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A wide variety of papers and documents, peer-reviewed and otherwise, have been published over the years which provide important demonstations of and insights to the use of geospatial technologies. Some of the papers relate directly to the use of such technologies within human rights activities, and some represent potential future applications and enhancements.

Geointelligence Informs Darfur Policy
Spatial data have corroborated refugee descriptions of state-sponsored violence in Sudan’s Darfur region, educating the international community about the crisis and spurring the United States to label it genocide.

GIS Cookbook
The GIS Cookbook is a collection of simple descriptions and illustrations of GIS methods written with minimal GIS jargon. Recipes cover two GIS software platforms, ArcView 3.x and ArcGIS 8/9.x. The target users are social scientists with an interest in introducing spatial thinking into their current research and also having some experience with computers but little to no exposure to GIS. The GIS Cookbook is in its beginning stages and will be expanded to better serve the needs of social scientists. It is published by the Center for Spatially Integrated Social Science.

GIS in Participatory Research: Assessing the Impact of Landmines on Communities in North-west Cambodia
The view of GIS, adopted by many, as an undemocratic and divisive technology is perhaps most poignant in settings where financial and skills-based resources are limited, notably in lower-income countries. Where those countries are also recovering from a period of military conflict there would at first sight seem to be little opportunity for employing GIS as part of a socially-sensitive approach to ‘development’. This paper explores the potential for using GIS in participatory approaches to gathering and analyzing geographical information on human-environment interactions in post-conflict settings. We discuss empirical work from northwest Cambodia where GIS and participatory methods have been (more)

GIS Mapping of Environmental Justice Characteristics
As an entity utilizing federal funds, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) is responsible for successfully integrating environmental justice (EJ) into its program and planning activities.  The objective of this project was to assemble a Geographic Information System (GIS) database which identifies census tracts and block groups statewide where low-income and minority populations reside.  In addition to minority and poverty status, the other census characteristics that have been used by various jurisdictions to describe EJ communities include the elderly, linguistically isolated, people dependent on public transportation, and people with go-outside-the-home disabilities. Data from the 2000 Census on these characteristics were (more)

GIS/Mapping Primer for Nonprofits
This article is intended to provide a very high-level conceptual overview of GIS software and geographic/mapping applications and their benefit to nonprofit and community organizations.

GIS Modeling of Air Toxics Releases from TRI-Reporting and Non-TRI-Reporting Facilities: Impacts for Environmental Justice
The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) requires facilities with 10 or more full-time employees that process > 25,000 pounds in aggregate or use > 10,000 pounds of any one TRI chemical to report releases annually. However, little is known about releases from non-TRI-reporting facilities, nor has attention been given to the very localized equity impacts associated with air toxics releases. Using geographic information systems and industrial source complex dispersion modeling, we developed methods for characterizing air releases from TRI-reporting as well as non-TRI-reporting facilities at four levels of geographic resolution. We characterized the spatial distribution and concentration of air releases from (more)

Global Pattern Formation and Ethnic/Cultural Violence
We identify a process of global pattern formation that causes regions to differentiate by culture. Violence arises at boundaries between regions that are not sufficiently well defined. We model cultural differentiation as a separation of groups whose members prefer similar neighbors, with a characteristic group size at which violence occurs. Application of this model to the area of the former Yugoslavia and to India accurately predicts the locations of reported conflict. This model also points to imposed mixing or boundary clarification as mechanisms for promoting peace.

Hazardous Screening of Chemical Releases and Environmental Equity Analysis of Populations Proximate to Toxic Release Inventory Facilities in Oregon
ABSTRACT A comprehensive approach using hazard screening, demographic analysis, and a geographic information system (GIS) for mapping is employed to address environmental equity issues in Oregon. A media-specific chronic toxicity index [or chronic index (CI)] was used to compare environmental chemical releases reported in the EPA’s Toxic Chemical Release Inventory (TRI) database. In 1992, 254 facilities reportedly released more than 40 million pounds of toxic chemicals directly into the environment on-site or transferred them to sewage treatment plants or other off-site facilities for disposal and recycling. For each reported on-site TRI chemical release, a CI based on oral toxicity factors and (more)

Hierarchical models for mapping Ohio lung cancer rates
The mapping of geographical variation in disease occurrence plays an important role in assessing environmental justice (i.e. the equitable sharing of adverse effects of pollution across socio-demographic subpopulations). Bayes and empirical Bayes methods can be used to obtain stable small-area estimates while retaining geographic and demographic resolution. In this study, we focus on modelling spatial patterns of disease rates, incorporating demographic variables of interest such as gender and race. We employ a Bayesian hierarchical modelling approach, which uses a Markov chain Monte Carlo computational method to obtain the joint posterior distribution of the model parameters. We use this approach to (more)

High-Resolution Satellite Imagery and Possible Mass Graves in Sheberghan, Afghanistan
In May 2009, AAAS reviewed satellite imagery of the Sheberghan area of northern Afghanistan, where possible mass graves were suspected of being created in 2001. Imagery from 2006-2007 reveals two large pits, possibly comprising the graves, being excavated over a series of months in this area. An August 2006 image shows two possible vehicles present at the site of one pit. These vehicles fit the dimensions of a hydraulic excavator and a dump truck, which may have aided in the excavation of the pits. Based on these findings and the investigation of Physicians for Human Rights, which first approached AAAS (more)

 

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