E a r t h Re m o t e S e n s i n g                                     for Securit y                                     E...
i m a g i n g n o t es / / f a l l 2 0 1 0 / / w w w . i m a g i n g n o t es . c o m2
i m a g i n g n o t es / / f a l l 2 0 1 0 / / w w w . i m a g i n g n o t es . c o m                                     ...
With 30 years of geospatial experience, we’ve done more    than just map the surface. www.northropgrumman.com/geoint      ...
Fall 2010                                                                                                                 ...
Western                                                                             Fall 2010 / Vol. 25 / No. 4    Sahara ...
Tactical Mapping imagery: when youneed to know where … and when.You know what you’re looking for. Any imaging system can h...
See More, Know More and Do More With DigitalGlobe’s 8-band imagery400                    500                       600    ...
Too Much Data?Dare I Say It?                                                                                              ...
Citizen Science     Assessing the Power of crs     secure world foundation forum            The Earth information needs of...
Distributed Democracy      The use of the Internet and socialmedia technologies was discussed by TinaNabatchi of Syracuse ...
CRS: Citizens Awaken     Florida Keys Environmental Protection     earth scope             The April 20, 2010 oil disaster...
WW F ig u r e 1. NASA’s Aqua satellite captured       TT F ig u r e 3 . ESRI ArcGIS volunteer                             ...
Maximize the Value of Your Imagery     Quickly get imagery to people who need it with the ArcGIS Server Image extension.  ...
Glacial    Disappearance    Forecast    Planet Action Research Project                                                    ...
3        2     F ig u r e 2 . Milk Lake Glacier has completely                      F ig u r e 3 . Ice Worm Glacier is dis...
still the best method of collecting data.                  that once bedrock peeks through the ice              combinatio...
5                                                          Automating the Process                                         ...
IGARSS 2010            Promise and Challenges in World-Class Satellite Remote Sensing          At the IEEE Geoscience and ...
“ESA has 30 partner missions,”               is very important,” he said, but he also               already resident, he p...
remote sensing from Seneca, South                          a singular conference topic recognized at          ºº   Geospat...
i m a g i n g n o t es / / f a l l 2 0 1 0 / / w w w . i m a g i n g n o t es . c o m22                     ...
i m a g i n g n o t es / / f a l l 2 0 1 0 / / w w w . i m a g i n g n o t es . c o m                                     ...
Sustainable     Development     Using Earth     Observations     Accounting From Above For Forestry,                      ...
The Data Paradox: InformatIon SharIng Incongruities In the IntellIgence CommunIty
The Data Paradox: InformatIon SharIng Incongruities In the IntellIgence CommunIty
The Data Paradox: InformatIon SharIng Incongruities In the IntellIgence CommunIty
The Data Paradox: InformatIon SharIng Incongruities In the IntellIgence CommunIty
The Data Paradox: InformatIon SharIng Incongruities In the IntellIgence CommunIty
The Data Paradox: InformatIon SharIng Incongruities In the IntellIgence CommunIty
The Data Paradox: InformatIon SharIng Incongruities In the IntellIgence CommunIty
The Data Paradox: InformatIon SharIng Incongruities In the IntellIgence CommunIty
The Data Paradox: InformatIon SharIng Incongruities In the IntellIgence CommunIty
The Data Paradox: InformatIon SharIng Incongruities In the IntellIgence CommunIty
The Data Paradox: InformatIon SharIng Incongruities In the IntellIgence CommunIty
The Data Paradox: InformatIon SharIng Incongruities In the IntellIgence CommunIty
The Data Paradox: InformatIon SharIng Incongruities In the IntellIgence CommunIty
The Data Paradox: InformatIon SharIng Incongruities In the IntellIgence CommunIty
The Data Paradox: InformatIon SharIng Incongruities In the IntellIgence CommunIty
The Data Paradox: InformatIon SharIng Incongruities In the IntellIgence CommunIty
The Data Paradox: InformatIon SharIng Incongruities In the IntellIgence CommunIty
The Data Paradox: InformatIon SharIng Incongruities In the IntellIgence CommunIty
The Data Paradox: InformatIon SharIng Incongruities In the IntellIgence CommunIty
The Data Paradox: InformatIon SharIng Incongruities In the IntellIgence CommunIty
The Data Paradox: InformatIon SharIng Incongruities In the IntellIgence CommunIty
The Data Paradox: InformatIon SharIng Incongruities In the IntellIgence CommunIty
The Data Paradox: InformatIon SharIng Incongruities In the IntellIgence CommunIty
The Data Paradox: InformatIon SharIng Incongruities In the IntellIgence CommunIty
The Data Paradox: InformatIon SharIng Incongruities In the IntellIgence CommunIty
The Data Paradox: InformatIon SharIng Incongruities In the IntellIgence CommunIty
The Data Paradox: InformatIon SharIng Incongruities In the IntellIgence CommunIty
The Data Paradox: InformatIon SharIng Incongruities In the IntellIgence CommunIty
The Data Paradox: InformatIon SharIng Incongruities In the IntellIgence CommunIty
The Data Paradox: InformatIon SharIng Incongruities In the IntellIgence CommunIty
The Data Paradox: InformatIon SharIng Incongruities In the IntellIgence CommunIty
The Data Paradox: InformatIon SharIng Incongruities In the IntellIgence CommunIty
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The Data Paradox: InformatIon SharIng Incongruities In the IntellIgence CommunIty

  1. 1. E a r t h Re m o t e S e n s i n g for Securit y E n e r gy a n d the Environment Fall 2010 Vol. 25 No.4 with all this Aerial Sustainable RapidEye GEOSS UserCameras Development Requirements
  2. 2. i m a g i n g n o t es / / f a l l 2 0 1 0 / / w w w . i m a g i n g n o t es . c o m2
  3. 3. i m a g i n g n o t es / / f a l l 2 0 1 0 / / w w w . i m a g i n g n o t es . c o m 3
  4. 4. With 30 years of geospatial experience, we’ve done more than just map the surface. www.northropgrumman.com/geoint GEOSPATIAL INTELLIGENCE Northrop Grumman has partnered with our customers to provide industry-leading geospatial technology, services, and products for over 30 years. Our experience has enabled us to develop end-to-end geospatial offerings enabling rapid response to customers’ unique and ever-changing requirements. Northrop Grumman supports the Department of Defense, Intelligence© 2010 northrop Grumman corporation i m a g i n g n o t es / / f a l l 2 0 1 0 / / w w w . i m a g i n g n o t es . c o m 4 Community, Department of Homeland Security and civilian agencies with our innovative technologies and high-quality services to assure the protection of our nation’s military, borders, and citizens.
