ZevRoss Spatial Analysis created an online course to help users conduct spatial analysis in R using the exiting new
sf and powerful
raster packages. Here’s the write-up on the new DataCamp course:
There has never been a better time to use R for spatial analysis! The brand new sf package has made working with vector data in R a breeze and the raster package provides a set of powerful and intuitive tools to work gridded data like satellite imagery. Instead of the painful process of performing your spatial analysis in GIS systems like ArcGIS or QGIS and then shuffling your results into another system for analysis you can move your entire spatial analysis workflow into R. In this course you will learn why the sf package is rapidly taking over spatial analysis in R. You will read in spatial data, manipulate vectors using the dplyr package and learn how to work with coordinate reference systems. You’ll also learn how to perform geoprocessing of vectors including buffering, spatial joins, computing intersections, simplifying and measuring distance. With rasters you will aggregate, reclassify, crop, mask and extract. The last chapter of the course is devoted to showing you how to make maps in R with the ggplot2 and tmap packages and performing a fun mini-analysis that brings together all your new skills.
Thank you to our clients, colleagues and friends for a 2017 filled with thoughtful and stimulating projects. This past year we:
Zev is a co-investigator on a large new federally-funded project to investigate the community factors that most strongly influence opioid addition and other behavioral health issues. The ZevRoss Spatial Analysis team will be working with researchers at Emory University, the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists to create a geo-database of variables, develop machine learning predictive models and create an R package to automate and facilitate modeling and data access.
Zev Ross will be at Google offices in Sunnyvale, California this week to participate in Google’s Geo for Good User Summit 2017. The Summit is a hands-on technical workshop hosted by the Google Earth Outreach team and is designed to connect mapping and technology specialists in the public benefit sector.
ZevRoss Spatial Analysis co-authored a new article on data science coding in R entitled “Declutter your R workflow with tidy tools”. Co-authored with RStudio Chief Scientist Hadley Wickham and Stack Overflow Data Scientist David Robinson the article describes a new suite of R tools for conducting data science that emphasize a cleaner more consistent flow between analysis steps. The article is part of a collection of articles on data science and R, Practical Data Science for Stats, edited by Jenny Bryan and Hadley Wickham.
A web mapping application created by ZevRoss Spatial Analysis for the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has been highlighted in the Journal of Public Health Management & Practice. The journal published a online post outlining the value of the application to public health researchers focused on pesticide exposure. The post also describes a companion article in the journal by CDPH entitled “Environmental Health Tracking Improves Pesticide Use Data to Enable Research and Inform Public Health Actions in California”.
We created a new interactive mapping application for the Natural Resources Defense Council to highlight patterns in exposure to air pollution and ragweed pollen. The application was designed to show both national and state-level views of county data on exposures and includes a layer of the top 50 Asthma Capitals – cities listed by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America as the “most challenging places to live with asthma”. In creating the map, we made extensive use of some of our favorite tools including Angular for app scaffolding and controls, Leaflet.js for map display and controls, Mapzen for geocoding and a suite of tools/formats to create web ready spatial files including QGIS, mapshaper and topojson.
Under a new contact with the Louisiana Department of Health, ZevRoss Spatial Analysis will be providing consultation on the development of a new environmental health web portal. The portal will provide public access to a wide variety of data on public health risks and exposures. As part of the project we will be analyzing data on mercury in fish across the state and help guide the inclusion of data on Zika, childhood lead poisoning.
A paper we co-authored with researchers at the World Health Organization was nominated by the Springer Nature Editors-in-Chief as one the groundbreaking articles published in 2016 in the category of Medicine and Public Health. The article details the development of a software product written in R to help governments visualize and analyze health inequalities. The article itself can be found here.
The Philadelphia Department of Public Health contracted with ZevRoss Spatial Analysis to provide spatial and statistical consultation on the development of a new urban air monitoring network. We provided similar services to the New York City Department of Health in 2008-2016 as they developed what became the largest urban air quality monitoring network in the country. As part of our consultation for NYC we conducted statistical simulations, developed monitoring location siting scenarios and generated statistical models of air pollutants to predict levels at unmonitored locations. Although regulatory monitoring has been conducted in Philadelphia for more than a decade, the new network will be designed to better capture geographic patterns of air pollution city-wide.
Zev completed a series of eight R workshops at the Freddie Mac main offices in Tysons Corner, Virginia. Over the course of a year Zev taught the Introduction to R workshop and the Predictive Modeling and Machine Learning with R each four times. A total of 200 students attended the workshops. In anonymous reviews, participants rated the workshops a 4.6 out of 5. One of the organizers of the workshop, Sharla Bailey, Director of Training for the Single-Family Division wrote to Zev following the workshop “people are still talking about the training you did for us! VERY POSITIVE IMPACT!! Thank you!!!!”.
Our new interactive data application is highlighted in a New York Times article on the health effects of exposure to air pollution. The application, created with the Health Effects Institute, allows users to visualize air pollution exposure and burden by country and by global region. Created using Shiny, an interactive application framework using the R language, the application includes both interactive graphs and maps. The focus of the New York Times article is on the rapidly worsening air pollution in India.
The biggest news of the year for us is that we will have a new member of our team in 2017. Chris Marx comes to us with 10 years of software and web development experience with specialized expertise in online mapping. He is one of the key developers of Cornell University’s Yard Map project. He will dramatically improve our capacity to create interactive online data applications and maps. Welcome Chris.
We co-authored seven papers on topics such as health-related software, air pollution and sexually transmitted diseaseRead More…
ZevRoss Spatial Analysis is a co-author on a paper describing software to explore and compare country-level data on health inequalities. The software, developed by the WHO and ZevRoss Spatial Analysis is used by analysts to investigate the relationships between dimensions such as economic status and health outcomes in countries around the world. The software was written using the new web application framework for R called Shiny. The paper is open-access and can be downloaded here.
Zev will run a training called Interactive Data Visualization in R with Shiny and ggplot2 at the Open Data Science Conference in Boston on May 20. The 4-hour training will cover the basics of creating graphics using the package ggplot2, creating interactive applications using Shiny and making dynamic graphics with HTML widgets. The “TA” for the workshop with be the Shiny package creator and RStudio Chief Technology Officer Joe Cheng. You can find more on the trainings at this conference at http://www.odsc.com/boston/workshops or you can visit the page for Zev’s training at http://www.odsc.com/boston/detailed-speaker-page#zev-ross.
Zev participated in RStudio’s Shiny developers conference in Palo Alto where he delivered a 5 minute lightning talk on the development of an interactive data visualization application using Shiny for the World Health Organization. The two-day conference featured talks on interesting applications using the software and included talks from RStudio on debugging and profiling techniques and new innovations in the Shiny package.
We had the opportunity to work on fun and interesting projects in 2015. Our work with clients this year included: * co-authoring scientific papers on air quality, HIV infection, asthma and neighborhood demographics * developing a visualization tool to explore data on health equity for the World Health Organization * developing an R package for environmental monitoring data as well as interactive mapping and analysis applications for clients in NYC, Boston and Philadelphia producing maps and statistical analysis for more than a dozen clients across the countryRead More…
ZevRoss Spatial Analysis was awarded a contract with the World Health Organization to develop a final version of their Health Equity Assessment Toolkit. The Toolkit is an application designed to allow researchers to assess health equity in countries around the world based on a variety of factors. Users can explore and compare data on health equity by several dimensions (e.g., economic status, sex) and more than a dozen indicators (e.g., infant mortality, vaccination rates). The Toolkit is developed using Shiny, a web application framework for R software.
Zev will be visiting the American Cancer Society offices in Atlanta on October 7 and 8 to conduct the introduction to R workshop. The workshop covers key R concepts and gives examples using the packages dplyr and ggplot2.
