this story offers up some information on a drought in Africa 70k years ago found through soil cores. The story also offers up an interpretation that is related to our GAW discussion on human migration.
Understanding how diseases spread is not a new discipline of study, but with increased concerns about the effects of our global world on the spread of dangerous viruses like SARS, AIDS, and yes, bird flu, I thought it would be timely to mention yet another use of GIS, Remote Sensing, and other geospatial technologies: landscape epidemiology. As a discipline, it dates back to the 1960s, when the notion that understanding the landscape and environment in areas where certain diseases develop or are particularly dangerous could help in predicting where diseases will spread and how severe outbreaks will be. Satellite imagery and GIS are being used successfully in landscape epidemiology studies, and a number of examples can be found on the Web, including a GIS project mapping SARS featured at GISUser.com
The ZevRoss website has a nice overview article here
Although definitions vary, most agree that human geography focuses on the interactions between humans and their environment, and the spatial relationships that define and are defined by those interactions. Human geography has many sub-disciplines, from cultural geography to urban geography to historical geography and many others (Wikipedia lists 18 fields of Human Geography, and thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not even all of them).
Over on the Digital Divide Network, they mentioned an online interactive map illustrating the digital divide. I went to the website, Maplecroft maps, and found a nice interactive mapping tool that has thematic maps for a number of environmental, social, economic, and political topics, including military expenditures, perceptions of corruption, climate change, and poverty. The interface is pretty straightforward, and users access information about each country via a mouseover. It’s a interesting project, and they plan to add more thematic maps in the future.
Maplecroft itself is a
Canadian British consulting firm that helps companies address social, environmental, and ethical issues.
Back in the fall of 2004 the BBC news site started a series called “Planet under pressure”. It covers alot of the important issues facing the world including global warming, pollution, and hunger.
This is a pretty cool project that I just read about via Wired. It is about mapping our world based on our perception of it, not just by physical coordinates. It was started only a month ago by Michael Baldwin, an English teacher living in Brazil.
You can participate in the project by going to CommonCensus.org and adding your address and answering a few questions.
A project will be getting underway this winter to map 19 poor and underserved communities in San Jose. This is the continuation of a community mapping project begun in 2003. Residents themselves, working with other groups, will be using GPS, handhelds, and digital cameras to survey their neighborhoods.
The hope is that results from these survey will continue to help city officials understand the conditions and needs in these communities.
You can read the full article at the Christian Science Monitor website
Since I am into historical geography and Historical GIS, I though I would change it up a little and showcase a nice site that uses ESRI’s ArcIMS to display GIS layers and historic maps of Shanghai, China. This project was done by a group at the University of Lyon in France
Check out Virtual Shanghai here
In the September issue of GeoWorld, Daniel Sui has a short article discussing the notion of a humanistic GIScience and how geospatial technologies can play a broader role in defining and representing complexe realities
You can read the article here