Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago are developing tools that merge urban design with scientific analysis to improve the decision-making process associated with large-scale urban developments. One such tool, called LakeSim, has been prototyped with an initial focus on consumer-driven energy and transportation demand, through a partnership with the Chicago-based architectural and engineering design firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Clean Energy Trust and developer McCaffery Interests. LakeSim began with the need to answer practical questions about urban design and planning, requiring a better understanding about the long-term impact of design decisions on energy and transportation demand for a 600-acre development project on Chicago’s South Side—the Chicago Lakeside Development project.
Two years ago, Hurricane Sandy made landfall along the U.S. East Coast, and the storm’s strong winds and waves altered the shoreline and the seafloor. The New York metropolitan region got hit especially hard. Suddenly, our coastal elevation models were no longer accurate. Emergency planners need up-to-date models, though. Small features on the seafloor and shoreline can dictate where sea water may surge in and where flood water may flow during storms. Now, federal and Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) researchers from NOAA’s National Geophysical Data Center (NGDC) in Boulder, Colorado, are updating detailed elevation models of the coast, above and below the waterline, in areas transformed by Hurricane Sandy, from the Delaware Bay to the Eastern tip of Long Island. First up is the New Jersey coast.
Graduates of higher education programs in geographic information systems and science who can code software and build apps are highly sought after by employers. David DiBiase, Esri’s director of education, explains how the Esri Development Center (EDC) program confers special status and benefits upon a select few leading university departments that challenge their students to develop innovative applications based upon the ArcGIS platform.
Through time the surface of the earth has become a mosaic of natural and cultural landscapes. Each patch of the mosaic forms part of a diverse, yet interconnected set of landscapes ranging from relatively pristine natural ecosystems to completely human-dominated urban and industrial areas. The scale of landscape change ranges from local (conversion of a farm into a suburb) to regional (conversion of tall grass prairie ecosystems to agriculture) to global changes (changing climate conditions, sea level rise).
Deverick Anderson, MD, an epidemiologist for Duke Medicine, is using a new tool at Duke to hunt down hidden sources of contamination of antibiotic resistant microbes. His target is Clostridium difficile (C. difficile), a dangerous antibiotic-resistant bug that the Centers for Disease Control calculates contributes to 14,000 deaths in the U.S. each year. The new tool, DEDUCE-GEO, uses big data patients' geocoded home addresses.
As the world wakes up to the power of data, we need to start working out how to join up all this information. We need to turn it into meaningful findings that will help us to make changes to the way we live. A new technique is emerging as part of this quest – the data mashup. This approach to linking data could help us shed light on phenomena such as the health impacts of climate change.
In war-torn Syria, five of six World Heritage sites now "exhibit significant damage" and some structures have been "reduced to rubble," according to new high-resolution satellite image analysis by the nonprofit, nonpartisan American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).