ZevRoss Spatial Analysis has been working with researchers at Columbia University on a project looking at air pollution exposure while biking in NYC. As part of the project we are in the process of creating an online interactive web application to assign air pollution exposure based on biking path data collected from a GPS. In the initial stages of development we created an animated map of air pollution levels that was recently included in a Science Friday video.
ZevRoss Spatial Analysis is developing software to help researchers at Columbia University manage and analyze data from a study related to bicycling and health in New York City. As part of the study, participants bicycle the City outfitted with an array of sensors that monitor heart rate, respiration, blood pressure and air pollution. In support of the study, ZevRoss Spatial Analysis is developing a library of computer functions in the R language (an R package) that will process the sensor data and upload to SQL databases for storage.
A new report by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Queens College and ZevRoss Spatial Analysis shows impressive improvements in New York City air quality 2008-2013. Concentrations of major pollutants declined 16-69% during this time period. The biggest declines were in sulfur dioxide – a direct result of new regulations that phase out dirtier heating oils.
ZevRoss Spatial Analysis worked with scientists at the Natural Resources Defense Council to create a web mapping application that allows users to identify US communities that are most vulnerable to ocean acidification, a condition that can pose a serious threat to underwater life. The application makes extensive use of a relatively new, popular and open-source mapping technology called Leaflet and allows users to investigate factors that influence ocean acidification.
RStudio, creators of popular open source software for the R statistical programming language, have added Zev Ross as a recommended R training and consulting partner. For more details visit RStudio’s training.
ZevRoss Spatial Analysis had a rewarding 2014 working with many of you on a variety of interesting projects. Examples of our work include, co-authoring several scientific papers with clients in NYC, Atlanta, Providence and California, developing interactive, online mapping applications for clients in California, Boston and New Haven and conducting time series modeling and spatial statistics for clients in California, NYC and Colorado. Despite a soccer-related broken leg, Zev also had a few opportunities to leave his Ithaca-based computer – he delivered talks on online tools for visualization of geographic data to the New York State Department of Health and at Cornell University.Read More…
On November 13th and 14th 2014 Zev delivered a two-day workshop on R statistical software to 20 students and professors at the UCLA School of Public Health in Los Angeles. The workshop was designed as a crash course in R software with a specific emphasis on data visualization and included a half-day section on the popular new data visualization package ggplot2.
ZevRoss Spatial Analysis worked with a team of researchers from Emory University and several other institutions to evaluate the relationship between depression (in one study) and vulnerability to HIV and other sexually-transmitted diseases (in the other study) as they relate to changes in neighborhood characteristics after a move from public housing. As part of the study, ZevRoss Spatial Analysis computed crime and alcohol outlet densities as well as network distances between residences at different time points.
ZevRoss Spatial Analysis worked with the Natural Resources Defense Council to develop maps of crude oil train derailment risk zones in California. The maps and analysis are part of an issue brief which brings attention to the risks faced by California residents due to potentially.
ZevRoss Spatial Analysis is a co-author on a study by researchers at University of California, Berkeley and Boston University focused on traffic-related noise in three US cities, Los Angeles, New York and Atlanta. As part of the study, noise measurements were collected with simultaneously measured vehicle counts. The results, published in the journal Environmental Research, find substantial variation in traffic-related noise between cities and show a strong correlation between vehicle counts and noise levels.
Zev is scheduled to conduct a 2-day R workshop (with a special emphasis on data visualization) at the UCLA School of Public Health in June. For the fourth year in a row, Zev will also deliver a 1-day R workshop in Seattle at the International Society for Environmental Society for Environmental Epidemiology (ISEE) conference in September.
ZevRoss Spatial Analysis worked with the Natural Resources Defense Council to prepare maps and statistics on the affects of Hurricane Sandy on the New York City region. The results of the analysis are presented in a new NRDC report Preparing for Climate Change: Lessons for Coastal Cities from Hurricane Sandy.