31 July 2008

Highlands Scorecard

The NJEF has posted their Highlands Council Scorecard. Frankly, I found their markings to be a little less fun than a baseball scorecard.

Cuil is cool, kind of

A couple former Google employees are making headlines this week with a competing search engine that uses a decidedly different algorithm and display system for search results. In particular, Cuil.com tries to provide an image to go with each found link. But I can't figure out where this images come from, because here are the ones you get when you search on David Tulloch Rutgers:


I mean, the content looks solid. You get a really nice breadth of my work and web presence (except for this blog). But the photos...I mean...really...I am at a loss.

29 July 2008

NASA's 50th Anniversary

On July 29th, 1958, NASA was created.
You can celebrate by looking at the CRSSA collection of NJ photos taken by astronauts.

GIS Research Centers

Someone asked recently about GIS research centers that are like CRSSA. Aside from the simple answer that there is no place else like CRSSA, it really got me thinking about how different the centers I know are. They each tend to have their own flavor, being influenced by their region, the school, specific disciplinary ties and the individuals conducting the research.

The first comparison that comes to mind for me is the LICGF at Wisconsin where I did my doctoral work. They are an RGIS site and do both locally-relevant work (e.g., Shaping Dane) and nationally-significant work (e.g., NSF projects). This is about as close as I think I see to the CRSSA model - and since CRSSA's Dr. Lathrop and LICGF's Dr. Ventura were classmates at UW, it might be a total coincidince.

A fairly similar model is used at Dan Brown's Environmental Spatial Analysis Laboratory at the University of Michigan's SNRE. The projects seem more thematically focused around landuse.

A different model is the approach of the Center for Geographic Analysis at Harvard University. As I understand it, this is structured on a model that more closely resembled a library in the way that it serves other programs on campus.

My experience has been that OSU's Center for Mapping had a diverse set of inputs, but managed to maintain a stronger conncection with engineering and geography.

The model that I don't expect to see replicated is the national center, like the 3-university NCGIA at UCSB, Buffalo, and Maine. The impacts have been far-reaching and the research prorgams that have resulted have been pretty impressive.

Some seem to reflect on their home departments. Michigan State's RGIS seems to be more of a social science service center based in the geography program.

In some cases I know less about the centers that I do about the faculty. Another geography program center looks to be University of South Carolina's CGIRS which is lead by David Cowen, Michael Hodgson and John Jensen.

I've left out a lot, but this is a start.

VGI and PPGIS journal paper

Just published:

Tulloch, D. 2008. "Is VGI participation? From vernal pools to video games," GeoJournal special issue on volunteered geographic information.

A walk on the Mall

This past weekend I had the privilege of leading a group of Rutgers students and alums on another landscape architectural tour of the National Mall in Washington DC. Rutgers DC office hosts RU students who are summer interns in DC. And they also help out with the local alumni club. All I have to do is show up and talk about landscape architecture while walking around. This year's crew was especially great since it included an alum of RU LA, but they were all engaged and inquisitive in a way that made it a great time for me.
Every walk is different. This time I tried to emphasize the importance of the names you see like Hains, or Ellicott, or Haupt. So when we talked about the A. J. Downing Urn, it was a lesson in the history of LA, not just DC.One of the things I enjoy doing is showing locals things that are hidden in the middle of the District, like this large Einstein sculpture by Robert Berks. But my favorite is the Jefferson Pier.We saw the work of the Olin Partnership at the NGA Sculpture Garden and the Washington Monument (with help from RU LA alum Kate John-Alder). And talked a little about what makes it successful landscape architecture. A few of our alums also learned the hard way that dogs aren't allowed in either of the sculpture gardens or the Haupt.An interesting side note was the noticeably poor condition of the Mall. The water was dark green. The lawn was patchy. But the elms were hanging in there. But at least it was open and used.


As with past DC tours, I try to guarantee at least one celebrity per walk. I think that a war hero, former Senate Majority Leader, former presidential nominee, former vice presidential nominee, former presidential nominee and current husband of a US Senator counts.
A big Places and Spaces thanks to Bob Dole for keeping our streak alive. And thanks to the students and alums too, who are helping make this a tradition.