  5. 5. Fall 2010 contents >> olumns C 9 Publisher’s Letter More Data: Challenges and Benefits By Myrna James Yoo 10 Secure World Foundation Forum Assessing the Power 15 of Citizen Science By Leonard David 12 Earth Scope CRS in the Florida Keys By Tim Foresman, PhD >> eatures F 15 Disappearing Glaciers Research Project of Spot Image’s Planet Action By Kevin Corbley 19 IGARSS 30th Anniversary Promise and Challenges for Remote Sensing By Leonard David 24 Sustainable Development Forestry, Hydropower and Mining By Pierre-Philippe Mathieu, PhD, ESA 28 User Requirement Registry For GEOSS By Hans-Peter Plag, PhD Univ. of Nevada, Reno 35 Data Paradox Information Sharing Challenges By Richard Heimann, ITT and NJOIC Pentagon 40 RapidEye Delivering the World By Kim Douglass and Markus Heynen 49 24 12i m a g i n g n o t es / / f a l l 2 0 1 0 / / w w w . i m a g i n g n o t es . c o m 49 Aerial Cameras Focus Shifts to Productivity 5 By Matteo Luccio
  6. 6. Western Fall 2010 / Vol. 25 / No. 4 Sahara 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 a partnership Imaging Notes is affiliated with the with Secure World Foundation Alliance for Earth Observations, a (www.secureworldfoundation.org). program of The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (www.strategies.org). Publisher/Managing editor Editorial Advisory Board Myrna James Yoo Mark E. Brender, GeoEye myrna@imagingnotes.com Anita Burke Editor The Catalyst Institute Ray A. Williamson, PhD ray@imagingnotes.com Nancy Colleton Institute for Global Copy Editor Environmental Strategies Bette Milleson Timothy W. Foresman, PhD Advertising Director International Centre for Remote Colleen Gormley Sensing Education This image is of the north- Creative Director Jürgen Mantzke William B. Gail, PhD Microsoft eastern portion of Western Sahara, about Enfineitz LLC Anne Hale Miglarese 200 km east of the town of Semara. jurgen@enfineitz.com Booz Allen Hamilton The Western Sahara is mostly desert, located www.enfineitz.com Kevin Pomfret, Esq. in Northern Africa, with the North Atlantic Ocean LeClair Ryan to the west, Morocco to the north, Algeria to the Editorial Contributions northeast, and Mauritania to the east and south. Imaging Notes welcomes contributions for feature articles. We publish articles on the The land is some of the most arid, inhospitable remote sensing industry, including applications, technology, and business. Please see and sparsely populated in the world. Contributor’s Guidelines on www.imagingnotes.com, and email proposals to Western Sahara is a disputed territory that editor@imagingnotes.com. has been on the United Nations list of non-self- Subscriptions governing territories since 1963, when it was a To subscribe or renew, please go to www.imagingnotes.com, and click on ‘subscribe.’ Spanish colony. The Kingdom of Morocco and the If you are a current subscriber, renew by locating your account Sahrawi national liberation movement Polisario 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. Front, through the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), dispute control of the territory. Imaging Notes (ISSN 0896-7091) Copyright © 2010 Blueline Publishing LLC, P.O. Box 11519, Denver, CO 80211, 303-477-5272 Major powers such as the United States and All rights reserved. No material may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by Russia have taken neutral positions on each side’s any means without written permission from the publisher. While every precaution is claims, and have pressed both parties to agree on taken to ensure accuracy, the publisher and the Alliance for Earth Observations cannot a peaceful resolution. accept responsibility for the accuracy of information or for any opinions or views The center point coordinates of the image are: presented in Imaging Notes. 26°34’19.20”N / 9°50’45.60”W. Image courtesy Although trademark and copyright symbols are not used in this publication, they are honored. of RapidEye. Image taken Aug. 12, 2010. This and more RapidEye imagery, including Imaging Notes is printed on 20% recycled (10% post-consumer waste) paper. All inks used contain a percentage of soy base. Our printer meets or nearby Morocco, appear in the feature article exceeds all federal Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA) Standards. beginning on page 40. i m a g i n g n o t es / / f a l l 2 0 1 0 / / w w w . i m a g i n g n o t es . c o m6
  7. 7. Tactical Mapping imagery: when youneed to know where … and when.You know what you’re looking for. Any imaging system can help you see it. But only tactical mapping ortho imagery cantell you exactly where it is – and when it got there. With positional accuracy measured in centimeters, imagery fromTrimble DSS™ RapidOrtho™ supports tactical mapping, change detection, and critical decision-making in the field.The DSS (Digital Sensor System) is a complete airborne digital imaging system field-proven in the front lines ofemergency response and the modern battlefield:• Ultra-fast images – complete mapping-grade datasets within hours of landing, individual orthos within seconds• Centimeter-level resolution from safe flying heights• Mapping-grade results – meets rigorous USGS certification and NASA standards• Rapid, flexible deployment – rugged, lightweight system can be installed within one hourDSS RapidOrtho in action:• Defense operations use the DSS in Iraq and Afghanistan• NOAA National Geodetic Survey uses the DSS for hurricane, earthquake, and oil spill rapid response• DSS RapidOrtho gives commercial mapping companies a competitive edge in productivity i m a g i n g n o t es / / f a l l 2 0 1 0 / / w w w . i m a g i n g n o t es . c o m 7The Trimble DSS is built upon Applanix’ GNSS-aided inertial technology, systemsintegration and innovative engineering expertise, and is a key part of Trimble’s aerialmapping product line.www.trimble.com/geospatial/aerial-mapping
  8. 8. See More, Know More and Do More With DigitalGlobe’s 8-band imagery400 500 600 700 800 900 1000 1100 For the first time ever, remote sensing and GIS In many ways, the full capabilities of 8-band professionals have access to high-resolution imagery are still to be exploited: from mineral imagery with 8 spectral bands, including identification, to automated change detection, coastal blue, yellow, red-edge and NIR2. The to wildfire modeling, and much more. precise spectral fidelity combined with the very high spatial resolution of this imagery enables The DigitalGlobe 8-Band Research Challenge, detailed analyses never before possible- currently underway, has gathered over 500 advances such as: researchers to study the impact of using this data for a broad range of applications. Watch • More detailed vegetative analyses for the results of this research to be posted on • Creation of accurate shallow-water our website www.digitalglobe.com/8band. bathymetry maps • Improved land use/land cover classifications What can you do with 8-band imagery? Download our free whitepapers and learn more: www.digitalglobe.com/8band Clockwise from upper left: Vegetative analysis of wine grape vineyards highlighting crop health; feature extraction map of Bangkok Thailand, focused on man-made i m a g i n g n o t es / / f a l l 2 0 1 0 / / w w w . i m a g i n g n o t es . c o m feature classes; false color composite imagery (Red-Edge, NIR1, NIR2) in Hawaii, depicting wave refraction through reef channels; 1 meter bathymetry contours of 8 Aitutaki Lagoon extracted from 8-Band imagery. www.digitalglobe.com
