• Spatial Happenings

    October 2014
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NPR PODCAST: When Women Stopped Coding



Mark Zuckerberg. Bill Gates. Steve Jobs. Most of the big names in technology are men.

But a lot of computing pioneers, the ones who programmed the first digital computers, were women. And for decades, the number of women in computer science was growing.

But in 1984, something changed. The number of women in computer science flattened, and then plunged.

Today on the show, what was going on in 1984 that made so many women give up on computer science? We unravel a modern mystery in the U.S. labor force.
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GEOINT Community Week Nov 17-21


USGIF’s GEOINT Community Week brings together the defense, intelligence, homeland security, and geospatial communities at-large for a week of briefings, educational sessions, workshops, technology exhibits and networking opportunities.

For more details, click on the link above.


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21 Maps Of Highly Segregated Cities In America

www.businessinsider.com REBECCA BAIRD-REMBA AND GUS LUBIN APR. 25, 2013, 9:32 AM


 Flickr/Eric Fischer

Racial segregation remains a problem in America, and it’s lasting longer than anyone expected.

Just how bad things are can be determined through analysis of 2010 Census data.

The average black person lives in a neighborhood that is 45 percent black. Without segregation, his neighborhood would be only 13 percent black, according to professors John Logan and Brian Stults at Brown and Florida State.

Logan and Stult evaluated segregation in major cities with a dissimilarity index, which identifies the percentage of one group that would have to move to a different neighborhood to eliminate segregation. A score above 60 on the dissimilarity index is considered extreme.

In the following slides, we have ranked the most segregated cities in ascending order. They are illustrated with maps of cities by race created by Eric Fischer and publicly available on Flickr. The red dots show white people, blue is black, orange is Hispanic, green is Asian, and yellow is other.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/most-segregated-cities-census-maps-2013-4?op=1#ixzz3GgWSkihh


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Dewberry Job Opportunities

Here is the link direct from Dewberry to the new positions:


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Saturday, Oct 18 Mapping Party DC

Short notice, but good experience to help us with our own mapathon:


Atlas/H Street NE Mapping Party

  • Saturday, October 18, 2014

    12:00 PM to 5:00 PM

  • Northeast Library

    330 7th Street Northeast, Washington D.C., DC (map)

    MappingDC continues our collaboration with DC Great Streets program and MOMIES TLC to map all of DC’s Great Streets corridors. This time, we’ll be mapping the Atlas district, along the H Street NE corridor.
  • All are welcome, regardless of experience level. Drop in anytime, stay as long as you like. Bring your laptops.

    Where: Northeast Library, 330 7th St. NEWashington, DC 20002

    When: 18 Oct, 12PM – 5PM, drop in anytime, stay as long as you like.

    Bring: Laptop w/ WiFi connectivity, or something to take notes in the field. Curiosity, sense of wonder, a definite plus.

    Planning Ahead:  Geography Awareness Week starts 16 Nov. The theme is ‘The Future of Food’ and we’ll be mapping anything and everything food-related.

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RIEGL Launches UAS



RIEGL has launched it self-developed UAS, equipped with the VUX-1 survey-grade Lidar sensor. The new UAS, called RiCOPTER, marks an important step in the history of the Austrian Lidar manufacturer. The RiCOPTER was unveiled by company founder and CEO Dr Johannes Riegl himself.

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You an Influential Tweeter? Emergency Network Might Connect

www.timesofsandiego.com POSTED BY  ON OCTOBER 13, 2014 IN 

San Diego State’s geography professor Ming Tsou’s program maps tweets about ongoing emergencies such as wildfires and bad traffic snarls. Courtesy image

San Diego State’s geography professor Ming Tsou’s program maps tweets about ongoing emergencies such as wildfires and bad traffic snarls. Courtesy image

Official emergency messages from the county of San Diego in the future might be spread by the region’s most influential “tweeters,” San Diego State University announced Monday.

Ming-Hsiang Tsou, an SDSU geography professor, is compiling a list of 1,000 influential Twitter accounts based in San Diego, so emergency messages about evacuations, road closures and the like can be spread faster or targeted more closely to certain locations.

The professor studies the ways people use social media to communicate about breaking news such as natural disasters, disease outbreaks and emerging voting patterns.

“We want to know how people disseminate information in different kinds of situations,” Tsou said. “Why does some information go viral and other information doesn’t? By understanding the mechanisms of Internet memes, we hope to apply that knowledge to disaster awareness. We want to use technology to make emergency warnings go viral.”

According to SDSU, Tsou will analyze the 30,000-plus followers of the official county Twitter account, along with those who follow major media outlets, and determine which ones have the most followers and generate the most retweets.

The account holders will then be asked to retweet county emergency messages.

“If we have 1,000 highly influential volunteers retweeting these messages, almost everybody in San Diego will get the message,” Tsou said.

Also, the professor said county officials will be able to monitor social media for rumors and false information originating from other channels, and directly address the falsehoods.

Tsou’s studies are supported by a $1 million grant by the National Science Foundation.

— City News Services


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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking the approximate locations of cell phone users in West Africa who dial emergency call centers in an effort to predict the onset and spread of Ebola outbreaks.

“The data is just the number of calls by cell tower, but from that you can get a rough idea of the area that the calls are coming in from, and then derive census, neighborhood data from that,” CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund told Nextgov on Thursday.

It’s one of the high-tech approaches the U.S. government is piloting to stop the spread of the disease.

There is deep cell phone penetration in many parts of West Africa,  where land lines sometimes are nonexistent.

