Log, February 2003

This continues justback log (Jan 2003), which is itself a continuation of my sabbatical log

3 February 2003
Back and forth with Vaughan Stanley about Civil War letters DB:

>>> Hugh Blackmer 02/02/03 11:51AM >>> Do we have any relationship with Alexander Street? http://www.alexanderstreet2.com/CWLDLive/

>>> Vaughan Stanley 02/03/03 09:09AM >>> Not at present. I have put their products out for discussion in the Reference Group before but they were always deemed too expensive. My recollection is that the quality of their database is high and they are affiliated with the Univ. of Chicago. CVS

From the look of it, I'd say this is something ACS might look into as a consortial purchase/license, especially if we could in fact hook our map interface into their database. One to keep in mind, I think.


The overall problem is to change

A generation ago this was a geographical problem and predominantly a challenge to the discipline of Geography. It is now a necessity for interdisciplinary work that involves nearly every traditional discipline.

With local resources we can build small-scale prototypes and work at basic procedures. Scaling up to ACS- or NITLE-wide production of spatial data libraries and servers requires resources (time, skills, hardware, software) that we can't find from internal sources and donated skills. IF the integration of spatial information and digital libraries and teaching-and-learning is to develop in the liberal arts context, and grow to serve and influence the very substantial community of potential users, the project becomes pretty big. How can it be built? It would have to interlink RDB technologies, ESRI (and other vendors), the Semantic Web; it would also mobilize the energies of Digital Asset Management at multiple campuses.

4 February
from Revolutionizing Science and Engineering through Cyberinfrastructure (NSF Report)

5 February
Outlining our presentation(s) for ACS GIS Symposium

in /sabb/, quotes.rtf collects some extracts from the log that I might use at lunch on the 17th

6 February
Made an extract of Environmental Studies programs at NITLE schools

7 February
Thoughts on NITLE and NSDL, in process

13 February
A flurry of blog-looking after several days of not. Many things, notably Semantic Blogging and Bibliographies - Requirements Specification

Scholarly Electronic Publishing Weblog

The ePerson Snippet Manager pdf

Also SnipSnap (noted on Seb's blog) downloaded from http://prdownloads.sourceforge.net/snipsnap/snipsnap-0.3.3a-20030122.tgz?use_mirror=unc --but looks like it's Unix/LINUX?

The CiteSeer Browser seems to be working now, as does PubMed

Haystack paper and Haystack prototype and literature

14 February
...and Haystack: A Platform for Creating, Organizing and Visualizing Information Using RDF (overview for Semantic Web Workshop 2002)

Material from SIMILE home page has a whole lot that's worth extracting and commenting on --many issues that we've talked about, anyway. This pushes me in the direction of finding out more about RDF, and the page at www.ukoln.ac.uk/metadata/dcdot creates DC and RDF metadata for a URL... and this raises the issue of redesign of the UI for Pirarucu and/or its successor in the Civil War project. The immediate issue is wanting the means to extract or create RDF as a piece of the metadata record for each item SnipIt grabs.

An extract from the various SIMILE pages

RDF Authoring Environments for End Users to appear in International Workshop on Semantic Web Foundations and Application Technologies

Ont-o-mat and download

What is RDF? (basic primer)

17 February

Geography of the Mexican-American Borderland Supplemental Readings etc (Daniel Arreola, ASU)

The Maquiladora Industry in the Arizona-Sonora Region : Impacts andTrends (2000)



GIS Modeling of Contaminant Pathways and Human Exposure in the Nogales Region of the Mexico - U. S. Border Mark V. Finco George F. Hepner Harvey J. Miller

from http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/dept/press/institute.html: Directory of Spatial Datasets to Support Environmental Research Along the United States-Mexico Border by Christopher Brown and Richard D. Wright ISBN 0-925613-15-0 Paper / Pages: 116 / $5 1995

from http://www.geo.hunter.cuny.edu/~chuck/cre20021108cv.html: (Dr. CHARLES R. EHLSCHLAEGER ) A Geographic Information Systems Analysis of Mexico's Maquiladoras, US Department of the Treasury, (Co-P.I. with Robert B. South) 7/96-2/97,$44,254.


