ISPRS and UNESCO supported summer school in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage

The International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) announced the International Summer School in Archaeology and Cultural Heritage to be held from 9-14 May 2008 in the congress centre Centro Stefano Franscini on Monte Verità, Ascona, Switzerland. The summer school is being supported by UNESCO, ISPRS, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), University of Siena, B. Kessler Foundation and University of California Merced.

The International Summer School in Archaeology is a well-established interdisciplinary event. This events represents an important occasion to establish contacts between experts in archaeology, cultural heritage, art history and experts from remote sensing, photogrammetry, CAD, spatial information science, computer graphics, virtual reality, etc.

The School emphasizes international composition of the audience, extended discussions between participants and direct relationships between lecturers and students, which ultimately could lead to joint projects. The Summer Schools organized in the last decades dealt with themes which have created important initiatives and international debate aimed at advancing archaeological work in Europe and beyond.

In general the Schools emphasize an interdisciplinary concept, involving the use of techniques from natural, geo- and engineering sciences in archaeology and natural/cultural heritage. This years school will address the various issues in archaeology related to the systematic and correct use of 3D models for documentation and conservation that have got attention recently.

The school will face and discuss various problems associated with the technological implementations in the areas of 2d as well as 3D giving participants the opportunity to obtain a detailed overview of the main methods and applications to archaeological and conservation research and practice.

There is also a grant program associated with the school and the deadline for the grant application submission is 15th February 2008. More details about the school can be found at the web site http://www.3darchaeology.org/

International Journal of Health Geographics' latest website articles (1 to 30 December 2007) published

The latest articles from International Journal of Health Geographics, published between 1 to 30 December 2007.

'The role of neighborhood level socioeconomic characteristics in Salmonella infections in Michigan (1997-2007): assessment using geographic information system'. M.Younus, E. Hartwick, A. Siddiqi, M. Wilkins, H. Davies, M. Rahbar, J. Funk and M. Saeed.

'Environmental conditions and Puumala virus transmission in Belgium'. C. Linard, K. Tersago, H. Leirs and E. Lambin.


Latest version of ArcGIS Explorer released

ESRI announced today the latest release of ArcGIS Explorer. The new version (ArcGIS Explorer 440) includes more ways to customize your maps, efficient methods of communicating information about features on your custom maps, and instantaneous navigation to target areas around the globe.

Performance when connecting to ArcIMS services has significantly increased, enabling users to better leverage the many existing 2D services in their ArcGIS Explorer 3D environment. In addition, users can now access ArcIMS sublayers, enabling the selection of desired content and providing better control.

This release also includes new billboarded point symbol sets as well as the ability for users to add their own custom symbols from local images or images found on the Web.

Pop-up windows are now supported for both results and local data sources and can be customized and configured using style sheets. This enables users to create better visual representations and communicate detailed information for specific features.

Other improvements include better KML support, new navigation options, access to map layer properties, enhanced result management, and more.

To download the latest version of ArcGIS Explorer and access the ArcGIS Explorer Resource Center, visit http://www.esri.com/arcgisexplorer.

Fellowships available for CETL SPatial Literacy IN Teaching

The SPatial Literacy IN Teaching CETL would like to offer a number of 'Visiting Fellowships' to a maximum of £5000 for 2008.

The Visiting Fellowship Scheme seeks to attract colleagues working in other Higher Education Institutions (HEIs)in the UK and overseas to come and use our facilities and work with our staff in one of the three SPLINT institutions (University of Leicester, University of Nottingham, University College London) on aspects of spatial literacy/spatial thinking for a specified period of time so that both parties can enhance their expertise.

The Fellowships will cover a contribution towards expenses incurred (for example travel, subsistence, accommodation and agreed research and development costs to a maximum of £5000) but would not normally cover any contribution towards salary or time. Access will be provided to office space, computer, other ICT equipment and the library.

Fellowship holders will be expected to:

•Work collaboratively with SPLINT staff
•Agree outputs from the visit (this might involve a conference paper and a publication jointly authored with SPLINT staff or a fully-developed joint student project)
• Present to an audience within the SPLINT institutions
•Agree to participate in any evaluation of the broader fellowship scheme/SPLINT CETL following the period of the visit.

Please see http://www.le.ac.uk/geography/s[...] for details if you are interested.

The deadline for receipt of letters of application and curriculum vitae is January 14th 2008.

Ordnance Survey API Code to Web 2.0 Applications

Web developers are this week previewing a free online platform to help them experiment with some of the world’s most advanced geographic information.

OS OpenSpace enables web-savvy users to build mash-ups with a range of Ordnance Survey data in line with government aims to make public sector information more accessible.

Under an application programming interface (API) developers will register for a feed of data to experiment with non-commercially. It includes a range of mapping scales covering the whole of Great Britain down to street level.

This week’s stage involves a hands-on preview to a dedicated group of developers who will have exclusive access to test functionality and build applications ahead of a public launch early in the new year.

