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An Ordering of Convex Topological Relations

M. Dube and M. Egenhofer, An Ordering of Convex Topological Relations, in: N.Xioa, M.P. Kwan, M. Goodchild, and S. Shekhar (eds.), Geographic Information Science — Seventh International Conference, GIScience 2012, Columbus, OH, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Vol. 7478, Springer, pp. 72-86, September 2012.


Topological relativity is a concept of interest in geographic information theory. One way of assessing the importance of topology in spatial reasoning is to analyze commonplace terms from natural language relative to conceptual neighborhood graphs, the alignment structures of choice for topological relations. Sixteen English-language spatial prepositions for regionregion relations were analyzed for their corresponding topological relations, each of which was found to represent a convex subset within the conceptual neighborhood graph of the region-region relations, giving rise to the construction of the convex ordering of region-region relations. The resulting lattice of the convex subgraphs enables an algorithmic approach to explaining unknown prepositions.


Analyzing Spatial and Temporal Radon-222 Trends in Maine

C. Farah, K, Beard, C.T. Hess, and J. Hock, 2012, Analyzing Spatial and Temporal Radon-222 Trends in Maine. Health Physics. 102(2) 115-123.


Prolonged radon exposure has been linked to lung cancer. Cancer registry data indicates excess risk for age-adjusted lung cancer in Maine. Maine’s mean residential radon activity exceeds the EPA maximum contaminant level (MCL). This paper describes the application of spatial autocorrelation methods to retrospective data as a means of analyzing radon activity in Maine. Retrospective air and well water radon activity data, sampled throughout Maine between 1993 and 2008, are standardized and geocoded for analysis. Three spatial autocorrelation algorithms-local Getis-Ord, local Moran, and spatial scan statistic-are used to identify spatial, temporal, and spatiotemporal radon activity clusters and/or outliers. Spatial clusters of high air- and well water-Rn activity are associated with Maine’s Lucerne and Sebago granitic formations. Spatial clusters of low air- and well water-Rn activity are associated with Biddeford Granite and the metamorphic bedrock formation Silurian Ordovician Vassalboro. Space-time analysis indicates that most spatial clusters persist over the period of sampling. No significant temporal clusters are identified. Persistent spatial variations in radon may help to better understand and predict radon-related health risks associated with Maine residences.

The Future of Virtual Sight: Nick’s VEMI lab featured in BDN article

A recent article in the Bangor Daily News features Nick Giudice’ VEMI lab and its innovative research in Virtual Site.

CIS welcomes cooperating faculty

CIS is delighted to welcome five new cooperating professors. David Hiebeler and Andre Khalil join us from from Department of Mathematics, and Bruce Segee and Yifeng Zhu from Electrical and Computing Engineering. This provides yet more proof that CIS is the hub of things computational at Orono.

Computing and information jobs top the list

Software Engineer is the new number one Best Job of 2011, ousting Mathematician from top spot. Also highly placed is Computer Systems Analyst. Lumberjack has climbed to 3rd worst from the bottom.

New School is formed

The opening of the School of Computer Science was reported in the University of Maine news.


Guest Speaker Stu Rich from Penbay Solutions

This week’s guest speaker was Stu Rich from Penbay Solutions who spoke on Extending GIS into the Built Environment: Emerging Trends and Patterns. View the presentation at

Laura Toma Guest Presentation

A guest presentation was made in the regular department seminar by Laura Toma from the Department of Computer Science at Bowdoin College on Monday 14 March 2011. Laura talked about “An Edge Quadtree for External Memory”. See

Professor Onsrud Honored by UCGIS

From a nationwide call for nominations, Professor Harlan Onsrud of the University of Maine was among six individuals to be honored as a Fellow by the University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS). UCGIS is a non profit organization of seventy universities and other research institutions dedicated to expanding and strengthening geographic information science.

