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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.

Parks and park funding in Los Angeles: An equity-mapping analysis
An equity-mapping analysis of access to park space enjoyed by children and youth in Los Angeles (LA), and by residents according to their race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status finds that low-income and concentrated poverty areas as well as neighborhoods dominated by Latinos, African Americans, and Asian-Pacific Islanders, have dramatically lower levels of access to park resources than White-dominated areas of the city. Further, a mapping of park-bond funding allocations by location reveals that funding patterns often exacerbate rather than ameliorate existing inequalities in park and open-space resource distributions. Given the lack of large parcels for park acquisition, these results indicate (more)

Potential application of remote sensing in monitoring informal settlements in South Africa where complimentary data does not exist
Remotely sensed images are used for many purposes in today’s world. In this paper, we explore the potential application of high resolution satellite images in extracting features and classifying urban settlements. The test area is Soweto, an urban area in the Greater Johannesburg Metropolitan area, in Gauteng, South Africa. We propose a new settlement typology for efficient classification of formal and informal settlements via QuickBird satellite images. Following on, an automated classification procedure based on the local binary pattern texture features is introduced. Using a convenience sample of 25 images, we show the feasibility of the new typology by applying (more)

Poverty and inequality in Vietnam: Spatial patterns and geographic determinants
This report uses a relatively new method called “small area estimation” to estimate various measures of poverty and inequality for provinces, districts, and communes of Vietnam. The method was applied by combining information from the 1997-98 Vietnam Living Standards Survey and the 1999 Population and Housing Census.

Racial Inequality in the Distribution of Hazardous Waste: A National-Level Reassessment
National-level studies examining racial disparities around hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities have been very influential in defining the academic and political debates about the existence and importance of “environmental injustice.” However, these studies tend to employ methods that fail to adequately control for proximity between environmentally hazardous sites and nearby residential populations. By using GIS and applying methods increasingly used in environmental inequality research that better control for proximity, we conduct a comprehensive reassessment of racial inequality in the distribution of the nation’s hazardous waste facilities. We compare the magnitude of racial disparities found with those of prior (more)

Rationality, inequity, and civic vitality: The distribution of treatment, storage, and disposal facilities in the southeast
This study examines the distribution of commercial treatment, storage, and disposal facilities (TSDFs) of hazardous waste in the southeast. Four hypotheses are tested: (1) economic rationality, (2) social inequity, (3) civic capital, and (4) scientific rationality. The data set is a match of records on operational TSDFs and large quantity generators (LQGs) of hazardous waste from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, demographic data from the U.S. Census Bureau, nonprofit organization data from the National Center for Charitable Statistics, and seismic hazard and hydrologic data from the U.S. Geological Survey. Logistic regression results indicate that location outcomes are predictable by the (more)

Razing Rafah: Mass Home Demolitions in the Gaza Strip
In 2004, Human Rights Watch produced a report on the Israeli mass destruction of houses and infrastructure on the southwest edge of the occupied Gaza Strip, along the border with Egypt. From 2000 to 2004 the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) destroyed over 2,500 houses in this area, with 2/3 of those houses located in Rafah, a densely populated refugee camp and city adjacent to the Egyptian border. As part of the preparation for this report satellite imagery was used to analyze damage done by the Israeli forces and to chronicle the destruction. Specifically, the imagery supplemented field research and interviews (more)

Remote Sensing Resources from the Biodiversity Informatics Facility
These remote sensing resources focus on practical aspects of accessing, visualizing, and processing remotely sensed data. Sufficient links are provided for those interested in pursuing details of the science and technology of remote sensing. Information available on this site, however, is written for those who are interested in learning about working with satellite imagery. Although documents focus on issues of biodiversity conservation, they are applicable to a broad range of applications.

Rights and Place: Using Geography in Human Rights Work
Human rights practitioners have become increasingly concerned with how to translate universal norms into locally meaningful standards. The field of human geography offers several methodologies and theories that help with this endeavor. Using a geographic perspective for human rights work means focusing on physical access, available personnel, and other components of implementation at a local level. Moreover, it approaches human rights work with the assumption that physical space is built by human actions, and that the way in which it is created plays a role in how human rights violations occur. Taking a geographical perspective to human rights violations creates (more)

Scales of environmental justice: Combining GIS and spatial analysis for air toxics in West Oakland, California
This paper examines the spatial point pattern of industrial toxic substances and the associated environmental justice implications in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA. Using a spatial analysis method called Ripley’s K we assess environmental justice across multiple spatial scales, and we verify and quantify the West Oakland neighborhood as an environmental justice site as designated by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Further, we integrate the ISCST3 air dispersion model with Geographic Information Systems (Gis) to identify the number of people potentially affected by a particular facility, and engage the problem of non-point sources of diesel emissions with an (more)

‘Siam Mapped’ and Mapping in Cambodia: Boundaries, Sovereignty, and Indigenous Conceptions of Space
This article explores differences and similarities between the introduction of mapping into Thailand in the beginning of the nineteenth century and efforts to map customary land use in Cambodia at the end of the 20th century. The comparison suggests that indigenous conceptions of space have been overwhelmed by the need to have a location that can be recognized by political power. That mapping should not stop with the delineation of boundaries but needs to be carried to its conclusion in the recognition of the bundles of overlapping, hierarchical rights that define property. Finally, who does the mapping is not as (more)


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