The New York Times has a new interactive feature that enables you to construct maps using census data gathered between 2005 and 2009. You can display maps for race and ethnicity, income, housing, and education, and can look up any city or zipcode. Play around with different cities. Anyone who as taken an urban geography class or two might see traces of the Hoyt Model in the map of racial distribution in Chicago. Or, for those of you interested in housing, check out a map of the change in mean home value since 2000 for the United States as a whole to see where home prices have risen vs. where they have fallen. There are also a few interesting articles analyzing some of the recent census trends in, for example, the suburbanization of immigrant populations, and national highs and lows for income, poverty, commuting, and education.
Faculty member Tim Nyerges has been named to the pretigious National Geospatial Advisory Committee (NGAC) by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. Tim sees this appointment as part of his long-time efforts to spread the word about geospatial research and education to government and industry leaders, as well as an opportunity to stimulate innovation in geospatial information community. The NGAC provides recommendations on federal geospatial policy and management issues and advice on development of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI). The NSDI promotes sharing of geospatial data throughout all levels of government, the private and non-profit sectors, and the academic community.
The NGAC provides a forum to convey views representative of partners in the geospatial community. The members of the NGAC report to the chair of the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), which is the Federal interagency executive group responsible for providing leadership and direction in Federal geospatial programs. The FGDC is chaired by the Secretary of the Interior or the Secretary’s designee.
Geospatial data and products, including maps, simulations, and databases, are invaluable tools in the effective management of utility infrastructures, transportation, energy, emergency management and response, natural resource management, climate analysis, disaster recovery, homeland defense, law enforcement, protection planning and other civilian or military strategic issues. The newly-appointed members of the NGAC represent the varied interests associated with geospatial programs and technology.
The NGAC was created under the Federal Advisory Committee Act, which was enacted by Congress in 1972 to ensure that advice rendered to the executive branch by advisory committees, task forces, boards, and commissions formed by Congress and the President, be both objective and accessible to the public. The Act formalized a process for establishing, operating, overseeing, and terminating these advisory bodies.
Additional information about the NGAC, including a complete list of the 28 committee members, is available at www.fgdc.gov/ngac.
Secretary Salazar Appoints 15 Members to National Geospatial Advisory Committee.
Ushahidi is one of several new nonprofits specializing in developing free and open source software for information collection, visualization and interactive mapping, providing tools for communities to crowdsource real-time information using SMS, email, Twitter and the web. Actively engaged in responses to everything from the Haitian earthquake to the Kenyan elections to the Queensland floods, , they describe themselves as “building tools for democratizing information, increasing transparency and lowering the barriers for individuals to share their stories.”
We’re a disruptive organization that is willing to take risks in the pursuit of changing the traditional way that information flows
“Ushahidi”, which means “testimony” in Swahili, was a website that was initially developed to map reports of violence in Kenya after the post-election fallout at the beginning of 2008. Since then, the name “Ushahidi” has come represent the people behind the “Ushahidi Platform”. Our roots are in the collaboration of Kenyan citizen journalists during a time of crisis. The original website was used to map incidents of violence and peace efforts throughout the country based on reports submitted via the web and mobile phone. This website had 45,000 users in Kenya, and was the catalyst for us realizing there was a need for a platform based on it, which could be use by others around the world.
Since early 2008 we have grown from an ad hoc group of volunteers to a focused organization. The team is comprised of individuals with a wide span of experience ranging from human rights work to software development. We have also built a strong team of volunteer developers primarily in Africa, but also Europe, South America and the U.S.
Ushahidi is part of the The Gov 2.0 movement, which continues to gain momentum around the world. Why Does Government Social Media Use Matter To Citizens?
Ushahidi :: About Us.
There are a few very interesting talks happening this week at UW which may be of interest to Geography majors. If you’re interested in Chinese history; the role of religious militancy in constructing the conflict between the ‘Judeo-Christian West’ and Islam; the ways in which the built environment affects health related behaviors; ocean acidification and its impacts on fishing industries; disability history and activism; or the impacts of transnational migration on urbanization and the ’21st century city,’ then there’s a talk for you!
“Ancestral Leaves: A Family Journey Through Chinese History”
WHEN: Tuesday, February 8 at 7:00 pm
WHERE: Walker-Ames Room, Kane Hall
SPEAKER: Joseph Esherick, Professor of modern Chinese history at UCLA
OTHER INFORMATION: Read the article in UW Today
“Holocaust, Armageddon, and the Clash of Civilizations “
WHEN: Tuesday, February 8 at 7:30 pm
WHERE: 210 Kane Hall
SPEAKER: Professor Michael Sells, University of Chicago
OTHER INFORMATION: Read the article in UW Today
“How the built environment affects behavior: recent research in active
transportation and health”
WHEN: Wednesday, February 9 at 12:30 pm
WHERE: 409 Savery
SPEAKER: Anne Vernez Moudon, Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Urban Design and Planning, UW
DETAILS: For the past decade, the Urban Form Lab (UFL) has collected a large database of integrated geospatial data for the Puget Sound Region to support research on the effects of the built and social environments on behavior. Specific research has addressed such topics as land monitoring, neighborhood design, active transportation, active lifestyles, and access to food environments, with grants from the U.S. and Washington State Departments of Transportation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and local agencies. The UFL environmental data can now be integrated with objective data on the location and activity of individuals in continuous space and time. Location and behavior are measured in small temporal increments (~30 sec.) and tracked within large spatial areas (>2,000 km2).
“Souring Oceans, Dissolving Shellfish, and the Cure for Cowardly Lions”
WHEN: Thursday, February 10 at 4:30 pm
WHERE: 102 Fishery Sciences
SPEAKER: Brad Warren, Director, Productive Oceans Partnership, a program of the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership
DETAILS: Documented evidence of ocean acidification has raised widespread concerns about the future of seafood supplies that help to feed about 3 billion people, according to UNEP. Are industrial society’s swelling emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other acidifying substances starting to erode these resources? If so, can we whip this problem, or is it time to hide under the bed?
OTHER INFORMATION: This is a part of the Bevan Series on Sustainable Fisheries
“Memorializing Mad People’s History: Preserving our Past through Archives and Activism”
WHEN: Thursday, February 10 at 6:00 pm
WHERE: 220 Odegaard
SPEAKER: Geoffrey Reaume, York University, Disability Studies
OTHER INFORMATION: This is part of the “Unspeakable: Disability History, Identity, and Rights” film & lecture series.
“Transcultural Urbanism: Immigrants in the City”
WHEN: Friday, February 11 at 6:30 pm
WHERE: 120 Kane
DETAILS: The 21st century city is inevitably global and local, dislodging boundaries between nation states as well as public and private realms. This panel investigates the impact of these transformations on cities at both the macro and micro scales. Trans-national cross-currents between cities and within neighborhoods require cross-cultural understanding of urban spaces and how transcultural processes can transform future cities. The panel will also look at particular urban building forms ranging from micro-urban housing to new civic spaces.
OTHER INFORMATION: This is a part of the NOW Urbanism: City Making in the 21st Century and Beyond lecture series