How GIS has changed our world


Philippines fund for disaster mitigation

Philippine President Aquino directed the release of 1.6 billion Philippine Peso to the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) to improve the government’s disaster planning and response system with new state-of-the-art technology .

Under the Disaster Risk Exposure Assessment and Mitigation Project (DREAM), the department will acquire geospatial data gathering technologies, particularly Light Intensity Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) and Airborne Radar Interferometry (INSAR) to produce more accurate flood inundation maps. This will identify future flood prone areas and be useful in rescue and relief operations.

Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant.

FIG Foundation Academic Research Grants 2012

FIG is offering acadmic grants in areas related to geospatial research to those who qualify for the designated countries. Proposals are due January 15th!

For more information, click here.

Source: FIG

Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant.

OneMap Challenge

The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) yesterday announced a new competition that it hopes will spur application developers to create new uses for electronic maps.

The inaugural OneMap Challenge offers top prizes of 20,000 Singapore dollars (US$15,556) cash each in the two categories of desktop and mobile applications, and a total of more than 70,000 Singapore dollars in cash and prizes. Closing date for registration is March 9, 2012.

Information taken directly from: Jakarta Globe

Sachiye Day,VERTICES research assistant.

United Arab Emirates Exploring Syndromic Surveillance

The Ministry of Health and the Health Authority-Abu Dhabi (Haad) confirmed plans of introducing “syndromic surveillance” into their current systems. Syndromic surveillance, which is still under review by the World Health Organisation, utilizes social networking sites and internet search engines to provide a more in-depth report, according to Dr Al Hosani. “Google’s flu map [Google Flu Trend Tracker] is one of the methods of surveillance,” he says.

Doctors may soon be better able to predict the outbreak of infectious diseases due to surveillance systems that use Google and Twitter.

For more information, click here.

Source: The National

Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant.

APHA’s Flu Near You Challenge

In late October, HealthMap with the American Public Health Association (APHA)  launched a giant public health experiment called Flu Near You, a new online mapping tool that lets people report their flu symptoms and then creates a living map of the results.The data is accessible to anyone and generates real-time maps of reported flu activity by ZIP code.

To drive participation in the endeavor, APHA is encouraging public health practitioners nationwide and its members to join APHA’s Flu Near You Challenge and to recruit as many people as possible to take part in the massive surveillance and prevention effort.

For more information, click here.

Source: The Pump Handle Blog

Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant.

Walkability shows impact on adolesent activity

A study in Belgium using GIS reveals that neighborhood walkability has an impact on adolesent activity (boy and girls) for low income residents only. Neighborhood walkability was related to accelerometer-based physical activity among adolescent boys and girls living in low-socioeconomic status  neighborhoods.

For more information, click here.

Source: press release (BMC Public Health)

Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant.

Map of Sanitation in Tanzania, Uganda, and Rwanda

SanMap uses Google Maps with data from Water for People and WaterAid to provide sanitation maps for Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, Kampala in Uganda, and Kigali in Rwanda.

Built with the help of Google Fusion Tables the map allows users to overlay a number of data layers on top of Google Maps of the three cities. As well as providing data about local sanitation the layers include overlays showing areas prone to flooding and to outbreaks of cholera.

To see the map, click here.

Information taken directly from: Google Maps Mania

Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant.

Mapping Drug Dealers

Residents [of Reynosa, on the Mexico side of the Texas/Mexico border] are now using social media and Google Maps to report drug dealers in their neighborhoods. An anonymous group of Twitter users launched the project a few months ago but it’s now surging in popularity.In an email interviews with Action 4 News, the creators of the map said they are asking people to report drug dealers using the #reynosafollow channel of Twitter.

Information taken directly from: Valley Central

Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant.

Happy New Year around the world!

The Washington Post is attempting to track on a map the start of New Year’s celebrations as they roll across the globe. Sydney, Australia is the first one they added and they will update the map as festivities begin in cities around the world.

If you’re out celebrating, share your photos with @washingtonpost. Let them know where you are and they can add the pictures to the map.

Source: The Washington Post

Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant.

Using Google Earth in the classroom

There are many educational uses for Google Earth and we’ve seen great uses of it from Duke University and StrataLogica, among others.

Now there is a site,  GEteach, developed by 9th-grade Geography teacher Josh Williams. The site uses the Google Earth Plug-in to give you quick access to a wide variety of information such as the CIA Factbook, population densities, and various other human and physical geographic overlays with a “Two Earth” mode, allowing you to view different layers side-by-side.

Source: Google Earth Blog

Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant.

NHS Atlas of Variation 2011

Published by England’s Department of Health this month, the NHS Atlas of Variation 2011 highlights the amount each Primary Care Trust (PCT) spends on clinical services and links this with health outcomes. Consisting of 71 maps, the Atlas is aimed at helping commissioners in England learn from one other, consider the appropriateness of a service, and investigate when clinical health outcomes are not reflecting the financial investment that has been made.

This is the second year the Atlas has been produced.

Source: British Journal of Healthcare Computing

Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant.

Startup America Policy Challenge

The White House announced the Startup America Policy Challenge in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. Department of Education.

The administration is asking entrepreneurs and the American public how to knock down barriers to innovation in healthcare IT, clean energy, and learning technologies. Entrepreneurs and other members of the public will post their ideas online. The public, including students, will be invited to translate the best ideas into “Policy Business Plans,” which will be shared with President Obama’s Cabinet.

For more information on the challenge, click here.

Submission period ends May 31, 2012 12:00 AM EDT

Winners announced on July 02, 2012 12:00 AM EDT


Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant.