  9. 9. Too Much Data?Dare I Say It? Publisher’s LetterGeoInt Coverage in this XX Imaging NotesIssue: The Data Paradox editorial staff at the Welcome This Fall issue includes Reception of IGARSS: myself, Editor Ray focus, as always, on security and Williamson, Barbaraintelligence, in conjunction with the David and writerGeoInt Symposium. An issue rising to the Leonard David,surface in the past few years is the formerly of Space News.question of having too much data – somuch so that processing it and using itare major challenges. Rich Heimann, aresearcher at ITT and officer of NJOIC,looks at what could be done to ease thisburden, on page 35. Paul Smits of the European Commis- that data contribution from the community using EO for sustainable development onsion Joint Research Center in Italy and (often from cell phones), plus the power page 24. We also report on the importantco-chair of IGARSS 2010 stated at their of social networks and the infrastructure work of Dr. Mauri Pelto at Nichols College,recent meeting that, “Data management that many professionals are pulling who has made significant discoveries onand applications have profoundly changed together, is creating very powerful tools how better to measure and predict glacierthe way we do research... Data is driving for emergency response and ongoing melt for societal benefit.the foundation of new hypothesis.” This is projects like the one highlighted inindeed an important subject. Florida after the oil spill (page 12). The Join Our Social Media increased use of CRS data, however, We have joined the Social MediaIGARSS Meeting in Hawaii does admittedly contribute to the problem Revolution, of course, so please join us The IGARSS annual meeting is not one of managing too much data. on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Groupwe normally attend (see photo), but we Rich Heimann shows on page 35 how photos are posted on Facebook, and Ibelieve that the new science and technolo- the more information we have, the more normally tweet a lot from conferences,gies should be published for a broader confidence we have in the correct answer, so tune into twitter.com/imagingnotes foraudience than the scientists themselves. but accuracy actually decreases with more those live comments.IGARSS is a symposium of GRSS (Geosci- items of information. Also, the paradox ofence and Remote Sensing Society), itself choice shows that having too many choices —Myrna James Yoounder IEEE, and includes many of the creates paralysis of the analyst. We assume publisher@imagingnotes.comworld’s top scientists, who gather to report that having more data is good, but this is noton their most recent discoveries. Their inherently the case.plenary theme is one we have written onrather extensively in the past year: Commu- Sustainable Development Follow Imaging Notes on Twitter www.twitter.com/imagingnotesnity Remote Sensing (CRS). We are thrilled We ask you on page 28 to provideto bring just a glimpse of this gathering and input for the GEOSS User Requirementof CRS in three articles: “IGARSS 2010,” a Registry, so that the creators of GEOSS On Facebook, find and “like” Imaging Notes to see great photos!summary on page 19, “Assessing the Power worldwide can put together the mostof Citizen Science” on page 10, and “CRS useful program possible for addressingin the Florida Keys” on page 12. climate change. ESA’s Pierre-Philippe Join Imaging Notes on LinkedIn We report on CRS in each issue, and Mathieu provides three examples ofi m a g i n g n o t es / / f a l l 2 0 1 0 / / w w w . i m a g i n g n o t es . c o m 9
  10. 10. Citizen Science Assessing the Power of crs secure world foundation forum The Earth information needs of our society are outreach activities, for improving protected enormous. In the past we have relied on government-sponsored satellites and areas and plantation forest management, observing systems as the foundations for gathering this data. But there is a rapid for assessing the extent of burnt areas, as emergence of citizen science and social networks that yield an exciting new means to an indicator of effective forest management, become better stewards of our planet. and for studying the influence of climate Imaging Notes has taken a lead role in gauging Community Remote Sensing, or change on fire frequency. Furthermore, Fire CRS, a new field that combines remote sensing with citizen science, social networks, Alerts have also helped to expose, as well as and crowd-sourcing to enhance the data obtained from traditional sources. It includes to stop, illegal logging operations. the collection, calibration, analysis, communication, or application of remotely sensed information by these community means. CrisisCamp The powerful role of hybrid barcamp/ Indeed, harnessing the power of CRS hackathon events was explained by Heather as a global vision for local action was Editor’sbegins onsummary and a feature meeting Note A page 19, of the IGARSS Blanchard, founder of CrisisCommons. She highlighted at this year’s 30th Interna- detailed her organization’s “CrisisCamp,” on the challenges of having so much data tional Geoscience and Remote Sensing begins on page 35. which brings together people and communi- Symposium (IGARSS) gathering in July. ties who innovate crisis response and global At this conference in Honolulu, Hawaii, it challenging – sometimes thorny – issues development through technology tools, became increasingly obvious that the data ahead for increased acceptance and expertise, and problem solving. For instance, provided from people and sensors “on adoption of CRS. the impact of CrisisCamp in shaping the ground” will be instrumental in seeing disaster relief efforts after the catastrophic a much fuller picture for projects around Technology Tools Haiti earthquake brought home the utility of the world, be they for disaster manage- Following on the heels of the IGARSS CRS. ment or for measuring the possible gathering, Secure World Foundation held a CrisisCamp volunteers, Blanchard said, impact of climate change. Still, there are special workshop in September in coop- have created crisis response and learning eration with the Department of Homeland events in over 10 countries with volunteers Security on CRS, citizen science and social of all backgrounds who collaborate in an networks. The day-long workshop included open environment to aggregate crisis data, overviews by Scott Madry of the International develop prototype tools, and train people on Space University, who provided a tutorial on how to use technology CRS. Stuart Gill of the World Bank outlined Similar in message, Carolyn Lukens- disaster risk management and CRS. meyer of AmericaSpeaks underscored John Musinsky of Conservation Inter- the engagement of citizens in the public national (CI) detailed the purpose of CI’s decisions that impact their lives. Ameri- Fire Alert System, showcasing its ability to caSpeaks has developed and facilitated deliver near real-time satellite observations deliberative methods, partnering with of fires to the government agencies, NGOs, regional planning groups; local, state and and community organizations responsible national government bodies; and national for management of natural areas and fire and international organizations. Issues suppression in countries where CI works. tackled by AmericaSpeaks have ranged Musinsky noted that data are being used for from the redevelopment of ground zero in By Leonard David Research Associate active fire suppression, as educational tools New York following the horrific terrorist Secure World Foundation for fire control and prevention in villages, attacks to rebuilding New Orleans after www.secureworldfoundation.org for prioritizing resource management and hurricane Katrina. See Figure 1. i m a g i n g n o t es / / f a l l 2 0 1 0 / / w w w . i m a g i n g n o t es . c o m10
  11. 11. Distributed Democracy The use of the Internet and socialmedia technologies was discussed by TinaNabatchi of Syracuse University’s MaxwellSchool of Citizenship and Public Affairs.Tapping these communication advancescan promote distributed democracy andcreate digital neighborhoods, she added,dubbing it “Participation 2.0.” It’s the viewof Nabatchi that the current thrust of theWhite House Open Government Directivehas encouraged federal agencies to be moretransparent, collaborative, and participatory…and many states are following suit. However,it is at the local level where citizens andgovernment generally have the most direct F ig u r e 1. Hurricane Katrina survivors arrive at the Houston Astrodome Red Cross Shelter afterinteractions. That being said, it is likely that being evacuated from New Orleans. They were moved to the Astrodome after the Superdome became unsafe following the levee breaks in New Orleans. Community Remote Sensing tools aremore innovation and more use of Participation becoming part of the toolkit in responding to natural disasters. Credit: FEMA photo/Andrea Booher.2.0 technologies can be expected in yearsto come. CRS-CI – that is scalable and can support purposes. That cautionary flag was waved A number of challenges with managing organic growth to meet the needs of by Kevin Pomfret, Executive