Abraham Anson Memorial Scholarship for Geospatial Science and Technology

The American Society For Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing Scholarship  is dedicated to encourage students to pursue education in the areas of geospatial science or technology associated with remote sensing, photogrammetry, surveying and mapping.  The applicant is required to be enrolled or anticipating to enroll in a United States university or institution in the field of geospatical science, surveying and mapping, or a related field.   The applicant is required to submit with the application a list of all relevant courses taken, a statement of work experience including technical papers, special projects, internships, and courses taught that may reflect the student’s abilities in the field.  For more detailed information and online application, please visit the following Web site:  http://www.asprs.org/membership/scholar.html.

Academic Disciplines/Professional Aspirations: Engineering/Technology; Surveying; Surveying Technology, Geographical Information Science, or Cartography.

Award: This scholarship is for use during freshman, sophomore, junior, or senior years.  This scholarship is not renewable.  Number: The number of scholarships awarded is 1.  Amount: The amount of the scholarship awarded is $1,000.

Requirements for Eligibility: The applicant is required to be enrolled or anticipating to enroll at a four-year college or university.  This scholarship is accessible only to citizens of the United States.

Requirements for Application: Application, essay composition, school transcript, resume, and personal references. Deadline: December1.

New USGS Web Service Helps ArcGIS Users Study the Planets

A revised web page with new tools enabling researchers to link planetary features and names directly to programs such as ArcGIS and GoogleEarth has been unveiled, greatly simplifying the work of standardizing terminology and locations of planetary features throughout the solar system.

This new “web feature service, which links the planetary database to the end-user’s program, is part of a comprehensive renovation of the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature website. This website, run by the U.S. Geological Survey’s Astrogeology Science Center, is the official site for accessing the current and complete list of International Astronomical Union approved names for rings, satellites, and features on the surfaces of planets other than Earth.

Once a user’s computer-mapping, or Geographic Information Systems program, is linked, the user can explore the database using a variety of visualization tools and detailed searches.  The service ensures that updates, refinements, and additions to the planetary database are automatically streamed to the user, encouraging the consistent use of IAU approved planetary names. A web map service also allows users to link to and explore planetary maps hosted by the USGS.  The web feature and map services both adhere to Open Geospatial Consortium standards.

The USGS runs this website to assist planetary scientists during the course of new missions. “We help scientists obtain IAU approved names in order to ensure that planetary features of high scientific interest, such as craters, mountains, and channels are officially named and described,” said Jennifer Blue, planetary nomenclature expert with the Astrogeology Science Center.

The new “web feature service” has also precipitated the redesign of the website’s user interface. “The technical requirements of implementing the web feature service provided a unique opportunity to also make visual improvements to the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature website,” said USGS web-developer Ryan Raub.

The new website is intended to enhance the user’s visual experience and provide intuitive and efficient exploration of the planetary nomenclature database. It provides an interactive homepage, complete with rotating planets, where users can quickly select a planet or body of interest. International Astronomical Union approved names are displayed as annotated points or areas on an image of the planet, where users can pan to different regions or zoom for increased detail.  With a few clicks, users can display detailed information about surface features such as a size and location as well as what the name means.

USGS web-developer Mark Bailen notes the new website benefits scientists and enthusiasts alike. “The new ‘target chooser’ provides a fun way to explore the planets while revealing valuable information about the Solar System,” said Bailen.

The web feature and map services are the first of several improvements that will take place to the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature over the coming months and years.  To explore the new website and access its new web feature and map services, please visit Planetary Nomenclature website. For more information on linking to the services, visit the Astrodocs Webservices website.

The mission of the USGS Astrogeology Science Center is to serve the Nation, the international planetary science community, and the general public’s pursuit of new knowledge of our Solar System. The Science Center’s vision is to be a national resource for the integration of planetary geosciences, cartography, and remote sensing. As explorers and surveyors, with a unique heritage of proven expertise and international leadership, USGS astrogeologists enable the ongoing successful investigation of the Solar System for humankind. For more information, visit http://astrogeology.usgs.gov.

