goodbye Chicago! You provided a wonderful venue, despite the cold!