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PD-14 - GIS and Parallel Programming

Programming is a sought after skill in GIS, but traditional programming (also called serial programming) only uses one processing core. Modern desktop computers, laptops, and even cellphones now have multiple processing cores, which can be used simultaneously to increase processing capabilities for a range of GIS applications. Parallel programming is a type of programming that involves using multiple processing cores simultaneously to solve a problem, which enables GIS applications to leverage more of the processing power on modern computing architectures ranging from desktop computers to supercomputers. Advanced parallel programming can leverage hundreds and thousands of cores on high-performance computing resources to process big spatial datasets or run complex spatial models.

Parallel programming is both a science and an art. While there are methods and principles that apply to parallel programming--when, how, and why certain methods are applied over others in a specific GIS application remains more of an art than a science. The following sections introduce the concept of parallel programming and discuss how to parallelize a spatial problem and measure parallel performance.

DA-01 - GIS&T and Agriculture

Agriculture, whether in the Corn Belt of the United States, the massive rice producing areas of Southeast Asia, or the bean harvest of a smallholder producer in Central America, is the basis for feeding the world. Agriculture systems are highly complex and heterogeneous in both space and time. The need to contextualize this complexity and to make more informed decisions regarding agriculture has led to GIS&T approaches supporting the agricultural sciences in many different areas. Agriculture represents a rich resource of spatiotemporal data and different problem contexts; current and future GIScientists should look toward agricultural as a potentially rewarding area of investigation and, likewise, one where new approaches have the potential to help improve the food, environmental, and economic security of people around the world.

DA-08 - GIS&T and Archaeology

topo map and LiDAR image

Figure 1.  USGS topo map and bare earth (LiDAR) image of Tennessee’s Mound Bottom State Archaeological Area. Bare Earth DEM processed by Zada Law.

Archaeology provides a glimpse into the lives of past peoples and histories that may have otherwise been forgotten. Geographic Information Systems and Technology (GIS&T) has become an invaluable tool in this endeavor by advancing the identification, documentation, and study of archaeological resources. Large scale mapping techniques have increased the efficiency of site surveys even in challenging environments. GIS&T refers to such things as remote sensing, spatial analysis, and mapping tools. The use of GIS&T for archaeology is a truly interdisciplinary field as it borrows principles from geology, oceanography, botany, meteorology and more in order to further the science. This chapter discusses some of the primary GIS&T tools and techniques used in archaeology and the primary ways in which they are applied.

DA-04 - GIS&T and Civil Engineering

Civil Engineering, which includes sub-disciplines such as environmental, geotechnical, structural, and water resource engineering, is increasingly dependent on the GIS&T for the planning, design, operation and management of civil engineering infrastructure systems.  Typical tasks include the management of spatially referenced data sets, analytic modeling for making design decisions and estimating likely system behavior and impacts, and the visualization of systems for the decision-making process and garnering stakeholder support.

DA-37 - GIS&T and Epidemiology

Location plays an important role in human health. Where we live, work, and spend our time is associated with different exposures, which may influence the risk of developing disease. GIS has been used to answer key research questions in epidemiology, which is the study of the distribution and determinants of disease. These research questions include describing and visualizing spatial patterns of disease and risk factors, exposure modeling of geographically varying environmental variables, and linking georeferenced information to conduct studies testing hypotheses regarding exposure-disease associations. GIS has been particularly instrumental in environmental epidemiology, which focuses on the physical, chemical, biological, social, and economic factors affecting health. Advances in personal exposure monitoring, exposome research, and artificial intelligence are revolutionizing the way GIS can be integrated with epidemiology to study how the environment may impact human health.

DA-16 - GIS&T and Forestry

GIS applications in forestry are as diverse as the subject itself. Many foresters match a common stereotype as loggers and firefighters, but many protect wildlife, manage urban forests, enhance water quality, provide for recreation, and plan for a sustainable future.  A broad range of management goals drives a broad range of spatial methods, from adjacency functions to zonal analysis, from basic field measurements to complex multi-scale modeling. As such, it is impossible to describe the breadth of GIS&T in forestry. This review will cover core ways that geospatial knowledge improves forest management and science, and will focus on supporting core competencies.  

DA-09 - GIS&T and Geodesign

Geodesign leverages GIS&T to allow collaborations that result in geographically specific, adaptive and resilient solutions to complex problems across scales of the built and natural environment. Geodesign is rooted in decades of research and practice. Building on that history, is a contemporary approach that embraces the latest in GIS&T, visualization, and social science, all of which is organized around a unique framework process involving six models. More than just technology or GIS, Geodesign is a way of thinking when faced with complicated spatial issues that need systematic, creative, and integrative solutions.  Geodesign holds great promise for addressing the complexity of interrelated issues associated with growth and landscape change. Geodesign empowers through design combined with data and analytics to shape our environments and create desired futures.

DA-23 - GIS&T and Marine Science

Image courtesy of the National Academy of Sciences Ocean Studies Board

 

GIS&T has traditionally provided effective technological solutions to the integration, visualization, and analysis of heterogeneous, georeferenced data on land. In recent years, our ability to measure change in the ocean is increasing, not only because of improved measuring devices and scientific techniques, but also because new GIS&T is aiding us in better understanding this dynamic environment. The domain has progressed from applications that merely collect and display data to complex simulation, modeling, and the development of new research methods and concepts.

DA-24 - GIS&T and Marketing

Marketing is about communicating, delivering, and exchanging goods and services that are desired by customers, clients, and the public alike. They identify the groups the enterprise is striving to serve, developing offerings which match their needs, and establishing exchange relationships which satisfy those needs while accomplishing enterprise objectives of profit, service and/or social impact. Marketers use their planning processes to scan the relevant environment for opportunities, select target markets with unmet or insufficiently met needs, and design marketing mix strategies to serve them. In all of these activities, the qualitative and quantitative measures of location and geography are key.  Delivery of marketing mix strategies relies on tasks such as marketing research, market segmentation and customer profiling, all of which GIS supports.  In addition, specialized marketing functions and emerging technologies also benefit from location analytics resources. 

DA-10 - GIS&T and Real Estate

Real Estate GIS concerns all dimensions of real estate that can be better understood or operationalized by knowing its geospatial context. Improving real estate decisions via GIS and related geospatial technologies is now expected by management of all industries, as well as home-renters and home-buyers in the residential market. Real Estate GIS Specialists are individuals who have applied knowledge and skills across the disciplines of business geography, the practice of real estate, and the application of geospatial technologies to support decision making in this realm. There is a good reason why the mantra of “location, location, location” is a long-standing tenet within the business of real estate.

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