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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Expanding Geography with Free and Open Source Software: Technology Diffusion, Cartography, and Data Analysis
by Mandel, Alexander, Ph.D., University of California, Davis, 2014, 86; 3646340
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation lies at the intersection of two current trends in technology, both of which are increasing with the spread of high speed internet: location-based services (geospatial technologies) and Free and Open Source Software (FOSS). Chapter one explores the nature of geospatial technology knowledge diffusion by investigating the spread of OSGeo-Live, a collection of pre-existing geospatial FOSS packaged specifically for demonstration and education purposes. The analysis examines the distribution of downloaders, contributors and translators then assesses the potential barriers to knowledge diffusion including economic, technical and socio-cultural factors. Chapter two describes a new online tool built with FOSS designed to bring traditional cartographic knowledge to a new medium, the internet, and a new audience, web developers and other non-traditional internet-based cartographers. The tool allows users to compare several base map options simultaneously, providing guidance on how to assess the appropriateness of a base map for a particular map composition. Chapter three uses geospatial FOSS software to conduct verification of a habitat fragmentation model with GPS tracking data. By demonstrating a common type of analysis for natural resource scientists, the methods provide an example for traditional types of geospatial analysis emphasizing repeatability, shareability, and usability by field science practitioners not just geospatial specialists. These studies represent an initial foray into understanding geospatial technology diffusion and modern geospatial technologies, specifically with geospatial free and open source software.

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Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Quinn, James F.
Commitee: Hijmans, Robert, Ludaescher, Bertram
School: University of California, Davis
Department: Geography
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-B 76/04(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Geography, Geographic information science, Computer science
Keywords: Cartography, Conservation biology, Free and open source software, Geospatial, Gis, Knowledge diffusion
Publication Number: 3646340
ISBN: 978-1-321-36327-2
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