26 July 2008

Digital Vaults

As programs like Picassa and iPhoto help photographers get more accustomed to sorting through metaphorical stacks of photos, it is interesting to see web interfaces that try to simulate the photo exploration process. a fun one came to my attention the other day called Digital Vaults. This is a web interface from the National Archives letting you explore a very varied collection of images from Albert Einstein's declaration of intention to become an American citizen to an 1898 photo of a soldier in the Spanish American War.

25 July 2008

Randy Pausch, RIP

Famous for his "Last Lecture" on YouTube, Randy Pausch passed away at 47 today.

Newsweek on the National Mall


Newsweek's Katie Paul writes this week that the National Mall in DC has become so degraded that is requires a complete facelift. A Trust for the National Mall has been formed to help deal with problems like how "the footprints of 25 million yearly visitors have worn bare patches in the turf where grass no longer grows". But, as the article makes clear, that is a major problem and may in fact require a national response.

Bill Wolfe and John Weingart

After leaving a brief comment on Spaces and Places this morning. Bill Wolfe has posted a more complete response to John Weingart's Highlands Opinion piece. But I cannot find Weingart's piece; I don't know whether it got pulled back, or if the links have gone bad or what.

The point is, the Highlands Council has moved the plan to the Governor and the decision is in his hands. Multiple groups oppose the plan from both sides, but the politically conceived Council - designed in theory to try to find some larger common ground - reached a point of compromise leading to a 9-5 vote. I will probably have to stop noting the opinions that will keep flying about this, but a central question is going to be whether a flawed plan is better than nothing and maybe even whether this plan helps or hurts Corzine as he looks ahead to the 2009 reelection campaign.

Questioning stadium deals

From the Wall Street Journal:
"Economists have long argued that publicly financed stadiums are a waste of taxpayer money. And they have the data to prove it."
Their article is focused primarily on the new stadium in DC for the Nationals. Which looks absolutely great, by the way.

But other stadium deals keep getting negative publicity, too. The "secret deal" behind a Triple-a team moving from Virginia to Georgia had a professor questioning the nature of the deal. Often time the costs turn out to be understated or underestimated. And sometimes teams even seem to dump the high salary players because the new stadium will sell the tickets for them. Three is even a website, called Field of Schemes, dedicated to this stuff.

(and, with all of the recent local news, it is worth pointing out that the Rutgers stadium expansion is a different situation than these publicly financed deals and Rutgers isn't threatening to move their team to another state or promising to boost the economy of the neighborhoods around the stadium)

Thom Mayne's Federal Building

"I'm beginning to think that an iconoclast like Mayne may not be the best architect for a public project."

Witold Rybczynski has posted a compelling slideshow on Slate about Thom Mayne's new Federal Building in San Francisco. At first it seems straightforward (which ain't bad by itself), but then skillfully adds a nice twist at the end when he compares it to a building that is a century older.
(The photos is pretty awful because it was taken on a disposable camera on a gray day, but it will have to do)

24 July 2008

The Big Picture: Beijing Olympics

One of the best blogs out there is The Big Picture, hosted by Boston.com. This blog uses its newspaper licensing and pulls together some of the best high-res, large format images from Reuters, AP, and other sources to create a photographic series on some topic. This week they posted some really beautifully taken photos of the preparations for the Beijing Olympics.

More negative Higlands opinions

The Record published a opinon piece by David Pringle, of the NJ Environmental Foundation. Bill Wolfe has written up both the vote on the plan and the connection between farms and septic.

It isn't a surprise that these two are unhappy with the plan (or that both developers and environmentally-concerned observers are unhappy with the plan). But a larger measure of its potential for success may be that I have yet to see any noticeably positive position published. Maybe one of the 9 who voted for it will publish an explanation.

Happy Anniversary

25 years ago today Hall of Famer Goose Gossage coughed up a pitch that George Brett launched over the wall at Yankee Stadium for a 2-run homer. But, he had more than 18 inches of pine tar on his bat, and the rest is history.

Following our grads

Ken Thompson (RULA '94) has been promoted to Senior Associate at JDavis Architects.

You can keep up with Dom Stanzione (RULA '03) on Courteney's blog.

Suzanne Pilaar (RU '08) is still a long ways from Cambridge.

Paul Montesano (RU '01) is in far off Siberia. But it isn't a punishment.

23 July 2008

Babes in the woods

Hutcheson Memorial Forest Tour
Sunday July 27th - 2:00 p.m.
Tour Leader: Maria Stanko

A kid-focused walk at the Hutcheson Memorial Forest with mother and community ecologist Maria Stanko. Come explore the plants and critters of this old forest, and witness the wonders of the natural world as they unfold before your very eyes!

"Ecology for Kids: Hands-on science at the Hutcheson Memorial Forest" *

* All children must be accompanied by an adult

The Hutcheson Memorial Forest (HMF) is a unique area consisting of one of the last uncut forests in the Mid-Atlantic States, along with the surrounding lands devoted to protection of the old forest and research into ecological interactions necessary to understand the forest. The tract is administered and protected by Rutgers. It is apparently the only uncut upland forest in the Piedmont of New Jersey, and appears on the National Park Service Register of Natural Landmarks.

Tours leave from the entrance of the woods on Amwell Road (Rt. 514) in Somerset. From New Brunswick, follow Hamilton Street west past JFK Blvd, Cedar Grove Lane and Elizabeth St. HMF is on the left past Spooky Brook Nursery. The driveway is located just past the guardrail over the brook. The trail may be muddy in places so come prepared. The tour through the woods and fields takes between one and two hours.

Tours are free and reservations are not required for these guided tours.*
Groups of more than ten persons may not attend the guided tours. Such groups are invited to write to the Director, Hutcheson Memorial Forest Center, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, New Brunswick, NJ 08901
for special guided tours to be arranged at other times.

For more information visit: http://rci.rutgers.edu/~hmforest/

*HMF is not open to the public on a daily basis.

Generation Gap in the professoriate

OK, so this might be a little to inside for the non-academics, but I found Anna Dronzek's recent feature in Academe online to describe an interesting phenomenon that I think is more serious than it might first seem. In describing the Academic Generation Gap, she points some interesting ways in which the junior faculty being hired today differ from the senior faculty who are retiring in the next 5 to 10 years. She focuses on three particular ways in which they differ: Community, Loyalty, and Identity.

A simple difference she noted was the changing family roles. She contrasted senior faculty, whose spouse may have been well positioned to help with much of the childcare, to young dual-income academic couples for whom evening lectures and conference trips require negotiations and planning. What made it interesting was the way she didn't take a side, but stressed how important it was for both groups to understand why the other had different experiences and expectations. But it also illustrated how quickly the demographic change would also require a rethinking of the structure of the university.

In the same issue was another piece looking at the larger changes in academia including the specialization of skills like research, teaching, and service instead of developing faculty who are well-rounded and contribute on multiple fronts.

Student work elsewhere

As part of the new Land8Lounge there is a growing number of examples of professional and student work being posted. One example from saudi Arabia caught my eye:
Thumallah Tribal reserve, Student work Spring 2008. FED- LA Dept. King Abdulaziz University-Jeddaj Saudi Arabia

22 July 2008

Highlands Results

The vote by the Highlands Council to approve a Master Plan last week has received a little less post-vote analysis than I expected. But there is still some interesting coverage to review.

The Bergen Record pointed out that neither side liked the outcome much, and tried to explain the problems that each group saw in the plan. One council member who voted against the plan, Sussex Freeholder Glen Vetrano, was even reported to have worn a NJ Builders Association pin to the meeting. The ever-present Jeff Tittel opposed it from the other side:
"The governor better tell people to buy bottled water, because this plan will not protect the drinking water for 5 million people," Tittel said.
Council member Glen Vetrano, a Sussex County freeholder, came to the meeting wearing a Builders Association lapel pin and voted against the plan partly because towns would not be able to meet their affordable-housing quotas as mandated by the state.

One newspaper account pointed to a "new" web resource where you could see whether or not your house was in the Highlands. Althrough the Highlands Mapping Center has been up for a while, it does take on a new level of importance now that the Highlands Council has passed a plan.

The NJEF has released an analysis of how each Council member voted on each amendment. Their executive director, David Pringle, described the vote as allowing the residents of the Highlands to drink their own septic.

Another analysis in the Record said that "Most of the more than 820,000 people living in the Highlands region need not worry about the 410-page regional master plan" but that apparently means that the Record thinks that the residents would only care about property development limitations and not drinking water issues.

And the Home News/Gannett reports that folks are already gearing up for battle over what sound like minutia:

Environmentalists said after the meeting this is what they will be urging the governor to do.

