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Big Social Data THE LONG TAIL OF SCIENCE DATA by Rich Heimann at Imaging Notes 2013


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  • 1. E ARTH REMOTE SENSING FOR SECURIT Y E N E R GY A N D THE ENVIRONMENT Winter 2013 Vol. 28 No. 1LOCATIONM E D I AALLIANCE Precision Big Social Better Bathymetric Ag Data Weather Lidar Forecasts
  • 2. THE FORCE THATDRIVES SMARTERDECISIONSWelcome to Intergraph Geospatial 2013WE ARE UNITED. Whether it’s by desktop, server, web, orcloud – our integrated geospatial portfolio delivers what youneed, where you need it. Less hassle. Complete workflow.One partner.WE ARE MODERN. Our fresh and intuitive interfaces andautomated technology transform the way you see and shareyour data. This world has new challenges. Combat them witha smarter design.WE ARE DYNAMIC. Leverage our single integrated, dynamicenvironment for spatial modeling. Our core geospatial toolsenable you to exploit the wealth of information found in datafrom any source.GEOSPATIAL.INTERGRAPH.COM/2013 INTERGRAPH GEOSPATIAL 2013 Experience the force that’s driving smarter TEAM GEO-FORCE decisions at a road show near you.© 2013 Intergraph Corporation. All rights reserved. Intergraph is part of Hexagon. Intergraph and the Intergraph logoare registered trademarks of Intergraph Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and in other countries.
  • 3. Winter 2013 CONTENTS >Columns 4 Cover Image MAYN RIVER, SIBERIA 7 Publisher’s Letter ANNOUNCING THE LOCATION MEDIA ALLIANCE By Myrna James Yoo 12 9 News & Views FROM LBX JOURNAL 11 News & Views FROM SENSORS & SYSTEMS 38 Secure World Foundation Forum THE NEXT 10-15 YEARS By Ray Williamson, PhD >Features 12 Jenn Sabers of Landsat Executive Interview 16 Anne Miglarese of PLANETiQ Executive Interview 20 Nancy Colleton of IGES Executive Interview 24 Bathymetric Lidar SANDY’S COASTAL IMPACT By Matteo Luccio Contributor 24 30 Precision Ag SENSORS DRIVE EFFICIENCY By Matteo Luccio Contributor 34 Big Social Data THE LONG TAIL OF SCIENCE DATA By Richard Heimann Data Tactics Corporation 30IMAGING NOTES // WINTER 2013 // WWW.IMAGINGNOTES.COM 3
  • 4. Mayn River, Winter 2013 / Vol. 28 / No. 1 Siberia Our Mission Imaging Notes is the premier publication for commercial, government and academic remote sensing professionals around the world. It provides objective exclusive in-depth reporting that demonstrates how remote sensing technologies and spatial information COVER IMAGE illuminate the urgent interrelated issues of the environment, energy and security. Imaging Notes has partnerships Imaging Notes is affiliated with the with Secure World Foundation Alliance for Earth Observations, a ( program of The Institute for Global and Sensors & Systems Environmental Strategies ( ( Publisher/Managing Editor Editorial Advisory Board Myrna James Yoo Mark E. Brender GeoEye Editor Anita Burke Ray A. Williamson, PhD The Catalyst Institute Contributing Writers Nancy Colleton Leonard David Institute for Global Matteo Luccio Environmental Strategies Copy Editor William B. Gail, PhD Bette Milleson Global Weather Corporation Creative Director Anne Hale Miglarese Jürgen Mantzke PLANETiQ Enfineitz LLC Kevin Pomfret, Esq. Centre for Spatial Law and Policy Deputy Art Director Andrew Sternard Editorial Contributions Imaging Notes welcomes contributions for feature articles. We publish articles on the remote sensing industry, including applications, technology, and business. Please see Contributor’s Guidelines on, and email proposals to Subscriptions To subscribe or renew, please go to, and click on ‘subscribe.’ If you are a current subscriber, renew by locating your account number on your address label to enter the database and update your subscription. If you cannot go online, you may write to the address below. This image of the Mayn River in Imaging Notes (ISSN 0896-7091) Copyright © 2013 Siberia was taken Oct. 1, 2000 by Landsat 7. The Blueline Publishing LLC, P.O. Box 11519, Denver, CO 80211, 303-477-5272 image shows the Mayn River with a portion of the All rights reserved. No material may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by Anadyr River, flowing through the far northeastern any means without written permission from the publisher. While every precaution is corner of Siberia. taken to ensure accuracy, the publisher and the Alliance for Earth Observations cannot The Landsat Data Continuity Mission, Landsat accept responsibility for the accuracy of information or for any opinions or views presented in Imaging Notes. 8, is set to launch on Feb. 11, 2013. An Executive Interview with Jenn Sabers begins on page 12. Although trademark and copyright symbols are not used in this publication, they are honored. She is Remote Sensing Branch Chief of the Earth Imaging Notes is printed on 20% recycled (10% post-consumer waste) paper. Resources Observations and Science (EROS) All inks used contain a percentage of soy base. Our printer meets or Center, at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). exceeds all federal Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA) Standards. IMAGING NOTES // WINTER 2013 // WWW.IMAGINGNOTES.COM4
  • 5. L i D A R + I M A G I N GDrive route at normal vehicle speeds Bring the field to the office. Quickly create and deliver GIS, CAD,and collect required data, in one visit, point cloud and/or image files. View a powerful 3D high density pointeliminating return trips to the field. cloud with georeferenced images Revisit the data set to mine data andCost per point is dramatically reduced. on the PC. Extract features or make create additional deliverables at any time. measurements from the desktop.Personnel collect data safely from With this one-source turnkey solutiona vehicle. Data judgments are made by the your workflow is as easy as 1-2-3. data user.
  • 6. I m a g e r y co u r te s y of D ig i t a l Gl o be. Imagine Your Imagery Everywhere Esri’s ArcGIS® simplifies the next generation of imagery management and dissemination through on-the-fly processing, image services, and dynamic mosaicking. With ArcGIS, your imagery is accessible to more people in less time. Learn more at Copyright © 2012 Esri. All rights reserved.
  • 7. Announcing the LOCATIONLocation Media Alliance M E D I A ALLIANCE Publisher’s LetterDear Readers, In late January, an important Imaging Notes is proud to be a part of announcement was made at the DGIthe Location Media Alliance (LMA), which conference in London by Esri Presidentincludes also LBx Journal, Sensors & Jack Dangermond: Esri and DigitalGlobeSystems, Informed Infrastructure, and Asian are expanding their strategic partner-Surveying & Mapping. We offer a combined ship through a collaborative offering ofaudience of 59,200 business, technology, global high-resolution imagery that will beand policy professionals. The LMA promotes accessible directly from ArcGIS Onlinethe power of location analytics and geospatial as dynamic cloud-based image services.and remote sensing technologies to improve Esri’s Director of Imagery Lawrie Jordanour world—socially, politically, and economi- noted, “Making recently collected imagerycally—with more efficient businesses, smarter available quickly and simply to millions ofbuilt environments, and the better steward- GIS users globally is a compelling exampleship of our planet’s scarce resources. of the benefits of leveraging cloud-based the Alliance for Earth Observations (read The LMA will cross-promote and work GIS as a platform. This is a game-changer the interview with Nancy Colleton on pagetogether in all aspects of our publica- for the industry and for our users. 20). Thanks also to other long-term Edito-tions, serving distinct user and vendor Other exciting developments are rial Board members Mark Brender, Anitadomains while collectively spanning the occurring under the banner of GeoDesign. Burke, Bill Gail and Kevin Pomfret.full breadth of the geospatial industry and At this year’s GeoDesign Summit, Bran Our final board member is Anne Halelocation-based applications. LMA offers Ferren of Applied Minds noted that GIS is Miglarese, who is CEO of newly formedan unprecedented coordinated media layers of data at one time, while GeoDe- PLANETiQ, a company that will launchand advertising distribution platform for sign is a “geo-temporal domain,” with a minimum of 12 satellites primarily foroptimum market education and brand temporal compression of data, giving us weather forecasting, with the vision ofrecognition. Cross-cutting all publications the ability to tell stories about the past, and having their data available within threewill be quarterly themes, including in future. He says that we must be brave and minutes! Read more on page 16.the current issues precision agriculture use GeoDesign to build a “Bill of Rights for I am more excited than ever to be a part(see page 30). Upcoming themes for all the Planet.” We can use science combined of this industry, as the convergence of cloudpublications are water (Spring), energy with engineering and design to rise above computing, Big Data (see article on page(Summer) and security (Fall). the rhetoric and start a public dialog about 34), standards and crowdsourcing/Commu- We are celebrating the launch of LMA the subjects that really matter. Watch for nity Remote Sensing all come together toat the International LiDAR Mapping Forum. articles in the Spring issue. bring us closer to the vision of a true “livingRead about bathymetric LiDAR used after Finally, not a moment too soon, The planet” – a representation of our planetHurricane Sandy on page 24. Landsat Data Continuity Mission (to be online with real-time data for every part of the DigitalGlobe and GeoEye confirmed the named Landsat 8 after launch) is sched- world, to be used for the greater good.combination of their two companies on Jan. uled for launch Feb. 11, 2013, just after we It is truly a privilege to be able to report31, 2013. This begins a new era for imagery, go to press with this issue. We talk to Jenn on the trends and new applications thatas the combined company will provide a Sabers of EROS Center on page 12. This are developing all the time. Thank you forwider variety of earth imagery and geospatial mission is important for the continuity of reading. Please email feedback, and keepanalysis to help customers solve their most the nearly 40-year dataset, provided free of a close eye on your next issues! We havecomplex problems, and to serve better the charge for users around the world. more exciting news of our own!global market. (See page 11 for more news.) Thank you to our long-time strategic Best regards,An article about Astrium’s offerings will partners, Secure World Foundation (read Myrna James Yooappear in our Spring 2013 issue. Ray Williamson’s column on page 38) and PublisherIMAGING NOTES // WINTER 2013 // WWW.IMAGINGNOTES.COM 7
  • 8. LOCATION M E D I A ALLIANCEStay Informed:on Applications, Technology, Business and PolicyREAD THESE PUBLICATIONSInformed Infrastructure Imaging Notes covers Sensors & Systems LBx Journal is location in Asian Surveying &promotes the combination Earth remote sensing provides details on new the language of business Mapping providesof sensor inputs, simulation for security, energy and existing frameworks – a resource for business news and a weeklyand modeling to tune and the environment of instrumented and professionals who are e-newsletter focused oninfrastructure design/ with a quarterly print interconnected networks exploring the location geospatial technologybuild/operation for the publication and monthly and decision support dimensions of business. applications in Asia-greatest efficiency. Areas eNews. Reporting is tools to monitor and We connect geospatial Pacific areas of coverageof coverage include smart in-depth and exclusive adapt to global change technologies with including surveying,grids, water, transportation, about the uses of imagery with daily online news business needs through positioning, GIS, andfacility management, and and geospatial solutions and a weekly newsletter. in-depth reporting and remote sensing tools andsmart cities. Read daily worldwide. the Location SmartBrief case updates online, and eNewsletter.sign up for the weekly www.asmmag.come-newsletter. IMAGING NOTES // WINTER 2013 // WWW.IMAGINGNOTES.COM 8
  • 9. Q UA R T E R LY LO C AT I O N B U S I N E S S N E W S R E V I E W : H E R E A R E T H E R E C E N Tmost interesting or important articles according to Location SmartBrief readers. LOCATION NEWS FROM THE WEB LOCATION ECOSYSTEM 1. Maps may decide who rules mobile’s future January 2, 2013 Advanced location-based services linked to maps are at the forefront of mobile technology and could play a critical role in which corporate behemoth emerges on top, Rolfe Winkler writes. Apple’s disastrous mapping application reinforced Google’s sizable lead in the arena, and Google is expected to release a sophisticated predictive tool to provide wireless-device users with information before they even request it. 2. Why indoor mapping is the next frontier December 12, 2012 Indoors is the next mapping frontier for location data, writes Matt Ball. Up-front costs can be high and real-time location tracking can be a challenge, but businesses that take the time and effort will be leaders in indoor marketing. For businesses such as manufacturing plants and hospitals, such maps can improve safety and efficiency. 3. Geospatial projects found to save time and money January 16, 2013 A review of nine geospatial projects by Kim Geomatics revealed that the projects have many benefits, such as cost savings, better market intelligence and increased productivity. Geospatial data can be expensive, however, which might lead to some databases being out of date, but using Web-based databases can help solve that problem, according to Kim Geometrics President Bob Ryerson. INDUSTRY APPLICATIONS 1. How location data helped break the Petraeus scandal November 14, 2012 Former CIA Director David Petraeus’ affair was discovered in part because of location data encoded in a series of alleged harassing e-mails that his mistress sent to another woman. “Email, information-wise, says as much about its sender as its receiver. The messages’ metadata told investigators what they needed to know, even if they weren’t looking to know it in the first place,” this article notes. 2. Online atlas offers precinct-level view of 2008 election results November 7, 2012 Researchers at Stanford and Harvard have joined forces to create an online “Election Atlas” giving a precinct-level view of the 2008 election results. The tool lets researchers glean information about the demographic and geographic foundations of President Barack Obama’s winning coalition, showing how Obama and John McCain split rural and suburban voters. 3. Disney introduces bracelet technology to make parks even friendlier January 9, 2013 This spring, Walt Disney World will launch a program that will allow participating customers to bypass entry turnstiles and use rubber bracelets encoded with credit card data to enter and buy items inside the park. The bracelets are part of a vacation management system called MyMagic+, which is part of a larger effort to make the park easier for guests to navigate. BUSINESS AND STRATEGY PLANNING 1. Why location data will be a gold mine to marketers in 2013 January 2, 2013 Location-based technology on smartphones will be a boon to marketers in 2013, Neal Leavitt writes. Marketers can target ads and offer instant discounts to customers who “check in” at specific locations. Marketing tech firm Tabbedout caters to users who don’t like to broadcast their location by offering applications that allow users to search businesses by ZIP code. 2. How retailers set prices using customer location data December 26, 2012 Some retailers, such as Staples and Office Depot, are using customer location data to set prices when a customer shops online. Prices can be different depending on where a customer lives and how close that location is to a competitor. 3. How the cloud takes GIS to the next level January 16, 2013 Geospatial information systems running in the cloud gives everyone across an organization quick access to location dataIMAGING NOTES // WINTER 2013 // WWW.IMAGINGNOTES.COM without worrying about installing software or calling in a GIS professional, Krairop Luanguthai writes. “It provides easy-to-use 9 workflow to enable not only GIS professionals but typical users to convert their own spreadsheet data and create a beautiful map on their own,” Luanguthai said.
