News

Katie Patrick will be presenting “Saving the Planet with Maps + Gamification” at the next GeoBytes webinar on Friday, April 9th at 12:00 pm EST. The webinar is FREE for all CaGIS members.

Please see the CaGIS GeoBytes page for more information on registering.

Abstract

Games are a big deal. But can they save the planet? Since the recent tech startup boom, entrepreneurs have been investing in the art of getting their users to do stuff – triggering a renaissance in the field of behavioral psychology. Designers then took another step, looking to understand why games are so effective at getting their players hooked – and called this new approach gamification. What happens when you put behavioral design, gamification, and technology entrepreneurship together with big environmental causes like climate change, air pollution, and deforestation? Can we change people’s environmental behavior using gamification techniques? Can we make saving the world as fun as a game?

“There is a powerful wave of environmental innovation building. We’re building a distributed operating system for the planet, an Earth OS. When we show environmental data to humans in a real-time feedback loop, it becomes like game, and really gives them the feeling of agency that makes change happen. The “Fitbit for the Planet” movement holds great opportunity for startups, innovation, and environmental action, yet few people know yet what a big deal it is. I hope my book will help unlock our imagination to make gamified apps and projects that make saving the world the greatest game on Earth.”


Katie Patrick is an Australian-American environmental engineer, designer, and author of How to Save the World: How to make changing the world the greatest game ever played. She specializes in applying data-driven, gamification, and behavior-change techniques to environmental problems which she calls “Fitbit for the Planet” design.

Katie is the founder of UrbanCanopy.io, a map-based application that uses satellite imaging of urban heat islands and vegetation cover to encourage urban greening and cooling initiatives. She is also the co-founder of Energy Lollipop, a Chrome extension and outdoor screen project that shows the electric grid’s CO2 emissions in real-time.

Katie has been a media spokesperson on environmental issues and has been featured on TV, radio and in magazines including the BBC, Vogue Australia, and ABC. She was CEO of the VC-funded green-lifestyle magazine Green Pages Australia and was appointed environmental brand ambassador by the Ogilvy Earth advertising agency for Volkswagen, Lipton Tea, and Wolfblass Wines. She has served on the board of Australia’s national eco-label, Good Environmental Choice Australia, and won the 2008 Cosmopolitan Woman of the Year Award for entrepreneurship.

After graduating from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology with a B.Eng in Environmental Engineering, she worked as an environmental design engineer for building engineers Lincoln Scott in Sydney Australia on some of the world’s first platinum-LEED-certified commercial buildings.

Katie lives in San Francisco with her young daughter, Anastasia.

The US National Committee (USNC) has secured funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support US based early career scholars (ECS) participating in the 30th International Cartographic Conference and International Cartographic Exhibition in Florence, Italy, on December 14-18, 2021. ECS participating in this hybrid conference remotely can seek support to cover registration fees. ECS attending the conference in person can seek travel support to help offset the costs of travel, lodging, and per diem costs in addition to registration. The ECS funding is available to American and international scholars at U.S. institutions, including undergraduate and graduate students, and those with PhD or master’s degrees earned within the previous five years. Please visit cartogis.org/usnc-ica for up-to-date information about submission deadlines and application materials. Support is based on a competitive evaluation of submitted materials.

Pete Chirico will be presenting “Temporal Geomorphic Change Mapping using SfM DEMs from Historical Aerial Photography as a Complement to 3DEP Lidar Data” at the next GeoBytes webinar on Friday, March 12th at 12:00 pm EST. The webinar is FREE for all CaGIS members.

Please see the CaGIS GeoBytes page for more information on registering.

Abstract

Increasing urbanization and suburban growth in cities globally has highlighted the importance of land planning using detailed geomorphologic maps that depict anthropogenic landform changes. Such mapping provides information crucial for land management and the challenges arising from urbanization. The development and use of quantitative and repeatable methods to map anthropogenic and natural processes are required to advance the science of urban geomorphological mapping. This study created digital terrain models (DTMs) from historical aerial images using Structure from Motion (SfM) for a variety of image dates, resolutions, and photo scales. Accuracy assessments were performed on the SfM DTMs, and they were compared to the USGS’s three-dimensional digital elevation program (3DEP) light detection and ranging (lidar) DTMs to evaluate geomorphic change thresholds based on vertical accuracy assessments and elevation change methodologies. The results of this study document a relationship between historical aerial photo scales and predicted vertical accuracy of the resultant DTMs. The results may be used to assess geomorphic change thresholds over multi-decadal timescales depending on spatial scale, resolution, and accuracy requirements. Further, the work presented contributes to a discussion about the growing importance of sequential elevation change detection to complement land-cover/land-use change mapping in urban and natural environments.

