Lidar Solutions in ArcGIS: Three New Web-based Lidar Courses

Due to the demand for lidar training, ESRI’s Training Center now offers three web-based courses on lidar. First is a free training seminar that provides an overview of lidar capabilities in ArcGIS and introduces high level concepts. The other two include hands-on exercises and are geared toward data managers and analysts.

Workshop on Geospatial Information for Developing Countries: Science and Technology

Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India
16 – 18 December 2009

“Geospatial Information has become an essential component of software applications in many vertical domains. Large scale spatial and spatio-temporal data are being produced by organizations through remote sensing, geosensor networks and other data acquisition technologies that have seen a large explosion in the previous decade. The Department of Computer Science & Engineering (CSE), IIT Bombay, and Department of Computer Science, University of Minnesota, USA under the Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF) have planned a 3-day workshop on “Geospatial information for developing countries: Science and Technology” to discuss state-of-art in GIS technologies, understand the challenges in applying them to problems in developing nations, and set future research directions. The workshop as well as the newly established Advanced Research Lab for Geographic Information Sciences and Engineering at CSE, IIT Bombay invites experts and academicians from India and US to participate in a joint workshop on management of massive spatio-temporal data and applications.

“This 3-day Workshop is proposed to bring together researchers, experts and professionals from computer science, geo-informatics, industry as well as large user organizations and Governmental departments to enable an understanding of the requirements of computational sciences in the domain of geo-informatics, especially in the current environment of ‘data-rich’ systems. This provides an opportunity to the participants to identify research challenges grounded in real world problems of a developing nation and aims to bring synergies into research programs across the two countries.

“The Indo-U.S. Science and Technology Forum (IUSSTF), established with a mandate to promote, bilateral collaboration in science and technology has funded this workshop which is being organized jointly by IIT Bombay, and University of Minnesota.”

The Spatial History Project at Stanford University

“The Spatial History Project at Stanford University a part of the Bill Lane Center for the American West, is made possible by the generous funding of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

“The project brings together scholars working on projects at the intersection of geography and history using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in their research. While enthusiastic about GIS, which offers a common framework for this research, the Spatial History Project is gearing up to move beyond GIS, to create tools to harvest useful information from large heterogeneous datasets of maps, images, and texts, and create dynamic, interactive digital visualizations for analyzing and representing change over space and time.

“The primary research projects within the Spatial History Project include:

  • How the West Was Shaped — Richard White’s project is developing a large database and computer graphics tools to study and represent visually how people’s experience of space and time was dramatically shaped by railroads in the North American West in the 19th century.
  • Terrain of History — Zephyr Frank’s collaboration with colleagues with colleagues at Brown University and the Cecult team at UNICAMP, Brazil has been supported by the Stanford Humanities Center.
  • Critical Habitat — Jon Christensen’s research grew out of his work with an interdisciplinary team supported by the Woods Institute for the Environment to study the feasibility of reintroducing the Bay checkerspot butterfly to the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, where it went extinct locally in 1997.

More information

The Copenhagen Diagnosis: Updating the World on the Latest Climate Science

Climate Change Accelerating Beyond Expectations, Urgent Emissions Reductions Required, Say Leading Scientists

Global ice-sheets are melting at an increased rate; Arctic sea-ice is disappearing much faster than recently projected, and future sea-level rise is now expected to be much higher than previously forecast, according to a new global scientific synthesis prepared by some of the world’s top climate scientists.

In a special report called ‘The Copenhagen Diagnosis’, the 26 researchers, most of whom are authors of published IPCC reports, conclude that several important aspects of climate change are occurring at the high end or even beyond the expectations of only a few years ago.

The report also notes that global warming continues to track early IPCC projections based on greenhouse gas increases.  Without significant mitigation, the report says global mean warming could reach as high as 7 degrees Celsius by 2100.

The Copenhagen Diagnosis, which was a year in the making, documents the key findings in climate change science since the publication of the landmark Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report in 2007.

The new evidence to have emerged includes:

  • Satellite and direct measurements now demonstrate that both the Greenland and Antarctic ice-sheets are losing mass and contributing to sea level rise at an increasing rate.
  • Arctic sea-ice has melted far beyond the expectations of climate models. For example, the area of summer sea-ice melt during 2007-2009 was about 40% greater than the average projection from the 2007 IPCC Fourth Assessment Report.
  • Sea level has risen more than 5 centimeters over the past 15 years, about 80% higher than IPCC projections from 2001. Accounting for ice-sheets and glaciers, global sea-level rise may exceed 1 meter by 2100, with a rise of up to 2 meters considered an upper limit by this time.  This is much higher than previously projected by the IPCC.  Furthermore, beyond 2100, sea level rise of several meters must be expected over the next few centuries.
  • In 2008 carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels were ~40% higher than those in 1990. Even if emissions do not grow beyond today’s levels, within just 20 years the world will have used up the allowable emissions to have a reasonable chance of limiting warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius.

The report concludes that global emissions must peak then decline rapidly within the next five to ten years for the world to have a reasonable chance of avoiding the very worst impacts of climate change.

To stabilize climate, global emissions of carbon dioxide and other long-lived greenhouse gases need to reach near-zero well within this century, the report states.

[Source: News Release]

Using AIRS Data with ArcGIS

…from NASA/JPL/Cal tech…

“Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are computer applications that incorporate geographical features with tabular data in order to map and analyze real-world problems. ArcGIS is a system introduced by a company called Environmental Systems Research Institute, Inc. (ESRI) to meet the needs of a wide range of GIS users.

“On the blog titled ‘GIS and Science’ maintained by the GIS and Science Program Manager for ESRI, a number of ‘how-to’ videos are outlined that detail using AIRS data with ESRI GIS tools. The tools are developed on top of ESRI’s ArcGIS suite of GIS products utilizing ArcObjects.

“These videos demonstrates a component of a series of tools developed by the Redlands Institute at the University of Redlands, CA as part of a collaborative project with JPL to download, visualize, and analyze source AIRS satellite sounder data.”

Scanned Historic City Maps added to Harvard Geospatial Library

The Harvard Geospatial Library (HGL) is collection of 6,799 worldwide and regional geographic data layers, scanned historic maps and associated descriptive information that can be searched mapped and downloaded for use for use with your GIS software.

Additional items recently added to HGL include scanned historic maps of the following cities: Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Milwaukee, Madison, Kansas City, St. Louis, Denver, Los Angeles, Seattle, Portland (Oregon), Quebec City; Louisbourg, Halifax and Port Royal (Nova Scotia); Mexico City, Havana, Dublin, Amsterdam, Brussels, Berlin, Dresden, Hamburg, Leipzig, Nuremberg, Copenhagen, Gibraltar, Lisbon, Madrid, Barcelona, Rome, Moscow, Jerusalem, Beijing, and Tokyo. Also recently added to HGL is a global oil pipeline data created by the Center for Geographic Analysis.

Tool Kits in Regional Science: Theory, Models, and Estimation

“Regional Science is now more than 50 years old; in the last two decades, significant advances in methodology have occurred, spurred in large part by access to computers. The range of analytical techniques now available is enormous; this books provides a sampling of the toolkit that is now at the disposal of analysts interested in understanding and interpreting the complexity of the spatial structure of sub- national economies. The set of tools ranges from the more traditional (input-output) to new developments in computable general equilibrium models, nonlinear dynamics, neural modelling and innovation.”