University Consortium for
|In this issue||
Announced, Deadline November 15
by Suzy Jampoler
UCGIS has identified urban and regional planning as one of the critical GI Science applications areas. Over the last eighteen months, UCGIS member universities have researched the integration of urban indicator analysis and GI Science, and designed web-based training materials, through a grant with The Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Policy Development and Research.
HUD OPD&R has awarded UCGIS $169,625 for a Phase II grant on Global Urban Quality: An Analysis of Urban Indicators Using Geographic Information Science.
This Phase II grant is for follow-on research to evaluate and integrate the training materials created during Phase I, and disseminate them through a series of workshops.
The goals of the training research are to:
For phase-two, the UCGIS Research Projects Committee will select one university to lead an evaluation effort and design workshop materials. The team will compare the original approaches and methods, and work toward a common look and feel of training materials, while at the same time allowing for unique features needed for different types of analyses and differing local needs.
The GIS and spatial analysis methods used in this project were adapted to developing countries that are characterized by poor data and where local authorities have limited capacity to monitor urban growth and change. The emerging colonias settlements along the US-Mexican border are a case in point. The Office of Housing and Urban Development defines colonias as "rural communities and neighborhoods located within 150 miles of the US-Mexican border”. Their conditions mirror those of informal settlements on the urban fringe in developing countries in that they lack adequate infrastructure and other basic facilities. The UCGIS team will design workshop training materials to include applications of these border communities.
A major portion of the budget, and effort to be expended, is devoted to travel for two workshops. These workshops will bring participants from developing countries together with the original research team. The resulting exchange through training sessions and personal contact will allow participants to apply GIS to real urban problems.
In addition to the on-line training courses, UCGIS private affiliate, ESRI, will provide software and virtual campus courses to the workshop participants. Because they will have permanent access to the software, the participants will be able to quickly transfer their newly learned skills to additional applications once they return to their agencies.
by Suzy Jampoler
The University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) has recently completed a project, Global Urban Quality: An Analysis of Urban Indicators Using Geographic Information Science (GIScience), sponsored by the Office of Policy Development and Research, Department of Housing and Urban Development. The research focus was on the integration of urban indicators at the sub-city level into a geographic information system (GIS) for urban analysis.
Five UCGIS member institutions participated in the grant activity: University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, University of Iowa, Virginia Commonwealth University, West Virginia University, and University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee. Each university collaborated with academic institutions and government agencies in emerging nations to develop web-based training and analysis programs on the application of geographic information systems for urban indicator modeling.
The project complements the Urban Indicators Programme of the United Nation’s Global Urban Observatory. The research goal was to improve the quality of life within large metropolitan areas by improving decision-making capabilities. In the first year pilot project, the universities developed training exercises, and decision-support models.
The international partners stressed the importance of capacity building and continuous monitoring, and analysis. Regular monitoring of sub-urban area indicators is needed to identify emerging urban issues. Although, inter-city comparisons are useful to assess comparative status and progress, intra-city monitoring and indicators are crucial to good practices for managing urban systems. The partnerships of UCGIS universities and their international collaborators emphasized the strengthening of local capacity, where important issues are clarified and key stakeholders are involved in setting priorities through an informed consultative process.
The developed applications highlighted in the research were based on the requirements of the local partnering communities. These applications ranged from:
Incorporating neighborhood-level indicators to evaluate the accessibility and quality of urban infrastructure in residential areas. Indicators included connection to water, sewage, electricity and telephone, accessibility to potable water, consumption of water and the median price of water.
by Duane Marble
Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) has continued its support of the UCGIS Model Curricula project through a $25,000 grant. ESRI’s generous contribution to this important program will allow the Task Force to complete the Strawman stage of the curricula development.
The Task Force is working to define and prepare for implementation closely linked Model Curricula in GI Science and Technology to provide a baseline for restructuring existing undergraduate programs in GI S&T, and for the establishment of new educational services. This efficient, flexible, multi-path curricula structure is designed for four-year undergraduate programs.
The Task Force is in the final stages of completing a draft of a Body of Knowledge statement for Geographic Information Science and Technology. This draft will be finalized at the Tempe meeting of the Task Force in early November and will then be released for general public comment. The BoK, when broken down into smaller units will form the basis for the linked curricula.