  • 10. IN US FO O R J 13–16 MAY, 2013 Rotterdam, The Netherlands BE ER UR T S -W N ORL CE D TR A DE MONETISING GEOSPATIAL VALUE AND PRA CTICES BRINGING TOGETHER GEOSPATIAL COMMUNITYAgency9 | ARCADIS | Association of Geographic Information Laboratories for Europe (AGILE) | Astrium | Bentley | Brabant Water | Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE) | BRGM, France | Cadastre, Land Registry and Mapping Agency | Capgemini | 4C-Grid | Delft University of Technology | Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, South Africa | DigitalGlobe | e-Leaf | Environment Agency Abu Dhabi | Esri | EuroGeographics | European Association of Remote Sensing Companies European Commission | European Environmental Agency | Exelis | GeoBusiness Nederland | Geo-Information Nederland | Geonovum | Google | Group on Earth ObservationsHeathrow Airport | Hexagon | iCEO/iEEE | Instituto Pereira Passos (IPP) Brazil | International Cartographic Association | ISPRS | King County Municipality | Leibniz Universität Hannover Leica Geosystems | MDA Geospatial Services | Microsoft Bing Maps | Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, Ghana | Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia | Munich Airport | NASA | Open Geospatial Consortium | Oracle | Ordnance Survey of Great Britain | OSGeo | Pitney Bowes Software | Progis | Riegl | Scanex Spectra Energy | Swisstopo | Terrago Technologies | The Joint Research Centre | Topcon | Trimble | UNIGIS, University of Salzburg | University of Wageningen | VALE | World Bank… TO EXPLORE THE VALUE AND BENEFITS OF GEOSPATIAL TECHNOLOGIES Monetising Geospatial Value and Practices for Business Enterprises | Monetising Geospatial Value and Practices for National Developmental Goals | Round Table on Geospatial Research and Innovation FOR POLICY, TECHNOLOGY, AND USER DOMAINS Land Administration > Public Safety > City Management > Agriculture > Construction & Infrastructure > Mining & Exploration > Capacity Building > Electricity & Gas Water Utility > Cloud Computing > Earth Observation Systems > LiDAR > Open Source > Photogrammetry > Cartography Environment > Asset Management > Gaming and Virtual Reality > Financial Services > 3D > Sensor Web > Big Data > Enterprise GIS > Geospatial Innovations > Airborne Sensors > GI Policy > Spatial Data Infrastructure Crowd Sourcing Vs Field Sourcing > Standards and Interoperability > Spatial Thinking > European Location Framework 10 FROM ACROSS THE WORLD IMAGING NOTES // WINTER 2013 // WWW.IMAGINGNOTES.COM Australia | Austria | Bahrain | Belgium | Brazil | Canada | China | Czech Republic | Denmark | Estonia | Ethiopia | Finland | France | Germany | Ghana | Greece | Hungary Iceland | India | Indonesia | Iran | Italy | Japan | Kenya | Korea | Malaysia | Mexico | Nepal | Norway | Poland | Russia | Saudi Arabia | Singapore | South Africa | Sweden Switzerland | Taiwan | Thailand | The Netherlands | Turkey | UAE | United Kingdom | United States of America | Vietnam | Zimbabwe…
  • 11. F O LLOW I N G A R E T H E TO P T E N N E W S S TO R I E S FO R E AC H M O N T H P R I O R TOthis issue as recorded via visitor views to the daily updates on Sensors &Systems ( The stories at the top received the mostviews for the month. Type in the short URL to access each story or access all here: News & ViewsN OV E M B E R DECEMBER JA N UA RY China Blocks Protection of Antarctica’s LizardTech Releases Updated DigitalGlobe and GeoEye Complete Waters: Report GeoViewer Application Combination SAIC Launches GRGlobe Trimble Launches Elite Membership: Lockheed Martin Delivers GOES-R A Complete Mapping Solution for Weather Satellite Core Structure for Outdoor Enthusiasts Propulsion System Integration Envitia Announce the Release of Open Spatial Announces the General DigitalGlobe Top Satellite Image 2012 - MapLink Pro 7.1 Availability Release of Enlighten Bi 3.0 Winner Announced Trimble Adds Smartphone App to Intergraph Launches Geospatial OpenStreetMap: A Year of Edits 2012 MyTopo Terrain Navigator Pro Software Portal 2013 Sandy’s Devastating Impact to Hudson New Release of SuperGIS Engine New Norwegian Satellite to Monitor the River Includes Widespread Toxic Spills 3.1 Beta High North BroadMap Releases MapConnect Leica Geosystems Introduces Virtual 1Spatial & LSI Partnership Awarded Enterprise 2012.10 with Enhanced Vista for Farmers Important U.S. Census Bureau Census and Postal Data Contract NASA Maps How Nutrients Affect Plant WCS Applauds Dept. of Interior Plan USGS Issues an App Development Productivity Balancing Conservation and Energy Challenge Development in NPR-A Avenza Releases MAPublisher 9.1 for GeoSpatial Experts Introduces Sherborne Sensors Automates Adobe Illustrator GeoJot+ Subscription to Mobilize Mineshaft Inspection Field Teams Intergraph Introduces GeoMedia Mission Accomplished for Landsat 5 Pléiades 1B Captures First Images WebMap 2013 Using e2v Sensors Microsoft Announces Release of European Earth Observation U.S. Forest Service Forecasts Trends UltraMap v3.0 Programme Renamed Copernicus and Challenges for Next 50 Years COLOR-CODED CATEGORIES: Corporate News Product News Policy/Research Global Change Energy Environment Food/ AgricultureIMAGING NOTES // WINTER 2013 // WWW.IMAGINGNOTES.COM 11
  • 12. This interview originally appeared in Sensors & Systems. It can be accessed online at www. Executive Interview Jenn Sabers Remote Sensing Branch Chief, EROS Data Center, USGS Landsat Poised to Meet Scientific Mission LAUNCH SCHEDULED FOR FEB. 11, 2013 THE LANDSAT DATA CONTINUITY remained in mathematics and got my distributing the data. So, here at EROS, Mission (, a joint project Master’s Degree from the University we are ensuring that all the systems are between NASA and the U.S. Geologi- of South Dakota. I wanted to come to in place to perform all of those tasks. cal Survey, is poised to deliver better EROS because I was very interested data to monitor global land-use change in its mission of understanding the S&S And you head all of that? with the planned launch of Landsat 8 changing Earth and what it did with its SABERS Yes. We have more than a on Feb. 11, 2013. Sensors & Systems data in studying Earth resources. I orig- dozen government staff who oversee (S&S) special correspondent Matteo inally came to EROS to work on the our technical services contract, as well Luccio spoke with Jenn Sabers, Remote data processing side and programmed as other contractors for other portions Sensing Branch Chief, Earth Resources mathematical equations to process of the mission. Observations and Science (EROS) Data Earth imagery. Then, I got more and Center, U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), more into the satellite missions and now S&S Who at NASA do you work with about the upcoming Landsat mission, head up the preparation for participa- the most closely? the technology, and the important role tion by the USGS in the Landsat Data SABERS We work closely with several of meeting the scientific mission. Continuity Mission (LDCM). folks at NASA. We work mainly with Ken Schwer, LDCM Project Manager S&S What intellectual and academic S&S For what aspects of the mission at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight path brought you to this job? are you responsible? Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. So, for SABERS I began in mathematics, here SABERS It is important to under- developing the ground system, we tend in South Dakota. I was familiar with stand that Landsat is a joint program to work through Ken at the overall the EROS Center and visited EROS managed by both USGS and NASA. LDCM mission manager level. in college, as part of a math club. I It is a great partnership that has We also work with Jim Irons, existed for the 40 years of the Landsat who is the Landsat Scientist at NASA F IG U R E 1. This image shows Guinea- program. NASA is primarily respons- Goddard. We work extremely closely Bissau, a small country in West Africa. ible for building and launching the with the science community, because Complex patterns can be seen in the satellite and USGS is responsible for we want to insure that the mission shallow waters along its coastline, where silt carried by the Geba and other rivers the ground aspects, which include meets the science requirements and washes out into the Atlantic Ocean. Image flying and operating the satellite and needs to the maximum extent possible. taken Dec. 1, 2000, by Landsat 7. receiving, processing, archiving, and Our Chief Scientist here at EROS is IMAGING NOTES // WINTER 2013 // WWW.IMAGINGNOTES.COM12
  • 13. “Users who participateshare their content, getto use the integratedservices, and maintainthe intellectual propertyrights of any contentbrought into this system.”IMAGING NOTES // WINTER 2013 // WWW.IMAGINGNOTES.COM 13
  • 14. Dr. Tom Loveland, who was instru- as cost-effectively as possible for the S&S What has been the biggest change mental in establishing the first Landsat users and the government. in Landsat during the life of the Science Team, which he co-chairs. program? A new Landsat Science Team was S&S Will UAS (unmanned aerial SABERS It is the free archive of recently selected and announced. systems) and/or microsats change the Landsat data. It became freely avail- role of Landsat? able several years ago and that has S&S How does Landsat 8 differ from SABERS The National Research revolutionized the way that scientists previous Landsat satellites? Council hosted a workshop earlier this study land change across the entire SABERS There are a number of signifi- year, on behalf of the USGS, to get a planet. It has increased the types of cant improvements. The operational sense of the current state of smallsat studies that are done and the number land imager (OLI) is a push-broom technologies and how they can be of uses of Landsat data. One area in system, which is an enhancement from utilized for future Landsat missions. which we’ve seen a large increase in our prior instrument. It has two new We want to ensure that Landsat monitoring is evapotranspiration. spectral bands: a blue, visible channel, is operational and that we have a The western states, in dealing with which is specifically designed for water solid path forward. We want to take water rights, have used Landsat data resources and coastal zone investiga- advantage of new technologies, but heavily over the past few years and tion, and a new infrared band that we we need to assure that they are proven I think that it is due to the fact that use for detecting cirrus clouds. Those and can maintain our long-term data it became freely available and so the are both significant improvements. records and that we can maintain that number of applications of the data Also, the quality of the data has consistency. We definitely want to keep has grown. increased, and we expect to see signifi- cant improvement in our ability to detect changes on the Earth’s surface. THERE ARE A NUMBER OF SIGNIFICANT Another improvement is that we plan to collect at least 400 scenes a day, IMPROVEMENTS. THE OPERATIONAL which is a significant improvement LAND IMAGER (OLI) IS A PUSH-BROOM over the current Landsat mission. Not only will the data we get be of higher SYSTEM, AND IT HAS TWO NEW SPECTRAL quality and more spectral depth, but BANDS: A BLUE, VISIBLE CHANNEL, we will get much more coverage of the entire Earth. WHICH IS SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED FOR WATER RESOURCES AND COASTAL ZONE S&S What is your perspective on consistency vs. improvements with INVESTIGATION, AND A NEW INFRARED regards to Landsat products? SABERS With the Landsat prod- BAND THAT WE USE FOR DETECTING ucts, there is a fine balance between CIRRUS CLOUDS. consistency and improvements. Since Landsat has been around for more than 40 years, we are the leading monitoring the technology and, when S&S Do you have any final comments? resource in being able to do long- the time is right and we have confi- SABERS Landsat is the most compre- term Earth studies. It is essential to dence in it, take advantage of it. hensive record of the global landmass maintain that consistency, so that we The approach has not yet been ever assembled. The Landsat archive, can continue that longest global data decided for any mission past LDCM. going back to 1972 and continuing record of the Earth. So, consistency in However, we want to take advantage into the future with LDCM, provides areas such as spatial resolution, cali- of any sort of future technology, as an unprecedented record of the status bration, and spectral characterization long as we can ensure that we can get of the Earth’s natural resources is extremely important. However, we the global coverage and the type of and human activity. The Landsat do want to take advantage of advance- imagery that we need to satisfy our program’s success is largely due to the ments in engineering and remote user needs. There is also potential great partnership between NASA and sensing, to try to ensure that we’re for UAS and microsat technology for the USGS. I hope that we can build on getting the best data and the most data augmenting Landsat’s capabilities. that for future missions. IMAGING NOTES // WINTER 2013 // WWW.IMAGINGNOTES.COM14
  • 15. THE IMAGING & GEOSPATIAL INFORMATION SOCIETYConfluence by the Bay —A Gathering ofGeospatial InsightsASPRS 2013 Annual ConferenceMarch 24–28, 2013Baltimore Marriott Waterfront HotelBaltimore, ASPRS Annual Conference returns to Baltimore, Maryland March24–28, 2013. The conference theme: , refers to the “coming together”of researchers and practitioners for the purpose of open dialogue withrespect to the most recent advances in geospatial analysis. The termspheres (hydrologic, terrestrial, and atmospheric) via remote sensing;very apropos for our conference location on the eastern seaboard of theUnited States. Year 2013 promises to be an encouraging period due to -ery from Landsat 8 will be presented at our meeting. Follow Us #ASPRS13A @ASPRSorg
  • 16. This interview was conducted by Matt Ball, and originally appeared in Sensors & Systems, where Executive Interview he is editor. It can be accessed online at www. Anne Hale Miglarese CEO of PLANETiQ PLANETiQ A NEW SERVICE MODEL PLANNED FOR EARTH MONITORING THE RECENT IMPACT OF SUPERSTORM experimental by design, has been wildly the forecast significantly for extreme Sandy speaks to a need for greater successful with many of the forecast events. You can see where this is of weather monitoring, particularly in agencies around the world seeing a great interest to forecast agencies. light of an aging constellation of satel- dramatic improvement in their weather Broad Reach Engineering built the lites. This coupled with the budgetary forecasts, to the extent that several original GPS-RO instrument for the constraints on federal agencies pro- national weather forecast agencies Cosmic mission and gratefully are one vides an opening for private industry around the globe now have GPS-RO of PLANETiQ’s financial investors. to fill in the gaps. PLANETiQ is a new, data in their operational forecast models. There’s been a good deal of talk for privately funded start-up company that This has been a significant gate to cross seven or eight years about commer- plans to launch a constellation of mi- from a technical validation standpoint. cializing GPS-RO data. I think the crosatellites to provide real-time data However, the Cosmic-1 constellation is science community is on the verge of about our atmosphere and planet. degrading rapidly. There are only four embracing commercial organizational Sensors & Systems (S&S) editor Matt out of six satellites that are operational efforts to supply this data. They under- Ball spoke with Anne Hale Miglarese, now, and the life expectancy of the stand how important it is, as well as CEO of PLANETiQ, about the com- remaining is dropping dramatically. the limitations that so many countries pany’s plans and approach. The follow-on mission that was around the world face in funding a to be Cosmic-2 has run into a whole full-scale mission for GPS-RO data. S&S How did PLANETiQ get started? host of issues. Part of the burning Within that environment, Chris MIGLARESE In 2006, there was a platform are the severe issues that have McCormick, founder of Broad Reach, mission called Cosmic, which was a been encountered by NOAA and the has brought together two additional collaboration between the Taiwanese U.S. Air Force in flying their weather firms, Moog and Millennium Engi- space agency (NSPO) and UCAR missions, including program cancel- neering and Integration, to provide the (University Corporation for Atmo- lations that we’ve seen for both. They seed capital for PLANETiQ. We are spheric Research) in the U.S. to fly an have much larger issues to approach putting together the business plan to raise experimental constellation of six satel- right now in dealing with the basic the capital required to make this a reality. lites; they were launched in 2006. The data that they need. GPS-RO data technology is GPS-RO with the RO does not immediately replace any of S&S Is it a phased approach with a standing for radio occultation. the traditional data required, but it constellation of satellites to span the The Cosmic program, which was improves the impact of that data and globe? IMAGING NOTES // WINTER 2013 // WWW.IMAGINGNOTES.COM16
  • 17. power grid operators. If we get a solid ingest the data, but we will not offer constellation of 12, and particularly services. There are many highly quali-“Users who participate if we can take it to 24, there will be fied government agencies and privateshare their content, get a dramatic increase in the ability to weather companies across the globe, monitor and forecast space weather. and we look to them as our use the integrated That clearly is a product that we’dservices, and maintain like to offer the community. The effec- S&S So, the opportunity is clearly a tual primary parameters of data that business opportunity, but is it also tiedthe intellectual property come off of this sensor are temperature into policy?rights of any content and pressure, and secondary data MIGLARESE I think there are many include water vapor, wind speed and interesting policy questions here, mostbrought into this system.” wind direction. This is vector-based of which parallel the policy issues that data, from the atmosphere back to have played out in the satellite imagery the spacecraft in low Earth orbit. It’s business. I’m grateful to have spent decades in the imagery world to have learned some of those lessons. SEVERAL NATIONAL WEATHER Our customers in the United States FORECAST AGENCIES AROUND will be organizations like NOAA, the United States Air Force, which I’ve met THE GLOBE NOW HAVE GPS-RO DATA with several times already, the United IN THEIR OPERATIONAL FORECAST States Navy, and the National Science Foundation. I would see NOAA as MODELS. holding a license to distribute the data throughout the federal civilian govern-MIGLARESE Ideally our maximum not big data, but a profile for multiple ment. The Air Force will hopefully buy aconstellation would be 24 satellites. points with X, Y and Z coordinates. license for the DOD efforts, the NationalRight now, we’re looking at 12, and That raw data is ingested in forecast Science Foundation could distribute thewe’ll need approximately $125 million models to then make a forecast. data to all of their principle investigatorsfor that. Each satellite is about 75 kg, There is four trillion dollars in who are engaged in research related towith launches of four at a time in three weather risk impacting the economy weather and climate variability.consecutive years. The 12 satellites will every year. There are a whole host of If you look at the other govern-provide excellent data across the globe. applications, with every citizen, society ments around the world, I see very and business interested in weather. similar customers in those organiza-S&S You mentioned the weather Globally, society is very interested in tions. In France for instance – theirforecast measurement as the primary climate change. Another very impor- weather organization, their Air Force,market. Are there other areas of tant variable of this data is the ability and their climate research organiza-measurement and monitoring that you to improve climate models over time. tion. Those are the type of governmentcan monetize? customers we’re looking at.MIGLARESE The ionospheric space S&S Are you planning to provide a As far as commercial customers,weather measurements are of huge service? those very high-end weather forecastinterest to the United States Air MIGLARESE We will be a data companies that generate tailored fore-Force as well as a large number of provider, not a service provider. We casts for their commercial customers,commercial organizations that operate will have professional expertise neces- and their customer base may be thesatellites in space, the airlines, and sary to support our customers as they Future’s Market, commercial airlines,IMAGING NOTES // WINTER 2013 // WWW.IMAGINGNOTES.COM 17
  • 18. shipping or the derivatives market. crop forecasts locally for the Future’s NOAA, like the National Geospatial- There are a few handful or more of Market, and it is still an application of Intelligence Agency (NGA), is grappling those companies in the United States Landsat data today. with the cultural and policy issue of and around the globe, and we see identifying the highest priority targets those as potential customers. We want S&S Is the future maybe a living where they will absolutely collect their to focus on what we believe we can do model, with direct updates from own data, and where they will partner well, and that is to provide the data. multiple systems? with the commercial sector to acquire MIGLARESE Maybe. This data will be data. You’re familiar with NextView S&S With this Summer’s drought, I delivered via an Inmarsat terminal, and EnhancedView, and I anticipate the remember reading about analysts in and will be available within three same sort of evolution across the U.S. the Future’s Market getting out of minutes of taking the observation. federal civilian government agencies. their offices to visit fields and verify I think another interesting policy more directly, which speaks to a need implication, where your question is S&S How much of the shift is due to for more granular data. Do you have leaning, is that in the imagery world risk and high profile of satellite failure, experience with the Future’s Market? we are dealing with commercial and the need to cut costs? MIGLARESE It is very difficult for a government to build an operational THERE IS FOUR TRILLION DOLLARS satellite. All of the programmatic reviews IN WEATHER RISK IMPACTING THE that they have to go through, and the requirements analysis, tends to lead to ECONOMY EVERY YEAR. THERE ARE mission creep. Regardless of who you are, whether you are NOAA or another A WHOLE HOST OF APPLICATIONS, agency, that happens and when it happens WITH EVERY CITIZEN, SOCIETY AND you add a tremendous amount of cost. We are very focused on providing BUSINESS INTERESTED IN WEATHER. GPS-RO data on a 75-kilogram satellite that we can build, launch and insure for $5 million per satel- MIGLARESE Not yet. I’ve been on the industry providing data to the govern- lite. That’s an efficiency that I just job about three months now, and I’m ment where traditionally governments don’t believe it is possible to achieve employee number one. We’re working owned their own data. in government, given all the things with lawyers to set up all the corporate There was NextView and then that a government has to do to oversee documents and things of that nature. I EnhancedView, and there’s certainly a the citizens’ and taxpayer investment. recently traveled to Boulder for a science lot of activity around that right now. The At that level of accountability and meeting where many of the GPS-RO intelligence community has been grap- complexity, it becomes very expensive. scientists from around the world gath- pling with this for a whole host of reasons ered for their annual conference. for twenty years. I’ve spent a decade S&S The $125 million figure for this Something worth mentioning working for NOAA, and working on global constellation seems small, is that one of the reasons we have many of these imagery issues. In an ideal certainly when compared with Landsat today is based on the Future’s world, government might have all the government programs. The ability Market. The first large-scale commer- resources necessary to collect all the data to launch four satellites at once also cial Earth observation mission was the possible, and to distribute it. But, I just sounds compelling. Are these costs and LACIE Project. It was a study done don’t see that happening; I don’t believe efficiencies only possible with recent in the early to mid-1970s to look at that is the model of the future. advancements? IMAGING NOTES // WINTER 2013 // WWW.IMAGINGNOTES.COM18
  • 19. MIGLARESE I think the timing is right would have thought that commercial- ness wants better weather data. Fore-with the commercialization, and I ization was possible six years ago. cast agencies across the globe have donethink society is encouraging that. The There are also all the financial a fabulous job of improving the forecastreason that I embrace this challenge is issues that our country has to face over the last ten years, and I think thisthat I’m really passionate about what in the next ten years, and how those data can help them even more.the data can do to improve the forecast changes will impact the budgets of thearound the globe, and to give us better Air Force, NOAA, and NASA. We S&S The latest stumbles of thescience about what is going on with need to consider the appropriate roles GOES-13 weather satellite speak to aour climate. Regardless of what your of government, as you look at efficien- greater redundancy. Has that spurredpersonal beliefs may be about what cies that can be garnered in the private you on, and helped the cause?is changing the climate, the climate ischanging. We need to do a much better THIS DATA WILL BE DELIVERED VIA ANjob of trying to understand that andto mitigate those changes. It’s so much INMARSAT TERMINAL, AND WILL BEfun to be working on an issue that is so AVAILABLE WITHIN THREE MINUTES OFimportant to society. TAKING THE OBSERVATION.S&S There have been a number ofmandates to spur action, with such sector, but where the data can also MIGLARESE They did a great job ofthings as carbon markets to factor in contribute to a public cause. moving that spare satellite into action.the economic impacts of greenhouse The important thing is that citizens Imagine what would have happenedgas emissions, as well as the economic get an accurate forecast and can get out if that spare wasn’t there. Those satel-benefits of carbon sinks. Are mandates of harm’s way, and that we understand lites are multi-billion dollar satellites,a necessity to spur the next level of the impacts of weather on climate and and they are very important to have.awareness? ecosystem services. There is a part of We aren’t talking about multi-billionMIGLARESE I think there are a couple that mission that is inherently govern- dollar satellites; we’re talking about $5of issues. There is the general commer- mental, but does it have to be as a million satellites, with a constellationcialization of space with this admin- supplier of data? Those are huge policy that is going to cost $125 million thatistration. You just have to look at the questions that I think will be addressed provides a dramatic improvement onSpace Shuttle program, and what’s in the next couple of years. the forecast when assimilated with thehappened there. I don’t think anyone Every citizen, government and busi- other data.IMAGING NOTES // WINTER 2013 // WWW.IMAGINGNOTES.COM 19
  • 20. This interview was conducted by Matt Ball, and originally appeared in Sensors & Systems, Executive Interview where he is editor. It can be accessed online at Nancy Colleton President, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies Environmental Intelligence Important for the Economy THE CASE FOR ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING DURING THE DEBATES OF THE RECENT private sector company and you have unfortunate predicament of a gap in presidential race, both candidates a new idea, or a different way of our weather satellite coverage. avoided the polarizing issue of climate doing things, I think it’s really hard to change, although there was certainly understand where those entry points S&S What about our analytical capa- some mention during both campaigns. might be. There are some barriers bilities? Is the U.S. falling behind? Now that the Obama administration of course on the federal side that COLLETON There have been several pieces will continue, many are asking what prohibit engagement with a number of published in USA Today, The Wall Street steps will be taken, particularly in light companies in some ways. We’re hoping Journal, and other leading publications of the historic east coast storms. Sen- that we can provide a solution to that, that talk about how European weather sors & Systems (S&S) editor Matt Ball become a conduit for new ideas, and forecasts of Hurricane Sandy came out recently spoke with Nancy Colleton, connect those ideas to federal agencies. earlier than the U.S. forecast. president of the Institute for Global En- The editorial in The Wall Street vironmental Strategies and co-founder S&S Your recent column Journal was by Kerry Emmanuel, of the Alliance for Earth Observations, [], discusses professor of atmospheric science at about a recent column that she wrote the Earth observation gaps that we MIT, who talks about why America is on the next administration’s priorities face. It’s coming to a head isn’t it? falling behind in weather forecasting, and the need to foster Earth observa- COLLETON There was a piece recently identifying the fact that the European tion’s connection between the economy in Federal Computer Week where model came out first. The U.S. forecast and the environment. they were talking with David Powner was right on target; it’s just wasn’t [director of IT management issues for produced as quickly. When you look S&S The Alliance for Earth Observa- the Government Accountability Office at this across the whole of U.S. Earth tions has provided a nice platform (GAO)], who has done many studies observations, it’s really scary, because for policy discussion in Washington. on satellite weather coverage, and weather is our most sophisticated How will the Alliance contribute in he’s quoted as saying that there will area when it comes to observing and the future? probably be a 17-month gap. NOAA producing forecasts. So, if this is where COLLETON One of the things that the issued a request for public comment we are with our weather capability as a Alliance can do is to help provide this week seeking ideas on “contin- nation, what does that say about other the connection between industry and gency options” in the event of a gap. areas like ocean observation, climate, the federal government. If you’re a So, all signs seem to point to the very terrestrial monitoring, and water IMAGING NOTES // WINTER 2013 // WWW.IMAGINGNOTES.COM20
  • 21. buoys, balloons, stream gauges, and on, some stores are still not open, and on and on… When you consider our there are still transportation issues and“If there is one thing the Earth observation capabilities and the structural issues around New York.Obama Administration number of agencies involved, there’s Crop losses from the drought are really no one responsible at a high level estimated at $25 billion. The droughtcould do over the next to look at all these capabilities and to also has caused low water levels onfour years to really make make sure that the United States has the Mississippi, which have led to a vision and a road map for achieving commerce and transportation impacts.a difference, it would be it. What is different is that we need to The New York Times recently reportedto make environmental find a better way to tie this informa- that $7 billion in products could be tion to economic security. stalled in the December-January time-information a priority.” If there is one thing the Obama frame if water levels don’t increase. Administration could do over the next four years to really make a difference, S&S It’s something that was forecast, it would be to make environmental in terms of long-term warnings, that information a priority – find ways to this level of damage might be possible WE NEED TO infuse greater innovation and efficiency, with a major storm, just like Hurricane FIND A BETTER to engage the private sector both as Katrina was one of the top ten possible users and providers of information, and disasters and then it occurred. When is WAY TO TIE THIS to establish a long-term plan. there some liability for not reacting to INFORMATION I think we desperately need to focus these long-term forecasts and building on taking that government investment in some resilience and adaptability? TO ECONOMIC and leveraging it to grow the U.S. COLLETON I think that’s a really impor- economy. That happens two ways: tant question. A couple of weeks ago I SECURITY. first, all this environmental intelligence was invited to speak on a satellite collo- that is produced helps us to better quium at a law firm. They were askingavailability? How will we ever move manage risk. The second way is in about some of the legal and regulatorytowards integrated information that building up the capacity and private issues coming up. The complexion ofproduces environmental intelligence? enterprise around the government our forecasting sources is changing, investment. You see that with weather. and with climate change becoming everS&S Is there a lack of leadership or is At The Weather Channel, for example, more present, there are people who maythe science community just not being they don’t have their own satellite; they ask, “why didn’t we better prepare?”paid attention to? use satellite data from NOAA. At some point I think there is going toCOLLETON I do believe there is a lack be some liability somewhere. I’m notof leadership. You have these capa- S&S What are some of the strong sure it will happen any time soon, but Ibilities spread through a number of economic impacts? suspect it will happen.federal agencies. The U.S. Geological COLLETON If you just look at it from Already there have been share-Survey is responsible for the Landsat a natural disaster standpoint the holders of companies that have beenprogram; NASA is doing research numbers are staggering. Equicat wondering, if the company is damagingsatellites; NOAA is responsible for estimates that Hurricane Sandy is the environment (specifically thinkingthe operational weather satellites; resulting in $20 billion in insured about climate), what’s their liabilitythe National Science Foundation losses, and $50 billion in economic as board members and shareholders?is funding research, and then you losses. Those numbers are likely to rise Turning it around, if you have morehave cubesats, uavs, aircraft, ocean though, because the power is not back companies in the weather enterpriseIMAGING NOTES // WINTER 2013 // WWW.IMAGINGNOTES.COM 21
  • 22. that are issuing forecasts, and there are about all of this as environmental S&S The recent column that you major business losses related to those intelligence. I look at it in the light of wrote points to the economic impact. forecasts if they are not accurate, what’s why we need long-term forecasting. Have you had good response to that? the liability related to that? If we’re going to have 80- or 90-mile- COLLETON I have had very good per-hour winds as the new norm, we feedback, and people have been very S&S The models have been very need to build our houses differently. appreciative that I made the link with predictive, where the lay of the land The Institute for Business & Home the economic argument. Investment in New York City amplifies a storm Safety (IBHS) is putting out new in these systems, and the entire supply surge. Why aren’t we planning and standards for how we build based on chain of environmental information, designing around those eventualities? these trends. At the last Forum on is directly relevant to our economy. In fact, I did a short piece on The Weather Channel as well. WHAT THE OPENEIS DOES IS PROVIDE Earlier this summer we were THE MECHANISM FOR WIDER ACCESS looking at insured crop losses of $20 billion and now $25 billion. We saw TO GOVERNMENT-COLLECTED EARTH the impact of that globally with the OBSERVATIONS. rise in food costs. When you look at the ideas for what the administration could do, there is an effort underway COLLETON Exactly, and I come back Earth Observations, Carl Hedde, who for adopting what is called Open to all of this as environmental intel- is head of risk accumulation at Munich Environmental Information Services ligence. What can these products tell Reinsurance, showed video of two (OpenEIS). us about improving our infrastructure houses built similarly, and that have This came out of a report produced as a nation? We put so much money been put in a huge wind tunnel. One by the Environmental Information into the economic stimulus, but were of the houses has brackets to hold the Services Working Group that I co-chair we taking climate change into account roof down, the door opens outward with Walt Dabberdt of Viasala for the while we were building those new roads rather than inward, and it has fortified NOAA Science Advisory Board. The and bridges? windows and siding. Both houses were OpenEIS concept provides the non- If you look at states like North built to modern standards, with just federal sector with more access to all Carolina where there have been moves, $3,000 invested for the fortifications. of the information that the government even proposed legislation, not to recog- They did an experiment with Category has and it also recommends better and nize climate change, one has to ask 3 hurricane winds. The house without earlier engagement with the private whether those policy makers are putting the added elements was destroyed. sector in algorithm development and their citizens at risk? I always argue that It looked like the Big Bad Wolf had other technology areas. whether you believe in climate change blown it down! [ NOAA regularly releases its fore- or not, you have to agree with the need com/watch?v=cXF44jBBwxU] casting and data, but there’s a lot of for long-term forecasting. We have to Home builders want to be building other data that doesn’t get released improve the capabilities that allow us to good homes, so you do see movement in that may be helpful to a particular look at events like storms and drought this sector to better prepare homeowners sector. The OpenEIS concept chal- in the context of trends. so that they can withstand more severe lenges the federal government to weather events. And the companies that look at ways that we can bring the S&S It’s disconcerting how much insure those homes are providing their private sector inside the walls of these climate change has been politicized. customers with reduced rates if houses data centers with better access to the COLLETON What I try to do is to talk meet new, safer standards. incredible amount of existing data. IMAGING NOTES // WINTER 2013 // WWW.IMAGINGNOTES.COM22
  • 23. S&S The computing power, coupled S&S I really appreciate your approach, some of those barriers will comewith cloud storage, is really extending and this idea of the E-Q-Tel project down, specifically for historical datathe needed tools to the average (that would establish an E-Q-Tel that could be so helpful for under-citizen. organization based on the successful standing change?COLLETON That’s true, but if you don’t In-Q-Tel model to help accelerate COLLETON I have absolutely no expe-know someone within the community, Earth-related technologies that rience working on the defense do you get access to under- advance environmental intelligence, However, I have learned a great deal fromstand what we really have? What the recommended by Colleton in her Wash- my colleagues in the aerospace field thatOpenEIS does is provide the mecha- ington Post article) that would team the serve both civil and defense programs.nism for wider access to government- government with industry to put the And, one of the key lessons is that datacollected Earth observations. There United States back into a leadership alone will not solve our problems, butare all kinds of data where it is still role in terms of both Earth observation analytical tools certainly lead to betterdifficult to get access. capacity as well as analysis. intelligence for decision-making, whether COLLETON You know all of our issues on a battlefield or a boardroom.S&S There seems to be a bit of back- aren’t technical or financial. A lot of them Look at New York right now:lash for the fact that climate change are process-oriented, and I think we need policy makers need that same inte-wasn’t mentioned at all during the a new way of doing business that gives grated battle space capability torecent presidential debates. There is a the country the ability to develop these understand what’s happening there,lot of hope now that it will become a technologies on a faster track. That’s to respond, and to reconstruct. So infocus area. what the In-Q-Tel model does for the addition to data, we should be sharing best practices and new technologies. There has to be a way to bring some of WHETHER YOU BELIEVE IN CLIMATE those risk management capabilities to the civil side, and it’s not just data. CHANGE OR NOT, YOU HAVE TO AGREE WITH THE NEED FOR LONG-TERM S&S Are you optimistic about the next four years? FORECASTING. WE HAVE TO IMPROVE COLLETON I am optimistic and THE CAPABILITIES THAT ALLOW US certainly energized to keep working to improve our U.S. environmental TO LOOK AT EVENTS LIKE STORMS information capabilities. There has AND DROUGHT IN THE CONTEXT OF been attention, even prior to Hurri- cane Sandy, on our weather fore- TRENDS. casting capabilities. However, we also need more support for climate, ocean, land, and more atmosphericCOLLETON Hopefully, we can rise intelligence sector and the E-Q-Tel model observations. Space weather is alsoabove the political division in this could do for our civil environmental an important area we should notcountry and address the significant information sector. We don’t have this on ignore. Environmental intelligencetopic of climate change because it is the civil side, and we need it. extends beyond weather and I hoperelated to so many other important that our national approach includestopics such as water availability, the S&S There is so much on the military giving responsibility to someone at ahealth of our coastal regions, agricul- side that gets classified and hidden high level to manage these importantture and more. behind walls. Is there any hope that capabilities in the future.IMAGING NOTES // WINTER 2013 // WWW.IMAGINGNOTES.COM 23
