17 March 2018

eGov - Washington County, OR

I was digging around for some materials to use in class this weekend and found myself back at an old favorite website. It was the official site for Washington County, Oregon. Nearly 20 years after first visiting them, I found the site to still be one of the best examples of local government online. It has both user friendly and detailed materials, allowing visitors to pick what they need.

Just as an example, it presents GIS-related materials as:
  • carefully developed cartographic products (maps),
  • interactive online maps and materials, and
  • downloadable GIS data.
 Dig around, check it out. (Or dig around in Independence, MO, another fascinating example)

09 March 2018

Puerto Rican forest damage map

The NY Times took a fascinating look at research in PR that is investigating the nature and extent of Hurricane Maria's damage to the island's forests. The article includes an amazing map from Columbia U that shows where the damage occurred. In the east is cluster of high damage in El Yunque National Forest. But there is widespread damage all over. The research estimates that as many as 31 million trees were destroyed or severely damaged.

There is more than just the great map. The article goes into detail about how the researchers are ground truthing Landsat imagery to better understand their data. And they begin to speculate on what long-term changes might look like in that forest.

08 March 2018

More Census details

A Rutgers Ph.D. student got a piece published on Huffington Post that says "Black Latinos Are Almost Invisible In The Census. We Can Fix That."

She builds both on her doctoral research project as well as personal experiences. The pull quote of the article is:
"Latino is not a race, it is an ethnicity. Ethnicity describes a person’s culture, language, heritage and geography. Race, on the other hand, is about how others see us. And although most social scientists agree that race is a social construct, they also contend that it does matter; our experiences are undeniably shaped by our race."
 How many more questions have this sort of complexity built into them?

05 March 2018

Geodesign in the news

Forbes has posted a feature on Geodesign today. It is an interesting indicator of how broadly the topic appeals to the general public and the private sector. The examples, while short, demonstrate variety in Geodesign as they range from utility networks, to Chinese sponge cities, to German Autobahn.

01 March 2018

Census update

As a update to an earlier post about the US Census: