Map: A big matter now a days

A map is a visual representation of an area – symbolic depiction highlighting relationships between elements of that space such as objects, regions, and themes. Many maps are static two-dimensional, geometrically accurate (or approximately accurate) representations of three-dimensional space, while others are dynamic or interactive, even three-dimensional. Although most commonly used to depict geography, maps may represent any space, real or imagined, without regard to context or scale; e.g. brain mapping, DNA mapping and extraterrestrial mapping.

Although the earliest maps known are of the heavens, geographic maps of territory have a very long tradition and exist from ancient times. The word “map” comes from the medieval Latin Mappa mundi, wherein mappa meant napkin or cloth and mundi the world. Thus, “map” became the shortened term referring to a two-dimensional representation of the surface of the world.

Maps have become a critical piece of our lives. Providing guidance, direction, help and more, maps now serve as an integral information source for us every day. Maps provide value to our Internet experiences, and have become essential in the mobile world.

People used to use maps so they wouldn’t get lost. But in recent years, access to the Global Positioning System and the proliferation of mobile technology have made paper-based maps almost irrelevant. Unless you’re in uncharted territory, it’s hard to get lost anymore. Basic geography is as easy as inputting an address and letting your mobile phone tell you how to get there.

Use of map (PC: tribune.come.uk)

And as mapping technology advances, it allows for far more than foolproof directions. Federal agencies now use geospatial data, geo-analytics and multi-layered maps for myriad purposes, including gathering intelligence, predicting disease outbreaks and sharing data pools with the public.

The allure of mapping lies in its intuitiveness. Even simple “dots on a map can be a powerful way to see trends in data,” said Josh Campbell, geographic information system architect for the Humanitarian Information Unit at the State Department. “Maps are a compressed mechanism for storytelling.”

Last year,HIU created a series of maps to track the mass migration of Syrians displaced by the country’s ongoing violence. The HIU team combined data from thousands of media and internal reports with commercial satellite imagery. Each map provided a geographical snapshot of a place. Together, they showed trends over time and revealed the areas with the most intense conflict.

That is perhaps the most important aspect of maps: They make for better decision-making. Maps gain their value in three ways:
As a way of recording and storing information
Governments, businesses, and society as large must store large quantities of information about the environment and the location of natural resources, capital assets, and people. Included are plat, parcel, and cadastral maps to record property, maps of society’s infrastructure or utilities for water, power, and telephone, and transportation, and census maps of population.

As a means of analyzing locational distributions and spatial patterns
Maps let us recognize spatial distributions and relationships and make it possible for us to visualize and hence conceptualize patterns and processes that operate through space.

As a method of presenting information and communicating findings
Maps allow us to convey information and findings that are difficult to express verbally. Maps can also be used to convince and persuade, or even propagandize.

Mapping the humanitarian crisis in Syria

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US State’s Humanitarian Information Unit collects, analyzes and disseminates unclassified information regarding humanitarian emergencies, and publishes high-quality maps that track relevant variables such as refugee migration and global health initiatives. The HIU team consists of roughly 20 analysts, researchers, geospatial analysts, cartographers and developers under the department’s Office of the Geographer and Global Issues.

The team is known for its accuracy, and HIU’s maps are widely cited by the media. But the work is intensive. In 2013, the team was particularly busy tracking the civil war in Syria. To document the migration of refugees, analysts pooled data from media reports, commercial satellite imagery and internal documents. Then subject-matter experts sifted through the data to ensure its legitimacy, technical staffers built corresponding datasets, GIS analysts compiled the data, and cartographers produced the finished products.

Some maps showed the displacement of refugees over time while others mapped the escape routes and destinations of the 1.8 million Syrian refugees, including the hot spots from which they fled, where they went and where the humanitarian resources were located. The maps gave decision-makers valuable insight into the conflict from a humanitarian standpoint.

“Maps unlock a great cognitive power,” Josh Campbell, GIS architect at HIU said. “Visualization, whether graphical or geographical, simplifies complex relationships. Maps can help people make sense of complex humanitarian emergencies and understand what is happening on the ground.”

http://fcw.com/

Know Yourself. Face Your Fear. Follow Your Heart.

BY

There’s one thing I can absolutely guarantee will happen to you at some point in your life. You will look back and say, “Wish I knew then what I know now.”

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not the kind of guy that does that a lot. Long ago, a friend told me, “Never look back. You can go crazy wondering what could have been.” I’ve never forgotten his advice and, sure enough, I rarely look back.

But here’s the thing: There’s a good reason why I don’t have to. For whatever reason, I’ve always followed the path that seemed right to me. I took risks when I needed to. And I didn’t let fear get in my way. Sure, I’ve spent a good part of my life terrified, but I highly recommend it.

That said, there have been moments when I regretted what I’d done or, more frequently, what I didn’t do. To help you minimize those bitter moments, here’s some advice for those who are just getting started.