Director ofCRS data are emerging, as pointed an expanding CRS community. Several the Centre for Spatial Law and Policyout by Raja Rajasekar of the School challenges need to be addressed, he (and member of the Imaging Notes Edito-of Information and Library Sciences at added, such as scalable federated data grid rial Board), who said that a wide range ofUniversity of North Carolina, Chapel architecture, semantics-enabled discovery issues is associated with the collection,Hill. With social networking tools and and access, user-friendly workflow systems distribution and use of spatial data, andcrowd-sourcing technologies, Rajasekar for analysis and synthesis, and social that the law with respect to spatial data isemphasized that the data collected by the consensus on collection properties. He often confusing and uncertain.CRS systems can grow exponentially, and proposed that the CRS system needs to These issues – which include privacy,that community-driven data collection can be based on a cyber infrastructure that is liability, intellectual property rights andproduce large amounts of environmental robust and extensible and that can meet the national security – become even moredata (such as rainfall, temperature, multiple challenges posed by the diverse complex when associated with communityhumidity, water shed level, crop yields, data gathering and usage models. remote sensing. This uncertainty alreadyetc.), including sensor-based point impacts the cost and ease of collecting andmeasurements, textual data capturing Cautionary Flag sharing spatial data for both governmentalinformation in free form, photographic Given the birth of Google Earth in and commercial entities. In addition, unlessimages and video. Therefore, one of the 2005, in addition to other web mapping an informed and cohesive legal and policychallenges of the CRS community is the services, there has been an explosion of framework is developed for spatial data,problem of how to manage such data in a interest in spatial data and the power of there is a growing risk that communitycoherent manner such that it can enable community remote sensing. Unfortunately, remote sensing will ultimately be under-new science and aid decision making. the legal and policy communities have not utilized. Pomfret concluded that “Legal and Rajasekar advised that the CRS system kept pace with the rapid adaptation of this policy issues need to be addressed in ordershould deploy a cyber-infrastructure – technology for commercial and societal to maximize success.”i m a g i n g n o t es / / f a l l 2 0 1 0 / / w w w . i m a g i n g n o t es . c o m 11
  12. 12. CRS: Citizens Awaken Florida Keys Environmental Protection earth scope The April 20, 2010 oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico (Figure 1) , the result of an unprecedented cluster of human errors and mechan- ical failures, has led ultimately to a hopeful result. The disaster and the resulting national and international press coverage, including a real-time underwater camera for 24/7 monitoring of the oil gushing from the extraction pipes and catastrophic projections for the damage inflicted, has sparked much-needed activity by citizens, NGOs, businesses, educators, and government agencies. Both accurate news and serious misinformation flowed consistently Editor’sexampleTheaESRI VGI is an excellent Note: of corporate-led from the media, and this combination of Community Remote Sensing (CRS) responsible and irresponsible reporting project, bringing citizens into an important resulted in alarming the public while role contributing datasets that would be otherwise missing in monitoring the oil spill. muddying the waters regarding the consequences of the disaster. Early victims of poor communications included representatives and the federal government: the fishing and tourism industries along How do we best measure the health of the the gulf states, who suffered significant ecosystems and assess any impacts from Force believed that the VGI approach might economic and psychological losses. On a the oil disaster? How can we take charge work well with their goal of harnessing positive note, the gulf oil disaster sparked of our environment so that we know what is citizens’ passion to contribute. activity across a spectrum of locations really going on? As part of their background, the and interest groups, creating actions and Reef Relief (www.reefrelief.org), working ST team was provided copies of collective interest by citizens concerned with other groups, formed the Florida Keys the Imaging Notes article by Natalie with the health and well being of the Environmental Coalition (www.fkec.org), Cutsforth (Summer 2010, Vol. 25, No. 3), ecosystems around them. One interesting which includes business and academic which emphasized a similar technology story is that of the citizens living in the leaders. This coalition formed a Science and approach for coral reef mapping and Florida Keys and their concerted actions Technical (ST) Task Force under the lead- studying marine environments. Thousands to address the immediate and residual ership of Dr. Patrick Rice, Dean of Marine of Florida Keys citizens had signed up as impacts from the oil damage. Sciences at the Florida Keys Community volunteers for beach and mangrove oil Alarmed last spring by the ensuing reality College, to seek an approach for citizen-led clean up and for monitoring activities and of the oil gushing into the Gulf of Mexico and environmental monitoring and assessment. were waiting for leadership instructions. dissatisfied by the lack of clear information The ST recognized early on that satellites A series of meetings and workshops in regarding the fate of the oil and oil-disper- and social network tools would be needed Key West was scheduled to define the sants heading towards the Keys, citizens and to meet the demands for environmental technical and managerial foundations for groups began a dialog. Leading environ- stewardship for the Florida Keys. a long-term monitoring and assessment mental groups like Reef Relief, a respected Early on, the ST discovered the early strategy. This strategy will incorporate organization with over two decades of reef involvement of ESRI (Redlands, Calif.) in citizen-scientists as the keystone monitoring experience ( Figure 2), were early mitigation of the disaster. The GIS firm had component of the VGI approaches to leaders in asking critical questions of BP created web site workspaces for volunteer environmental protection and monitoring geographic information (VGI) to enable in the wake of the gulf oil event. web-mapping of oil-response activities Because the coalition leadership devel- Dr. Tim Foresman is presidentSensing International Center for Remote of the and incident reports that could be viewed oped consensus that an Earth-observation Education. in near-real-time ( Figure 3 ). Dr. Rice’s Task perspective was the best approach to build i m a g i n g n o t es / / f a l l 2 0 1 0 / / w w w . i m a g i n g n o t es . c o m12
  13. 13. WW F ig u r e 1. NASA’s Aqua satellite captured TT F ig u r e 3 . ESRI ArcGIS volunteer this image of the Gulf of Mexico on April 25, geographic information (VGI) application for 2010 using its Moderate Resolution Imaging the Gulf oil disaster. Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument. 1 3 2 WW F ig u r e 2 . Reef Relief volunteers monitoring coral reefs in the Florida Keys. agenda. Data collection protocols will be ºº How can we take charge reviewed not only by the scientific members and maintain charge of our of the ST but with city, county, state, and environment? federal environmental representatives. ºº How will our data collection Inclusiveness of all these environmental efforts provide for legally valid protection and management professionals applications of data? is essential to the long-term success of the ºº How can a community best VGI proposed strategy. sustain the needed long-terma monitoring and assessment program, Critical questions will drive the final monitoring regimes?web-supported tools and web-based data design of this grass-roots monitoring ºº Can multiple generations andcollection methods have been the preferred program. Raised by citizens as the the education system be fullymode for creating citizen-friendly technolo- alarm and uncertainty of the oil disaster incorporated into this new digitalgies. The VGI methods will focus on mobile loomed on the horizon, these questions democracy for environmentaldata collection devices, primarily using market have alerted the ST team to selecting a stewardship?leading phones and GPS units. Commercially prudent design that will serve the citizens, Positive outcomes from disasters areavailable technology represents a robust set scientists, and government decision- always a welcome relief. A new chapterof proven solutions for citizens and scientists. makers in the coming decades in light of in environmental democracy will be K-14 education institutions along the both natural threats and human disasters: discovered, should the citizens of theFlorida Keys will also be included in the ºº How do we measure the health of Florida Keys manifest their concerns forfinal design components to help ensure the Florida Keys ecosystems? their ecosystems using the VGI approachthat students can integrate their field data ºº What should we measure and based on satellite data and web-basedcollection activities into their educational how do we measure it? spatial tools.i m a g i n g n o t es / / f a l l 2 0 1 0 / / w w w . i m a g i n g n o t es . c o m 13
  14. 14. Maximize the Value of Your Imagery Quickly get imagery to people who need it with the ArcGIS Server Image extension. ® “When we tested ArcGIS Server The ArcGIS® Server Image extension helps organizations manage Image extension, we found designers, large catalogs of rasters and imagery to make imagery available to technicians, and digitizers were all very more people in less time. Dynamic mosaicking and on-the-fly image pleased with the processing processing allow users to quickly serve multiple imagery products time. It was twice as fast, in some cases even faster, from one set of source imagery, reducing data redundancy and than previous systems.” storage requirements. Cindi Salas GIS Manager CenterPoint Energy i m a g i n g n o t es / / f a l l 2 0 1 0 / / w w w . i m a g i n g n o t es . c o m14 For more information, visit www.esri.com/image or call 1-888-373-1353. For ESRI locations worldwide, visit www.esri.com/distributors. Copyright © 2008 ESRI. All rights reserved. The ESRI globe logo, ESRI, ArcGIS, ESRI—The GIS Company, www.esri.com, and @esri.com are trademarks, registered trademarks, or service marks of ESRI in the United States, the European Community, or certain other jurisdictions. Other companies and products mentioned herein may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective trademark owners.
  15. 15. Glacial Disappearance Forecast Planet Action Research Project F ig u r e 1. The Wind River Range in Wyoming is captured by Spot 5 on Aug. 29, 20 07. This image was used with others by Dr. Pelto to study glacier melt in the area. Image courtesy of Spot Image. A lp i n e g l ac i e r s wo r ld w i d e a r e r e t r e at i n g , a n d s o m e w i ll Image in partnership with ESRI. Early disappear in coming decades. Because the behavior of glaciers results di- results of his project indicate the glaciolo-rectly from local weather conditions, they are considered reliable gauges of climate gist has developed an entirely new meanschange and are undergoing intense scrutiny. Often lost in the midst of this scien- of monitoring glaciers and interpretingtific examination is the fact that glaciers also serve practical purposes. They are their reaction to climate change.vital sources of fresh water, and their disappearance can have devastating local “We felt that Dr. Pelto’s researcheconomic and environmental effects. was at the cutting edge of developing Dr. Mauri Pelto, a geologist and several glaciers, Pelto recognized that a practical, automated mechanismglaciology professor in the Environ- significant societal value could be gained for monitoring glacial disappearancemental Sciences Department at Nichols by devising a method to forecast which worldwide,” said Antoine de Chassy,College in Dudley, Mass., has studied glaciers are holding their own and which President of Spot Image Corp.alpine glaciers throughout the world are heading toward extinction.for 26 years. After watching the slow Pelto believes that satellite imagery Weather Impacts Glaciersretreat and eventual disappearance of holds the key to accurately predicting the Part of the impetus for Pelto’s desire to futures of alpine glaciers and could ulti- establish a scientifically based forecasting mately serve as the centerpiece of auto- mechanism has been the well-publicized, By Kevin Corbley Geospatial Business Consultant mated forecasting techniques. In 2008, yet erroneous, predictions of glacial Corbley Communications Pelto applied for and received assistance in demise across large geographic regions. Denver, Colo. the form of satellite imagery from Planet Exaggerated reports on the imminent www.corbleycommunications.com Action, a climate research initiative of Spot deaths of all glaciers in the Himalayasi m a g i n g n o t es / / f a l l 2 0 1 0 / / w w w . i m a g i n g n o t es . c o m 15
  16. 16. 3 2 F ig u r e 2 . Milk Lake Glacier has completely F ig u r e 3 . Ice Worm Glacier is disappearing; it has lost all of its snow cover disappeared from 1984 to 2009. in six of the last 10 years. The top is retreating as fast as the bottom. and Glacier National Park over the next tors, glaciers are quite different from other retreating or advancing. However, the 15-25 years are two examples. proxies for measuring historic temperature. problem with mass balance calculation “They are not going to disappear by the Tree rings and coral reefs, for instance, can is that it requires onsite observations and year 2035,” said Pelto. “Some glaciers are be impacted by many outside variables measurements of the snow pack. More doing just fine there…they aren’t growing, aside from weather and are therefore less importantly, because glaciers are inher- but they are shrinking very slowly, while reliable climate indicators. ently difficult and dangerous to visit in others are shrinking very fast.” “There is nothing else that matters to person, only a limited number of glaciers Confusion over the fate of glaciers the glacier (besides climate),” said Pelto. can be actively monitored at one time. in a given area stems from a misun- The status of a glacier is typically derstanding of the complexity of these measured by its mass balance, a ratio Monitoring Glacial Change dynamic geologic features. A single of the new snow accumulated over the Pelto concluded that for glacial moni- mountain range may contain hundreds winter versus the snow that melted during toring to have significant value for either of glaciers, and it is tempting to assume the summer. A positive mass balance climate change research or fresh water that localized weather and climatic means there has been a net increase in supply assessment, glaciers have to be conditions are influencing them all snow over the year, and the glacier is monitored individually. Given the fact identically. But in reality, different growing or advancing. But a net loss of that hundreds of thousands of glaciers are internal factors, such as the altitude snow indicates the ice sheet is thinning or carving the Earth’s surface at any given of the snow accumulation zone, are at retreating. Glaciers can go through many time, this seemed like an impossible chore. work in different glaciers. One glacier periods of advance and retreat over the But Pelto began experimenting with other may be retreating, while another imme- course of their existence. means of measuring glacial conditions. diately adjacent to it is stable. Glaciologists like Pelto can calculate On visits to glaciers around the world, “Glaciers right next to each other the mass balance of individual glaciers the scientist began photographing the are doing different things,” said Pelto, by measuring their snow pack every year. snow lines of specific glaciers repeat- noting that one glacier’s shrinkage and They can also make historical estimates edly at the same time of year. He photo- potential disappearance is no indication of snow pack changes by measuring the graphed or directly measured the eleva- that its neighbors are in trouble. thickness of annual ice layers found in the tions of the snow line on the glaciers at The value of monitoring both alpine stratigraphy of deep glacial crevasses, in their tops, bottoms, and at other land and continental ice sheets as part of much the same way foresters measure the marks in between. He tried pinpointing climate change research is indisputable. thickness of tree rings. the snow lines in 30-meter resolution The behavior of glaciers over the course Assessing mass balance on an annual Landsat imagery but found it too coarse of a year depends largely on one external basis is the best way to track the current for accurate measurement on smaller factor – the weather. As climate indica- status of the glacier – whether it is stable, alpine glaciers. In-person visits were i m a g i n g n o t es / / f a l l 2 0 1 0 / / w w w . i m a g i n g n o t es . c o m16
  17. 17. still the best method of collecting data. that once bedrock peeks through the ice combination of regional coverage and In the course of his studies, spanning sheet, the heat balance changes irrevers- feature detail. For some glaciers, thesetwo and a half decades, Pelto discovered ibly because the rocks absorb so much images clearly showed the presence ofthat the conventional method of assessing thermal radiation from the sun. rock outcrops that had not been visible inglacial disappearance was incorrect. Since 2007, the Planet Action images from just a few years before.First-year geology students are taught program initiated by Spot Image has Pelto also used the GIS software tothat alpine glacial activity, and therefore put satellite imagery into the hands manually draw perimeter lines aroundits health, is best monitored at its leading of scientists and students working on the margins of the glaciers in theedge, or terminus. If a glacier suffers from projects studying the impacts of climate imagery. By overlaying these perim-a net loss in mass, its lower terminus will change. After submitting a proposal, eters on USGS topographic maps, hebegin to recede back up the mountain Pelto received pairs of Spot images recorded the separation of the linesfrom one year to the next. acquired during different years over from one year to the next. While this observation is true, a parts of the North Cascade Moun- As expected, the Spot imagery enabledreceding glacier is not necessarily a tains in Washington and the Wind Pelto to identify the two key indicators ofdisappearing one, Pelto realized. In fact, River Range in Wyoming. Each image future glacier disappearance – emergingthe speed of recession at the lower edge included about 30 glaciers in areas he rock outcrops and falling snow linehas little bearing on whether the entireice mass will disappear completely, 4and some that lose ground at the lowerterminus one year may gain it the next.The real sign that a glacier is in jeopardyis found at its upper reaches, known asthe accumulation zone. “Glaciers that were disappearingwere retreating at the top, not just at thebottom,” said Pelto, noting that a massbalance number just can’t reflect thissituation. A constant recharge of snow intothe accumulation zone is crucial for itssurvival. If there isn’t enough new snow-fall over the accumulation zone during thewinter or if too much snow consistentlymelts from that upper-most area duringthe summer, the glacier has crossed acritical threshold and is usually doomedto disappearance. This absence of snowor increase in melt rate can be caused bylong-term warming in temperatures. SS F ig u r e 4 . This is the accumulation zone of the Columbia Glacier from the headwall. NoticePlanet Action Fills the Data Gap the number of annual horizons exposed on August 1, 2005. This is the third consecutive year of Once a glacier had disappeared, significant negative annual balances, and follows 2004 when the AAR dropped below 20.the researcher reviewed his field notes,photos and measurements and saw thetelltale signs of accumulation zone losses had been studying. See Figure 1 . elevation in the accumulation zone. Inexhibiting themselves years before. One The images had been acquired by the the Northern Cascades and Wind Riverof the most visible signs was the emer- Spot 4 and 5 satellites, which collect both Range, the research indicated that two-gence of rock outcrops in the upper parts panchromatic and multispectral data. thirds of glaciers in the study areas areof the glacier. The other was the retreat of Working in ArcGIS, Pelto found that disappearing and will not survive thethe glacier perimeter in the accumulation viewing imagery datasets comprised of current warming period. The other thirdzone. “You could see that in Spot satel- visible and near-infrared bands at 10-20 represents a consistent accumulation zonelite imagery,” said Pelto. He explained meter spatial resolution had the best with no apparent changes. See Figures 2-5.i m a g i n g n o t es / / f a l l 2 0 1 0 / / w w w . i m a g i n g n o t es . c o m 17
  18. 18. 5 Automating the Process “With some glaciers disappearing in the study areas and others remaining stable, Dr. Pelto’s Planet Action project confirmed the importance of monitoring the ice masses individually,” said Spot Image’s de Chassy. It also verified that disappearance indicators can be found in multi-temporal Spot scenes. Pelto says the next step is to automate the glacier monitoring process. Automated change detection algorithms can be written to continually monitor Spot scenes over mountainous regions to pinpoint emerging outcrops and thinning upper margins. Once enough disappearing glaciers have been studied, scientists will be able not only to identify those with no future, but also to forecast how long until they’re gone. This will be a crucial advantage for areas that depend on glaciers for fresh water. “For glacier disappearance, we’ll make water management decisions 20-30 years out,” said Pelto. Currently, temperate alpine glaciers in the Andes, European Alps, Himalayas, Norway, Iceland, Western Canada and the U.S. Pacific Northwest supply fresh water to drainage basins at lower elevations. In these areas, glaciers provide vital summer run-off that supplies up to 30 percent of river water upon which fish hatcheries, agricultural irrigation, hydroelectric power plants and drinking water reservoirs depend. Knowing a decade or more in advance that a third of the water supply will disap- pear will give these areas significant advantages to take management steps that will F ig u r e 5 . Foss Glacier, North Cascades, in 1988 minimize the impact on the local economy. “Loss of glaciers can be forecasted accu- and 2005 indicating the change in the extent rately and inexpensively with automated change detection methods and Spot satel- of the glacier. Visible are substantial marginal retreat in the accumulation zone and new rock lite imagery,” concluded Pelto. This prediction can be accomplished with routine outcroppings in the accumulation zone. GIS algorithms using multi-temporal imagery as inputs. i m a g i n g n o t es / / f a l l 2 0 1 0 / / w w w . i m a g i n g n o t es . c o m18
  19. 19. IGARSS 2010 Promise and Challenges in World-Class Satellite Remote Sensing At the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium (IGARSS, a symposium of GRSS, the Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society), internationalsatellite remote sensing, and how it has become tied to helping solve a growing roster ofEarth environmental and societal woes, took center stage. The 30th IGARSS meeting washeld July 25-30 in Honolulu, Hawaii. This seminal gathering drew over 2,100 partici-pants, with the significance of the symposium also reflected by a record number of ab-stract submissions. The event spotlighted the work of world-class scientists, engineers,and educators. IGARSS, a symposium under the Office. “The reality since then has farumbrella of the Institute of Electrical and exceeded even our most optimisticElectronics Engineers (IEEE), covered predictions,” St. Germain added in hera myriad of technical areas, from deci- opening remarks at IGARSS 2010.phering satellite data about Earth’s land, Casting his eye out over the next SS F ig u r e 1. Shown here are Dr. Alberto Moreira, President, IEEE Geoscience andoceans, atmosphere and cryosphere to decade, Paul Smits of the European Remote Sensing Society; Dr. Kiyo Tomiyasu,advanced image processing and design Commission Joint Research Center in recognized for being the first