"There are three areas where the plan violates the act and two others where it's weaker than the current DEP regulations,'" said Jeff Tittel, head of the New Jersey chapter of the Sierra Club. "We're going to ask the governor to veto the minutes. This is his council, his plan, we are going to ask him to fix it.'"

But don't let it fool you, apparent minutia, like formal approval of the minutes, is actually the crux of the process. That is the mechanism for conveying the 9-5 vote and a veto of the minutes would force the Council to go back and work on this even more.

20 July 2008

Things to read before majoring in Landscape Architecture

A while back I posted 2 FAQs on good summer books to read for LA and EP students. But both the first and second post were really geared towards college students who were already pretty well on track.

So, when someone recently asked me about recommended reading materials for prospective entering students, I was surprised to realize that I hadn't posted my usual answers or identified specifics within those aforementioned original postings. So here goes:

  • I find many of our students benefit from a student subscription to Landscape Architecture Magazine. As the official publication of the ASLA, over several months of issues it presents a fairly clear image of the breadth and depth of the work of the profession.
  • A real classic introductory text is John O. Simonds' Landscape Architecture. It walks through design as a process and some basics of forms and relationships at a very wide variety of scales.
  • Dr. Shearer made the very interesting suggestion of Michael Pollen's Second Nature.
  • Jane Amidon, at Ohio State, has been writing generously illustrated books on some of the leading landscape architects and their projects. The first in the series look at Michael Van Valkenburgh and his Allegheny Riverfront in Pittsburgh. The second in the series looked at Ken Smith's urban projects.

19 July 2008

Mark your calendars now

NJASLA is coming to a casino near you......unless you live in Nevada. In which case NJASLA is coming to a casino that is inconveniently distant to you.

18 July 2008

Science radio

On your way to the shore or the mountains or the movies at the Mall for a weekend of fun, you could listen to these recent podcasts of Ira Flatow's Science Friday:
+ Soils as a medium for impacting climate change (mp3)
+ Backyard gardening (mp3)

Digital Ethnography

A Kansas State anthropology professor has very actively integrated video and blogging into his teaching efforts. The results are tracked, in part, on his Digital Ethnography blog. While there are plenty of interesting resources (some are easier to understand than others), a great place to start is the heavily publicized video, A Vision of Students Today. While many folks assume that neoeducation is an all or nothing problem, Dr. Wesch seems to be approaching the problem with a critical eye, but finding ways to make the most of the tools and the situation. And, as I hope the Places and Spaces blog shows, I think that there is value to exploring and integration the technologies when you can.

21st Century Street

For the new design competition exploring the 21st Century Street, they chose (of all places) 9th Street and 4th Avenue in Brooklyn.


View Larger Map

17 July 2008

The Highlands have a Plan

While the outcome seemed fairly predictable, the Highlands Council made an historic decision today voting 9-5 to create a Regional Master Plan. The Gannett report on the meeting says it took 7.5 hours and they approved half of the 16 proposed amendments. My memory is that took more like 7.5 years, or maybe a couple decades. But the coverage over the next few days will really say a lot about the compromises made by both sides and I look forward to trying to sum it up in just 2-3 paragraphs.

Hartzog's National Park Service

The NY Times has a nice obit for George Hartzog, an important director of the National Park Service who served multiple administrations. Under his leadership, the number of parks nearly doubled and led the establishment the National Register of Historic Places.

One of his important talents was the ability to garner political support for the NPS. His famous response to one round of budget cuts was to close all of the National Parks 2 days a week until the budget situation was remedied. Imagine driving you family all of the way across the country in a 1968 station wagon with AM radio and no A/C only to arrive at the Grand Canyon and find it closed. That would make a great movie.

As the Time reports, it was still politics that ended his tenure as Director:

In the summer of 1972, unbeknown to Mr. Hartzog, the superintendent of Biscayne National Park canceled a permit allowing Mr. Nixon’s friend Bebe Rebozo to dock his boat in the park. Mr. Rebozo complained to the president, who fired Mr. Hartzog.

“The interior secretary, Rogers Morton, went over to the White House and tried to talk him out of it,” Mr. Utley said. “Nixon refused.”

It doesn't seem like he quite deserves to sneak onto the Top 10 Shapers list, but he does probably deserve a spot on the "almost" list. And I say that as a very high compliment since that list includes people like Edison, Roosevelt, Roosevelt, Ford, McHarg and Manning.