Ordnance Survey is keen to ensure its community of more than 500 business partners support OS OpenSpace. Partners will be able to offer their own equivalent experimentation platform as well as offer developers a path to help take forward ideas suitable for commercial application.

Developers can access up to 30 000 “tiles” or extracts of data a day and up to 1 000 place name look-ups. OS OpenSpace allows users to add markers, lines and polygons on top of Ordnance Survey maps, search for place names with a gazetteer and display other location data from elsewhere on the web.

The platform is a JavaScript API that uses “slippy map” technology, so users can grab and move images in different directions. As well as the API itself, OS OpenSpace will include a community website so developers can discuss, review and collaborate on projects.

OS OpenSpace comes just three months after Ordnance Survey launched its explore portal enabling users to create and share walking routes over the web. So far, explore has 1400 members with 800 individual routes posted.

Ordnance Survey’s Developer Partner programme also helps individuals and organisations that have potentially marketable ideas for using mapping information. This is a one-year, low-cost package of technical and business support with access to sample data.

The Cabinet Office recognised Ordnance Survey’s progress towards OS OpenSpace in its response earlier this year to an independent review of how public sector information is created and shared over the internet.

For more information on OS OpenSpace visit http://openspace.ordnancesurvey[...] For information on explore, visit http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk[...]

Mimas featured on the BBC: 'Under the Radar' report

Scientists at the University of Manchester have developed a radar system which can penetrate thick cloud. Mimas will be providing regular updates using satellite data/radar with regard to Morecambe Bay to try to avoid tragedies like the cockle pickers' deaths there recently.

Kamie Kitmitto, from Mimas, was featured on the BBC North West news report. You can see the 'Under the Radar' report at:


The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), Inc. seeks public comment on a draft OpenGIS® Encoding Standard (OGC KML) for KML 2.2

The Open Geospatial Consortium, Inc. (OGC®) seeks public comment on a draft OpenGIS® Encoding Standard (OGC KML) for KML 2.2, a XML-based encoding schema for expressing geographic annotation and visualization on existing or future web-based online maps (2d) and Earth browsers (3d).

The draft OGC KML 2.2 standard formalizes the KML 2.2 model and language while remaining backwards compatible with existing KML 2.2 files. In comparison with the Google KML 2.2 Reference, the draft standard defines:

- the KML 2.2 geometry encoding and interpolation model;
- an extension model in support of application profiles;
- conformance requirements and test cases.

The submission of KML into the OGC consensus process by the RFC Submission team led by Google and Galdos Systems Inc. ensures that KML will be aligned with international best practices and standards, thereby enabling greater uptake and interoperability of Earth browser implementations.

The draft OpenGIS KML v2.2 Encoding Standard is available at http://www.opengeospatial.org/s[...] Suggested changes and comments on this draft are welcome and encouraged. Submit comments via email using the instructions and template provided at the website above. Extensive comments may be included directly in the PDF file using the free Acrobat Reader product, provided that they are referenced from the email itself.

The public comment period will remain open until January 4, 2008.

Galileo satellite-navigation project receives unanimous backing from EU transport ministers

Galileo satellite-navigation project receives unanimous backing from EU transport ministers EU transport ministers have decided to press on with the multi-billion euro Galileo satellite-navigation project. The decision was made initially without the support of Spain, but it too finally threw its backing behind the troubled and much delayed venture.

Ministers had until the end of the year to reach an agreement. The system is supposed to be in operation by 2013.

For the full story, please go to the BBC article at

GRASS development team announces release of GRASS GIS 6.2.3

The GRASS development team announced in late November the release of a new bugfix version of GRASS GIS. This release fixes a number of bugs discovered in the 6.2.2 source code.

It is primarily for stability purposes and adds minimal new features. Besides bug fixes it also includes a number of new message translations and updates for the help pages.

Highlights include further maturation of the GRASS 6 GUI, vector, and database code. Some improvements have been backported from the GRASS 6.3 development branch where new development continues at a strong pace of approximately one code commit every hour, including major work on an all new cross-platform wxPython GUI and a native MS Windows port.


International Journal of Health Geographics' latest website articles (1 to 30 November 2007) published

International Journal of Health Geographics Editorial
'Web GIS in practice V: 3-D interactive and real-time mapping in Second Life.' Boulos M. Kamel and D. Burden.

'Evaluating the effect of neighbourhood weight matrices on smoothing properties of Conditional Autoregressive (CAR) models.' A. Earnest, G. Morgan, K. Mengersen, L. Ryan, R. Summerhayes and J. Beard.

'Effect of spatial resolution on cluster detection: a simulation study.' A. Ozonoff, C. Jeffery, J. Manjourides, White L. Forsberg and M. Pagano.

'Using participatory design to develop (public) health decision support systems through GIS.' S. Driedger, A. Kothari, J. Morrison, M. Sawada, E. Crighton and I. Graham.

'Associations of social and material deprivation with tobacco, alcohol, and psychotropic drug use, and gender: a population-based study.' M. Baumann, E. Spitz, F. Guillemin, J. Ravaud, M. Choquet, B. Falissard, N. Chau and L. Group.


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