LandScope America

LandScope America is an application based on ESRI Web technology that increases the scope and effectiveness of land conservation in the U.S. This was presented during the Lightning Talks session at the 2009 ESRI International User Conference.

Collecting LiDAR Data for Rainwater Basin Project on the Platte River

Merrick & Company, working for Optimal Geomatics under a contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, is collecting light detection and ranging (LiDAR) data over a 17,677-square-mile area in order to create a digital elevation model.  The digital elevation model will be used in natural resources,  agricultural planning and management, and to update the flood maps in the area.  More specifically, it will serve as part of the wetland restoration index, a tool that is being used to prioritize habitat protection and restoration activities to achieve the greatest wetland biological return for the habitat investment dollar and for stream restoration on the Platte River as part of the Platte River Recovery Implementation Program.  The project area covers almost all of south central Nebraska and four counties in north central Kansas.

Managing the Spread of Russian Olive Trees along the Bighorn River

…from the Billings Gazette

Undergraduates from Little Bighorn College are taking a preliminary look at the problem on the Bighorn though a summer research program sponsored by NASA.

“The whole thing has to do with global warming and climate change,” explained Roy Stewart, who is leading the small group of students. “NASA was looking for projects that affect the environment. This tree affects the environment.”

In four weeks of research, the students plan to set up 10 plots along the river, Stewart said. He and the students are trudging through groves of the thorny invaders mapping likely plots with GPS and GIS (Geographic Information Systems) technology.

10-Meter DEM Available in ArcSDE Format

WhiteStar Corp., a supplier of cartographic data products and services to energy and natural resource industries, has introduced the WhiteStar 10-Meter DEM, the first enterprise digital elevation database delivered in ArcSDE format. The WhiteStar 10-Meter DEM may be purchased as a nationwide product or as individual state or county files.

WhiteStar developed the enterprise 10-Meter DEM product by processing the entire USGS National Elevation Dataset (NED) and converting it into the ESRI ArcSDE format, which enables users to make the GIS-compatible elevation data available across their enterprise via the Internet or intranet. The NED is the primary elevation dataset produced by the U.S. Geological Survey at 10-meter resolution.

Expedition to Map the Arctic Seafloor

American and Canadian scientists are setting sail this summer to map the Arctic seafloor and gather data to help define the outer limits of the continental shelf.

Each country may exercise sovereign rights over their extended continental shelf’s natural resources of the seabed and subsoil. These rights and authorities include control over minerals, petroleum and sedentary organisms such as clams, crabs and coral.

The extended continental shelf is that part of a country’s continental shelf beyond 200 nautical miles from shore, and its outer limits can be defined according to criteria set forth in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Data collected during this mission will help determine where these criteria are met for the United States and Canada in the Arctic Ocean.

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Louis S. St. Laurent (left) and U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy (right) in the Arctic – Photo Credit USGS.
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USGS scientists Ellyn Montgomery and William Danforth discuss incoming data. Photo credit USGS, taken in 2008.
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U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy in the Arctic. Photo Credit USGS.
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Louis S. St. Laurent finding a path through the Arctic sea ice – Photo Credit USGS.

The United States and Canada are working collaboratively from August 7–September 16, 2009, using two icebreakers. The U.S. Geological Survey will work with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the University of New Hampshire on U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy to collect data primarily on seafloor depths and morphology. The Geological Survey of Canada, Natural Resources Canada will lead research on the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Louis S. St-Laurent and gather information primarily on the thickness and characteristics of sub-bottom sediments.

“The Arctic Ocean is an area of great scientific interest, possible economic development and potential resource conservation,” said USGS scientist Deborah Hutchinson, who will be aboard the Canadian ship as a U.S. liaison. “Both countries benefit from this two-ship expedition by sharing technical expertise and data. Research in these remote areas of the Arctic Ocean is expensive, logistically difficult and sometimes dangerous.”

This mission will emphasize the region north of Alaska onto Alpha-Mendeleev Ridge and eastwards toward the Canada Archipelago. This is the second year the United States and Canada have collaborated in extended continental shelf data collection in the Arctic. Both countries plan to work together again in 2010.

Research is coordinated by the U.S. Extended Continental Shelf Task Force, a government-wide group headed by the U.S. Department of State. Participants in this Task Force include the U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Coast Guard, National Science Foundation, Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Navy, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Executive Office of the President, Minerals Management Service, and the Arctic Research Commission.

For additional information, including details on the 2009 cruise and photographs and video from past missions, visit the Extended Continental Shelf Project Web site.

You will also have access to journals and photographs during this mission and from last year’s expedition at the Arctic Chronicles.

The upcoming program follows a joint 2008 U.S.-Canada survey described at Sound Waves monthly newsletter.

You can also learn more about Canada’s Extended Continental Shelf Web site.

Information on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea can be found online.