Thank you Mr. Hartzog.

ArcGIS 9.3

Surveys often require IRB approval, but this one is probably sub-exempt.

Which of the following best fits you response to the release of ArcGIS 9.3
a) 9.3 is here!
b) 9.3 is here!!!
c) 9.3 is here.
d) 9.3 is released but who knows when it will be here and even then it will take 6 more weeks before my sysadmin installs it.
e) how am I going to get this data ready for the client before Monday?

While the correct answer is probably "e", that also means you shouldn't be reading this blog right now.

Since you are still reading, yes, ArcGIS 9.3 has been released by ESRI. Since you are probably asking youself, What's New? You might want to read ESRI's What's New? And, to get you ready, there will be three different LIVE online seminars all on Thursday July 24th. Until the start of the Olympics, this is probably the best thing you can watch at the office without a Netflix account.

Spanish Civil War

Last summer I taught part of a studio in Spain and kept finding myself become more and more interested in the Spanish Civil War. It came up in unexpected places and the brutality was surprising. Stories of the bombings and shootings are sad, but little things like destroying Gaudi's studio at Sagrada Familia out of spite were clearer demonstrations of how deeply the feelings were seeded. It was also very contemporary, but without the grand storybook feeling of WWII.

The war began on this date in 1936. In commemoration, Slate.com has posted an emotional set of Magnum photos from the Spanish Civil War. I have to admit that despite its quite fictional content, del Toro's The Devil's Backbone really helped me begin to imagine the period better. Although it was later, 1944, the depiction of that period in his Pan's Labyrinth was pretty interesting, too. But in truth I should just rent For Whom the Bell Tolls.

Pipelines in parks

Terrain.org has an article that examines ways that the Federal government has developed a pipeline plan that threatens National Parks. While it is not an upbeat story, it is great to see a student writing so eloquently about an important and complex problem.

PublicFarm1 is open

PF1 is open. The glitterati knew that WORK's work was done, did you?

16 July 2008

More GIS volunteers wanted

Unexpected natural disasters, like earthquakes, can trigger an impressive response from well outside the area affected. An example was the GIS Corps response to Katrina a few years ago.

Well, the recent earthquake in China seems to have generated some interesting responses. A major international competition is well underway for the design of a memorial. And Harvard has established a Geospatial Research Portal to aid in coordinating efforts in response to the disaster.

GIS Political Job

From the GIS Jobs Clearinghouse (h/t to Caroline):

Organization: Obama for America
Title: GIS Volunteer
Location: Nationwide
Application Deadline:
Posted: 2008-07-13

Position Description:

Political campaigns rely heavily on location based data and with the November election rapidly approaching we are looking for Obama supporters in the GIS professional community to step forward and help win November! Anything from 5 hours per week and above would be extremely useful and tasks range from straightforward cartography and map production to editing and analysis.

If you're interested in using your GIS (especially ArcGIS) skills to help elect Barack Obama please contact: David Galt (dgalt@barackobama.com)

iPhone GPS

There has been lots of talk about the GPS in the new 3G iPhone. But this isn't about talk. This is about video.

Could the WTO ban zoning?

PlaNetizen reports on a proposed WTO rule that could potential render local zoning practices illegal?

15 July 2008

Cool Music in the Sourlands

There'll be some cool music in Hillsborough to support the Sourlands, or at least the Sourland Planning Council.

Capitol Visitors Center, part 2

Some people complain when a project goes a week or two past its originally scheduled date of completion. The US Capitol Visitors Center is years past its expected opening date and, The NY Times reports, is now being put off until after the election.

This photo from the official CVC website makes it look like the project has been going on since before the introduction of color photography. But there is a cool series of aerial photos that allow you to create and watch your own timelapse movie of the project since 2002. And, for students of construction, it looks like you can review the weekly construction summaries all the way back to 2002.

14 July 2008

Getting back to the crown

Since annual visits to Liberty Island have dropped somewhere in the range of 1 or 2 million people, they are considering an upgrade that would allow visitors back into the crown.

