Coffee Hour with Corina Graif | Rise of pseudocylindricals | Mumbai by night


Eisenlohr projectionThe Eisenlohr world map projection. A green gradient is used to represent the amount of areal distortion across the projection’s surface. The darker the green on the color scale indicates more areal distortion. See related story below.


  • E-K Kim will be co-chairing a workshop on “Rethinking of ABCs: Agent-Based Models and Complexity Science in the age of Big Data, CyberGIS, and Sensor Networks” at The GIScience 2016 Workshop, ” in September in Montreal, Canada. More information is available at:
  • The no)Boundaries student conference is on February 20 on the first floor of Deike Building.
  • The Penn State Lab for Analysis of Culture and Environment launched its web site this week. Visit:


Coffee Hour with Corina Graif
Escaping the Long Arm of Poverty: Extended Geographies of Child Victimization and Violence Exposures
Neighborhood poverty has long been viewed as an important predictor of children’s exposures to violence and victimization. A growing body of evidence from ecological studies indicates that crime and violence are affected not just by a neighborhood’s poverty level but also the poverty level in nearby areas. However, such evidence has not been systematically integrated in the neighborhood effects and victimization literature, where neighborhoods remain assumed to predominantly function as isolated islands having no interaction with surrounding areas.

  • 3:30 to 5:00 p.m.
  • Refreshments are offered in 319 Walker Building at 3:30 p.m.
  • The lecture begins in 112 Walker Building at 4:00 p.m.
  • Coffee Hour To Go Webcast
  • Next week: Tom Serfass

Enhancing geographic literacy: All maps distort, so which ones should we use?
Fritz Kessler, a senior research associate in Penn State’s Department of Geography, was awarded a Gladys Snyder Education Grant from the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (EMS) to support his project “Map Projection Use in World Atlases (1850-2000): Rise of the Pseudocylindricals,” which examines the history of map publishing.

“When you create a map, you use mathematical processes to project Earth’s spherical surface onto a flat surface. We know that all maps are distorted representations of Earth,” Kessler said.

Notes from the field: Mumbai by night
11:30 p.m. IST—Urging my auto-rickshaw driver to move faster, I manage to arrive at my research site in the Malad suburb of Mumbai, in time to observe the change in shift of call center workers. This area of the city is lit up, as work hours are in full swing in call centers. There are numerous private buses and taxis lined up outside these call centers. These provide transportation for call center employees working the night shift, as mandated by Indian law. Each bus has a sign labeled with the name of the company and the neighborhood that is its final destination. As I stand watching, busloads of employees working for British companies, and according to UK shift times, head out. Shortly thereafter, buses and taxis with employees working for U.S. companies, and in U.S. daytime hours, arrive. This duration of bustling activity quiets, and I can observe more closely the numerous street vendors who line the streets on either side outside call centers.

Deluge: Climate change, sea level, and the growing threat of coastal floods
This story originally appeared in the October 2015 issue of Research|Penn State magazine.
Inch by inch, the sea is moving up the beach. We’ve seen the images of disappearing glaciers and morose polar bears on their shrinking floes. Climate change is melting the world’s ice, and sea levels are on the rise. Homes, businesses, roads, power lines, anything close to the shore will be in danger. Those who live near a coast know this. If they’ve lived there long enough, they can see it out their own windows. … But a funny thing happens on the way to the future. Most people don’t think the catastrophes will happen to them. … “It’s called optimism bias,” says Penn State geographer Brent Yarnal. “People tend to be very optimistic about the familiar.”


Last week’s feline was Pike, companion to Liz and John Dzwonczyk. Send a photo of your animal companion to

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