Observe people. You see a crazy number of laundry lists of attributes and behaviors that successful people are supposed to have, but if I had to pick one – just one thing that made all the difference – it’s observing people. Everything in business is about people. If you get people, you’ll probably kill it out there.

Take the first step in the right direction. No, I’m not trying to be absurd. Of course you can’t know in advance what the right direction is. But if an opportunity arises and you don’t take that first step, if you don’t go for it, if you don’t say, “OK, let’s rock,” I can absolutely guarantee you’ll never find the right direction. Learn to say yes … a lot. If it scares you, all the more reason.

Build relationships. If you’re a people person, then friendships and relationships come naturally to you. If not, it wouldn’t hurt for you to get to work on that a bit. No, I’m not saying you can’t be successful if you’re introverted. Of course you can. All I know is, life is like a tree that branches like crazy, and each branch usually involves a person.

Find a way to do what you find exciting. The hands-down best piece of advice I ever got was when someone told me that digital technology was going to become huge. That was in 1977. I don’t know why, but it sounded exciting. And following that path was the hands-down smartest thing I ever did. If it sounds exciting to you, that’s your heart telling you something. Listen. And find a way to do it.

Be geographically mobile. Most of the people I knew growing up that never left, never went anywhere in life. If that was their choice, fine. But I bet many would do it differently if they could do it over. Steve Jobs grew up in Silicon Valley. That was the luck of the draw. Most of us aren’t that lucky. Don’t let geographic boundaries stand in the way of your future.

Try to save money for after college. I speak with a lot of college grads that took out loans, had all sorts of side jobs, and when they finally graduated, ran out of steam … meaning money. If you’re a hot software developer, companies may fly you around and roll out the red carpet. But the rest of you have to pay your own way to interview, relocate, get an advanced degree, or maybe even start your own company.

If it isn’t working, try something different. It’s not always easy to know that what you’re doing isn’t working, but let’s put it this way. If you’re miserable and you would rather be anywhere doing anything but where you are doing what you’re doing, it’s safe to say it’s time for a change. Don’t wait. If you’re not sure, trust your gut.

Regret is the most tragic thing in life. The best way to avoid it is to know yourself, face your fear and follow your heart.

Searching for Wisdom? Search Yourself

by

Soon after the dot-com bubble burst, I attended a conference where the CEO of a company that had seen its market cap gain and lose $50 billion in less than two years, began his speech with, “Our industry is made up of geniuses that act collectively like idiots.”

The room erupted with laughter as hundreds of high-tech executives that had spent the past six months trying to hold it together for their management teams, their employees, and most of all, their investors, found release for a world of pain and frustration.

While most people think of that era as a time when irrational exuberance gripped an entire industry and sent markets soaring to ludicrous heights and crashing back down to Earth in the blink of an eye, I see it much differently, courtesy of an executive who had the cajones to lay it on the line for leaders who were smart enough to know better.

What caused the bubble and its inevitable crash was the common belief among nearly everyone – executives, analysts, investors, pundits and experts – that worldwide demand for internet services and infrastructure would rise indefinitely.

To me, the tech bubble remains the most glaring example of the potentially devastating impact of one of the most pervasive concepts in the modern world, the oxymoron known as conventional wisdom.

The truth is, there is nothing conventional about wisdom. Wisdom is rare. And wisdom originates entirely from individuals, as does critical thought, problem solving, breakthrough insights, innovative concepts and creative ideas.

Granted, small groups or teams can provide a fertile environment for idea generation, but make no mistake: each and every idea comes from an individual’s brain. And the larger the group, the more likely it is to succumb to the pressure to conform, also known as groupthink.

What about the supposed wisdom of crowds or the smart collective? That only works in limited situations that primarily involve information retrieval or discrete answers to simple questions. Anything more complex than asking a crowd to choose between four alternatives on Who Wants to be a Millionaire, forget it.

There is no wisdom in crowds. Likewise, what’s commonly called conventional wisdom is nothing of the sort. Conventional wisdom maintains the status quo. It creates barriers to independent thought and breakthrough ideas. It’s an impediment to change – the only thing that can ever lead to improvement. And it stops innovation dead in its tracks.

Likewise, strongly held beliefs or opinions – especially those fostered by crowds, organizations, convention, or societal norms – stifle critical thinking and common sense. There’s certainly nothing wise about that.

If you want to be successful in this world, you have to learn to think for yourself. To challenge what’s known as conventional wisdom. To break from the status quo. To stay off the bandwagon.

You have to learn to carve your own path and formulate your own opinions. To think and behave as a unique individual. To be true to yourself, not beholden to anyone else or anyone else’s ideals or beliefs.

The most important thing you can do to improve your chances of having a fulfilling career and a happy life is, from this moment forward, to question how you spend your time, how you behave, and how you arrived at the path you’re on. Be true to yourself. And if you’re not exactly sure who that is, it’s about time you started to find out.

And when you’re in need of insight, ideas, perspective, or direction – don’t search Google – search yourself. That’s where you’ll find real wisdom.

WATER H@CKATHON: AppFest Registration Going on !!!!!!!!!!!

 

Water Hackathon App Fest Bangladesh 2014 by World Bank has started registration process ! Join in http://www.hackathonbd.com/participate/

In the Hackathon event there will be four kinds of registration process in the category of Problem Solvers, Tech-Mentors, Financiers, Problem statement Owners.

Problem Solvers
If you are an university student or tech professional doing job/business, you can team up with up to 5 multi-disciplinary members and register for the event to solve given problems. Outcome/solutions will be mobile apps for any platform.

Tech-Mentors
If you are expert in a particular sector in making apps, you can register yourself as mentor of the team. Your responsibility will be helping the participating problem solving team from your area of expertise. You also can choose to work with the tea after Hackathon to develop the Mobile apps further.

Financiers
It is good chance for investing or helping the problem solver teams to mentor/networking them to get access to finance (i.e. seed funding etc.) to develop their Mobile app prototype further. These are very innovative solutions. So, you can register your organisation or individually to find investment scopes.

Problem statement Owners
All those problems are coming from development sector in the thematic area of Water, Sanitation, Health and behavior changing education. We welcome GO/NGO/INGO/NFP/Donor/Private sector and any other organisations who have experience working in these thematic area and especially interest to implement/integrate these solutions to their own project to register in this category.

It is REGISTERED ONLY event. So register for the event the way you want to get involved with this COOL & Global standard event
arranged by World Bank.

You may find following links useful.

Hackathon Event
http://www.hackathonbd.com/hackathon-event/

Hackathon AppFest in a Glance
http://www.hackathonbd.com/water-hackathon-appfest-in-a-glance/

Food Security Risk Index Map 2013

 

Food_Security_Risk_Index_2013_Map

This is a map created by risk analysis experts Maplecroft using the key elements of food security set by FAO. The Food Security Risk Index (FSRI) is calculated based on assessing 12 components of food security. The indicators include the accessibility and availability of food and the stability of food supplies across all countries. Additionally, the index takes into consideration the nutritional and health elements of populations.

When looking at the map covering 197 countries you will notice that the food security of Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo as lowest, whilst countries in the drought stricken Horn of Africa are also at extreme risk.

Hunger Map 2013

The FAO Hunger Map 2013 has been published . This map displays nutritional information for developing countries. The data are based on the latest edition of FAO’s annual publication “The State of Food Insecurity in the World”.

FAO_Hunger Map 2013

Most of the world’s hungry live in developing countries. According to the latest Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) statistics, there are 870 million hungry people in the world and 98 percent of them are in developing countries.  They are distributed like this (WFP, 2013):

578 million in Asia and the Pacific
239 million in Sub-Saharan Africa
53 million in Latin America and the Caribbean
37 million in the Near East and North Africa

19 million in developed countries

Rural risk

Three-quarters of all hungry people live in rural areas, mainly in the villages of Asia and Africa. Overwhelmingly dependent on agriculture for their food, these populations have no alternative source of income or employment. As a result, they are vulnerable to crises. Many migrate to cities in their search for employment, swelling the ever-expanding populations of shanty towns in developing countries.

Hungry farmers

FAO calculates that around half of the world’s hungry people are from smallholder farming communities,  surviving off marginal lands prone to natural disasters like drought or flood. Another 20 percent belong to landless families dependent on farming and about 10 percent live in communities whose livelihoods depend on herding, fishing or forest resources.

The remaining 20 percent live in shanty towns on the periphery of the biggest cities in developing countries. The numbers of poor and hungry city dwellers are rising rapidly along with the world’s total urban population.

Children

An estimated 146 million children in developing countries are underweight – the result of acute or chronic hunger (Source: The State of the World’s Children, UNICEF, 2009).  All too often, child hunger is inherited: up to 17 million children are born underweight annually, the result of inadequate nutrition before and during pregnancy.

Women

Women are the world’s primary food producers, yet cultural traditions and social structures often mean women are much more affected by hunger and poverty than men. A mother who is stunted or underweight due to an inadequate diet often give birth to low birthweight children.

Around 50 per cent of pregnant women in developing countries are iron deficient (source: Unicef). Lack of iron means 315,000 women die annually from hemorrhage at childbirth. As a result, women, and in particular expectant and nursing mothers, often need special or increased intake of food.

Some Basic Definition (FAO)

  • Undernutrition

The outcome of undernourishment, and/or poor absorption and/or poor biological use of nutrients consumed as a result of repeated infectious disease. It includes being underweight for one’s age, too short for one’s age (stunted), dangerously thin for one’s height (wasted) and deficient in vitamins and minerals (micronutrient malnutrition).