  • 24. Bathymetric LiDAR SANDY’S COASTAL IMPACT Detailed and accurate charting of the sea bottom along coastlines is vital for environmental monitoring and reme- diation, shoreline construction, and coastal navigation. Each of these activities requires reliable depth data for planning and management purposes. However, sonar-equipped vessels conducting hydrographic surveys cannot navigate very shallow or rocky coastal areas or narrow inlets with high tidal ranges, and topographic airborne LiDAR mapping (ALM) systems cannot penetrate the water. Airborne LiDAR bathymetry (ALB) fills this gap: as a supple- mentary survey method, it provides a seamless transition between mapping the land and charting the sea. EDITOR’S NOTES All Superstorm Sandy — technically, a post-tropical cyclone by the time it made landfall along images except the last the coastline of the United States on October 29 — affected 24 states, including the entire Eastern two are of point clouds collected with an Optech Seaboard from Florida to Maine, causing particularly severe damage in New Jersey and New CZMIL sensor and are York. Storm surges, made worse by the full moon, caused high tides to rise about 20 percent courtesy of JALBTCX and higher than normal and wreaked havoc along hundreds of miles of coastline. Its impact included Optech. widespread flooding, erosion, and movement of millions of tons of coastal sediments with the MATTEO LUCCIO extreme power of storm-driven water — thereby actually altering vast stretches of coastline. Contributing Writer In the wake of this devastation, dozens of federal, state, and local agencies, as well as many Pale Blue Dot LLC private companies, contributed to the response. A couple of weeks after the storm, the Joint Portland, Ore. Airborne LiDAR Bathymetry Technical Center of Expertise (JALBTCX) of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) flew its Coastal Zone Mapping and Imaging LiDAR (CZMIL) IMAGING NOTES // WINTER 2013 // WWW.IMAGINGNOTES.COM24
  • 25. 2 F IG U R E 1. George Washington Bridge, between New York and New Jersey F IG U R E 2 . Throgs Neck Bridge, New York 1along several stretches of the northeast are capable of separately detecting the topographic ones. For example, Optech’scoast, collecting a consistent data set. returns from each. The infrared band is CZMIL has a measurement rate of 70 kHz quickly absorbed and is therefore used to when operating in topographic mode butHow Bathymetric LiDAR Works detect the water surface. The green band, of only 10 kHz when operating in hydro- Bathymetry has traditionally been which is the optimum color to achieve graphic mode. This lower pulse frequencyperformed using echo sounders (sonars) maximum penetration in shallow water, reduces the achievable point density.mounted on ships or boats. The use of is used to delineate the sea bottom. Even in relatively smooth air, allmulti-beam echo sounders has allowed for As the pulse of green laser light travels aircraft are subject to vibrations, suddenhighly detailed, accurate seabed charting. through the water and reflects off the loss of attitude, and constant smallWhile these systems can measure depths seabed, it is subjected to refraction, scat- changes in their pitch, roll and yaw.even in very shallow water, boats cannot tering, and absorption, which attenuate it Therefore, knowing the range to a targetaccess areas with skerries, shallow reefs, and limit the depth of water that it can is not sufficient to determine its posi-long shallow beaches, large waves, and measure. The greater the water’s particle tion, which also requires knowledgeunderwater currents. Furthermore, echo content, the greater the backscattering, of the aircraft’s exact location and atti-sounder systems are expensive and diffi- up to the point that it becomes impos- tude at the time each laser pulse is fired.cult to deploy at short notice. sible to distinguish the backscatter from Differential GPS provides the former ALM systems operated from fixed or the bottom return. and an inertial measurement unit (IMU)rotary wing aircraft, on the other hand, Therefore, the maximum depth for provides the latter.can be deployed at short notice and enable ALB is determined by the reflective char- ALB systems make it possible toaccurate, cost-effective data collection, acteristics of the seabed and by water survey in a single scan features andbut use an infrared laser that has poor clarity. Under ideal conditions, the theo- constructions both above and belowwater penetration capabilities. Therefore, retical maximum depth measurement is the waterline. Typically, digital imagesin coastal zones the combination of these about 70 meters. are recorded at the same time, enablingtwo technologies is not always sufficient In order to penetrate the denser their visual analysis and use with digitalto create seamless mapping. medium of water and then minimize scat- terrain models. ALB systems are also operated from tering, LiDAR bathymetry requires muchaircraft. However, unlike ALM systems, higher power and longer laser pulses than The Missionthey transmit two light waves, one in the topographic LiDAR. Therefore, bathy- JALBTCX is a joint center ofinfrared and one in the green portion metric systems operate at a much slower government agencies working togetherof the electromagnetic spectrum, and rate and with much longer pulses than to advance LiDAR bathymetry andIMAGING NOTES // WINTER 2013 // WWW.IMAGINGNOTES.COM 25
  • 26. FIGURE 3. Sandy Hook, New Jersey FIGURE 4. Ellis Island, New York 4 complementary technologies for coastal mapping, explains Jennifer Wozencraft, the center’s director. It is made up of USACE, the U.S. Naval Oceanographic Office, the Remote Sensing Division of the National Geodetic Survey of the National Oceanographic and Atmo- spheric Administration (NOAA), and the U.S. Geological Survey’s Coastal and Marine Geology Program. “We own and operate, through contract, LiDAR bathymetry and airborne remote sensing sensors for coastal mapping for the USACE and the Navy, and then with the other agencies we do research and development to advance hardware and software and to demonstrate the different applica- tions of the data that we collect,” says Wozencraft. The center funds companies to develop hardware for it — primarily airborne sensors. “It all started with the SHOALS program, back in the late 1980s,” Wozencraft recalls, referring to the Scanning Hydrographic Operational Airborne LiDAR Survey. “One of the main goals of that program was to develop a capability that could be commercialized to make it more widely available for the USACE and our other partners.” Immediately following Sandy, JALBTCX was tasked by USACE’s North Atlantic Division to collect LiDAR data for the districts that fall within that division’s jurisdiction. The center used its own planes to collect the data for the New York District and contracted with private compa- nies to collect data for the New England District, the Philadelphia District, and the Norfolk District. The flights took place November 11-24, as soon as the center had been able to gather the requirements from the impacted areas. “The primary require- ment,” says Wozencraft, “was classified topographic 3 LiDAR data as well as bare earth DEMs generated IMAGING NOTES // WINTER 2013 // WWW.IMAGINGNOTES.COM26
  • 27. for mapping. There was a coordinated The Sensor JALBTCX flew it mostly at 570 meterseffort in advance of the survey with The CZMIL ALB sensor that to cover a wider area. “They were notother agencies to see what everyone else JALBTCX used for its post-Sandy interested in surveying deeper water;was doing to try to collect a consistent flights was built by Optech Inc., the U.S. they wanted to fly only over shallowdataset and a vertical accuracy of 12.5 subsidiary of the Canadian company areas.” Because the device is a jointcentimeters RMSE (root mean square Optech Incorporated, for the U.S. Navy, topographic and bathymetric LiDARerror). We typically fly about 1,000 which then loaned it to the center. It is an system, it can be used to probe land,meters off shore or to laser extinction, airborne coastal zone mapping system shallow water, and deep water up towhichever happens first. In this case, I that produces simultaneous high-resolu- about 50 meters, he points out. “Beyondthink it was probably less than that, tion 3D data and imagery of the beach 50 meters it isn’t as essential because youmaybe even only 250 meters off shore.” and shallow water seafloor, including can use sonar on ships.” JALBTCX flew from its base in New coastal topography, benthic classifica- “Our team in Kiln, Mississippi,Haven, Connecticut along the New tion, and water column characteriza- where CZMIL was developed andJersey coast line, the Long Island shore- tion. According to Optech, CZMIL built, supported the mission from dataline, New York’s inner harbor, Sandy performs particularly well in shallow, acquisition through to data processing,”Hook, Staten Island, and the East River. turbid waters. Its bathymetric LiDAR is says Elbaz. “However, we did not send“Typically, after a storm, you have integrated with a hyperspectral imaging personnel out; instead we supported theaccess issues,” Wozencraft explains, system and a digital metric camera. mission remotely, using CZMIL’s Web“and we did experience those getting The CZMIL requires no ground monitoring and diagnostic tools. It’s athe GPS way stations and ground truth truthing. “It is connected to a GPS new system on an important mission, solocations and such. Ours was the only receiver and an IMU,” says Max Elbaz, our team made sure USACE had all thebathymetric LiDAR that was deployed. Optech Inc.’s president, “so all collected support it needed.”We fly lower than everybody else, so data is automatically georeferenced andwe had some air traffic control issues co-registered with initial geometric cali- The Datathat forced us to fly most of our flights bration procedures. When we built the To process the data from its post-at night, which is different for us. We system, before delivery, we compared Sandy mission, USACE used Optech’susually do our work in the summer, CZMIL data with ground truth data to HydroFusion post-processing softwarewhen the water is nice and clear. This characterize the system performance. suite, which handles data from all threetime, of course, it was much colder than When these very stringent specifications CZMIL sensors, from mission plan-usual. It wasn’t particularly a challenge, are being met, the data is deemed within ning to the fused LiDAR and imagerybut different than it usually is, and the required accuracies.” data set. “It’s a single user inter-wave climate was a little more energetic According to Elbaz, his company’s face that replaces the seven to eightthan it is in the summer.” history in using LiDAR for bathym- different pieces of software that our Normally, JALBTCX collects concur- etry and environmental applications for customers previously used to get to therent RGB and hyperspectral imagery, rapid response and disaster management same level,” says Elbaz. HydroFusionwhich it was not able to do in this case scenarios began in the 1970s and the handles mission planning, georefer-due to having to fly at night. Instead, it company helped pioneer airborne LiDAR encing of topographic and bathymetriccollected that imagery subsequently, throughout the 1980s. “We followed up LiDAR data and of hyperspectralwhen it was able to fly during the day. with the SHOALS LiDAR bathymeter and digital camera image data, image “Another part of the work that system in the 1990s and after,” he says, mosaic processing, the generation ofJALBTCX did and is currently doing for “adding a camera and a hyperspectral LiDAR sea floor reflectance data, thethe North Atlantic Division is volumetric sensor. Then, last year, we introduced the extraction of sea floor spectral datachange analysis of beach projects,” says Optech CZMIL, which includes an RGB using data fusion techniques, classifi-Wozencraft. “The main operational camera, a hyperspectral sensor, and a cation of the sea floor, and extractionprogram that JALBTCX does for the topographic LiDAR, as well as the bathy- of the shoreline, explains Joong YongUSACE is called the National Coastal metric LiDAR. To date we have delivered Park, Optech Inc.’s Software Develop-Mapping Program. We collect data three CZMIL systems: one to the U.S. ment Manager, who manages a grouparound the coast of the United States on Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), one for post-processing software and algo-a cyclical basis. We had collected data in to the U.S. Navy, and one to the Japanese rithms development.this area in 2010, so we are comparing Coast Guard.” “Once the data are downloaded,all of that data to the post-event data for The nominal height of CZMIL oper- several steps of processing are requiredvolumetric change analysis.” ation is 400 meters, Elbaz explains, but to extract interesting points from theIMAGING NOTES // WINTER 2013 // WWW.IMAGINGNOTES.COM 27