[Source: USGS press release]

Spatial Information Technologies for Climate Change Impact on Ecosystems: Detecting and Mapping Invasive Weeds in the Rio Grande River System of South Texas

2010 International Climate Change Adaptation Conference: Climate Adaptation Futures

29 June 2010 to 1 July 2010, Australia

S Sriharan, J Everitt, and C Yang

“Global warming is projected to have immense effects on freshwater and wetland ecosystems. Wetlands and aquatic ecosystems are quite vulnerable to climate change. Exotic invasive weeds are a serious problem in the Rio Grande River system of Texas. The Rio Grande is one of the longest river systems in the United States. The river extends 3,040 km from its source in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado to the mouth at the Gulf of Mexico on the United States- Mexico border in extreme south Texas. The Rio Grande River system of Texas has serious problems due to exotic invasive weeds such as waterhyacinth [Eichhornia crassipes (Mort.) Solms.], [Hydrilla verticillata (L. F.), Royle], saltcedar (Tamarix chinensis Lour.), giant reed (Arundo donax L.), Eurasian watermilfoil (Myriophyllum spicatum L.), and wild taro [Colocasia esculenta (L) Schott]. These invasive plant species have displaced much of the original native vegetation. Water shortages in the Rio Grande have been exacerbated by the invasion and spread of the above-mentioned weeds. Remote sensing techniques offer potentially timely, cost-effective means of obtaining reliable data for these areas.

“The scientists at the USDA ARS Laboratory in Weslaco, Texas, in cooperation with the senior author at Virginia State University, have been conducting research on the utilization of aerial photography and videography integrated with global positioning system (GPS) and geographic information system (GIS) technologies for detecting and mapping exotic invasive weeds in the Rio Grande system from the mouth of the river the near Boca Chica in extreme south Texas to El Paso in west Texas.This paper describes the results of several aerial remote sensing studies conducted from 2002 to 2006 on the Rio Grande River from its mouth near Brownsville in south Texas to El Paso in west Texas. Aerial photography and videography were used to detect plant species. Aerial imagery was obtained under sunny conditions with photographic and videographic systems mounted vertically in either a Cessna 206 or Cessna 404 Titan aircraft. Video imagery was integrated with GPS and GIS technologies to develop distribution maps denoting infested locations of the invasive weeds. Our findings indicated that approximately 1,285 river-km of the Rio Grande was plagued by infestations of waterhyacinth, hydrilla, saltcedar, giant reed, Eurasian watermilfoil, and wild taro. The aquatic species, waterhyacinth and hydrilla infested approximately 225 river-km in the extreme southern portion of the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas. The wetland species saltcedar infested approximately 460 river-km from Lajitatas to near El Paso in west Texas. Giant reed infested approximately 600 river-km along the Rio Grande from near Laredo in south Texas to near Presidio in west Texas. Eurasian watermilfoil occurred along a 66 river-km area from below Amistad Reservoir near Del Rio to north of Eagle pass in southwest Texas. The joint use of these technologies provides valuable information on the distribution of invasive weeds in the Rio Grande system along the Texas-Mexico border. It is anticipated that these technologies can be used for a variety of natural resource management of ecosystems, wetlands, coasts, and deltas.”

U.S. Dept. of Interior Continues Leadership Role in Land Remote Sensing Under National Space Policy

The National Space Policy announced by the White House recognizes and endorses the Department of the Interior’s expertise and accomplishments in land imaging and remote sensing to advance global climate change research and provide data for science and natural resource management.

“The National Space Policy confirms Interior’s important role in land imaging and remote sensing in coordination with NASA,” said Interior Assistant Secretary Anne Castle. “The unbiased, comprehensive data this program provides is vital to our efforts to better understand and manage land, water, and our natural resources. We look forward to working with government agencies at all levels — Federal, State, local and tribal —to promote a broad, public understanding of land and water conditions in our Nation and around the globe.”

“Land remote sensing is a crucial tool in our efforts to develop broad, effective, holistic approaches to both mitigate and adapt to the environmental challenges of our day,” said Castle, who oversees Interior’s Water and Science agencies, including the U.S. Geological Survey. “In addition, remote sensing has critical event-specific uses, for example, in closely monitoring the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and establishing baseline and post-spill conditions.”

