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December 20, 2012
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News for geographers

  Geography in Action 
  • Does geography hold the key to a healthier future?
    Geographic information can help researchers analyze a range of health topics such as food-borne illnesses and breast cancer. "These are all things where place doesn't give us all the answers, but it gives us some ideas where to look," said Russell Kirby, a professor in the College of Public Health at the University of South Florida. Kirby, who has degrees in geography and epidemiology, is working to set up a GIS/public health certificate at his university. The Charlotte Observer (N.C.)/Lake Norman News (N.C.) (12/14) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Why people make maps
    In this interview, Jerry Brotton, professor of Renaissance studies at Queen Mary, University of London; Aris Venetikidis, a map designer; and Greg Asner, an earth scientist, discuss the nature of mapmaking. One reason people make maps is to gain an understanding of the world around them, said Brotton, author of "A History of the World in Twelve Maps." "The world is a huge place, and all cultures want to try and manage it in some way," he said. "And you do that by abstracting it, by turning it into lines, into symbols that are understandable to a community." BBC (12/15) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  Research, Education and Global Change 
  • Why are Americans becoming less mobile?
    In the five-year period between 2005 and 2010, Americans changed residences at the lowest rate since the census began gathering data on the question. The majority of people who did move remained within the same county, data show. It's not clear what has caused America's mobility rate to decline, writes Eric Jaffe. The Atlantic Cities (12/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Study: Lakes Ontario, Erie face the most environmental threats
    A three-year study of humans' cumulative effects on the Great Lakes has concluded that Lakes Erie and Ontario face the greatest threats while Lake Superior faces the least. The study showed that multiple threats, including an invasive mussel species and human waste buildup, combined to endanger the lakes. "It's almost a death-by-a-thousand-cuts syndrome," said University of Wisconsin-Madison limnologist Peter McIntyre. The study was published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Detroit Free Press (12/18) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Technology and Applications 
  • Landsat8 will help to measure spread of farmland
    The Landsat8 satellite, which is scheduled to launch in February, will provide information to the U.S. Geological Survey and NASA. Among other things, the satellite will allow researchers to monitor the spread of farmland around the world, which has implications for water consumption, according to geographer Prasad Thenkabail. "Ninety percent of all human water goes to croplands," he said. Landsat5 will be decommissioned after the launch of the new satellite. The Arizona Republic (Phoenix) (12/15), East Valley Tribune (Mesa, Ariz.) (12/16) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • N.J. utility uses GIS to create Sandy damage map
    To aid recovery from Superstorm Sandy, the Municipal Utilities Authority of Toms River, N.J., used a map, based on satellite images and layers of geospatial information, to track damage throughout the region. The authority then made the map freely available to law enforcement and other recovery organizations. "In this rebuilding effort, we need to all work together off a common map. It doesn’t really make sense for one utility to go out there, dig up a street, fix pipe, fill it in, and then have the gas company out a week later and do the same thing," map creator Len Bundra said. (12/17) LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Other News
  Association News 
  • Emerging Asias: Presidential Plenary at Los Angeles AAG Meeting
    The 2013 Presidential Plenary, Emerging Asias, seeks to draw attention to the geopolitical and geoeconomic changes under way in Asia. As the global meeting place for geographers, the AAG Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, the United States' most Asian metropolis, is singularly appropriate for this discussion. Speakers include Jim Glassman, University of British Columbia; Ananya Roy, University of California, Berkeley; Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, University of California, Santa Cruz; and Fulong Wu, University College London. Read more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
  • Downtown L.A.: Always Changing
    "In a city known for its sprawl, it is easy to forget that Los Angeles has a center," writes Jennifer Mapes of Kent State University. In this article featuring the host city of the 2013 AAG Annual Meeting, Mapes notes that downtown Los Angeles rarely comes to the imagination. Instead, she observes that we tend to envision beaches, starred sidewalks or sprawling suburbs. However, downtown L.A. is a place layered in history and multifaceted stories. Read more. LinkedInFacebookTwitterEmail this Story
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No man for any considerable period can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true."
--Nathaniel Hawthorne,
American author

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