America’s Climate Choices Summit on March 30th and 31st

The National Academies is hosting a Summit on America’s Climate Choices on March 30 and 31, 2009 in Washington, DC, to develop the groundwork for a national response to climate change. America’s Climate Choices is a congressionally requested suite of studies that will produce five expert consensus reports to be released in late 2009 and 2010.

Can’t attend? Watch the LIVE Webcast. Video and audio from the summit will be broadcast through the America’s Climate Choices web site on March 30th and 31st, and will be archived on the site.

GIS for Planetary Science: A Bibliography

Here’s the beginning of a bibliography for the use of GIS in planetary science.

Please feel free to contact me or comment on this post if you have anything to add.

Ninety Years of Birdwatchers’ Notes Going Online


“More than 100 years ago, J.A. Loring had his eyes on the California sky and his hand on a pen.

“His hand-scribbled notes, along with those of 3,000 other ‘citizen scientists,’ can be found lining the drawers of green filing cabinets in the basement of a U.S. Geological Survey building in Reston, Virginia.

“These note cards — 6 million of them, spanning almost a century — contain a trove of invaluable information that could help unravel the effects of climate change on bird behavior.”

AGILE 2009 Pre-Conference Workshop: Challenges in Geospatial Data Harmonisation

AGILE 2009 pre-conference workshops take place the day before the AGILE conference on Tuesday 2nd of June 2009, in Hanover, Germany.

Workshop #7: Challenges in Geospatial Data Harmonisation

“European Spatial Data Infrastructures (ESDI) integrate the diversity of geospatial data available for a multitude of European organisations. The implementation of SDI in the context of initiatives like INSPIRE, GMES and SEIS, requires that the organisations document, publish and harmonise their geospatial data and support users in accessing this information in a suitable way.

“Data harmonisation is about creating the possibility to combine data from heterogeneous sources into integrated, consistent and unambiguous information products, in a way that is of no concern to the end-user. This poses many different research challenges for facilitating the harmonisation of geospatial data and metadata by automating the necessary steps as far as possible.

“This workshop will bring together researchers from different communities to investigate current strategies and discuss future research collaborations in the wider context of data harmonisation. Further, the idea of the workshop is to learn about ongoing activities in research projects that provide successful test cases for enabling geospatial data harmonisation.”

Planetary Geodesic Tools for ArcMap Now In Beta Release

The USGS Astrogeology Research Program–the folks behind PIGWAD (Planetary Interactive GIS-on-the-Web Analyzable Database)–released a beta version of their Planetary Geodesic Tools for ArcMap on 20 March 2009.

The objectives of PIGWAD are:

  • Produce a web-based, user-friendly interface aimed at the planetary research community that will support Geographic Information Systems (GIS) graphical, statistical, and spatial tools for analyses of planetary data, including the distribution of planetary GIS tutorials, tools, programs, and information.
  • Create planetary GIS databases consisting of peer-reviewed digital geologic maps, feature maps, topography, and remote-sensing data under the scientific oversight of the NASA Geologic Mapping Subcommittee (GEMS).
  • Support and encourage the use of GIS in planetary research including geospatial open standards.

GIS at the 40th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference

From the 40th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference going on this week in The Woodlands, Texas…

Integrated Lunar Web-GIS Environment Using Data Obtained by Lunar Exploration

J. Terazono, N. Asada, H. Demura, N. Hirata, K. Saiki, A. Iwasaki, R. Oka, T. Hayashi, T. Suzuki, H. Miyamoto, J. Haruyama, M. Ohtake, T. Matsunaga, S. Sobue, H. Okumura, T. Fujita, and A. Yamamoto

The report of current implementation and development status about integrated GIS infrastructure using lunar exploration data including Kaguya, Japanese lunar explorer.

Geology of Antoniadi Crater, South Pole Aitken Basin, Moon

E. Dominov and S. C.  Mest

Antoniadi crater is unique for three reasons: 1) unique impact crater shape; 2) deep impact depth; and 3) smooth crater floor material. Research was done by utilizing ArcGIS program in mapping the ejecta blanket of Antoniadi and crater counting.

Winners of Google’s KML in Research Competition

Google has announce the seven winners of their KML in Research Competition.  And the winners are:

  • Grey Box System Identification of Bus Mass (Student Winner)
  • Environmental Toxicity in Wayne County Michigan (Student Winner)
  • Emergent Models of Earth’s Crustal Structure (Professional Winner)
  • North American Carbon (Professional Winner)
  • NCALM LiDAR Data Distribution Center (Professional Winner)
  • Global Infant Mortality 1960-2005 (Professional Winner)
    Visualizing Seasonal Climate Forecasts (Professional Winner)


Declan De Paor from Old Dominion University, a winner in the professional category, incorporated “a novel use of the time slider feature to expose models of the crust and mantel in the Aleutian Island chain” in the entry “Emergent Models of Earth’s Crustal Structure.”

GIS Helps California Audubon Identify Essential Bird Habitat

Conservationists, bird watchers, farmers, and developers across the state of California can now access bird habitat information from a digital bank of maps and data created with ESRI’s geographic information system (GIS) technology. Commissioned by the National Audubon Society and BirdLife International, the Important Bird Areas (IBA) program designates locations essential for breeding, wintering, and/or migrating birds. Conservation activities at these sites include land acquisition, habitat restoration, advocacy on behalf of IBA, and education to local communities about their unique birds and bird habitats.

Through the Audubon California Web site, users can now quickly find answers to questions such as, What is the total acreage of all IBA land? Who are the major land owners? What percentage of IBA designations are in some form of protection?


Through a partnership between Audubon California and California Polytechnic State University, the maps and database supporting the California IBA project were created by David Yun, GIS supervisor for the City of San Luis Obispo, and a group of students from Cal Poly’s Natural Resources Management Department. The team used ESRI’s suite of ArcGIS software, designed to help users organize, visualize, and analyze layers of disparate geographic data with dynamic maps and geodatabases.

“ArcGIS Desktop provided the most complete set of tools required to complete our mapping project,” said Andrea Jones, director of the Important Bird Areas program for Audubon California. “Two critical ArcGIS Desktop applications were ArcCatalog and ArcMap. We used ArcCatalog to manage all GIS layers, and ArcMap to digitize boundaries, analyze data, and create maps and graphics.”

With GIS, the IBA maps brought together topographic maps from the U.S. Geological Survey; wildlife habitat relationship data from the California Department of Fish and Game; digital photographs from the National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP); and shapefiles of protected and conservation lands, counties, roads, and waterways from the California Spatial Information Library.

More than 10,000 IBA sites in nearly 200 countries and territories have been identified since the IBA program’s inception in the 1980s. Bird-Life International estimates that hundreds of sites and millions of acres have received better protection as a result of the IBA program. A major objective of the IBA program is the protection of vulnerable birds. Of particular concern are species that are not widely distributed or are concentrated in one general habitat type or biome; and individual or groups of species, such as waterfowl or shorebirds, that congregate at high densities due to their gregarious behavior.