GRSS Member inof sensors and missions. The challenges Ispra, Italy, and General Co-Chair for the IEEE Heritage Circle; Dr. Karen St. Germainof data continuity and the formatting of IGARSS, noted, “Data management and and Dr. Paul Smits, co-chairs of IGARSS 2010;satellite data were also discussed, as well applications have profoundly changed the Dr. John Vig, IEEE President 2009.as how best to push forward on an inter- way we do research and design, build,national basis for all nations to become and test new systems and applications. “We live in an unprecedented era of stressbetter stewards of planet Earth. In fact, we are witnessing a silent revolu- on our planet,” Abbott pointed out. “That “In the year 2000, we speculated that tion called ‘E-Science’ which has brought stress stems from a combination of popu-remote sensing and geoscience would about a paradigm shift to the scientific lation growth, climate change, resourcebe spreading far beyond its technical method…where data is driving the foun- demand and the continuing developmenthome…to become a part of national dation of new hypothesis.” See Figure 1. of coastal areas,” she said, noting thatand international policy-making and these tensions create unparalleled chal-enforcement, land use planning and Movement for Change lenges for public health, economic well-real-time disaster management, and Participation via a special webcast being, natural resource management andeducation,” noted Karen St. Germain, from the White House Office of Science national security. Echoing the challengesGeneral Co-Chair of IGARSS 2010, and Technology Policy (OSTP) was and opportunities ahead for Earth obser-and NOAA’s Chief of the Data Products a first-day highlight of the IGARSS vations, Chopra flagged collaborative tech-Division at the National Polar-Orbiting meeting. Addressing participants were nologies and applications to help contributeOperational Environmental Satellite Aneesh Chopra, Chief Technology to “a national movement for change.”System (NPOESS) Integrated Program Officer and Assistant to the President, and Sherburne Abbott, OSTP’s Asso- Open Access to DataBy Leonard David Research Associate ciate Director for Environment. Another IGARSS 2010 special Earth observations are a priority for the feature was a space agencies panel. Secure World Foundation www.secureworldfoundation.org White House, Abbott emphasized, with a Officials took the stage representing www.igarss10.org clear commitment to strengthening the the European Space Agency (ESA), the monitoring of our planet and to beefing Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency up weather forecasting skills, essential (JAXA), and NASA - all reviewing pastEditor’s Note: See storiesdealing with so and 35 about challenges of on pages 10 elements of gauging environmental science and future national and international much data, including that from CRS. and the work of public policy formulation. directions in Earth observations.i m a g i n g n o t es / / f a l l 2 0 1 0 / / w w w . i m a g i n g n o t es . c o m 19
  20. 20. “ESA has 30 partner missions,” is very important,” he said, but he also already resident, he pointed out, with the said Yves-Louis Desnos, Head of the underscored the complexity of doing so series of spacecraft now circling the Earth, Research and Development section and due to differences in satellite capabilities. dubbed the “A-Train.” This international a Senior Advisor in the Science, Applica- See Figure 3. satellite constellation brings together a tions and Future Technologies Depart- rich array of instruments to better under- ment. He updated the audience on ESA’s International Satellite Constellation stand Earth’s changing climate and envi- philosophy on free and open access to Global exchange of satellite data was ronment. The A-Train uses multi-sensor data. Making use of a suite of Earth backed by NASA’s Michael Freilich, measurements structured along four observing missions now in orbit, data Director of the Earth Science Divi- themes: atmospheric composition and from these spacecraft are being distrib- sion within the space agency’s Science chemistry; aerosols, clouds, radiation, uted to 4,000 projects across the world. Mission Directorate. “The key thing and the hydrological cycle; atmospheric, See Figure 2. that we need to attack – and that the oceanic and terrestrial components of the 2 3 4 F ig u r e 2 . Yves-Louis Desnos, Head of RD F ig u r e 3 . Masanobu Shimada of the Japan F ig u r e 4 . Michael Freilich, Director of NASA’s and Sr. Advisor for the Science, Applications Space Agency, JAXA’s Space Applications Earth Science Division and Future Technologies Dept. of ESA Directorate “No difference is made among public, coordinating groups are working very carbon cycle and ecosystem; and weather commercial or scientific use of satellite hard on – is to allow for data to be and other operational applications. data,” Desnos said. “We are going to freely, openly available, well character- “The A-Train is international coor- launch 20 new satellites in the next 10 ized, and then analyzed together.” dination with a low level of paper- years,” he added, pointing out ESA’s dedi- Freilich warned against falling into the work,” Freilich said. “There is science cation to satellite services for a diverse silo of analyzing measurements from indi- being done, measurements that are range of Earth observing applications, vidual missions, “…but rather combining being acquired that are the result of from farming to better monitoring of air and analyzing all of the relevant measure- rather substantial international coor- quality. “There are so many results in the ments to attack the problems that we want dination…much of it sort of from the last 20 years,” the ESA official reported. to solve, both scientific and societal.” working level up, unencumbered by Given the huge datasets now archived, Simply because multiple agencies are management mischief.” including new applications of that data making similar measurements does not to come, what’s ahead? “A lot of data, a mean that there is unnecessary duplica- Puzzle Pieces lot of surprise…a lot of new discovery,” tion, he remarked. See Figure 4. Putting all the puzzle pieces together Desnos responded in a follow-up session. Additionally, Freilich backed a coor- for a coordinated, multi-national Masanobu Shimada of JAXA’s Space dination of Earth observing programs, program for Earth observing is not easy. Applications Mission Directorate also “…so that we come up with an inte- “Sometimes, not all the pieces fit,” said advocated increased sharing of satel- grated program for the species…all of us Shelby Tilford, a noted consultant on lite remote sensing data. “Coordination that live on the planet.” This capacity is Earth observations and space science i m a g i n g n o t es / / f a l l 2 0 1 0 / / w w w . i m a g i n g n o t es . c o m20
  21. 21. remote sensing from Seneca, South a singular conference topic recognized at ºº Geospatial Technologies andCarolina. He is a former NASA Acting this year’s IGARSS confab. To that end, Human Rights ProgramsAssistant Administrator for Mission Remote Sensing: Global Vision for Local ºº Digital Earth Watch and Pictureto Planet Earth and is internationally Action served as a theme for the meeting. Post Networkrecognized as a key influence in estab- Community remote sensing – or CRS ºº A World Forest Observatorylishing the study of Earth system science for short – is a fresh field that combines An expansive list of these effortsand in developing today’s global, space- remote sensing with citizen science, can be found at: www.igarss10.org/based Earth observation capabilities. social networks, and crowd-sourcing to Com mu n it yRemoteS ensi ng.asp #Moreover, Tilford led the establish- enhance the data obtained from tradi- Projectsment of a comprehensive, long-term tional sources. It includes the collec-national program to study variations in tion, calibration, analysis, communica- What Next?the Earth’s environment due to natural tion, and application of remotely sensed In the closing hours of IGARSS 2010,and human-induced changes. information by these community means. St. Germain turned her attention to what Several factors are pulling together the Several speakers and specially prepared the next decade could look like, in