  • 28. 6 F IG U R E 5 . Citi Field, Queens, New York F IG U R E 6 . Coney Island, New York 5 waveform,” says Park. The process of new ‘shallow water’ high-resolution than 10 meters) and very clear, to make involves filtering the input waveform, sensors, according to Edwin Danson, a for more cost-effective surveys of clear converting the optical signal to an elec- Chartered Surveyor and Past-President water beaches, coral reefs, and clear, tric signal, detecting the peaks or half and Fellow of the Chartered Institution shallow rivers and streams.” peaks in LiDAR wave format at the of Civil Engineering Surveyors in the “In the future,” Wozencraft predicts, water surface and the sea floor, and United Kingdom. “This technology,” he “we’ll continue to see advancements in georeferencing the data to compute the says, “offers significant advantages and data fusion and exploitation to really coordinates at the water surface and the matches well with the commercial tran- take advantage of all the informa- sea floor in ellipsoid height. sition zone between traditional vessel- tion contained in the LiDAR returns Unlike in the typical TIM-based based swathe systems and airborne. In and imagery data. The JALBTCX and processing used for topographic LiDAR, my opinion, this holds a more interesting industry efforts will focus a lot in the Park explains, bathymetric LiDAR future for the technique.” near term on data processing strategies requires waveform processing for each Wozencraft sees a couple of paths for these new systems as we begin to point in order to extract the time and for developments looking forward. “At understand the new data better.” position at the water surface and the JALBTCX,” she says, “we are focusing “Bathymetric LiDAR systems are sea floor. “Since the CZMIL is a bathy- on a comprehensive system for coastal not only for bathymetry anymore,” metric LiDAR system, even though it has mapping that includes LiDAR bathym- Park points out. “Using an optical 70 kHz topo/shallow returns, all point etry, topography, aerial photography, signal from a laser through a water clouds were processed by waveform and hyperspectral imagery, along with column now makes sea floor reflec- analysis techniques. Therefore CZMIL exploitation software that allows us to tance imagery available for environ- point clouds are from multiple returns generate products beyond point clouds, mental monitoring. LiDAR system from one waveform, up to 31 returns. such as land cover and sea floor clas- data will be fused with data from other Optech and JALBTCX worked very sifications. This information, with the sensors and used for oceanographic closely to keep the CZMIL system in point cloud elevation data, enables us to and environmental monitoring. The operation and to resolve data processing begin to truly characterize the coastal main interest area for bathymetry problems on a daily base.” zone in terms of both geomorphology will shift to shallow and turbid water and environmental resources.” In near coastlines. The system will be The Future industry, she adds, “there is a push for lighter and smaller for small aircraft The key recent advance in LiDAR smaller bathymetric LiDAR sensors that and UAS, with an advanced laser and bathymetry has been the development work well in water that is shallow (less digitizer.” IMAGING NOTES // WINTER 2013 // WWW.IMAGINGNOTES.COM28
  • 29. ArcGIS Also Used for Analysis DATA ACQUIRED USING USACE’S COASTAL ZONE MAPPING AND IMAGING LIDAR (CZMIL) was also analyzed in ESRI ArcGIS to lend insight into storm-driven coastal geomorphology change, and to produce information products critical to USACE emergency response requirements. In the past, workflows for vector, lidar, and imagery have been collected on a project-by-project basis. ArcGIS enables users such as USACE to manage these massive collections of data for more than one purpose and extend the content into 3D. These 3D models, lidar, and imagery can be cataloged and distributed for access in multiple collections as either raster data, raw elevation data, or Esri webscenes. If data is not necessary, it can be easily filtered out for a clean representation. By managing massive 3D models and point clouds with ArcGIS, data can be more easily visualized and analyzed. 7 8 F IG U R E 7. This is the bridge at Mantoloking (CR-528) in New Jersey. Barnegal Bay is to the West,I M A G I N the Atlantic / / W I N T toR 2 0 1 3 /This W W . I M land N G N O T E the beach and G N O T E S Ocean is E the East. / W strip of A G I including S . C O M is barely 1000 ft wide. Image from the Esri ArcGIS Online base map, before Superstorm Sandy. 29 F IG U R E 8 . The same area after Superstorm Sandy, from NOAA Aerial Image Service, hosted by the Esri Disaster Response Team on ArcGIS Online.
  • 30. If Old McDonald had a farm today, he could manage it from his laptop computer and map it with an application on his handheld device. When he is out in the field, his tractor’s guidance system could know its position to within less than an inch, turning his planters and sprayers on and off accordingly. A boom height control system would make sure that his sprayer did not hit the ground and a yield monitor on his combine would measure the exact volume of his harvest, in real time. Soil moisture sensors networked via cellular modems, soil density sensors on his planters, and infrared crop health sensors on his tractor would gather a wealth of data that his agronomist would use to prepare a prescription map for the next season. In a few years, that data stream would also include aerial imagery collected by his unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and his tractor would also be running unmanned as a robot in the field. If a chick, duck, turkey, pig, cow, cat, mule, dog, turtle, or farm hand got in its way, the tractor’s radar collision avoidance system would recognize it and stop. The most widely used term to describe this complex suite of technologies is precision agriculture, and the uptake is exploding. Most new tractors and implements are sold with factory-installed global navigation satellite system (GNSS, which includes the better-known GPS) receivers and a variety of sensors. Reversing a long-standing trend, kids who were born and raised on farms are now returning there after college, because the work is much more intellectually challenging and less manual labor-intensive than it used to be. F IG U R E 3 . A Kinze Autonomous Harvest System consists of EDITOR’S NOTES This feature is one of three in a tractor, grain cart and combine. Image courtesy of Kinze. publications of the Location Media Alliance that tackle different applications of geospatial technology to improve agricultural efficiency. This feature shares high-tech tools that farmers now use in precision farming. Learn about the precision tools being applied along the full plant lifecycle in Precision Agriculture: Sensors Drive Agricultural Efficiency ( by Matteo Luccio in Sensors & Systems. Gain insight on how farmers and suppliers are now able to track individual plants back to the field for greater food safety in LBx Journal ( Also, the application of mapping for agricultural gleaning from fruit trees in urban yards is covered in Informed Infrastructure ( MATTEO LUCCIO Contributing Writer Pale Blue Dot LLC Portland, Ore. www.palebluedotllc.com30 Precision A IMAGING NOTES // WINTER 2013 // WWW.IMAGINGNOTES.COM
  • 31. Addressing Variability ment software on their computers. They sion zones,” farmers are also able to cut Soil characteristics — including the can then upload those maps to their trac- off the spray of fertilizer automatically amount of phosphorus, potassium, tors’ guidance systems, which use them to before it reaches a critical distance from calcium, and magnesium — often vary vary the rates depending on location, with a water supply. “That has saved many significantly from one area of a field to wireless networks creating a farm-wide farmers from litigation and fines,” says another. The practice of variable rate takes system. Mike Martinez, a market manager at this variability into account to reduce Precision also plays with environ- Trimble Agriculture. inputs of water, seed, fertilizers, and fuel mental impacts, such as reducing water Another benefit of precision agricul- as well as to increase yields by dividing use or the amount of farm chemicals in ture is that it enables farmers to avoid fields into sectors and prescribing rates for water. “To be more efficient with our gaps and overlaps when planting. “We each one. Fertilizer dealers, seed salesmen, water and to stop flushing out so much are able to geospatially sense where and crop consultants analyze farm nitrogen through the soil into the water we have already applied fertilizer and data and advise farmers on these rates. table,” says Chris Gallo, a Precision planted. That way the system cuts the However, farmers can also create prescrip- Agriculture Specialist at Simplot, “many supply at those points, so that you don’t tion maps themselves, by uploading soil farmers are switching from waste inputs,” says Martinez. type data, historical yield data, flood irrigation to drip irriga- and aerial imagery into tion and micro-sprinklers.” Standard Equipment farm manage- By managing their fields Just as car buyers today expect Blue- based on soil properties and tooth integration and XM satellite Sirius putting fertilizer where it radio, farmers expect new tractors to needs to go, farmers can come with guidance. Case IH tractors, better manage their nutri- sprayers, and combines are sold with a ents. By setting up “exclu- factory-installed Glonass-enabled GNSS receiver, a display, and a controller, which consists of acceler-Agriculture IMAGING NOTES // WINTER 2013 // WWW.IMAGINGNOTES.COM SENSORS DRIVE AGRICULTURAL EFFICIENCY 31
  • 32. “If you need year-after-year repeatability in our community to be able to process for controlled traffic farming, so that all this data that farmers collect in the you can do the side dressing and strip field,” he says. “There is software for till applications, you need RTK,” which sale that is expensive and complicated, stands for real-time kinematic satellite so many farmers don’t know how to navigation. See Figure 1 . use it or don’t want to learn to use these Likewise, John Deere sells its trac- systems. So we set up a Web site to take tors and combines with an integrated those files, then process them into read- guidance system. “The sensors on the able maps.” See Figures 4-5 . combines are already factory-installed AgJunction, a Web-based agronomy for yield mapping and harvest docu- system operated by Hemisphere GPS, mentation,” says Cole Murray, product allows users to import soil test data 1 manager for the company’s Intelli- and the locations of the soil samples, gent Solutions Group (ISG). “We also as well as data from John Deere, have some add-on opportunities: for Raven, Trimble and other systems, example, by adding a GPS receiver to a and generate prescription maps. Its sprayer you can do swath control.” customers are primarily agriculture John Deere owns NavCom, which retailers, such as independent chemical designs and builds GNSS receivers and fertilizer retailers or cooperatives. writes software. It also owns a differ- According to John Lueger, director ential corrections network, the StarFire of Product Management at Hemisphere network, which works worldwide. GPS, “A retailer could use our system to Kinze manufactures planters and send a prescription map directly to one of grain carts that quantify planting and our terminals on a tractor or a sprayer and harvesting. “We’ve added scales to then the farmer, when he has completed these carts, so as farmers unload the that job, can send that data back to the grain from the combine into the cart, retailer and automatically archive it for they can use it to record how much historical purposes.” See Figure 6 . grain they are getting out in the field,” Other options and approaches says Rhett Schildroth, one of the from the different manufacturers take 2 company’s product managers. a similar approach. Raven Indus- “When they are planting, farmers tries has a product called Slingshot F IG U R E 1. Case IH AFS Pro 700, courtesy care about three things: how deep they that records what you are doing with of Case IH. plant that seed into the soil, getting good various datasets and synchs to cloud- seed-to-soil contact, and the spacing based software. Trimble’s Connected F IG U R E 2 . Image courtesy of Kinze. between the seeds,” Schildroth explains. Farm wirelessly extracts the data from “So, we’ve added sensors in order to the growers’ applications throughout ometers and gyroscopes that compensate make sure that we can gauge each of those the seasons and consolidates it. Across for uneven terrain. things and then also control it on the go, the board, manufacturers assert that “Just as you pay for different levels so that they can vary it throughout the these technologies pay for themselves of XM radio in your vehicle, you pay field.” See Figures 2-3 (on previous page). in about a season of use. to unlock different levels of positioning accuracy,” says Trevor Mecham, Amer- Analyzing the Data Sensors ica’s marketing manager for Case IH, Various services analyze farm data Almost every piece of agricultural Advanced Farming Systems. “You can get and generate prescription maps. Fertil- equipment has sensors and controls free WAAS corrections or pay for DGPS izer dealers, crop consultants and these days. Sprayers now have sensors accuracy that gets you plus or minus a agronomists take the data, analyze it, that sense whether plants are nutrient- couple of inches pass-to-pass,” he points and help the farmers make decisions. deprived or not, and sensors dragged out, referring to the Federal Aviation Nick Achen, an agricultural engi- across the field show the textural varia- Administration’s Wide Area Augmenta- neer, and his brother, a farmer, tion in the soil. tion System and the U.S. Coast Guard’s co-founded and co-own www.easy- “We use load cells on grain carts, Differential Global Positioning System. “We identified a need magnetic flux sensors to sense when IMAGING NOTES // WINTER 2013 // WWW.IMAGINGNOTES.COM32
