Wednesday, October 5,
12:00 noon ***Oakes Lounge, Whig Hall***
Mapping and Emergency Response: Managing a Flood of Data
Bill Guthe, Wangyal Shawa
Following any significant event, people expect to find information on-line regarding the event’s location and potential impacts. Such information is provided through existing GIS datasets, satellite images, on-site sensors, and eyewitnesses, and comes more quickly and in greater detail than ever. The greatest challenges are to assess data quality and relevance, judge spatial accuracy and precision, and make the data available for others to analyze and present. International structures to manage spatial data will be described, and examples of recent earthquakes, public events, and hurricanes will be explored.
About the speakers:
Bill Guthe helps faculty, staff and students use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and satellite image processing software. Prior to joining OIT in 2000, he held a number of positions in New Jersey state government integrating GIS into environmental decision-making. Bill works closely with Tsering Wangyal Shawa, the GIS librarian in the Princeton University Library, to provide training and ongoing support to GIS and remote sensing software users. These include short training sessions, half-semester courses, and customized training provided as part of other courses. Bill also helps individuals with coding or processing issues they may encounter using the software. With Mike Chupa, Bill supports users of the PICSciE Visualization Laboratory to explore spatial and scientific information in a large-screen, high-definition display environment.
Wangyal Shawa is a Geographic Information Systems and Map Librarian at Princeton University. In this role, Mr. Shawa is responsible for the design, launching, and management of an automated digital cartographic and geospatial information service in a campus-wide networked environment. He has widespread experience in geospatial data selection, software and hardware and holds degrees in the areas of library science, education, geography, and cartography. He is an active member of the American Library Association Map and Geography Round Table (ALA MAGERT) and was the chair of ALA MAGERT (2005-2006). He was selected by the National Research Council and the Federal Geographic Data Committee’s Homeland Security Working Group to study and publish reports on “Licensing Geographic Data and Services” and “Guidelines for Providing Appropriate Access to Geospatial Data in Response to Security Concerns.” He was born in Tibet and has lived and taught geography and cartography to high school and undergraduate students in India, Nepal, Kenya, and Sudan.
Emmanuel Kreike, Associate Professor of History at Princeton, combines models and methodologies from the humanities and social sciences with approaches from environmental science and forestry to analyze how ecological, political, social, cultural, and economic processes affect the use and management of natural resources in past and present southern Africa.
To study the past and the sweeps of environmental change, Africanists and indeed, many humanists and scientists have conventionally relied upon written archival records as well as oral histories, the individual perspectives of elders or oral traditions that have been handed down through the generations. The nature of the existing data made it difficult or impossible for researchers in any field to establish a link to the physical reality or even to draw meaningful conclusions about the complex processes of environmental change. Oral histories, for example, often tell us more about the present than the conditions in the past.