More stadium archaeology

Today's Star-Ledger has still more information on the just-finished, archaeological dig at the Rising Sun Tavern underneath the Rutgers Stadium. It seemed like the Route 18 excavation was described mostly in terms of finding a few hards, while this one is a "big dig".
The firm's archaeologists spent five weeks examining the find and have pieced the information with previous excavations in Piscataway identified as parts of the Raritan Landing settlement. The items from the latest dig, which ended Wednesday, are expected to be displayed in the township.

"We find out so much more about life in the 18th century," said Elizabeth Cottrell, an archaeologist from the Milner firm. "I would consider this a big dig. It's just so fruitful."

You are invited to a Garden Party

Somerset County's Colonial Park is hosting another Garden Party on July 19th. Presentations on several topics will be given including one by Rutgers' own Claire Liptak and music will be provided by the New Jersey Youth Symphony.

13 July 2008

Fine for not watering

A California couple decided to conserve water during the latest drought emergency by stopping watering their lawn. They were fined. The Sac Bee reports:
Their small brick home was declared a "public nuisance" in violation of city code section 17.68.010, which states that front yards "shall be irrigated, landscaped and maintained."

A $746 fine will be next unless they correct the violation.

Aside from the general lack of such ordinances here on the east coast, I note this because this is a simple example of how high visibility efforts (like Gov. Schwarzenegger's water conservation programs) can be completely undermined when local policies aren't quickly changed to conform, reinforce, or enhance them. The NJ version of this is how the state has worked so hard to develop coordinated planning (State Plan), open space preservation (Garden State Trust), and watershed protection while the local governments have clung to home rule and used it to focus on ratables. (h/t PlaNetizen)

12 July 2008

Dramatic plan for area South of the Mall

In a nice piece of reporting, the Washington Post has a lengthy explanation of a series of proposals intended to improve the "monumental core" with an enhanced system of linkages and views. Their graphics and details are intriguing although I see almost no mention of how this would be paid for. We stopped in this area a few weeks ago and I couldn't help but notice how poorly maintained some of the public spaces were. It will be interesting to see if even the basic framework of this proposal can happen.

Yellow Submarine

Q. What do you get when you combine environmental education, marine science, geomatics, and a little RU rah rah?

A. A yellow submarine named "Scarlet Knight".

And, as you can see from the COOL Classroom, Scarlet Knight is almost halfway to Spain. And the media are acting like it is a feeding frenzy. Well, at an academic level.

11 July 2008

Central Jersey is getting more crowded

We didn't really need the US Census Bureau to tell us this, but new estimates show that the counties around Rutgers have continued to experience real population growth. Built out counties, like Union County, aren't growing much (0.41%). Those with some remaining undeveloped land have seen 5-8% growth rates (Somerset - 8.76%, Middlesex - 5.13%).

But to make sure you really see the patterns around you, the Home News has a Google Map mash-up that shows you the results for every municipality in Central Jersey. As you can see in the example above, Lebanon Borough grew over 75%! Way to grow guys.

Olympic Garden

The Guest of a Guest blog and My Secret Garden and the Huffington Post have posted some photos from what they claim to be the new Beijing Olympic Garden. Lots of topiary but no documentation. It does not look, to me, like it fits with the theme established by the Olympic Forest Park, but what do i know?

Tony Beliaeff, Class of '76

It is with sadness that we inform you that Tony Beliaeff, a 1976 graduate of Rutgers' Landscape Architecture program, passed away on Wednesday, July 9th. Although he was recently retired, Tony spent 23 years working for the Garden State Parkway.

Services will be held at St. Alexander Nevsky church in Howell, NJ Sunday at 6pm and the funeral will be on Monday at 10am. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in Anthony's name may be made to the Sign Fund at St. Alexander Nevsky Russian Orthodox Cathedral, 220 Alexander Ave., Howell, NJ 07731. http://www.stalexandernevskycathedral.com/lakewood/anton.html

The Asbury Park Press has published a notice at: http://www.app.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2008807110370

Central Park of Morris County

The Freeholders of Morris County are turning the (in)famous Greystone Psychiatric Hospital into a home for charitable organizations and a great big county park. While it doesn't seem poised to become the next Great Park of Orange County, it does sound like it should be an interesting and complex project to follow over the next few years. Check it out on the map.

10 July 2008

Iowa River floods out Holl

After the earlier comments about the proximity of the University of Iowa's new buildings to the river, it was particularly interesting to see these recent photos of Stephen Holl's newly completed work on the Arts Campus.