  • Undernourishment or Chronic Hunger

A state, lasting for at least one year, of inability to acquire enough food, defined as a level of food intake insufficient to meet dietary energy requirements. For the purposes of this report, hunger was defined as being synonymous with chronic undernourishment.

Number and percentage of undernourished persons
1990-1992 1015 million (19%)
2000-2002 957 million (15%)
2005-2007 907 million (14%)
2008-2010 878 million (13%)
2011-2013 842 million (12%)
  • Malnutrition

An abnormal physiological condition caused by inadequate, unbalanced or excessive consumption of macronutrients and/or micronutrients. Malnutrition includes undernutrition and overnutrition as well as micronutrient deficiencies.

  • Food security

A situation that exists when all people, at all times, have physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life. Based on this definition, four food security dimensions can be identified: food availability, economic and physical access to food, food utilization and stability over time.

  • Food insecurity

A situation that exists when people lack secure access to sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food for normal growth and development and an active and healthy life. It may be caused by the unavailability of food, insufficient purchasing power, inappropriate distribution or inadequate use of food at the household level. Food insecurity, poor conditions of health and sanitation and inappropriate care and feeding practices are the major causes of poor nutritional status. Food insecurity may be chronic, seasonal or transitory.

Map of the countries that are most and least tolerant of homosexuality

The Pew Research Center, as part of a fascinating new report on global attitudes toward homosexuality, asked people in 39 different countries a deceptively straightforward question: “Should society accept homosexuality?” People could answer yes, no or decline the question.

The “yes” answers are mapped out above. In red countries, less than 45 percent of respondents said homosexuality should be accepted by society. In blue countries, more than 55 percent said it should be accepted. Purple countries fall in that middle range of about half.

Homo-tolarant1

(1) Sub-Saharan African and Muslim-majority countries are the least accepting of gays.

It’s not even close. While there’s wide variation in places like Latin America and Europe, Africa is almost uniformly anti-gay. Nigeria is the only surveyed country where just one percent say society should accept homosexuality; 98 percent said society shouldn’t. Results are under 10 percent for almost the entire continent, including sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa, which has closer cultural ties to the Middle East. The important exception is South Africa, famous for its gay rights movement, where a still-low 32 percent answered “yes.”

Muslim-majority countries tended to reject homosexuality, with results under 10 percent for Islamic societies from Africa to Southeast Asia to the Middle East. The only exception is Lebanon, although the country is only about two-thirds Muslim. Only 2 percent of Pakistanis and Tunisians – who are generally considered cosmopolitan by Mideast standards – said society should accept gays.

To be clear, though, some Christian-majority countries also overwhelmingly say that society shouldn’t accept homosexuality: Ghana and Uganda, both in sub-Saharan Africa.

(2) Western and Latin American countries the most accepting of gays.

As with the data we examined earlier on racial tolerance, European, Anglophone and Latin countries seem to be the most accepting. In fact, only one country outside of those three categories had more than half of respondents accepting homosexuality: the Philippines (more on this later).

The two most accepting countries are Spain and Germany, with 88 and 87 percent, respectively, answering “yes.” Generally, tolerance seems to decline further East in Europe, with about half of respondents in Greece and Poland accepting homosexuality.

Russia, infamously weak on gay rights, scored below Lebanon, with only 16 percent saying gays should be accepted. It doesn’t take long to find anecdotal evidence. On Saturday, a Russian official announced that the country would ban same-sex couples from adopting children out of the country’s notoriously over-filled and sometimes dangerous orphanage system. On Monday, a Russian airport official was beaten to death for being gay.

The U.S. also lags behind much of the Western world by this metric, with only 60 percent answering “yes.” Interestingly, with so many U.S. states now allowing same-sex marriage, those states are ahead of much of Europe on gay rights despite the overall low score on this survey.

(3) Acceptance is rising in the U.S., Canada and South Korea.

Here’s an interesting detail from Pew’s report: Attitudes about homosexuality have been fairly stable in recent years, except in South Korea, the United States and Canada, where the percentage saying homosexuality should be accepted by society has grown by at least ten percentage points since 2007.

It’s actually grown most quickly in South Korea, where’s it’s more than doubled from 18 to 39 percent. That’s still lower than you might expect, though; South Korea is the least accepting of homosexuality among the world’s rich, developed countries. Japan, at 54 percent, isn’t much better.
(4) Religious countries tend to be less accepting of gays.

Pew put together this chart of religiosity versus tolerance of homosexuality, for which they found a pretty clear correlation. (Each of those little dots represents a country; dots further to the right represent more religious countries; dots further to the bottom represent countries that are less accepting of homosexuality.)

Homo-tolarant2

Source; Washington Post