The award announcement permanently maintained on the UCGIS web site reads as follows:

Harlan J. Onsrud has been a leader in research and education on the legal, ethical, and institutional issues surrounding spatial information since the 1980s. Professor Onsrud was instrumental in the establishment of the UCGIS. He participated in the founding meeting in Boulder, Colorado, and took the lead in drafting the original UCGIS bylaws. Harlan then served as the first Chair of the UCGIS Policy and Legislation Committee and played a key role in the planning of early UCGIS Congressional Breakfast events. He also served as President of the UCGIS. Professor Onsrud convened the second UCGIS Summer Assembly, a very successful meeting held in Bar Harbor, Maine, that focused on UCGIS Education Priorities.

Professor Onsrud is a member of the Department of Spatial Information Science and Engineering at the University of Maine, where he has taught and conducted research for much of his career. Harlan is a multitalented and transdisciplinary figure, a licensed engineer, land surveyor and attorney as well as an information science professor. Harlan Onsrud earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Civil and Environmental Engineering, and his Juris Doctor (J. D.) degree, all at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Professor Onsrud’s research focuses on the analysis of legal, ethical, and institutional issues affecting the creation and use of digital databases and the assessment of the social impacts of spatial technologies. His research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the Federal Geographic Data Committee, and the U.S. Department of Education. Professor Onsrud teaches courses in Information Systems Law, Information Ethics, Cadastral and Land Information Systems, and Research Ethics.

Harlan Onsrud’s commitment to data sharing and open intellectual property principles have led him to take on a number of leadership and service roles in national and international organizations. He has served as President and currently serves as Executive Director of the Global Spatial Data Infrastructure Association (GSDI). He is a former Chair of the U.S. National Committee (USNC) on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA) of the National Research Council and former chair of the Socieconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC) Working Group for CIESIN at Columbia University. He chaired a U.S. National Research Council Study on the Licensing of Spatial Data and has participated in numerous other NAS studies — he is a lifetime National Associate of the U.S. National Academies of Sciences. Selected for the Fulbright Specialists program roster, he most recently received Fulbright funding for an extended visit at the University of Melbourne in Australia. He was also a leading figure in transitioning the Journal of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association to an open electronic and print journal and served as Editor-in-Chief through that transition.

For his contributions to Geographic Information Science, both in general and especially in the context of information policy, and for his tireless service to UCGIS, Harlan J. Onsrud is very deserving of the honor of being appointed as a Fellow of UCGIS.

Others honored at the Spring 2011 meeting and their current or former affiliations include Dr. William J. Craig, University of Minnesota, Dr. Jerome E. Dobson, University of Kansas, Dr. Michael F. Goodchild, University of California Santa Barbara, Dr. Karen K. Kemp, University of Southern California, and Dr. Duane F. Marble, Ohio State University.

Monday Seminar on Visualizing and Exploring Events from Sensor Networks

Title: Visualizing and Exploring Events from Sensor Networks

Speaker: Dr. Kate Beard

SIE/NCGIA Joint Seminar Series
336 Boardman Hall, University of Maine
4:00pm, Monday, January 31, 2011

Abstract: Sensor networks and other new technologies are generating volumes of data with both temporal and spatial components. Analysis and synthesis of these space-time data streams requires tools for discovery of patterns and structure in both time and space.  GIS has served well for discovery and analysis of spatial patterns and time series have been a workhorse for temporal display and analysis. Effective visual and exploratory methods that combine space and time dimensions have been more elusive. This presentation describes an approach for the abstraction of space-time series into events and an exploratory environment for the visualization and exploration of events

Kate Beard is a professor in the Department of Spatial Information Science Engineering at the University of Maine. She has been a research faculty with the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCGIA) since its beginning in 1989 and currently serves as the Director for NCGIA-Maine.  She also serves as Project Director for an NSF IGERT Sensor Science, Engineering and Informatics. Her current research interests include spatio-temporal data models, spatial information retrieval, and exploratory analysis and visualization of spatio-temporal

Please join us for this presentation.  Refreshments will be available.

School of Computing and Information Science
348 Boardman Hall
Orono, ME 04469
Phone: (207) 581-2188 | Fax: (207) 581-2206
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469