Welcome to this Blog

This blog is for spatial analysts be they professionals, student, academician or just curious about spatial technologies. Spatial technologies include Geographic Information Systems, Remote Sensing, Global Positioning Systems, mobile spatial devises, and other spatial related programs (i.e., Google Earth.)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Public Participation and GiS

Many local governments around the world have put GIS portals available for citizens and non-citizens of their jurisdiction. You can explore many cities by going on their on-line GIS pages. The flexibility of these on-line GIS sites are getting more powerful. What needs to be done is to make them interactive vehicles for citizens to see such items as rezoning requests, new subdivision applications, abandoned properties, planned roads and other public facilities. This may be being done by some GIS departments, but I am not aware of it. This would give the public the chance to review possible changes that may negatively affect their cities or their neighborhood such as environmental problems, traffic problems, lack of pedestrian facilities for new developments, etc. Along with this should be classes and online tutorials provided by the GIS department to help citizens how to use these enhanced applications. It should be further noted that they should be made portable so that they can be used on mobile devises such as cell phones, Ipad’s etc., not just on a lap top or desk top. I would apprecitate any comments on this topic.. I will be doing further research on how cities are trying to engage citizens through their on line GIS applications.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Development of a Geographic Information Science Undergraduate Curriculum, Part I

During the last twenty years, the concurrent development of technology and greater access to information could only be called a revolution. It has transformed almost every spectrum of activities in the developed and to a lesser extent in the developing countries. The development and the increase sophistication, availability and usability of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Remote Sensing, and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) is intrinsically linked with the technological changes that occurred in the last twenty years. A large amount of literature and applications are found related to spatial technologies. Its development is dynamic and the blurring of lines the GIS and the related technologies gets hazier as it becomes easier to integrate them into cell phones, mobile GIS units, the Internet etc. They are now becoming essential to the study of any spatial phenomena. Environmentalism because of its inherent spatial nature is finding spatial technologies indispensable for inventory, planning/management and environmental emergency management. Despite the promise, there is a real need for properly trained environmental analysts with expert skills in spatial technologies.

When GIS and Remote Sensing were first being taught in institutions of higher education, teaching these technologies were considered as ‘addons’ and specialties and not part of the basic courses of the different departments. At this time, if one took a couple of courses in GIS then you were considered by many to be a GIS professional. Since this time, instruction in spatial technologies has grown due to the great demand for those that are suitably trained in the spatial technologies either as a specialist in GIS, Remote Sensing and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) or as an expert user who will use it as a tool in various in various disciplines such as urban planning, environmental analysis or geographic education.

What should be the recommended undergraduate curriculum for education in Geographic Information Science?

In the upcoming blog entries, I would like to introduce a discussion on the continuing development of a Geographic Information Science undergraduate curriculum.

Comments and guest blog entries are welcome on this topic.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Cloud Computing and Spatial Technologies within Geographic Information Science

The advancement of computing directly affects the development of spatial technologies such as GIS, Remote Sensing and GPS. Within this context, there must be some thought given to how this affects the science, ethics, and philosophy behind the transmittal, referencing and manipulation of geographic information which are the concerns of Geographic Information Science. Those employed by firms or public agencies which have a major spatial technology component of their work are often ‘blinded’ by developments in technology. Although these are emerging relationships, it is an appropriate time to contemplate the meaning of the fast developing world of spatial technologies.

Cloud computing potentially is a revolutionary development in technology. The ability to easily access information and programs/applications within the Internet or ‘the cloud.’, presents a situation which is changing the existing relationship between hardware and software. With the rapidly developing industry of technological devises that preform many of the tasks that were formally done by laptops or desktop computers, such as the iphone, ipad and other similar devises and their integration with the communication web and the Internet, the notion of cloud computing is not just a promise, it is here. Data within spatial technologies such as GIS, Remote Sensing, and GPS increasingly flows seamlessly from one program to another often integrated with the Internet. It is natural that these programs are being linked to cloud computing. However, geographic information has some distinct characteristics which make it different from other data. Hence, the combination of cloud computing with spatial technologies should make those whose profession is related to spatial technologies to stand back and contemplate the creation, transferal manipulation, ethics, science and philosophy of geographic data.

In the next blog entry, I would like to explore the developing field of cloud computing. Followed with other entries on the relationship and emerging nature of spatial technologies integrated with cloud computing. Finally, I will conclude this ‘thread’ by summarizing the findings and contemplating the future of cloud computing and spatial technologies within the context of geographic information science. Comments are always welcome.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Spatial Technologies "in the Clouds"

Cloud computing could probably be one of most potentially ground-breaking innovations that has emerged in computing over its short history. But, is it just a bunch of hype? Since spatial technologies are inexplicitly tied to the growth of computer and communication technologies, there could be a major impact on them.

In the following blog entries, I would like to explore some the aspects of cloud computing and spatial technologies. In the meantime, if the readers of this blog have any comments on this subject, please post any comments to this entry.