Showing posts with label hazards. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hazards. Show all posts

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Book Publication: Mining and Natural Hazard Vulnerability in the Philippines: Digging to development or digging to disaster?


Back Cover Information
 "This text provides an exhaustive and engaging review of the literature surrounding issues of development in the Philippines. Holden and Jacobson leave no stone unturned as they uncover some of the most detrimental effects of modern mining practices on the surrounding natural environment and human communities."
- Professor Kathleen Nadeau, California State University, San Bernardino
"This book speaks well of mining disasters that are accelerated and amplified by natural hazards in the Philippines such as typhoons, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. I recommend this superb work to the general public and readers of specific interest on mining especially those with similar situations in their own countries."
Dr Emelina Regis, Director of the Institute for Environmental Conservation
and Research, Ateneo de Naga University


"Empirically grounded and theoretically informed, Holden and Jacobsen provide a compelling and powerful study of the hazards of neoliberalism and of environmental politics more broadly." — Dr James Tyner, Professor of Geography, Kent State University


The archipelago of the Philippines is well endowed with nonferrous mineral resources, and in recent years the Filipino government, acting under the influence of the dominant and seemingly ubiquitous neoliberal development paradigm, has liberalized its mining laws in order to accelerate economic development. Yet the Philippines is also a country highly prone to a variety of natural hazards - including earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, typhoons and El  Nino-induced droughts - that have the ability to interact adversely with mining's potential for environmental degradation. Thus, there are great dangers inherent in pursuing such a development paradigm: earthquakes can destabilize tailings storage facilities, typhoons can  flood tailings ponds, and mine-pit dewatering can enhance the competition for groundwater resources during droughts. This study explores how these hazards amplify the environmental harm prevalent in mining, and reveals the substantial threat they pose to the livelihoods of the archipelago's poor - who are dependent upon subsistence agriculture and subsistence aquaculture - as well as the inadequacies of the institutions designed to protect their environment.

Supporting Accessibility for Blind and Vision-impaired People With a Localized Gazetteer and Open Source Geotechnology

Rice, M.T., Aburizaiza, A.O, Jacobson,R.D, Shore , B.M., and Paez. F I.  (2012). Supporting Accessibility for Blind and Vision-impaired People With a Localized Gazetteer and Open Source Geotechnology. Transactions in GIS 16 (2):177-190.
Disabled people, especially the blind and vision-impaired, are challenged by many transitory hazards in urban environments such as construction barricades, temporary fencing across walkways, and obstacles along curbs. These hazards present a problem for navigation, because they typically appear in an unplanned manner and are seldom included in databases used for accessibility mapping. Tactile maps are a traditional tool used by blind and vision-impaired people for navigation through urban environments, but such maps are not automatically updated with transitory hazards. As an alternative approach to static content on tactile maps, we use volunteered geographic information (VGI) and an Open Source system to provide
updates of local infrastructure. These VGI updates, contributed via voice, text message, and e-mail, use geographic descriptions containing place names to describe changes to the local environment. After they have been contributed and stored in a database, we georeference VGI updates with a detailed gazetteer of local place names including buildings, administrative offices, landmarks, roadways, and dormitories. We publish maps and alerts showing transitory hazards, including location-based alerts delivered to mobile devices. Our system is built with several technologies including PHP, JavaScript, AJAX, Google Maps API, PostgreSQL, an Open Source database, and PostGIS, the PostgreSQL’s spatial extension. This article provides insight into the integration of user-contributed geospatial information into a comprehensive system for use by the blind and vision-impaired, focusing on currently developed methods for geoparsing and georeferencing using a gazetteer.