Basic Project Sources: DALIS Project & EnviroFacts

January 23, 2008

Delaware County geographic information @ Dalis Project web site.

EPA environmental information @ EnviroFacts web site.

Mitchell: Ch. 1: Introducing GIS Analysis

January 23, 2008

GIS technology 30 years old

Good for making maps: but can do more than that: GIS Analysis

Delay in the use of GIS analysis

• Lack of data (changing rapidly, but still a problem)
• Difficult software (but now easy interfaces; still complex though)
• Lack of understanding about GIS analysis (the book)

• where are things in geographic space?
• mapping variations in amount: least and most
• mapping density
• finding what is inside
• finding what is nearby
• mapping change

Read the rest of this entry »

Geography 355 Project Proposal Example

January 23, 2008

The link below goes to a PDF of a proposal from a previous class project in Geography 355, focused on wetlands mapping in Delaware State Park.

Clara Englert: Project Proposal: Delware State park Wetlands Mapping and Assessment Project (April 2004)

This project proposal is a model to consider as we plan our various projects that together will comprise Environmental Justice in Delaware Co. Ohio.

The key to a successful project is adequate planning and a comprehensive project proposal (completed prior to starting the project).

A paper copy of the proposal is included in the Class Project 2000-2005 handout you received earlier in the semester (about half-way through the handout).

What is Environmental Justice?

January 23, 2008

From Mapping Environmental Justice In Delaware County, PA.

When it comes to the environment, geography matters. When we talk about our environment, we are referring to the conditions that surround us every day, including natural attributes such as air and water, and manmade attributes such as buildings and roads. The features of our environment may also include hazards that are sources of danger to our collective health and well-being. Environments are different everywhere; some places have more hazards, others more green spaces, and others combinations of these. Location, then, is important in this context. Think about where you spend the hours of each day. How many hours do you spend at home? How many hours do you spend at school? The air we breathe and the water we drink can change depending on where we are and what else is nearby. Environmental policies are implemented and enforced on a local level, and health hazards are almost always the most severe for those who experience the greatest exposure in their homes and workplaces. It is an examination of this inequality that leads to a discussion of environmental justice.

According to the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), environmental justice means that all people, regardless of their race, age, job, income, or education level, enjoy the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards. The notion of environmental justice has been around since the 1980s, but the official definition was first established as a federal mandate in 1994 by President Clinton’s Executive Order 12898. This legislation sought to focus federal efforts on ensuring that poor and minority communities were not disproportionately burdened by environmental hazards and that these communities had more say in the legal process that brought environmental hazards in the first place. The federal definition, then, says that the government and the affected communities are both responsible for making sure that any given area has a just distribution of hazards. This project is able to show you how the county looks right now, but not much about the process by which the county came to be this way. As you look through the booklet, think about who is responsible for bringing pollution to a given area, and also who you think is responsible for protecting communities. Are environmental hazards distributed equally? Fairly? If not, what can be done to fix this?

Italics added.

Even More Schedule Updates

January 20, 2008

Yes, once again I have made some changes to the Geography 355 schedule.

For Monday January 21 we will review the two Longley chapters, the future schedule for readings and presentations, and begin to look at our course project.

Longley et al: GiSystems & GIScience: Ch. 1 & 2

January 20, 2008

Chapter 1: Systems, Science, and Study

• “geographic location a vital attribute of activities, policies, strategies, and plans.”
• GIS: appends where to “events, activities, things”
• applications: health care, delivery, highway location, forest management, recreational planning, etc.

Classifying geographic problems

1. scale: building management on campus vs global climate study
2. purpose: practical (optimal route for a Federal Express truck on a specific day) vs intellectual (predicting continental drift patterns, spread of innovations)

positive: hypothesis testing: potential customer spatial behavior in relation to restaurant location
normative: locating new restaurants given results of positivistic studies

3. time: operational (immediate: optimizing response time for 911 calls), tactical (medium-term: annual tree harvest zones), strategic (long-term: planning future retail outlet locations)

Read the rest of this entry »

More “What is GIS?:” Readings and Presentations

January 20, 2008

Format for presentations and readings: weeks 3-5 five groups to present readings

• we all will read and (briefly) blog materials

Presenters: about 20 minute overview of key GIS topics, concepts, applications in the chapter or chapters

• blog outline + relevant links, examples, illustrations
• add a discussion of how readings may bear on potential projects
• work out way to split up the work (division by chapter, or readings vs examples, applications)

Non-presenters: blog about 1 page summary and key issues from readings with links, questions, ideas concerning relevance to course project

• three GIS concepts / issues you think most relevant
• three ways to relate material to projects

What is GIS, in general, and how can we use it in the projects?

Groups to present readings weeks 3-5: 17 / 5 = 3 or 4 in each group

• Group 1: Schuurman 2 & 3
• Group 2: Schuurman 4 & 5
• Group 3: Mitchell 2, 3, & 4
• Group 4: Mitchell 5, 6, & 7
• Group 5: What is Environmental Justice?

• each student will blog about one page in response to this question: include links to at least three sources: Due Wed Feb 6
• presenters can incorporate this information for the following meeting