Monthly Archives: October 2011

Statistical Treats for a Happy Halloween!

 Happy HalloweenDid you know?

  • 1.1 billion total pounds of pumpkin were grown in the U.S. in 2010 
  • there are an estimated 41 million potential trick-or-treaters in the U.S., ages 5-14
  • California led the nation in the number of chocolate and cocoa manufacturing establishments, with 135

Find these and other fun holiday statistics at the U.S. Census Bureau’s Newsroom, Facts for Features & Special Editions page – one of the census projects designed for journalists.  This collection of statistics from demographic and economic subject areas provides information, background, and source citing for topics in the news.  Happy Halloween!

Welcome new authors (and name change)!

We’ve recently made some changes to the CUL Spatial Blog, one of those is the title. We are now CU Spatial, instead of being a libraries only blog, this is now a Columbia University GIS blog.

We have several new contributors from CIESIN, ISERP and GSAPP with lots of experience, knowledge and interests joining us. we’re very excited about this change and seeing all the future posts from each of the writers!

Corruption — Is It Inevitable?

The World Bank and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime have just issued a new report, The Puppet Masters: How the Corrupt Use Legal Structures to Hide Stolen Assets and What to Do About It, which examines the corporate and financial structures that form the building blocks of hidden money trails. Corruption is estimated to be at least a $40 billion dollar a year business!

Transparency International(TI) defines corruption as the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. This definition encompasses corrupt practices in both the public and private sectors. The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) ranks countries according to the perception of corruption in the public sector. The CPI is an aggregate indicator that combines different sources of information about corruption, making it possible to compare countries. The Global Corruption Barometer is a survey that assesses general public attitudes toward, and experience of, corruption in dozens of countries around the world.

In 2010, which country ranked as the least corrupt? New Zealand. Which ranked as the most corrupt? Look at the data and find out.


Library Subject Guides


Did you know that the librarians at Columbia University have created and maintain guides for research in numerous different subject areas? There are currently 140 subject guides, ranging from African-American Studies to the World Trade Center Attack. Many of these subject guides were created by librarians in Lehman Library especially for use by students in anthropology, political science, sociology and the School of International and Public Affairs. The guides point you to the best academic sources for books, journal articles, databases, background information, statistics, primary resources, reports, government documents and more. Try one of more of them the next time that you start a research project — and let us know if they were helpful!


GIS Workshop – Coordinate Systems & Projections

Next Friday 10/7 from 10:30-12:00 there will be a new GIS workshop "Coordinate Systems & Projections" offered in EDS. This workshop will provide a very generalized introduction to the components of Earth coordinate reference systems and map projections. The focus will be on providing the basic concepts needed for working in GIS applications, specifically ArcMap.