Imagery: A Core Component of GIS

ESRI has long supported use, exploitation, and analysis of imagery across our product line. Several years ago we launched ArcGIS Image Server, a product which allowed our users to manage and disseminate vast quantities of imagery very quickly and easily. This technology has continued to mature, and last year became an extension to ArcGIS Server. At the same time, image services, which optimize the delivery of imagery over the Web, were built into the core ArcGIS Server product.

At ArcGIS 9.4, we are continuing to further integrate image services and at the same time improve the performance and capabilities of all our products with regards to imagery. Our desktop product will include basic image analysis with focused imagery tools, and very fast image display capabilities. This will allow intuitive and high performance capabilities for navigating imagery integrated with map displays inside of ArcMap. We are improving our image data modeling, management, and visualization, and adding dynamic analytic tools. We have done this in a way that supports the typical workflows associated with geospatial imagery.

With the additional imagery capabilities in ArcGIS 9.4, ESRI is making imagery a fundamental component of ArcGIS.  ESRI’s strategy for providing you with increased imagery support includes highly-scalable image data management, new desktop image display and analysis tools, and leveraging the strengths of key technology partners.

Highly-Scalable Image Data Management

At 9.4 we’ve created a new type of raster catalog called a mosaic. Mosaic lives in the geodatabase for working with large image catalogs. Mosaic allows you to keep your imagery in its native format and then dynamically access your original source imagery with on-the-fly orthorectification, mosaicking, and pan sharpening. This dynamic approach to image data management, which underpins our entire image strategy, creates a foundation upon which you can build a highly-scalable solution and which greatly reduces the latency or the time required between initial imagery acquisition and its operational use.

New Desktop Image Display and Analysis Tools

At 9.4, ArcGIS Desktop becomes an image analyst workstation, and includes a very powerful new image display capability featuring a real-time roam, zoom, and rotation across imagery of virtually any size, any resolution, and any location.  9.4 also includes a new image analysis window which contains a number of new image enhancement and analysis tools that you’ve asked us for. These tools are all very easy to use, they’re all in one place, and they operate in real time. You can perform image processing tasks, such as vegetation analysis, with a single click of a button.

Leveraging the Strengths of Key Technology Partners

We are also working to further extend the ArcGIS desktop, geodatabase and server platforms with technology from our imagery partners. We are very fortunate to have a large number of technology partners in the imagery world. Working with them allows you to unlock the powerful information contained in your imagery. One such partner is ITT Visual Information Solutions and their ENVI software suite. ENVI combines the latest spectral image processing and image analysis technology with an intuitive, user-friendly interface.  The new ENVI EX product—unveiled at the 2009 ESRI International user Conference, and tightly integrated with ArcGIS—delivers the accurate, scientifically proven processes that ENVI is known for in revolutionary step-by-step workflows that quickly and easily guide GIS users through advanced image processing tasks.

Highly-scalable image data management, desktop image analysis tools, and close ties with key partners will provide you with a complete imagery platform that brings imagery full circle as a core component of ArcGIS.

Ensuring the Integrity, Accessibility, and Stewardship of Research Data in the Digital Age

ens309136849…from the Committee on Ensuring the Utility and Integrity of Research Data in a Digital Age; National Academy of Sciences…

As digital technologies are expanding the power and reach of research, they are also raising complex issues. These include complications in ensuring the validity of research data; standards that do not keep pace with the high rate of innovation; restrictions on data sharing that reduce the ability of researchers to verify results and build on previous research; and huge increases in the amount of data being generated, creating severe challenges in preserving that data for long-term use.

Ensuring the Integrity, Accessibility, and Stewardship of Research Data in the Digital Age examines the consequences of the changes affecting research data with respect to three issues – integrity, accessibility, and stewardship-and finds a need for a new approach to the design and the management of research projects. The report recommends that all researchers receive appropriate training in the management of research data, and calls on researchers to make all research data, methods, and other information underlying results publicly accessible in a timely manner. The book also sees the stewardship of research data as a critical long-term task for the research enterprise and its stakeholders. Individual researchers, research institutions, research sponsors, professional societies, and journals involved in scientific, engineering, and medical research will find this book an essential guide to the principles affecting research data in the digital age.

GIS for Archaeology: Free e-book Now Avalaible

archESRI has released a new e-book in the GIS Best practices series titled “GIS for Archaeology.”  Articles in this e-book include:

  • Protecting Archaeological Resources During an Oil Spill in Washington State
  • Archaeology, Genealogy, and GIS Meet at Columbia Cemetery
  • Reconstructing Aztec Political Geographies A Cost-Effective
  • Approach to GPS/GIS Integration for Archaeological Surveying
  • U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Administers Archaeological Sites with GIS
  • Bureau of Land Management’s Cultural Resource Database Goes Digital
  • Modeling Archaeological Sensitivity in Vermont with GIS
  • Understanding Past and Future Land Use

GIS for Archaeology” is available as a free PDF download.