Code for Livability

The Partnership for Sustainable Communities is hosting a code-a-thon to brings together citizens, developers, and government personnel to work on solutions that bring sustainability to the forefront of peoples’ everyday lives. The challenge is on January 21-22, 2011 in Washington, DC and Portland, Oregon!

For more information, click here.
Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant. is a new open US government initiative to increase awareness of and deepen insights into the country’s energy performance. The site brings together datasets, tools, and applications on energy use. The free datasets and tools have been gathered from agencies across the Federal government with the goal of empowering all Americans to understand energy issues, including energy consumption within the Federal government.

To go to the site, click here.


Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant.

Pakistan gears up for GIS-based census

The Census Commission in Pakistan is getting ready to start up the process of defining new census blocks — which is likely to affect delimitation — on a district basis in Karachi using GPS and GIS technologies. According to Sindh Census Commissioner Noor Muhammad Leghari, soon a new house listing will be carried out that is a mandatory exercise before a population census.

For more information, click here.


Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant.

Night-time maps reveal disease hotspots

Research led by researchers at Princeton University found the technique to accurately indicate fluctuations in population density – and thus the risk of epidemic. The report published in the journal Science on December 9th showed that nighttime-lights imagery presents a new tool for pinpointing disease hotspots in developing nations. This is done by revealing the population boom that typically coincides with seasonal epidemics. The images can indicate where people are clustering by capturing the expansion and increasing brightness of lighted areas in urban areas.

For more information, click here.


Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant.

Mapping AEDs in Philly

A group of Penn Medicine researchers is set to save lives with cell phone cameras — and they’re challenging the public to help. The MyHeartMap Challenge, a month-long contest slated to take place beginning in mid January, will send thousands of Philadelphians to the streets and to social media sites to locate as many automated external defibrillators (AEDs) as they can. The contest is just a first step in what the Penn team hopes will grow to become a nationwide, crowd-sourced AED registry project that will put the lifesaving devices in the hands of anyone, anywhere, anytime. Armed with a free app installed on their mobile phones, contest participants will snap pictures of the lifesaving devices — which are used to restore cardiac arrest victims’ hearts to their normal rhythm – wherever they find them in public places around the city.

Information taken directly from: press release via AnyGeo

Sachiye Day, VERTICES research assistant.

Los Angeles maps bike lanes in city

The city of L.A.’s transportation department released an interactive online map of bike lanes and routes this week, the first of its kind from the agency.

The map shows existing and planned bikeways from the city’s bicycle master plan, a measure passed by the Los Angeles City Council in March 2011 that calls for an eventual network of 1,680 miles of linked bikeways.

Information taken directly from: LA Times Blog

Sachiye Day, VERTICES intern.

Emergency Medical Center Locator App

released the Emergency Medical Center Locator application that locates the nearest emergency medical facilities in 101 countries including the United States. It is available as a free download through iTunes. The application was built for the Biomedical Research and Education Foundation. Their mission is to provide unbiased information resources about biomedical products for patients and their physician.

Source: Philly Biz Journal

Sachiye Day, VERTICES intern.

Health Board Maps Use of Hazardous Breast Implants

In Estonia, the Health Board is asking women who undergone breast augmentation to determine the type of their implants and help the agency to map the use of the hazardous PIP silicon gel prosthesis. Women are asked to contact the Board with details to help build the map and track down others who may be impacted.

Source: ERR

Sachiye Day, VERTICES intern.

Grant Supports Where to Put Medical Devices

To provide information for the development of medical diagnostic devices, the Makerere University College of Health Sciences in Kampala, Uganda, will receive a grant of $500,000(Shs1.2b) for three years from Grand Challenges Canada and Melinda Gates Foundation. The grant is on behalf of the East African Community. Through using GIS, the researchers will determine both where the medical diagnostic devices can help the most people, but also where the devices can run and be sustainable so that developers can create products that will withstand the elements in different areas.

Source: All Africa

SachiyeDay, VERTICES intern.

The First All-Ireland Cancer Atlas

Through a collaborative publication by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry at Queen’s University Belfast and the National Cancer Registry in Cork, the first All-Ireland Cancer Atlas was created. Among the findings, the reported showed people in Northern Ireland to face a greater risk of developing lung cancer than those living in the Republic of Ireland. However, people in Northern Ireland are at lower risk of developing skin cancer. It is a PDF file accessible via this intro page.

Source: BBC

Sachiye Day, VERTICES intern.

Status of health information technology by state

Iwatch created a map of “where states stand in distributing Medicaid incentive payments for adoption of health information technology.”

Source: iWatch News

Sachiye Day, VERTICES intern.

Experts say need for enhanced environment information exchange

The Eye on Earth Conference and Exhibition saw an esteemed group of speakers that brought forth the importance of information sharing to sustain the environment and deal with global environmental challenges.

Sha Zukang, Undersecretary General of the United Nations, stressed the need for geospatial data to better equip ourselves for unforeseen circumstances. “Of particular interest is the advancement in geospatial information collection and analysis…GIS helps in disaster preparedness as well as mitigating its effects. Flood hazard mapping has proven to be vital for planning in flood prone areas. GIS can be humanity’s eye on earth.”

Monique Barbut, CEO of the Global Environment Facility also underlined the significance of technology to address some of the global challenges, saying that GIS and remote sensing can be applied in the developing world to support sustainable environment management practices.

The Eye on Earth Summit, taking place at Abu Dhabi during 12th to 15th December 2011, brings together the world’s foremost thinkers and environment activists to create awareness about the significance of proper dissemination of information and promote sustainable development. The Summit is being organized by the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Global Environmental Data Initiative (AGEDI) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

Source: Geospatial World

Sachiye Day, VERTICES intern.



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