Economies for Life (sustainable alternatives to the suicide economy) by David C. Korten --also http://www.futurenet.org/23livingeconomy/korten.htm (nb: mentions White Dog...)

Availability of Information on the Border Environment: An Introductory Assessment by George Kourous, IRC

Border Information Clearinghouse

Maquila Economics

Report on Environmental Conditions and Natural Resources on Mexico's Northern Border (Produced by el Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) and el Instituto de Información Fronteriza México-Estados Unidos (InfoMexus)).

TITLE        Global shaping and its alternatives / edited by Y{184}ld{184}z Atasoy and
               William K. Carroll.
IMPRINT      Bloomfield, Conn. : Kumarian Press, 2003.
CONTENTS     Explaining globalization / Y{184}ld{184}z Atasoy -- Is globalization a 
               reality, a tendency or a rationale for neoliberal economic 
               policies? / Robert Chernomas and Ardeshir Sepehri -- Undoing 
               the end of history : Canada-centred reflections on the 
               challenge of globalization / William K. Carroll -- Explaining 
               local-global nexus : Muslim politics in Turkey / Y{184}ld{184}z Aatasoy
               -- Globalization, competitiveness, and human security : 
               revisited / Helen O'Neill -- Interrogating globalization : 
               emerging contradictions and conflicts / Elaine Coburn -- Women 
               and globalization in the economic north and south / Ann
               Denis -- Two faces of globalization in Mexico : Maquiladoras 
               and Zapatistas / Jean-Luc Chodkiewicz -- Feminism and 
               resistance to globalization of capitalism / Vanaja
               Dhruvarajan -- September 11 and the reorganization of the world
               economy / Y{184}ld{184}z Atasoy.
CALL NO.     JZ1318 .G5589 2003.

TITLE        Shared space : rethinking the U.S.-Mexico border environment / 
               edited by Lawrence A. Herzog.
IMPRINT      La Jolla, Calif. : Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies, University of
               California, San Diego, 2000.
CONTENTS     The shared borderlands / Lawrence A. Herzog -- Global capitalism 
               and sustainable development: exploring the contradictions / 
               Leslie Sklair -- From pollution prevention to industrial 
               ecology: an agenda for research and practice / Keith Pezzoli --
               The NAFTA environmental institutions and sustainable 
               development on the U.S.-Mexico border / Mark J. Spalding -- 
               Sustainable development and environmental decentralization on 
               the border: insights from Sonora / Stephen P. Mumme -- The 
               political ecology of environmental learning in Ciudad Ju{226}arez 
               and El Paso county / Sarah Hill --Transboundary networks for 
               environmental management in the San Diego-Tijuana border region
               / Francisco Lara -- Tourism development and the politics of the
               northern Baja California landscape / Lawrence A. Herzog -- Land
               use and the conservation of natural resources in the Tijuana 
               river basin / Lina Ojeda Revah -- Place and water quality 
               politics in the Tijuana-San Diego region / Suzanne M. Michel --
               Water use and sanitation practices in peri-urban areas of 
               Tijuana: a demand-side perspective / O. Alberto Pombo -- 
               Regulating the border environment: toxics, maquiladoras, and 
               the public right to know / Donovan Corliss -- Structural 
               determinants of sustainability in the maquiladora industry on 
               Mexico's northern border / Carlos Montalvo Corral -- 
               Transmigrants, the NAFTA, and a proposal to protect air quality
               on the border / Tito Alegr{226}ia.
CALL NO.     HC110.E5 S474 2000.

TITLE        Dying for growth : global inequality and the health of the poor /
               edited by Jim Yong Kim ... [et al.]
IMPRINT      Monroe, Me. : Common Courage Press, c2000.
CALL NO.     RA418.5.P6 D95 2000.