Pete Chirico is the Associate Center Director of the USGS Bascom Geoscience Center in Reston, VA. In over 24 years at USGS, he has focused his research on various aspects of remote sensing and geomorphology including anthropogenic landform change and mapping and monitoring illicit small-scale mining in conflict zones. Pete develops tools and techniques to map elevation change from sequential digital elevation models from a variety of remote sensing sources including aerial photography, satellite imagery, lidar and structure-from-motion photogrammetry. He has worked extensively with the U.S. Government, the United Nations, and the Kimberley Process to understand how natural resource exploitation contribute to conflict financing. While his regional expertise is Sub-Saharan Africa, he has led or been a member of more than 30 field expeditions throughout Central America and the Caribbean, the Middle East, and Africa. He is author/coauthor of over 50 peer reviewed scientific reports and journal articles in the fields of geography, geomorphology, remote sensing, and natural resources. Since 2017, Pete has served as scientific
and technical advisor to the Office of Threat Finance Countermeasures in the Department of State’s Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs. In February 2021, Pete was awarded a US Embassy Science Fellowship to the US Embassy in Georgetown, Guyana to focus on mapping forest and land-cover changes due to small-scale gold mining using radar remote sensing and geospatial modelling techniques. Degrees: PhD Candidate (expected 2022) in Geography and Environmental Systems, University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC); MA in Geography, University of South Carolina; and BA in Geography, University of Mary Washington.

Odean Serrano and Meredith Gore will be presenting “Systemic Artificial Intelligence Architecture for Wildlife Trafficking and the Links to Transnational Crimes” at the next GeoBytes webinar on Friday, February 26th at 12:00 pm EST. The webinar is FREE for all ASPRS and CaGIS members and $25 for non-members.

Please see the CaGIS GeoBytes page for more information on registering.

Abstract

Presently machine learning and Artificial Intelligence offer a suite of novel solutions for understanding and resolving complex societal problems. “AI for Social Good” provides tools for understanding, predicting, forecasting challenges such as wildlife trafficking, a globally distributed transnational crime generating billions of USD annually. Bringing the suite of AI possibilities to bear on the problem on wildlife trafficking requires we understand each variable and the interactions among the variables across all geographies of the crime. Specifically, understanding the supply chain reach, function, the commodities, the level actors, the networks, the physical infrastructures and transport modes, the markets, and the fabricated demand, and the convergence of wildlife trafficking with other transnational crimes.

This presentation will discuss the rudimentary building blocks that comprise the wildlife trafficking supply chain across space and time. Each node along the supply chain is a crime ecosystem in it of itself and thus requires associated disciplines along the continuum to address the critical nodes along the continuum.

Within a wildlife trafficking AI model, it is necessary to plot: 1) the entities that derive data and analysis within and across each of the model nodes; 2) the authoritative Law Enforcement stakeholders that will be using individual segments of the AI model; 3) each level and scale of the operational and strategic entities that will be applying the knowledge attained from an aggregated Transnational Crimes model depiction. Using a common ontology for measuring and defining these variables can help advance that mission. The result is that multiple stakeholders will be the audience and recipient to augment their missions and operations from the knowledge of the nodes and node interactions. The aim of this work is the multi-disciplinary application for economic stability and societal good.

Dr. Odean Serrano worked for the U.S. Government for 26 years. At NASA Kennedy Space Center she was shuttle operations engineer overseeing the collaboration of engineering teams readying space shuttles for launch and landing. At NASA Headquarters she led inter-agency partnerships and was a co-author on 3 Presidential Executive Orders. In 2005, Odean joined the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency as an intelligence officer. She designed and led an Intelligence Community (IC) environmental security mission addressing climate, water, food, and ecosystems in alignment with national security priorities and led a series of interagency fora to address each of the environmental security themes. In 2015, the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper designated Odean as the first IC lead for Combatting Wildlife Trafficking (CWT), representing all IC agencies on the CWT Presidential Task Force and spearheaded the first InterAgency CWT Symposium. She served as an IC/University liaison forging partnerships and student pathwaysfor the next generation of geospatial professionals. Odean retired from the USG in 2018 and founded the Countering Wildlife Trafficking Institute to provide GEOINT for the interdiction and disruption of transnational criminal networks. Dr. Serrano is a Saint Louis University Adjunct Professor and leads the GeoSLU CWT Working Group. In 2020, Odean joined the Earth League International, the First Intelligence Agency for Earth, leadig GEOINT for mission operations. Degrees: Ph.D. Environmental Science and Policy, George Mason University; MS in Environmental Science and Policy, Johns Hopkins; BS Mathematics, University of S. Florida, Tampa.