Upgrades on the AT at Bear Mountain

Several years ago our LA students explored design possibilities for the 5-mile stretch of the AT at Bear Mountain. Now work on the trail and the park facilities are well underway. One of the interesting little problems was how to redesign the piece of the AT that goes underneath the busy state highway in the center of the park. Based on the NYNJTC press release, they seem to have dealt with the grading problems in a pretty big way.

09 July 2008

2008 Dangermond Fellowship

The 2008 Dangermond Fellowship has been announced, establishing once again that studying GIS in LA programs really pays:
Robert Douglas Lemon from the University of California, Berkeley, was selected as the 2008 recipient of the $10,000 Dangermond Fellowship. The Dangermond Fellowship was created through the collaborative efforts of ESRI, ASLA, and the Landscape Architecture Foundation to encourage the innovative use of geographic information systems (GIS) as a framework for exploring integrated approaches to landscape assessment and intervention. Lemon’s proposal, GIS, Culture, and Oakland Typologies, will measure individual as well as community perceptions about open space, valued space, streetscapes, neighborhood security, and problematic and even pathological spaces. His faculty adviser is Professor John D. Radke.
I really do believe that landscape architects often cognize GIS differently, and in ways that contribute to the large GIScience conversation. I look forward to getting our grad program online so we can help students pursue these as well.

07 July 2008

Getting to know Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed

This fall our regional design studio will be exploring the physical and social landscapes of the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed. I am told that the watershed association is the 2nd oldest in the country (http://www.thewatershed.org/) and they maintain lots of information online. The terrain is varied from the Sourland Mountains to the very floodprone Manville and Zarephath, although this map exaggerates the terrain just a bit:
The watershed includes a very wide variety of communities from Princeton to Manville, from Franklin to East Windsor. And you'll find that SBMWA is pretty tech-saavy, having a very solid GIS office and even trying out online maps (http://maps.giscenter.org/maps/watershed/viewer.htm). There are also some interesting development issues, like the Route 1 corridor and the Princeton Junction Redevelopment proposal, that make this a fascinating microcosm of the NJ landscape.

I expect that you'll see lots more about this area and some project details in the coming months, so I have established a SBMW tag to make it easier to track.

04 July 2008

Happy 4th


Independence Day seems like a great time to reflect on the spatial dimensions of the War, particularly around here in NJ. Fortunately Mike Siegel has a Rutgers Cartography Lab webpage up where you can look at old Revolutionary War maps. Seems like a great way to reflect on the armies that might have marched back and forth across our yard.

03 July 2008

Really Neogeographers

GPS is pretty ubiquitous now with the imminent release of the iPhone G3 and handheld units for under $100. So, now that nearly every human on Earth has a GPS unit, how does Garmin find new users? By reaching out to the dog community! I can't wait to see their mash-ups.

The end of Baby Boomer U.?

In 1969, less than 25% of college professors were over 50. Today, more than half of them are over 50. The changing face and politics of college professors is examined in today's NY Times complete with some great graphics. And, for a little icing on that cake, they held one of the interviews at one of my favorite restaurants in Madison, Kabul.

Since they were focusing on the changing politics, it leaves some of my questions about this generational change unanswered. If the baby boomers all retire en masse, where will the large body of replacements come from? Or will this require a new shift to PTLs and instructors at most large universities? And, since the demographics in their charts has been clear for some time, what is the plan? There is a plan, right?

02 July 2008

Now hiring

INSTRUCTOR, DEPARTMENT OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE
Rutgers University - New Brunswick/Piscataway
RUTGERS UNIVERSITY

Position Announcement

Instructor in Landscape Architecture - Plants

The Department of Landscape Architecture, Rutgers The State University of New Jersey, invites applications for a 10-month non-tenure track Instructor position to begin September 1 2008.

Qualifications: Candidates must have at least one accredited degree in landscape architecture and a terminal professional degree in landscape architecture or related discipline. Candidates must document the following:

1. Excellent design skills either through built works or well-documented design portfolio.
2. Evidence of, or potential for, peer reviewed scholarly work as evidenced by published works, grants, clearly articulated scholarly agenda, or critically reviewed built works.
3. Excellent verbal and graphic communication skills.
4. Ability to integrate computer applications and digital technology as planning, design and presentation tools in landscape architecture.