AUTHOR       Iglesias Prieto, Norma.
TITLE        Flor m{226}as bella de la maquiladora. English.
TITLE        Beautiful flowers of the maquiladora : life histories of women 
               workers in Tijuana / by Norma Iglesias Prieto ; translated by 
               Michael Stone with Gabrielle Winkler ; foreword by Henry Selby.
IMPRINT      Austin : University of Texas Press, Institute of Latin American 
               Studies, 1997.
CALL NO.     HD6073.O332 M495513 1997.

AUTHOR       Kopinak, Kathryn.
TITLE        Desert capitalism : maquiladoras in North America's western 
               industrial corridor / Kathryn Kopinak.
IMPRINT      Tucson : University of Arizona Press, c1996.
CALL NO.     HD9734.M42 K67 1996.


Enough of that. Now for some Oil and Geopolitics:

Terror war and oil expand US sphere of influence GIs build bases on Russia's energy-rich flank By Scott Peterson (from the March 19, 2002 edition - Christian Science Monitor)

Institute for Caspian Studires Resources --e.g., Caspian Sea Region from US DOE

Former Soviet Union map layers (/mypdfs/formsov1 and 2) [digitally compiled and abstracted from the Geological Map of the USSR,1966]

Resource Assessment Summaries of the Countries of the World (Petroleum)


And some extracts from Worlds in Collision: terror and the future of global order (Booth, Ken and Tim Dunne, Palgrave Macmillan 2002)

19 February
UN Human Development Report 2001 "Making new technologies work for human development" --includes 1999 Indicators ...but what one really wants is a datafile for these --but the usual array of problems in joining and adding to ArcView or ArcGIS... still, I've got the data in /nigh/hdr2002.

links to other HDRs

Demographic Yearbook CD-ROM ($149)

UN Statistics Division Common Database: by subscription, $250/year for institutions


Metadata and GIS from ESRI (a white paper)

20 February
Downloaded the Landscan 2001 Global Population Database (171 MB for the World coverage) from www.ornl.gov/gist/landscan/index.html --now in C:\world\ for the moment. Some examples in .jpgs for Brazil, East Asia, and Mexico.

Let me see if I can summarize thinking about the NSF/NSDL direction, at the very least to be able to define what to do next:

Pirarucu gives us the means to gather and organize a Personal Digital Library, and to define collaborations to share items with designated others. Thinking about extending Pirarucu's functionality, I think of three important pieces:
  1. contriving and implementing a means to extract (in the manner of www.ukoln.ac.uk/metadata/dcdot/) and store RDF metadata as a part of the record for each item as it is added to one's PDL, and to augment the skeletal RDF thus extracted --point being that very few people are interested in taking the time to create metadata, but if the basic metadata are accessible in a palatable way, it might be possible to encourage editing/refinement/augmentation

  2. adapting the Alsos metadata module to harvest material from Pirarucu [drawing on the RDF field of each record], and thus make that material (or subsets of it that were cleared/vetted by owners for that purpose) available to external harvesters, and

  3. creating the means to marshal selected contents of Pirarucu into a (hyper)text that presents and comments on the gatheration of items, in bloglike fashion, and creates a Page to publish the results... that Page would have RDF that automatically encodes [aspects of] the metadata of the constituent links
The third point moves the PDL/Collaborative tool in the direction of being an Environment for composition and communication.

Another needed bit: a function in the PDL that checks links and notifies when they are not working.

The Jerz article from Bryan (On the Trail of the Memex: Vannevar Bush, Weblogs and the Google Galaxy) strikes me as one of the most timely and effective analyses of the significance (and direction) of blogging... and reading it incited some of the above. A few extracts that I think say things especially clearly:

weblogs, the most influential textual genre truly native to the World Wide Web...

...Google’s proven ability to mine the data encoded in annotated trails of linked documents...

While blogs are creative and often charming tools in the hands of individual bloggers, by harvesting the collective power of armies of bloggers, the power Google stands to wield in online publishing begins to stagger the imagination...

Fed and nurtured under ideal conditions, hypertext quickly grew strong enough to escape into the wild. There, practically unnoticed by textual theorists, it has been breeding indiscriminately with the texts produced by marketers, journalists, technical writers, and diarists. These hybrids, native to the World Wide Web, are valuable not for their decentering/disorienting/disruptive qualities, but rather for their ability to stitch together disparate texts, creating communal spaces...