Dr. Meredith Gore is a conservation social scientist exploring relationships between human behavior and the environment, an Associate Professor in the Department Geographical Sciences at University of Maryland, and lead PI for the NSF. Prior, Dr. Gore was an Associate Professor in the Department of Fisheries & Wildlife in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Michigan State University (MSU). She also serves as a senior science advisor at the State Department Office of the Geographer and Global Issues. She assists the leadership on the Presidential Task Force on Wildlife Trafficking and other efforts under the US Strategy to Combat Wildlife Trafficking. Dr. Gore writes analysis and intelligence assessments for senior Department and US Government officials on environment, science, technology and health issues, including wildlife trafficking, illegal fishing, illegal logging, climate change, health security, and other scientific and technical issues that influence foreign policy and national security. Dr. Gore is currently a PI on two National Science Foundation awards: Detecting and Interdicting Illicit Wildlife Trafficking Supply Chains and Disrupting Wildlife Trafficking Networks and CoInvestigator on Network Exploring Wildlife Trade. Degrees: PhD in Natural Resource Policy and Management, Cornell University, MA in Environment and Resource Policy, George Washington University, and BA in Anthropology and Environmental Studies, Brandeis University.

CaGIS is happy to announce that Terry Slocum (University of Kansas) and Kari Craun (USGS) have been awarded the Distinguished Career Award this year. The CaGIS Distinguished Career Award honors the accomplishments of senior professionals who have contributed substantially to the advancements of the fields of cartography, GIS or GIScience, or the interface between cartography and GIScience.

CaGIS hopes to honor both Terry and Kari for their outstanding accomplishments in-person at our next opportunity! In the meantime, we thank them profoundly for both their service to the organization and for their impact on the discipline.

The CaGIS 2021 Elections are under way and are open until Feb 18, 2021! For this election there is one open board member seat and one vice president seat. 

We have one (1) candidate for Vice President: Xiaobai Angela Yao (Professor, Department of Geography, University of Georgia)

We have a one (1) candidate for one (1) Board of Directors position: Gaurav Sinha (Associate Professor, Department of Geography, Ohio University Athens)

To cast your vote, please visit the election page. Only CaGIS members are able to vote per CaGIS bylaws.

Children ages 15 and under are encouraged to submit a hand made map for the 2021 Barbara Petchenik Children’s Map Competition. First, second, and third place winners are selected in four age categories: under 6 years old, 6 to 8 years old, 9 to 12 years old, and 13 to 15 years old. Six entries will be chosen to represent the United States in the international Barbara Petchenik Children’s World Map Drawing Competition.

This year’s theme, “A Map of My Future World!”, may be illustrated in any way, using pictures, drawings, words, objects, or other graphical elements, but the illustration must include (somewhere) a map of all or a large portion of the world, with recognizable continents, age-appropriate features, and/or representations. The maps should tell a story or convey a message about the world—in this case, the world of the future. This future maybe interpreted as tomorrow, or the world in 50 years, or centuries beyond!

Postmark entries by April 10 to meet the April 15, 2021, deadline!

For more information, please visit cartogis.org/awards/children.

The National Landslide Preparedness Act (H.R. 8810) was signed into law on 1/5/21.  The Act establishes a new National Landslide Hazards Reduction Program and statutorily establishes the 3D Elevation Program, both within USGS.  The text of the Act is here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/8810/text.

The 3DEP Program includes the following elements: 

  • Establishment of a 3D Elevation Federal Interagency Coordinating Committee. 
  • Establishment of a new Subcommittee of the National Geospatial Advisory Committee. 
  • Establishment of a Grants and Cooperative Agreements process 
  • Authorization of funding: “For each of fiscal years 2021 through 2024, there is authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary $40,000,000 to carry out this section.” 

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