  • 33. F IG U R E 4 . Dual Map View of grain harvest and soil survey of the same plot of land, courtesy of F IG U R E 5 . Reports such as condensed farm report, yield vs. soil type, yield vs. seed variety, and yield vs. population can be viewed, courtesy of www.easyfarmmaps. com. F IG U R E 6 . GPS image courtesy of Hemisphere GPS.power take-off (PTO) shafts are turningand grain is unloaded, infrared sensors tocount the seed as it goes down the seedtube, load cells on planters to understand 4the down force required to plant theseeds, and GPS receivers for positioning,” 5says Schildroth. the height of his boom fast enough. So, The use of soil moisture sensors, we just announced a system that usesnetworked using cellular modems, is ultrasonic sensors to sense, very quickly,growing very rapidly. “When I was on the profile of the ground so that it canour family farm, in the early 90s, the task then, via hydraulics, move the boom upI disliked the most was to go in the fields and down as needed.”and read soil moisture content meters,” Trimble’s GreenSeeker sensor issays Mecham. “Corporate family farms a localized, real-time sensor that iscan have as many as 35,000 acres and mounted right to the spraying vehicle. Itone person doing just that all day. So, uses an optical sensor and a few differentthis is extremely important, especially in light bands to measure the health of theareas where you have to pump the water crop in real-time.from deep well systems. Now farmers “Immediately, as the sprayer is trav-can receive that information via e-mail or eling and recording this data, it is creatingtext messages.” a prescription to also then apply nitrogen that can analyze and manage soil “Our basic guidance system will in the right amount needed in that compaction are also in the future,come standard with a series of iner- particular portion of the field,” Martinez according to Achen.tial sensors that provide feedback to explains. The company’s WeedSeeker Currently, growers get featurethe guidance system on the tilt of the spot spray system uses advanced optics unlock codes from their dealer. “In thefield or the vehicle’s pitch, roll, yaw, or to sense whether a weed is present and future,” says Mecham, “we would likeheading,” says Martinez. “Combines signals a spray nozzle to deliver a precise dealers to be able to send them directlyhave optical sensors that record the amount of chemical — spraying only the to the devices on the vehicles, viavolume that is passing through their weed and not the bare ground. modem, to allow customers to try newgrain elevator, as well as moisture features. Our customers are demandingsensors. So, in real time, we know the Future that level of simplicity.”volume and we know the moisture Future developments in precisioncontent of that crop being harvested.” agriculture include autonomous farm Sensors are now being used to control vehicles, the use of imagery from UAVs, 6the height of spray booms, which can be and telemetry — wirelessly transmit-up to 120 feet across. “So, as they are ting back to the office data on croptraveling at high speeds across the field, health, soil characteristics, and yield,if you don’t have a perfectly flat field, as well as on the status of the farmyou are going to hit that boom on the machines, which will allow farmers toground,” Martinez points out. “It is no improve planning for vehicle servicinglonger feasible for the driver to control and maintenance, says Swain. SensorsIMAGING NOTES // WINTER 2013 // WWW.IMAGINGNOTES.COM 33
  • 34. …THE LONG TAIL OF SCIENCE DATA THE 20TH CENTURY was seminal for the natural sciences, with discoveries such RICHARD HEIMANN as penicillin (Fleming, 1945), the polio vaccine (Salk, 1952), the double helix struc- Analytics Coordinator Data Tactics Corportation ture of DNA (Watson & Crick, 1953), and the first complete DNA sequence of an McLean, Va. organism (Sanger et al., 1977), all of which advanced human understanding and human welfare. The advent of the OpenWeb and a seemingly endless amount of new science data have the potential to do for the computational social sciences in the 21st century what other measurement tools did for the natural sciences of the 20th century – advancing further human understanding and human welfare. Big Data will be central to that pursuit. “Data is the new oil” is a phrase coined by Clive Humby and embraced by the World Economic Forum in 2011 as it considered data as an economic asset like oil. Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data – so much that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. (IBM) These data come from everywhere: hard sensors used to gather information, the social web, transaction records, and cell phone GPS signals, to name a few. The amount of such data is big and by every account growing exponentially. These facts, however, give no hint to where the largest growth is, or comparatively speaking, where the greatest rewards lie for researchers. It is difficult to believe that data are increasing uniformly. IMAGING NOTES // WINTER 2013 // WWW.IMAGINGNOTES.COM34
  • 35. The Long Tail of Science Data analytical one as well. The central cura- A distribution is said to have a long tion of data in the head ensures mainte- tail if a larger share of population or use nance, unlike data in the tail. rests within its tail than would under a Professor and mathematician Richard normal distribution. A signature quality Hamming’s prominent words during a of a power law is the long tail and the speech titled “You and Your Research” large number of occurrences far from encourage researchers to ask, “What are the head or central part of a distribution. the important problems in my field?’’ The long tail has gained popularity in Understanding the long tail of science data describing a retailing strategy of selling a may suggest where computational social large number of unique items with rela- scientists will have the greatest impact and tively small quantities. The Long Tail contribute the greatest social good. (Anderson, 2004) encourages entertain- The head of the distribution is where ment to “forget squeezing millions from large, homogenous datasets reside and a few megahits at the top of the charts.” perhaps where the greatest impact is Anderson quite successfully foretells that on human understanding and human “the future of entertainment is in the welfare. The high volume of data millions of niche markets at the shallow produces coincident datasets in time end of the bit stream.” This principle and space – unintentionally producing explains why Netflix beat out Block- binding research across social science buster, and how Amazon has been so disciplines, even producing binding successful, with stock prices increasing research between the natural and social from $40 in late 2004 to nearly $240 in sciences. Their coincident nature makes late 2012. them ideal for cross-correlation and The long tail of science data follows multivariate analysis. the power law distribution. The National Open Innovation initiatives hold Science Foundation has shown its grants certain promise for sharing risk and in dollar amounts to follow the power rewards. “Open Innovation is a para- law – empirical support for the long tail digm that assumes that firms can and of science data. The tail has many hetero- should use external ideas as well as geneous datasets; these data are small, internal ideas.” (Chesbrough, 2003) often individually curated and unmain- Designing binding research across social tained. As a result, the data are discon- science disciplines and between the tiguous from other research efforts and natural and social sciences will require Despite the remarkable growth discontinuous over space and time. See shared laboratories provided by the headof data, the description of Big Data Figures 1-2. of the long tail, and shared interest instill seems rather empty. The descrip- Intelligence data too are often socially critical problems.tion of the distribution of the 90% collected in a manner that is limited inoutgrowth of Big Data would more scope and almost never preserves any Big Social Dataaccurately define what Big Data is and, semblance of external validity. These There is no argument that Big Datamore importantly, how it is different data are often collected for small projects has spurred technological innovation, thefrom traditional science data. If, for and are often forgotten and not main- result of which has lowered processingexample, the data explosion is normally tained. The poor curation of these data cost on data and consequently has had adistributed, then perhaps Big Data will leads to their inevitable misplacement – social impact. Businesses especially arehave less impact than expected for the dark data, or data that are suspected to using Big Data to answer questions thatsocial sciences. This would result from exist or ought to exist, but are difficult or five years ago were not answerable. Athe fact that the tails are closer to the impossible to find. The problem of dark recent study (Brynjolfsson, 2011) foundaverage than what would be true under data is real and prevalent in the tail. The that technology investments of 179 largea power law distribution. If this is the utter lack of central management of data publicly traded firms that adopted data-case, Big Data isn’t special or is not as in the tail invariably leads these data to driven decision making have output andspecial as suspected, and is less “oil” be forgotten. The long tail is an intrac- productivity that is five to six percentthan it is an average economic asset. tably large management problem and an higher than what would be expectedIMAGING NOTES // WINTER 2013 // WWW.IMAGINGNOTES.COM 35
  • 36. 1 by preventive measures that ensure these Head: Big Data wars are never fought. Ethnic tension is frequently a part of the developing world, a world often in the greatest need of aid or humanitarian assistance, and the frontlines of current or perhaps future engagements. These areas have also seen some significant, if not dramatic, increases in data. Flynn cautiously accounts for potential social ills facing the industrialized world as Long Tail: Intelligence Reporting, Science Data, Dark Data well. Big Social Data is a potential that is largely untapped and will allow decision makers to track progress, better under- stand and improve social conditions of $7,000,000 local populations, and understand where existing policies require adjustment. $6,000,000 $5,000,000 Big Data, Small Theory The typical state-centric analysis $4,000,000 that seeks to determine how states $3,000,000 can or do maintain stability must also develop a sensory capability to $2,000,000 better detect the precursors to political $1,000,000 change, a social radar of sorts with a level of granularity that enables policy $0 1 586 1171 1756 2341 2926 3511 4096 4681 5266 5851 6436 7021 7606 8191 8776 leaders to make informed decisions Power Law 80% 20% that maximize national influence left of Number of Grants 7,478 1,859 boom. (Flynn, 2012) Dollar Amount $938,548,595 $1,199,088,125 2 The Failed States Index (Foreign Policy, Total Grants (NSF07) 9,347 (Count) $2,137,636,716 (Amount) 2012) claims that 108 of the 178 countries evaluated are in high warning of failing. given their other investments and infor- ultimately highlighting the differences Assuming the remaining unmeasured mation technology usage. between the demands on data and anal- countries (18) are “stable,” then Foreign Big Data advancements have included ysis on the part of private industry and Policy estimates 55% of the world’s coun- better targeted Web ads by the likes of the demands on data and analysis on the tries to be in serious danger of failing. Google and Facebook, as well as better part of security, governance, and policy – Many of these countries are important recommendation systems by Netflix and foreign or domestic. pivots in foreign policy, currently receiving Amazon. The use of data on the part of Lieutenant General Michael Flynn aid and/or simply in close proximity to these and similarly savvy data-driven (Director of the Defense Intelligence the United States, (see Figure 3) either companies has seemingly had a positive, Agency, 2012) recently noted that focuses geographically or economically. unilateral impact on operations, offering on the precursors of war are needed The Failed States Index provides supporting evidence for a data-driven – what he calls “left of boom.” When annual snapshots of a state at a national approach. speaking of national security, he notes level. It turns out that states fail for a The social turn in Big Data, however, that one thing needed in greater frequency variety of reasons, shaped in innumerable promises the marked improvement of is the engagement of populations before ways, many of which are not violence. policy and governance decisions affecting starting a counterinsurgency campaign. Violence, as it is, may result from the the lives of everyone. Big Social Data He notes that there have been 32 major failure of the state, what Thomas Hobbes makes great effort to disspell a number insurgencies since 1960, and in 22 of these called the “state of nature.” Flynn’s idea of enduring malpositions of Big Data. cases the insurgent forces were the victors. of left of boom is an acknowledgement The contributions on the part of several Irregular warfare is the template for future of the “state of nature” and a plea for socially conscious data scientists are battlefields; U.S. interests are best served better data analysis. State failures are not IMAGING NOTES // WINTER 2013 // WWW.IMAGINGNOTES.COM36
