More Cool Websites to Check Out!

Hey everyone!

This will be my last post for the semester, so I’m leaving you with a few of the websites that I found. Check them out! See what’s going on around you in the world of Geodesign!

If I don’t continue this course through the summer I will check in on you from time to time. It’s been fun blogging with you!


ENJOY and have a fun and fantastic summer!!


Blog On!

J. Bigelow

Media Coordinator, GSG

By geodesignsg

GSC13: Al Reynolds

Al’s presentation was on Rural Land Stewardship in Tampa, Florida. Many of the rural landscapes are being turned into residential subdivisions. It’s been estimated that in 20 years Tampa will be over-developed with very little agricultural land or public land.

RLS (Rural Land Stewardship): is the idea of protecting the natural environment includes directing incompativle uses away from the wetlands and upland habitats, guide the growth of the rural landscape, and protect the agricultural areas.

To help with keeping the rural landscaping among the residential areas, land owners get credit for having a certain species (IE panther, etc) on their land due to the rural conservation of their land, instead of having their property de-valued.

In the town of Ave Maria, the owner of Domino’s Pizza funded the University to be built. He used the idea of Rural Land Stewardship.

Rural Land Stewardship protects the habitat, as well as manages and restores it back to original thriving conditions. RLS is an agricultural tool that will protect Florida’s natural resources as well as its agricultural heritage.

By geodesignsg

GSC13: Jen Sheldon

Jen’s project was focused on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

-How do you know a landscape is healthy?

-You can’t always judge health to outward appearance. Example: Humans

-Clean air and water, but what about the habitat for different animals and their needs to survive?

-Animals are the best way to understand the ecosystem; if the animals aren’t able to sustain themselves in that environment, then the ecosystem is failing to some extent or another

-We need to set health goals for the ecosystems around us in order to sustain the native species in that area for more than a century

– Yellowstone is the first ecological benchmark:

  1. Benchmark things using GIS technology
  2. Animals inform us on how we’re doing
  3. Unifying architecture for complex workflow


“We use visualization, mathematical, and narrative models to specify ecosystem ‘well-normal’ levels. In turn, these are used to define a nonpartisan ecological bioethics frame informed by transparent, auditable metrics of ecosystem health.” -Jen Sheldon, 2013

Jen showed us one unique way of using Geodesign to focus on the ecosystem. Just one more contribution of Geodesign!

Blog On!


By geodesignsg

GSC13: Bern Szukalski

“Geodesign is arriving at the best, most achievable, and sustainable solution.” -Bern Szukalski, 2013

Bern demonstrated some of the latest developments of ArcGIS Desktop and ArcGIS Online.

– ArcGIS:

  • – Is a platform for geographic understanding
  • – Applications, data, services, API’s
  • – For professionals, developers, consumers, students, etc.

-ArcGIS Online:

  • – New GIS pattern
  • – You can store and manage content securely
  • – Create, publish, and share maps and apps
  • – It’s self-service
  • -It’s a collaboration of previous GIS applications


-ArcGIS Online:

– Webmaps:

– The new medium for geographic conversation

-It’s configurable

-It’s shareable

-ESRI Maps for Office:

-Meaning you can have a live map in a PowerPoint presentation

-Storymaps (

– It’s explorable, allowing one to find information on different locations simultaneously

-Community Analyst

-More to do with people

– You can pull up information on the community on a particular area; ie: crimes, etc.

-Landscape Analyst

– You can check out physical landscape features; ie: slope, topology, etc.

– Geoenrichment

– Provides information that is specific to cities, counties, states, or the entire USA

Bern provided us with ample amounts of information that made us all aware of how far ArcGIS has come in the recent times.

Check it out for yourself at:


Blog on!

GSC13: Dave Bartlett

Dave was clear on the fact that there’s an immediate change needed for the way our built environment is managed.

He’s working on a project known as “Maximo”:

It uses an app on smart phones that allows people (in this case, students) to report maintenance issues around the community. Such things as broken windows, graffiti, or even potholes. This sends the data to the right people that have the capability to fix these problems.

School districts are getting involved, and students are a very receptive audience. This allows the students to participate within the community in a positive manner.

