Several prominent geographers who do research on health and disease, led by the AAG, are working collaboratively with several institutes at NIH to explore establishing a spatial analysis and GIS infrastructure that would be cross-institute and cross-center at NIH. UW Professor of Geography and Epidemiology Jonathan Mayer is one of the 5 leaders of this group. NIH provides most of the funding for biomedical research in the US. The first conference of NIH officers, extramural researchers, and intramural researchers from NIH was held on Feb. 22-23 in Rockville, MD. The AAG has submitted a grant to NIH to continue these discussions with 3 further conferences around specific themes.
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.