  • 37. without disharmonies of local communi-ties or without heterogeneous castings ofethnicities, economies, and other humancharacteristics of the landscape. Geographers already know station-arity is a tenuous claim due to heterosce-dasticity in the response and spatialheterogeneity in the control. Analyticalpursuits seeking nomothetic laws quicklysacrifice internal validity. At times, thereaction on the part of human geogra-phers is to treat every observation as aspecial case. This is extreme heteroge- recognized, and without invariance prin- F IG U R E 1. The Long Tail of dataneity with multiple equilibrium – one ciples, physics would not be possible. F IG U R E 2 . Power Law Distribution example,process for every observation over space. Social phenomena are not invariant similar to The Long Tail Analyses of this nature prove to be however. As Gelfand and others (Velu-overly descriptive and quite idiographic, pillai, Poli, Norvig) noted, there is only F IG U R E 3 . Failed States Index, Foreignultimately lacking any external validity, one thing more unreasonable than the Policy magazine, 2012which is the hope of making generaliza- unreasonable effectiveness of mathematicstions to other places or times of interest. in physics, and that is the unreasonableBy clutching complexity, the computa- ineffectiveness of mathematics in other C ITATION Stional social sciences can blend these two sciences, including the humanities. While > Anderson, C. (2004). Wiredcontrasting outlooks. serial and spatial autocorrelation exist, 12.10: The Long Tail. Peter Norvig, Director of Research so do temporal and spatial heterogeneity Retrieved December 30, 2012, fromat Google Inc., (2009) writes in “The and, ultimately, uncontrolled variance. archive/12.10/tail.htmlUnreasonable Effectiveness of Data” Exploiting the complexity of data in theabout seizing complexity. He draws head of the distribution holds certain > Anyon, Jean. (1982). “Adequate Social Science, Curriculum Investigation, anddirect comparison to Eugene Wigner’s promise, rather than creating models to Theory.” Theory Into Practice. Vol. 21,article, “The Unreasonable Effectiveness decisively model all of human behavior. Number 1, 1982: 34-38.of Mathematics in the Natural Sciences” Big Social Data’s goal is to learn about > Brynjolfsson, E., Hitt, L. M., & Kim, H.(1960) and acknowledges that sciences social systems at a speed commensurate H. (2011). Strength in Numbers: How Does Data-Driven Decision Makingthat involve humans rather than elemen- with decision making and at a spatial Affect Firm Performance? SSRNtary particles have proven resistant to support commensurate with policy devel- Electronic Journal. doi:10.2139/elegant mathematics. Norvig continues, opment and assessment. Small theory is ssrn.1819486“(We) should stop acting as if our goal is one framework to operate within. These > Chesbrough, H. W. (2006). Opento author extremely elegant theories, and small theories are not small in significance Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating And Profiting frominstead embrace complexity and make but locally calibrated to the populations Technology. Harvard Business Schooluse of the best ally we have: the unrea- they measure. They are based on empirical Press.sonable effectiveness of data.” observation and are expected to be gener- > Failed States Index. (n.d.). Retrieved Italian scientist Galileo’s experiment ally true and sufficient to be useful norms. from dropping two balls of different masses The social turn in big data mimics failed_states_index_2012_interactivefrom the Leaning Tower of Pisa demon- similar social turns in the Department of > Halevy, A., Norvig, P., & Pereira, F. (2009). The Unreasonablestrated that their time of decent was inde- Defense and the U.S. Intelligence Commu- Effectiveness of Data. Intelligentpendent of their mass. Wigner explains nity. One ought to wonder what U.S. Systems, IEEE, 24(2), this result is true everywhere, was Government engagements would look like > NSI, A., OSD, M. Flynn., H., Casebeer,always true, and will always be true. It is if Big Social Data could improve decision B., Chapman, M., & Rice, C. et alvalid no matter whether it rains or not, making or intelligence analysis by a mere (2012). National Security Challenges: Insights from Social, Neurobiological,whether the experiment is carried out in five to six percent, as industry has done for and Complexity Sciences. DTICthe Far East, Near East, or Northeast D.C., output and production. Big Social Data Document, (July).no matter whether the person is a man or a has untapped potential, as Anyon (1982) > Long Tail. (n.d) In Wikipedia.woman, rich or poor, Muslim or Catholic. envisioned, for social sciences to study Retrieved December 30, 2012, fromThis invariance property of physics is well socially critical problems. NOTES // WINTER 2013 // WWW.IMAGINGNOTES.COM 37
  • 38. The Next 15–20 Years SECURE WORLD FOUNDATION FORUM This past December, the National Intelligence Council, an of the worldwide challenges we face that element of the Department of National Intelligence (DNI), issued Global Trends 2030, can be met with more effective use of a voluminous report assessing the state of the world and trends from a geopolitical space technologies, particularly geospatial perspective. The DNI oversees and coordinates the work of the Central Intelligence ones. Unfortunately, the world community Agency, the National Security Agency, and other entities charged with collecting and falls far short in using space systems interpreting information that might affect U.S. national security. effectively to tackle these challenges, many Global Trends 2030 ( of which could improve the chances of intelligence-council-global-trends) is well worth reading, not only to bring us up to reaching sustainable Earth environments. speed regarding the interplay of the various geopolitical influences that affect the Among the report’s broad conclusions United States and the rest of the world, but also to explore the possible futures that we is the likelihood that as a result of increased all might encounter. Although the report does not mention the use of Earth observations population and the growth of the middle (EO), remote sensing or other geospatial technologies, many of the concerns it raises class in developing countries, demand for can be addressed in part through the use of data provided by space systems. food and clean water resources will increase, The report is notable for its methodology. Before starting on Global Trends 2030, the potentially leading to regional scarcities that authors commissioned a review of its four earlier global trends studies to “highlight any persis- engender or exacerbate conflict. As readers tent blind spots and biases as well as distinctive strengths,” which they then used in designing of this magazine are well aware, climate this study. After completing the first draft, they actively sought feedback and criticism of it from change will likely have a major impact on non-U.S. interlocutors around the globe, researchers and analysts who provided a broader humankind’s ability to meet these resource perspective on worldwide trends than could have been possible without it. The report’s needs, especially in developing countries. authors also created a public blog, accessible worldwide, that invited additional feedback and That line of thinking led me to focus on inputs on the report’s major themes. Many of the concerns of experts in other countries about two other security-related reports that have the initial draft are reproduced in a section devoted to the responses received. appeared in the past year and a half, both The report has three major sections: issued by the Center for a New American a. Megatrends – four broad trends Security (CNAS). The first saw the light of they considered as especially day in July 2011 (see Imaging Notes, Winter important today; 2012). Appropriately titled, Blinded: The b. Game-Changers – elements of the Decline of U.S. Earth Monitoring Capabilities world’s political, economic, techno- and Its Consequences for National Security logical, and social fabric that could (, this report affect the trends in major ways; laments the steep decline in U.S. environ- c. and a Set of Potential Worlds – mental monitoring capabilities and urges the alternative futures that could result U.S. Government to put additional resources from the dynamic interaction among toward maintaining and even strengthening elements of the first two sections. the capacity for environmental monitoring. U.S. national security depends on it. The report and the methodology used As shown by the surprisingly rapid to create it are designed “to stimulate losses of ice in the Arctic Sea, Green- thinking about the rapid and vast geo- land, and Antarctica and other dramatic RAY A. WILLIAMSON, PHD, is editor of political changes characterizing the world environmental changes over the past few Imaging Notes and Senior Advisor to the today and possible global trajectories years or so, climate change is occurring at a Secure World Foundation, an organization devoted to the promotion of cooperative during the next 15-20 years.” This report much faster rate than climate scientists had approaches to space security certainly started me thinking. Among other predicted. Yet our ability to track these and ( things, it helped me review just how many other environmental modifications and to IMAGING NOTES // WINTER 2013 // WWW.IMAGINGNOTES.COM38
  • 39. analyze how they might affect food produc- Not all changes in climate are likely to be term can well inflict more economic damagetion or access to water resources in regions negative for the affected populations; some and social disruption. EO satellite systems,around the world is declining as resources will be beneficial. Warming trends, for because they provide a repeatable, synopticfor this purpose dry up. example, could extend the growing season view of Earth’s surface and the atmosphere, There is a strong disconnect between in northern regions while leading to hotter, are ideal for long-term, regional studies ofwhat the scientific and technical communi- drier weather in already parched regions of environmental change.ties are capable of doing and the financial the U.S. Southwest. For farmers and others Altering the current declining courseresources available to carry out crucial whose businesses are weather dependent, will require not just additional funding, buttasks of environmental monitoring. As the it is very important to have advance warning the development of innovative ways toCNAS report documents, these lacks about the impacts of major environmental provide the needed data and the modelingundermine U.S. national security in several changes so that they can plan ahead. and analytic tools needed to make effectiveimportant ways. For example, according Space systems can help with those tasks. use of the satellite data. Sentries in theto a National Academy of Science study Climate change models strongly Sky argues, for example, that modestreleased in May 2012 ( suggest that storms will become a lot investments in government and academiccatalog.php?record_id=13405), we are more frequent and more severe. Hence it research programs could be targeted towardfaced with a serious gap even in the ability will be especially important for emergency “improving current disaster managementof the National Oceanic and Atmospheric management officials to use every tool at tools…that help disseminate informationAdministration (NOAA) to provide the basic their disposal to track progress of major more rapidly to first responders.” The reportaccurate weather forecast services that we storms, to monitor the oceans for the occur- also suggests that the government shoulddepend upon every day in our fast-paced rence of tsunamis, and to track deforma- explore the feasibility of placing sensorsworld, even though 95 percent of the data tions of Earth’s surface in earthquake on commercial satellites, such as newinputs to U.S. meteorological models derive zones. Satellite systems are particularly communications satellites. Such a practicefrom space-borne platforms devoted to good at those tasks. Sentries in the Sky: could reduce costs and spur innovation. Itweather monitoring. Using Space Technologies for Disaster also emphasizes the role that international The more sophisticated scientific infor- Response, the latest CNAS report, focuses cooperation can play in easing fundingmation available from NASA’s declining EO on space systems and natural disasters constraints for any one agency or country.research capabilities have helped scientists ( In Taken together, these three reportsand policymakers understand better how it, analyst Will Rogers argues that America present not only an assessment of the worldand at what rates the world’s environments could make much better use of space community and where it might be headed, butare changing. They have provided the basic technology to mitigate the damage and also a set of solutions to address several ofdata for developing environmental trend destruction of major natural disasters. the most serious challenges we face, basedmodels. Yet nearly all of the rich collection of This latest CNAS report centers in on more effective use of space technologies.environmental research satellites that NASA on the use of space systems to support Because these challenges are global ones,lofted into orbit during the last decade have tsunami detection and prediction, but we should be tackling them together as apassed the end of their design lives and many of its conclusions can be applied to global community.many of their instruments will not be replaced other natural disasters, from earthquakes, Global Trends 2030 notes that onewith new versions, further reducing our ability flooding, and hurricanes to long-term of the major challenges we face is theto follow environmental trends. drought. Major natural disasters like Hurri- question of evolving better governance It is necessary to monitor climate cane Sandy have garnered a lot of attention mechanisms, on all levels, local, country,change, not only to track it for the scientific because of the tremendous damage and regional, and international. Organizing moreknowledge gained but also to provide the disruption they inflict on people and infra- effective governance of space activities,information needed for advance warning to structure in a short period, but incremental especially for environmental monitoring,populations likely to be affected. changes in average temperature over a long could assist that process.IMAGING NOTES // WINTER 2013 // WWW.IMAGINGNOTES.COM 39
  • 40. GLOBAL BASEMAP With Global Basemap, imagery consumption is easy. Global Basemap provides the most accurate and up-to-date imagery available and ensures seamless coverage of every square kilometer of the Earth’s landmass. DigitalGlobe is responsible for all processing, updating, and hosting, enabling users to focus on understanding and analyzing their area of interest. LARGEST ONLINE IMAGE LIBRARY COMPLETE GLOBAL COVERAGE IMAGING NOTES // WINTER 2013 // WWW.IMAGINGNOTES.COM 40GELORA BUNG KARNO STADIUM, JAKARTA