Dave had a couple of ideas shown in graphs that add to the topic:






By geodesignsg

GSC13: Luo Ling-jun

Luo Ling-jun has a logical take on Geodesign. By collecting and storing geographical information using GIS (Geographical Information Systems) one is able to know the world. By using that information creatively to better the world one is able to reform the world.

He had a graph that portrayed Geodesign very well:

Luo_Ling-jun_graphGIS = What?

Analysis = Why?

GeoDesign = How?

He also portrayed Geodesign in the following manner:


By geodesignsg

GSC13: Bran Ferren

Bran Ferren was the first speaker at the Geodesign Summit Conference 2013 (referred to as GSC13 from here forward). He had a grasp on the advancement of technology, “If you wait around long enough, all of the concepts that you think of today, that you’re sure need a miracle to be possible, they will become a reality tomorrow”.

He explained that there are 3 types of design: 1) Reality Based Design- nature, openess, green space; 2) Fantasy Based Design- whatever you can come up with in your imagination; 3) Bad Design: dominant design; though not on purpose, this is unfortunately the design that’s used the most; it’s difficult to not come up with a bad design.

-It’s hard to change things without a good story. You need a good story to tell in order to make Geodesign happen.

-We live in a short-attention-span world where there is no complex dialog

  • Good News: We get a lot done!
  • Bad News: It’s not a very good quality of life; the values (in nearly everything) is gone.

-Geodesign is a form of story telling. It looks ahead to prevent and share (if one person gets it right, it’s shared in the network); insights of one will be shared everywhere. Forty years ago, when e-mail was first coming out, scientists didn’t even consider Smart phones. Who would’ve thought of having a handheld computer that you can do basically anything from? Online predators weren’t even thought into existence yet, let alone a precautionary against them! (Click image below for larger view).

Here is a diagram of characteristics that make up the best leaders, according to Bran Ferren.

Image 1: A diagram of characteristics that make up the best leaders, according to Bran Ferren.

Bran Ferren’s 250 Year Plan:

  • Where are you now?
  • Where do you want to be in 250 years?
  • How do you plan to get there?
  • Bill of Rights for the future: a 250 year plan for cities

THE BIG 6: (see link: Bran Ferren’s Innovate or Die (Dying is Easier…))

  1. Visioning: Time to Think
  2. Get the Talent: Be brave in your inventions
  3. Story Telling: Use science to tell your story
  4. Complexity Vs. Simplicity: Create role models, be more simplistic
  5. Speed: Make it happen, or you will never get it done in time
  6. Education: Use Geodesign to educate the educators

It won’t predict the future, but it would provide flexibility to allow for flaws in the plan. Big organizations have teams to do the work; but ideas come from dedicated, annoying, and innovative individuals, not from teams.

-You’re not always awarded for success, but you’re always going to be flagged for failure. The outcome is never where you planned to be.

-Requirements and ideas need to come together to build good cities.


  • Be a custodian of those who can’t protect themselves
  • Understand the consequences of your actions
  • Storytelling is important to teach the world of failures and successes

This was a very inspirational presentation. I would recommend going to his talks any day!

Blog On!

By geodesignsg

Geodesign Student Group (GSG)


We are the Geodesign Student Group with Northern Arizona University (NAU, Flagstaff, AZ). From our understanding we’re the first of our kind in the nation! The group got started in the summer of 2012 with five undergraduate students and an overseeing advisor at NAU. It’s been a slow but steady start, making sure that we’re creating a “sustainable” group; since we are the GEODESIGN student group, we thought it was a necessity.

This past January, three of our members went to the Geodesign Summit Conference in Redlands, CA, hosted by ESRI. One of them has taken on a project to inform all of you of the events that took place. She will give an overview of each presentation that was given. She’s created a website that will link to this blog that is specifically for this project. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out!

The website gives a basic overview of the conference, and gives information on the speakers before you read what they presented about here on the blog. Both the website and the blog will be updated weekly, so keep a weather eye on the horizon and check back with us!

Check out our FB too!

Blog On!



Media Coordinator


By geodesignsg