Weblogs are changing the rhetoric of hyperlinks, challenging the dominant models of mass communication (in which professionals determine what news is worth reporting and what is worth ignoring), and exposing hundreds of thousands of non-programmers to the experience of publishing online...

More significant [than sheer numbers of bloggers] is the fact that hypertext is becoming more accessible for people who aren’t interested in fiddling with layout or tinkering directly with HTML, who don’t think of themselves as designers, who have a love of words...

(Dennis Jerz "teaches technical writing, electronic text, composition and literature at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire")

Looking through my current work page, I note that I started tracking Weblets in Fall 1996... I suppose it might be said that those were my own first bloggings.

I looked through the NSDL awards, searching for anything that looks like it connects to Personal Digital Libraries or even Collaborative stuff, and found not much, and I think there's nothing there in anything like the specific niche. As Betsy points out, the Alsos project is meant to help and 'mentor' efforts just like ours.

From Bernard Lane's article on blogging, a quote from Rebecca Blood's book (The Weblog Handbook):

"As counterintuitive as it may seem from an old media perspective," writes Blood, "weblogs attract regular readers precisely because they regularly point readers away."

Some .shp files for South India at http://jfmoyen.free.fr/SIGGIS/data.html (in c:/world/india/ I have roads)

Global, Regional, and National Fossil Fuel CO2 Emissions, from this site...and see also 2000 Newly Available Agency Data Sets that are significantly Global Change Related

NASA’s Terra Satellite Refines Map of Global Land Cover (tifs in /mypdfs/) MODIS (see /nigh/*modis.jpg for examples)

21 February
Using Internet-based ArcIMS Tools as an Interface to Relational Database By Wei Sun, Peggy White, and Kevin Brown, St. Johns River Water Management District


Consider the digital version of the Frank Reader Diary, a clear case of a Digital Asset, seen here in its Annie record form.

I struggled through augmenting and correcting the layer/shapefile, which now resides on ims2 and has partially completed metadata and an image. The idea is that we can use it as an example in Texas. The steps were hairy enough that I should at least sketch them in sequence: I edited the CivilWar database (now on ims2\ArcIMS\IMS ProjectsCivilWar\reader\civilwar1.mdb) to have the new values for the locations (using the Getty Thesaurus of Geographical Names), then set up a US counties layer in ArcGIS, then used "xy data" to import... and so on. Eventually saved out as a .shp ...which I've entered into Pirarucu.

This is all part of the process of thinking out the next steps in NSDL and other proposals.


on hegemony, just a beginning...

22 February
Can we link Access dbs via Pirarucu in productive ways? Thus, I used civilwar1.mdb to create the coordinates and other bits of records for the Reader Diary, and THEN used ArcGIS to get the necessary data so that I could create a .shp for use in ArcIMS. I don't have it all quite clear in my mind, but isn't there a way to LINK the Digital South db to the table in the civilwar1.mdb? And to connect in the metadata in 21ii.mxd.xml ? I'm pretty sure the answr is "well, yeah..." but it's not quite clear to me. And this is probably a really important point for both Civil War and Digital South projects. I want to make this all clear on paper, diagrams and expository text.

I was ...gratified... to find myself showing up in Seb's Open Research (Thurs Feb 20) and Seblogging and Whittier School Web Services... and I'm realizing that there are now new forms of reading and writing emergent. Betsy says it's "the rebirth of the essay" --that the disciplinary literatures are too constrained, and many of the print media simply too slow. There's a new public of readers and of writers beginning to infest the Web, and beginning to nose reading and writing into new directions.

23 February
Articulatorium (A place to put some of the issues that arise as we start to think about how to teach the Global Stewardship courses) --links to Wallerstein extracts and others

25 February
At work on presentation for Friday's GIS Symposium

Ontology Building : A Survey of Editing Tools by Michael Denny

continued in March log