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The “GIS and Agent-Based Modeling” blog reports on GAMA, an open source GIS-ABM tool that looks quite interesting:
GAMA is a simulation platform, which aims at providing field experts, modelers, and computer scientists with a complete modeling and simulation development environment for building spatially explicit agent-based simulations. It is being developed by several French and Vietnamese research teams under the umbrella of the IRD/UPMC International Research Unit UMMISCO since 2007.
GAMA provides the modeler with:
- The ability to use arbitrarily complex GIS data as environments for the agents.
- The possibility to run simulations composed of vast numbers of agents (up to millions).
- A way to conduct automated controlled experiments on various scenarios, with a systematic, guided or “intelligent” exploration of the space of parameters of models.
- The possibility to let users interact with the agents in the course of the simulations.
A demo video is also available.
On the Esri side, check out the (free) Agent Analyst extension.
It is not a magic incantation used by GIS wizards, just the name of an interesting project I was involved with when I worked at Galdos Systems, back in Vancouver. I just saw CEO Ron Lake has written an article about it on the company’s blog. In short, the goal of the project was to enable the distribution of HAZUS files (created with a FEMA-provided ArcGIS plugin for the estimation of potential losses from natural disasters, like earthquakes or floods) through the Canadian Multi-Agency Situational Awareness System (MASAS), used by emergency managers. Some of the UI was done with the ArcGIS Viewer for Flex (screenshot above): In the backend, it connected with INdicio (a CSW-ebRIM implementation), which provided metadata about indicators extracted from HAZUS files, as well as the contents of the indicators themselves, stored as KML documents.
I learnt today that Stamen Design have released new map styles for Open Street Map data. I really like the watercolor one, as it is quite different from what is usually seen on web maps. The other two are:
Urban Sound Ecology is a research initiative dedicated to exploring, examining, and understanding the sonic spaces of Canadian cities. At once an archive, database, and creative remapping of the city, Urban Sound Ecology is free to join and free to use. We invite interested participants to construct lines of inquiry into the aural landscape of Canadian cities by producing sequences of geo-referenced ‘soundwalks. (more)
[From The Georgia Straight]
Very inspiring, especially the part on Ushahidi.
From the Geospatial Revolution project website:
The Geospatial Revolution Project is an integrated public service media and outreach initiative about the world of digital mapping and how it is changing the way we think, behave, and interact.
The mission of the Geospatial Revolution Project is to expand public knowledge about the history, applications, related privacy and legal issues, and the potential future of location-based technologies.
Geospatial information influences nearly everything. Seamless layers of satellites, surveillance, and location-based technologies create a worldwide geographic knowledge base vital to solving myriad social and environmental problems in the interconnected global community.
Go watch it! Next episode will be available on November 2.
I have recently learned about an upcoming OGC standard that looks interesting: The Table Joining Service (formerly known as the Geographic Linkage Service or GLS). It standardizes a solution to the very common problem of mapping statistical data that is geographically related but maintained outside a GIS. To do that, the service uses a key (for example, a country or zip code) common to the statistical dataset and a geographic dataset providing the geometries.
The TJS has 2 kinds of operations:
- Data access operations: They allow the straight retrieval of statistical data in a XML format called GDAS (Geographic Data Attribute Set). One operation also provides metadata that can be used to generate suitable symbolizations automatically.
- Data joining operations: They allow the dynamic join of statistical and geographic datasets. A join query can also include SLD styling instructions. The output of the join operation is usually a custom WMS service that can be used to retrieve actual map images.
It is not yet an official standard (only a RFC has been published) but it should be adopted in the next few months.
There is already an implementation available (that was how I learned about it) in the Géoclip Server product. The publisher has a page with some more details on TJS, as well as a demo application (click on the icon at the top to access a TJS).
There is an interesting article in this week’s Economist about the use of modern mapping tools to campaign for change. Among other tools and websites, PostGIS and MapServer get a mention. On a related subject, this blog post lists a few resources that teach about actually making maps for the purpose of advocacy.
I had been trying to get into iPhone / iPod Touch application development for some time, but I was just too lazy until I bought a few weeks ago an iPod Touch (which I really like – I am playing the Sudoku game from Mighty Mighty Good Games all the time).
As my first app and to learn how it works, I have developed an opensource browser for the ArcGIS Server 9.3 REST API, which I have called AGS Touch. It is quite bare-boned right now : It is possible to browse the folders of a REST endpoint (something like http://sampleserver1.arcgisonline.com/ArcGIS/rest/services/), look at the details of a map service (such as its description, extent, layers…) and navigate the corresponding map. That’s basically it (and the map service details are not even completely filled yet). Still I have released version 0.1 with the limited functionality. Hopefully, I will make it better in the near future. Something I would like to have in the end is some kind of ArcGIS Server iPhone API (like what exists in Flex or SilverLight), although it is not quite ready yet…
I went instead with RouteMe, which is a native Objective-C library to display slippy maps on the iPhone. It works very well with OpenStreetMap and is being used in the GPS Mission client for the iPhone (see Make article). The main RouteMe library has many features, like Proj4 integration, marker overlays or multiple layers. For my purpose, I actually adapted a subproject currently in the SVN trunk called freemap-iphone (to display FreeMap tiles) since it looked simpler and easier to adapt to get something quickly. To make it event simpler, I actually dropped the tile rendrering completely : The map viewier in AGS Touch has a load-a-complete-image-for-the-extent kind of scheme, although I intend to allow tiles as well in the future.