termsresolve to move Earth remote sensing into posters detailed the emergence of these of Earth observing capability. For one,a viable, long-term national and interna- technologies, which are yielding an she speculated that there could be a boomtional pledge. A melding of budget and exciting new means to become better in the area of microsatellites. “Will weknowledge of political implications, as stewards of our planet. be moving away from big government-well as the personalities of those engaged “The energy in the citizen commu- funded satellite programs,” St. Germainin program development, are necessary nity out there…if you make it easy for questioned, “with a lot of smaller satel-to the effort, Tilford told Imaging Notes. them to do, they come to the table with lites making observations? I think that“It all depends on so many different information,” suggested St. Germain. most of the change in the last decade hasfactors…the budget, the political situa- She painted a high-tech picture of the really been driven by the private sector.tion, and the individuals,” Tilford said. CRS tools now available for commu- So where are they going to go in the nextNot only do all those cylinders have to nity use: a blend of iPhones, GPS, the 10 years?”be firing at the same time, “…they’ve also Internet, digital photography, and We are coming out of an era wheregot to be in the same mode.” Google Earth – instruments that will scientists held tight their data and they Tilford observed that so many other allow for real-time uploading of data owned that information, St. Germaincountries have improved in the last two and “…worldwide collaboration in ways said. “I don’t think we’re going to bedecades, compared to where they were 20 that we never dreamt they would.” living in that place anymore. Everyoneyears ago that, “I think it’s going to take This entire CRS capability sparks a will have access to the data and there willan international consortium for measure- new approach to what it means to collect be no capital in holding onto it. What arements – both satellite remote sensing and “truth data,” St. Germain said. “There’s the possibilities for moving forward?”in-situ – in order to make a real impact a lot of power in harnessing the time and It was clear from the IGARSSon understanding the long-term viability the energy and the interest of the commu- gathering that the power of CRS andof the globe…and we still have issues of nity…in many cases leveraging the hobbies E-Science is, indeed, a paradigm shift.earthquakes, volcanoes, typhoons, hurri- and things they want to do anyway.” These tools enhance our ability tocanes – those monster things.” Indeed, the data provided from sharpen global policy-making and to As for data-sharing among nations, people and sensors “on the ground” will take sensible and enforceable actionsTilford said it has gotten better, “…but be instrumental in seeing a much fuller for the betterment of all.it is still not absolute.” Other areas that picture for projects around the world, from There are unlimited possibilities withdemand focused attention, he added, vehicles collecting road and weather data the massive amounts of remote sensinginclude improved data modeling and a far to disaster management for emergency data now available at our finger tips, bothbetter handle on that planetary ingredient responders – just to name two examples. assembled by professional entities andthat makes up two-thirds of our world – For examples of Community Remote information gleaned by citizen-directedthe ocean, along with wind, cloud and Sensing, IGARSS 2010 provided the venue efforts. With CRS filling in key data gaps,precipitation measurements over water on to detail several ongoing activities, such as: everything on our planet can be mappeda continuous basis. See Figure 5. ºº Web Tools for Wheat Farming in and analyzed, with the end result of Mexico’s Yaqui Valley saving lives, better preparing for naturalGlobal Vision for Local Action ºº Virtual Disaster Viewer from calamities, and taking a firmer hand in The rapidly evolving power of ImageCat, Inc. assuring and sustaining our preciousCommunity Remote Sensing (CRS) was ºº Fire Alert Fire Risk Systems ecosystems around the world.i m a g i n g n o t es / / f a l l 2 0 1 0 / / w w w . i m a g i n g n o t es . c o m 21
  22. 22. i m a g i n g n o t es / / f a l l 2 0 1 0 / / w w w . i m a g i n g n o t es . c o m22                               ® Trimble ®
  23. 23. i m a g i n g n o t es / / f a l l 2 0 1 0 / / w w w . i m a g i n g n o t es . c o m 23
  24. 24. Sustainable Development Using Earth Observations Accounting From Above For Forestry, menting SD, however, lies in one’s ability to measure it. As already stated Hydropower and Mining by Lord Kelvin, “If you cannot measure Th e vi e w f rom s pac e h a s for e ve r c han g e d h u m an it y ’ s vi s ion it, you cannot improve it.” The chal- of our home planet, revealing its beauty while highlighting at the same time lenge is further compounded by the its inherent fragility. This new perspective from above contributed to the emer- inherent global nature of the problem, gence of the concept of Sustainable Development (SD) by convincing us of the need which calls for global data sets. to manage our rapidly depleting resources in a sustainable manner that would Earth Observation (EO) satellites “meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future genera- can play a key role in this endeavor, as tions to meet their own needs.” (This is a widely used definition of Sustainable they are uniquely placed to monitor the Development from the report Our Common Future of the World Commission on state of our environment, in a global Environment Development, headed by Harlem Brundtland in 1987.) and consistent manner, ensuring suffi- cient resolution to capture the footprint Over the last decades, the principles of of man-made activities. Such capability SD were progressively adopted by world Editor’show youSee article on page 28 about Note: can contribute your of space assets has been recognized in leaders on the occasions of a series of Earth the WSSD statement calling for wider user requirements to GEOSS for global Summits (Stockholm, 1972; Rio, 1992; sustainability. use of EO technologies to support water Johannesburg, 2002). Following the 2002 and disaster management, but their World Summit on Sustainable Develop- measure progress towards SD, and to the operational use to implement SD remains ment (WSSD), world leaders called upon emergence of reporting guidelines such as limited. A few examples illustrating the business and civil society to contribute to the Global Reporting Initiative reporting potential of EO for implementation of SD the implementation of SD through “Agenda framework (www.globalreporting.org). and reporting are provided below, with a 21.” SD goals and targets, such as the U.N. The private sector also committed particular focus on the private sector. Millennium Development Goals, were to the implementation of SD. Following defined and agreed upon by various inter- increasing pressure from stakeholders, a Earth Observation in Support of national organizations in order to improve series of large businesses (www.wbcsd. Sustainable Development our quality of life, protect the environ- org) implemented SD principles within Results from a set of EO pilot proj- ment, and fight global poverty and hunger. their business practices and adopted a ects are presented in this section to illus- This agreement in turn led to the develop- new type of reporting along the “triple trate the potential of EO information ment of a set of quantifiable indicators to bottom line” (i.e. economic, social, across a variety of thematics related to environmental), which is now routinely SD, ranging from the management of used by large corporate players as a the production of energy from solar Pierre-PhilippeAgency, ESA/ESRIN European Space Mathieu, PhD benchmark to offer guarantees of trans- plants to the sustainable exploitation of Frascati, Italy parency and accountability. forests and mines. The trials have been www.esa.int/eomd One of the key challenges to imple- performed in partnership with users i m a g i n g n o t es / / f a l l 2 0 1 0 / / w w w . i m a g i n g n o t es . c o m24

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