Entries by Jill Saligoe-Simmel

What is a Geographic Information System (GIS)?

Remember those multi-layered images of the human body from middle school science class, showing the body’s skeletal system, nervous system and so on? GIS is similar. It layers modern geographical maps—of streets, buildings, neighborhoods, even subterranean infrastructure—using 21st century technology. GIS technology works by linking information stored in databases to a place or location. Users […]

Quantum GIS (qGIS) for the Mac

A while back I reviewed MyWorldGIS, indicating my disappointment with the analysis capabilities of other available free or low-cost GIS for the Mac. Well, no longer. Since its birth in 2002, Quantum GIS (qGIS) has grown to be an impressively powerful application in its own right. qGIS is an Open Source Geographic Information System (GIS) licensed […]

Transparency Infographic: Does Commuting By Car Make You Fat?

GOOD/Transparency provides a graphical exploration of the data that surrounds us. This infographic  depicts a “map” charting walking, biking, driving, and use of public transportation correlated with state obesity rate data (data sources: Trust for America’s Health; U.S. Census. Via Streetsblog). It’s a simple equation: Exercise more and lose weight. Still, many people spend most of […]

Where High-Speed Rail Works Best

Geography is about examining spatial variables and relationships, often to weed out answers to complex problems. America 2050‘s latest report, “Where High Speed Rail Works Best” (pdf) is a clear example of applied geography as it summaries the methodology used in planning a phased high speed rail network for the United States. This paper offers one […]

Kotkin on America in 2050

On May 18, 2010, geographer Joel Kotkin was interviewed on the Charlie Rose Show, discussing his new book The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050 (The Penguin Press). This book envisions what America will look like 40 years from now when America grows in population from 300-million to 400-million. Written from a geographer’s perspective (Charlie Rose’ […]

Is IT Suffocating GIS?

In an article “Why Geo Will Embrace The Cloud in 2010” in Direction Magazine, Brian Timoney of the The Timoney Group looks at the emerging cloud computing arena and poises the question, fad or not? Putting that question aside for the moment, part of Brian’s article really struck a chord with me – “IT is suffocating GIS.” […]