By collecting tower data from telecommunications providers, CDC officials can visualize the beginnings of an outbreak, explained Este Geraghty, chief medical officer at software mapping provider Esri. She’s working with the agency on response efforts.

In Liberia, special call centers and a “4455” hotline number were set up for residents to ask Ebola-related questions and report cases.

The Liberia Ministry of Health and telecom companies, with CDC support, “looked at the cell tower locations and tower traffic — in other words, which tower the call came in through,” Geraghty said.

“It isn’t an exact location of the population with questions, but it does give them an idea of which part of the community questions are coming from — and presumably populations of need that may not be identified through formal case investigations,” she said.

A spike in the number of calls could suggest a crisis.

‘Tower Dumping Sometimes Controversial’

In different circumstances, such “tower dumps” have sparked outcries over invasive surveillance. The New York Police Department recently was lambasted for examining all the calls made near the Brooklyn Bridge around the time miscreants replaced the American flags atop the landmark.

Nordlund, the CDC spokeswoman, said officials can only see that a call was made to the “4455” Ebola response number and the location of the tower it came through. No personal information is collected, she added – “just total calls per time period by tower.”

Using Esri mapping software, public health officials intend to layer the call data over census information, such as population densities and hospital locations.

“When you have a dense urban setting where the health system is struggling to cope with an outbreak like this,” such geography tools “become crucial to help guide the limited health care resources,” Geraghty said.

Responders need to understand the potential scope of the contagion so they can position mobile diagnostic labs, beds and health care workers accordingly. CDC has said if 70 percent of Ebola patients are under care by late December, the outbreak could end by late January 2015.

The pandemic so far has claimed about 3,865 lives, primarily in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, according to the World Health Organization. A patient in Texas became the first U.S. casualty yesterday. There are more than 8,033 cases of the illness.

Researchers Use Mobile Networks to Follow Virus’ Spread

A Sept. 29 article in the online medical journal “PLOS Currents” outlined the potential of mobile network data to restrain Ebola.

Researchers mapped transportation hubs against aggregated call patterns of a million anonymous phone users on the Orange Telecom network in Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal.

Each communication was pinpointed by identifying the geographic coordinates of the transmitting tower and the associated cell phone.

“Understanding the potential routes of spread of the virus within a country are critical to national containment policies, and will strongly influence more regional spread across borders,” the researchers wrote.

However, there are limitations to this method that can muddy predictions, such as data confidentiality protections and data precision.

The information amassed can contain competitive information on a network operator’s designs and customer base, plus information about the customers’ travels and locations.

Privacy constraints can be overcome during epidemics if companies provide aggregated, anonymous data sets, rather than tower dumps, the researchers suggested.

“You get a rough area of geography based on the cell tower location,” CDC’s Nordlund said.

Cell tower flow charts are but one of the graphing techniques federal health officials are employing to contain the virus.

Pentagon Repurposes WMD Tracker

The Defense Department has rejiggered a system geared for identifying weapons of mass destruction to instead flag the onset of Ebola outbreaks.

The WMD biosurveillance prototype, dubbed Constellation, harvests, synthesizes and visualizes data of interest across the military and intelligence communities, according to Pentagon officials.

Through Constellation, “information gathered from WMD threat reduction activities, when integrated with other relevant U.S. government and international partner information, will provide decision-makers and operational personnel a holistic view of the WMD landscape,” Andrew Weber, assistant secretary of defense for nuclear, chemical and biological defense programs, told a House Armed Services panel this spring.

Weber said Tuesday the Pentagon has built on the original concept to create an online portal, which will be used by nongovernmental organizations and governments “most affected by the Ebola outbreak” as well as Defense Department laboratories involved in the response.

Many of these mapping exercises are aimed at “contact tracing,” or the process of finding everyone who has come in direct contact with a sick Ebola patient.

But such data points can be hard to compile because of Africa’s terrain.

One of the challenges is “continuing to gain and grow situational understanding over time,” Gen. David Rodriguez, commander of U.S. Africa Command, said Tuesday. “Isolated places” create even more problems, he added.

Satellites can help by offering a very high-level view of the threat.

A sudden Ebola outbreak could be indicated, for instance, by an unusually crowded hospital parking lot as viewed from space, Nextgov’ssister publication Defense One reported last month.

Just as satellite imagery showed Russian forces massing along the Ukrainian border, high-resolution images from low Earth orbit can offer a glimpse of where and when more sick people are seeking treatment.

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USGIF GEOINT Community Cleared Job Fair

November 17, 2014  •  10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Hyatt Dulles, 2300 Dulles Corner Blvd, Herndon, VA 2017

The GEOINT Community continues to grow and cleared, qualified employees are in high demand. Whether you’re currently unemployed or looking for a change in careers, this is a must attend job fair.

This event is free for job seekers to find the employers that match their skills and dedication to the Defense, Intelligence, and Homeland Security communities.

 See the Participating Companies Hiring

Be sure to check back as companies are being added each day.

Planning to Attend?

This event is free and does not require registration.

Please RSVP (preferred) to JobFair@usgif.org, and attach your resume for employers to review.


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Coursera Online Courses FREE!

Penn State:  Geospatial Intelligence and the Geospatial Revolution  Jan 14-Feb 18 2015


Ohio State University:  TechniCity   March 4 – April 28, 2015


UNSW Australia:  Re-Enchanting the City- Designing the Human Habitat  Feb  2015 – April 9th, 2015


Duke University:  Data Analysis and Statistical Inference  March 2 – May 11 2015




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