Preference will be given to candidates with teaching experience, professional practice and professional licensure (or potential for licensing), any two of which are required.

Position: The successful candidate will be responsible for teaching plants and design courses for Landscape Architecture and Landscape Industry (e.g., Landscape Plants, Planting Design). Ability to teach CAD, ArcGIS, and other digital design and planning software is preferred.

Department and Program: The Department of Landscape Architecture offers a fully accredited BSLA. The Department is located in the School of Environmental and Biological sciences, the land grant component of the university, which focuses on environmental, agricultural and life sciences programs. The Department is affiliated with the Environmental Planning & Design Curriculum that, in addition to Landscape Architecture, offers major courses of study in Environmental Planning, Geomatics, Environmental Studies, and Landscape Industry. The Department consists of seven full-time faculty, several part-time lecturers and approximately 100 undergraduate students. The faculty is highly committed to teaching, provides a supportive environment and has excellent rapport with students and alumni.

The professional landscape architecture curriculum at Rutgers has been accredited since 1970. The faculty take pride in the strong reputation that the program has achieved with its emphasis on site scale design and in the accomplishments of our alumni. The department is currently pursuing the establishment of a graduate program and new faculty will play an active role in shaping this curriculum.

The University's location within the most densely populated state in the nation, the ease of accessibility to major urban centers (New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington D.C.), and the diversity of landscapes within the State provide an excellent teaching environment for land planning, site design and environmental management issues and outstanding research laboratory for cultural and historic landscapes.

Applications: Active review of materials will begin June 1, 2008 and continue until the position is filled. The successful candidate is anticipated to begin on September 1, 2008. Candidates should submit a letter of application, curriculum vita, names of references and examples of written and/or designed work. Questions can be directed to Dr. Hartman at 732.932.8488 or jhartman@rci.rutgers.edu. Mail complete applications to:

Dr. JeanMarie Hartman
Department of Landscape Architecture
93 Lipman Drive, Blake Hall
Rutgers The State University of New Jersey
New Brunswick, NJ 08901 8524
Phone: 732.932.9313 Fax: 732.932.1940

Rutgers, The State University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer committed to diversity. Women, minorities, and members of under-represented groups are encouraged to apply.

New archeaology at Rutgers

Rutgers has found some interesting buried treasure at the site of its addition to the football stadium. The Home News and Tribune reports that excavation on the south end of the stadium on the Busch campus has found part of the old Rising Sun Tavern and a an early 18th Century home thought to be the Van Tine House.

The article included a quotes from an interview with RU LA grad Frank Wong:

Wong said that state regulations require that proper care is taken to preserve the findings.

"You'll find in some instances you can work a foundation into a design," said Wong. But that wasn't the case at the Rutgers site. "The important thing is documentation and recovery."

"We are going to find everything there is to find," he said. "Without the university, nobody would have ever known about this. The athletic department has been very conscionable."

Virtually Real: Second Earth

As I keep seeing the beautifully detailed buildings that are popping up in GoogleEarth, I realize that we are pushing into the territory that Wired's Jargon Watch described last year:

Second Earth n. The theoretical virtual world of the future, merging Google Earth geography with Second Life habitability. While appealing to technologists, such a system might deplete the actual planet: It would require an estimated 150 nuclear power plants to run the servers.

In the Disney version you really like you should be able to go into the buildings. But I have to admit that I like not seeing avatars wandering through the scenery. But the thing that makes Times Square and Disney so special is that they are building their environment, with textures, as such a large sequence of spaces that you begin to feel like you are really walking around in the Second Earth landscape.

01 July 2008

More pub for Rutgers Gardens

Rutgers Gardens is featured on Rutgers' front page. Their farmer's market is in the news too.

Police GIS

A recent piece from Miller-McCune looks at changes in how police are using GIS as a crime fighting tool. It includes a look at a model that sounds like an integrated form of agent-based and cellular automata:

One simulation that Liu and Eck supervised involved a section of Cincinnati and two types of agents — store robbers and managers. Robbers traveled randomly within the neighborhood, deciding to steal from a store if their skill exceeded its level of protection, while managers increased store protection depending on the frequency of robberies. The end result? The pattern of simulated robberies began to look familiar — in fact, it was startlingly similar to the real pattern of thefts in the actual area of the city.