31 May 2013

30 May 2013

NJ Flood Mapper

From the Asbury Park Press to the Wall Street Journal there has been lots of talk lately about the NJ Flood Mapper that CRSSA has made with JCNERR and NOAA CSC. It was also featured at last week's Climate Change Workshop.

The Flood Mapper let's you take a pretty close look at the Jersey Shore and see how much impact storms and sea level rise will have on different areas. There is no denying that this is scary stuff. But Rick Lathrop, stressed to the Wall Street Journal that this is not about scare tactics:
"We are not trying to unduly frighten people," said Rick Lathrop, director of the Grant F. Walton Center for Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis at Rutgers, who led the map's development. "This is providing people a look at where our vulnerability is."
 The tool is very customizable, with slider bars letting the user pick their own scenarios for sea level rise. And it maps more than just SLR. Visitors to the site can also map storm flooding, marsh retreat and social impacts.

Much of our campus here at Rutgers is on hilltops, but these maps shows areas that are still most vulnerable.
 Looks like it might be time for folks on the north side of the river to give up on soccer in Johnson and Donaldson Parks and building a boathouse for rowing instead.
The marsh retreat maps around Cape May seem like they have good news, in that they show some areas where future marshes might retreat, although the pink areas are of some concern.
 But this flooding map suggests that there may not be as many area residents to see them.
Years and years ago (2010) our students studied sea level rise scenario design alternatives for Cape May County, and this all seemed like a distant possibility. But subsequent Nor'easters and hurricanes have made the fiction look rather tame. Remember Nor'Ida?

24 May 2013

Most bikable cities

Atlantic Cities has some analysis by Richard Florida identifying the best biking cities and neighborhoods for commuting.

While it is understandable that they emphasize the physical design and infrastructure (that is the point of the article), I would like to see them incorporate climate into the overall scoring. How many days a year is Tuscon's heat dangerous to cycling? How many days each year are rain and snow significant barriers in places like Minneapolis?  (And, yes, I know that there are still some bicycle commuters on 15 degree days in Madison and Minneapolis, but far fewer than on 50 degree days)

23 May 2013

geospatial gaming

2 bits of geospatial gaming news.

I have been hoping to find time to post something about ARIS geospatial games. Short of lengthy post, let me just say that it is an awesome platform for the iPhone that lets players explore real places while learning. Very cool and free!

A cool, free online game has been created call GeoGuessr. In just a few short weeks it has gotten covered by Slate, Foreign Policy and a NY Times blog. Best place-based spatial game of the year?

Both of these would be great ways to squander your holiday weekend.

20 May 2013

Con-graduations to our new alums!

Graduation weekend was great. While our first MLA graduate last year, our first full class of MLA I students graduated this weekend. Looking great guys!

The SEBS ceremony had a great turnout from students and faculty...and sunshine.

18 May 2013

Defining the Midwest

Bill Rankin looked at 100 different maps that purported to show which states (and provinces) were or were not part of the Midwest to make his own map of the North American Midwest.

15 May 2013

Verboten places

Slate has a feature today on this unusual 1955 map showing areas of the US which were off-limits to visitors from the USSR. It not only gives some insight into general cold war mentalities, but also raises other interesting questions about what appears as contradictory thinking. Areas of limits included much of Indiana, but Soviet visitors could travel freely throughout all of North Carolina. Almost all of Georgia was open but Atlanta was closed. Almost all of Tennessee was closed but Knoxville, Nashville and Chatanooga were open.

I am sure that there were facilities that are no longer secret that seemed sensitive at the time. I can even guess some. But, it is still puzzling to see some of the representations on the map.

13 May 2013

Building more dunes ain't easy

A privileged class of Shore homeowners, a NJ Supreme Court case and Governor Christie's policies are all contributing to ongoing conflicts over sand dune reconstruction at the Jersey Shore, just months after hurricane Sandy's devastation. NJ Spotlightgives a brief overview in a new article called, "What's the Going Price for a Dune on the Jersey Shore?"

NewsWorksNJ says it pits neighbor against neighborLong Beach has posted a list of the names of homeowners fighting against dunes.

But these issues aren't terribly new. The NY Times had a piece on a fairly similar disagreement in Destin, Florida a few years ago. That unneighborly dispute required a US Supreme Court decision to resolve things. (It is worth noting that the details appear different on a few substantive points, so attorneys can probably fairly claim that the law is not completely clear on these disputes. Of course, the law is never completely clear, or the judicial system could downsize.)

UPDATE: The Star-Ledger has an update on the NJ Supreme Court's hearing.

09 May 2013

Using GIS in Next Generation Systems

MAC URISA is pleased to announce our Spring 2013 educational event:
Using GIS in Next Generation Systems 

Date: 21 Jun 2013 at 8:00 AM EDT to 3:00 PM
Location: Princeton, NJ

Cost: $20.00 (includes light breakfast and networking lunch)

Join us for an important seminar led by a group of experts who will provide an in-depth look at the role of GIS in Next Generation Systems. Is your data ready for NG911? What challenges will you face? Our comprehensive list of speakers will provide a background on NG911 and NextGen for Airports to bring you up to speed on this national hot topic. GIS will be an integral part of these systems yet many challenges await. Learn about addressing issues and how to prepare your GIS for the transition at this seminar.

Agenda and Driving Directions can be found at http://www.macurisa.org/spring2013

07 May 2013

Cities are special

'God gave us the country
the skill of man hath built the town.'

 - Marcus Terentius Varro
Roman scholar (116-27 BC)

Carved over the door of the Santa Barbara County Courthouse

03 May 2013

Friday fiddlin' around

Based on some quick spatial analysis, I believe that Fresno is the largest city in the Coterminous US without an Interstate highway. (It is well served by the Golden State Highway)

View Larger Map

Technology changing urban space

Recognizing that technology is indeed changing how people experience public space, the geniuses at ImrpovEverywhere showed up with Seeing Eye People to help pedestrians getting around more safely while looking down at their mobile devices.

And, yes, that is the ASLA award winning Capitol Plaza that makes a cameo at the start.