30 March 2015

Atlanta vs. Barcelona

This CityLab article by Tanvi Misra includes a graphic comparison of Atlanta vs. Barcelona. The article cites a new report that shows how sprawl is costing America, "Together these outcomes create social costs that amount to $626 billion a year for people living in sprawling areas and $400 billion for those outside of them, the report estimates."

Newark's cherry trees

Branch Brook Park has an amazing collection of 4,300 flowering cherry trees that are about to bloom. Why drive to DC to see the cherry blossoms on the tidal basin when you can see this incredible collection here?

But 4,300 trees don't prune themselves, and this is a county park. So Rutgers has found a way to lend support and make one of New Jersey's landmarks look as grand as possible this spring. Read the feature in Rutgers Today.

26 March 2015

Haven't you earned a reward?

***Please share with your students and staff/ faculty in whatever way best
for your programs.***

REMINDER - DUE FRIDAY APRIL 10! Deadline Coming Soon  in 2 Weeks!  

2015-16 SEBS Scholarships: Application DUE NEXT FRIDAY : APRIL 10

* SEBS Scholarship Application (Award amounts vary)
- All SEBS students (Classes of 2016, 2017 and 2018) are encouraged to
complete the SEBS Scholarship Application whereas over 500 scholarships are
awarded through this one application. IMPORTANT: ALL ACADEMIC MAJORS ARE
ELIGIBLE! All SEBS students are encouraged to apply.

For application and information: http://sebs.rutgers.edu/sfa/current/sebs.asp
All scholarship information is easily available and understandable on this
listed website.

25 March 2015

Senate geospatial data bill

What is the Federal role for geospatial data? The US Senate has before it a bill that addresses just that question. S-740 is the US Geospatial Data Act of 2015. As Congressional regulars know, these sorts of things take all sorts of unusual paths, so the success or failure of this bill is not the only thing to watch. And there may be forces behind the scenes that will cause this to move in an unusual direction. However, it is exciting to see geospatial and the NSDI getting some attention. Maybe this will be the little step that we need.

24 March 2015

Desert city art

In a studio that sounds fascinating, Sherri Bruggeemann's students designed a system for public art in an uninhabited city that someone else proposed. Bruggemann has been an outspoken advocate for public art, but arrangements for unbuilt cities seems like a new step.

23 March 2015

Suitability analysis notes

Here are the old handwritten Suitability Analysis notes from when Steve Strom used these techniques in his studio. This four page set of Suitability Analysis notes is online now as a PDF. His description of weighted analysis lacks a graphic, so I created a digital version of both some of his graphics and a new Weight and Rate graphic that should help you work through it all as you look ahead to our next exam:To be clear, each grid shows the very same piece of land but being rated for a different issue (soils, slope, vegetation). Presumably that is fairly objective. But each individual criterion is then weighted based on relative importance. In this case, Slope has rather subjectively been weighted as 5 times more important that Vegetation. If you click on my graphic it will enlarge and be more readable.


Are you enjoying the Fundamentals of Environmental Geomatics and want a little more?  The Penn State Maps and Geospatial Revolution MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) is beginning this week.  Sign up here: https://www.coursera.org/course/maps    The last few runs of the class already attracted 75,000 students to participate.

"Dr Anthony Robinson is the wonderfully witty and knowledgeable instructor.    The course focuses on the importance of maps in society and how they are revolutionary, and how maps can help us make better decisions and make the world a better place.  There are plenty of hands-on activities each week as well as networking/discussion opportunities, and rich and engaging text and video content.  The course runs from 25 March to 5 May 2015."


22 March 2015

World Water Day

March 22nd is World Water Day. Saving water can save lives.
Is it a coincidence that World Water Day falls in the month of March? There is a well known bossa nova song by Antonio Carlos Jobim called the Waters of March. Here are a couple lines:

And the river bank talks of the waters of March
It's the end of all strain, it's the joy in your heart
Short of a kayak outing or a hike to Buttermilk Falls, the song seems like a decent way to celebrate the holiday. Enjoy.

19 March 2015

Thoreau map

Spring Break is the perfect time to kick back and read some Thoreau. But if you do, you may want this online Thoreau map to accompany your explorations.

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. He will put some things behind, will pass an invisible boundary; new, universal, and more liberal laws will begin to establish themselves around and within him; or the old laws be expanded, and interpreted in his favor in a more liberal sense, and he will live with the license of a higher order of beings.”
- Henry David Thoreau (1854)

18 March 2015

Great grad school poster/image

Changing buses

National Geographic recently looked at battery and fuel cell buses. It is hard to imagine these slogging up a snowy, slushy hill in Pittsburgh, but the picture from Pomona shows a high-tech version of mass transit that seems likely to capture the attention of riders who usually decline mass transit. And that could change cities:

“Our biggest vehicle is about four Teslas' worth of batteries, but we can move ten times as many people,” Popple says, noting the average bus can take 30 cars off the road.
Will this catch on in a new way?  NatGeo provides a link to 12 examples of car-free city zones that might make you think it is possible.

16 March 2015

GIS Networking opportunity

On Thursday there will be a great opportunity to meet lots of movers and shakers in the GIS community. The talks are always great and meeting people before and after is an outstanding chance to get to know potential employers:

The Geospatial Forum will meet this Thursday (March 19th) from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
The ITC Room at OIT, 300 Riverview Plaza, Trenton, NJ 08611

Our guest presentations will be:
"GIS Tools and Techniques for Working with Crowd-Sourced Data"
Presented by: Rachel Weeden, Solution Engineer Manager for Esri (Philadelphia Regional Office)


"Rain and Storm Surge Integrated Hydrodynamic Modeling system for overland flood forecasting in the NJ Meadowlands region."
Presented by: Nickitas Georgas, Ph.D., Research Assistant Professor and Assistant Director for Operational Forecasts at the Davidson Laboratory, Stevens Institute of Technology

PopUP Forest in Time Square

There is a KickStarter campaign for a PopUP Forest in Times Square. Check it out.

10 March 2015

Healthy GIS

As a sign that public health and GIS are inexorably intertwined, Esri has hired a chief medical officer. The Orange County Register recently spoke with her about the geospatial dimensions of health and summarized the conversation for a non-GIS audience. She mentions an effort to link medicine with other sciences through the One Health Initative. Through in some big data and citizen science and you'll find yourself with some serious health geoinformatics.

09 March 2015

Social and Spatial

I stumbled onto an interesting paper out of Oregon State called, "Combining geographic information systems and ethnography to better understand and plan ocean space use." It presents research that emerged combining geospatial data with information derived in interviews and ethnographic study. It is just more proof that they two are not incompatible and it contributes in an area (oceanography) that isn't the obvious place where you might have first expected to see such work.

08 March 2015

New Brunswick Planning Board Meeting

A meeting of the New Brunswick Planning Board will be held at 7:30 pm in the Council Chambers, at New Brunswick City Hall, 78 Bayard Street, New Brunswick, New Jersey on Tuesday March 10th.

06 March 2015

Summer classes

The Departments of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources and Landscape Architecture are pleased to offer three online courses (Conservation Techniques, Sustainable Environmental Management, and Fundamentals of Environmental Geomatics) this summer.
Please note that these are for-credit courses that will count toward the SEBS graduation requirements. Fundamentals of Environmental Geomatics will count toward the Geomatics Certificate.

03 March 2015

NJ's newest architecture school

Kean University has started the Michael Graves School of Architecture which will have a branch in NJ and a branch in China. The new Dean spoke with Architectural Review about the interesting arrangement.