Since 1966, Interior has managed science data operations and applications development for Landsat and other national land imaging systems from its U.S. Geological Survey Earth Resources Observation and Science Center in Sioux Falls, SD. The Department currently operates Landsats 5 and 7 and is developing the Landsat Data Continuity Mission with NASA for launch in FY 2013. The Administration is currently discussing plans for Landsat 9.

With its historical consistency, continuous global coverage, and very high quality of data, Landsat has become a vital tool worldwide for understanding scientific issues related to land use and natural resources. International applications of Landsat data have become widespread for use in agriculture, forestry, mapping, land and water assessments and climate change study.

The Department of the Interior, through the U.S. Geological Survey, facilitates access by U.S. civil agencies to national security satellite data when this data can be used for environmental assessments and disaster management. The Landsat series of satellites also is considered a cornerstone of U.S. space cooperation with foreign nations. More than 20 nations on six continents collaborate in operating local receiving stations for Landsat data on behalf of their continental regions.

On behalf of the Department, USGS publishes the entire 38-year Landsat archive over the Internet at no cost to users. In the past two years, more than 2 million current and archived images taken by Landsat have been downloaded by users throughout the world.

[U.S. Department of the Interior press release]

ArcGIS Provides Foundation for Global Agricultural Programs

CGIAR Signs Site License Agreement with Esri That Will Assist Group to Increase Food Security and Agricultural Productivity

Esri announces that the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) has signed a site license providing its 15 research centers throughout the world with access to ArcGIS software. CGIAR works in collaboration with hundreds of government, civil society, and private organizations to reduce poverty and hunger, improve human health and nutrition, and create greater ecosystem resilience. Esri’s geographic information system (GIS) technology will be implemented in the centers to foster programs for sustainable agricultural growth benefiting the poor.

“This site license agreement will ensure that scientists in every center have access to the GIS technology they need to continue their important work including the creation of data collections on population, poverty, climate, soils, crops, livestock, transportation, and biodiversity,” says Enrica Porcari, chief information officer of CGIAR. “The centers will provide spatial applications that help users more readily see and understand interrelationships between such subjects as urban and rural markets, crop production, deforestation, and soil erosion.”

“The new agreement with Esri represents a major advance in the ability of CGIAR and its partners to build and share location-specific agricultural and natural resource knowledge products to help overcome poverty and hunger,” says Stanley Wood, coordinator of the Consortium for Spatial Information (CSI) of CGIAR and International Food Relief Program (IFPRI) senior research fellow.

“Esri is pleased to work closely with CGIAR as it strives to provide food security for every nation,” says John Steffenson, manager of the Esri federal civilian and global affairs team in Washington, D.C. “We strongly support the critical research of these centers as they improve agricultural production, sustainability, and resilience globally.”

Esri’s ArcGIS will provide the platform for collaborative efforts in GIS-based agricultural research at global, regional, and local levels in every center. This will allow CGIAR to continue creating online applications such as the Amazon Initiative which allows dynamic queries about biomass and deforestation in the Amazon. More than 10 CGIAR datasets and applications are also available as services from ArcGIS.com, a hosted Web site available for anyone to create, find, and use maps, applications, and tools.

For more information on Esri’s agriculture solutions, visit www.esri.com/agriculture.

[Source: ESRI press release]

ArcPad 10 Makes Data Collection Easier

Includes Support for ArcGIS Online Map Services and QuickCapture Toolbar

ArcPad 10, which becomes available today, extends basemap support via ArcGIS Online and greatly improves performance. ArcPad is a feature-rich mobile GIS application for field mapping and data collection.

The new version of ArcPad includes support for ArcGIS Online Map Services. Users can now access ArcGIS Online basemaps, such as World Street Map, World Topographic Map, and World Imagery, as well as Microsoft Bing Maps, and use them in their ArcPad projects.

The ArcPad Data Manager extension for ArcGIS now lets users customize an ArcPad project without the need for coding or scripting. Users save time because data forms are automatically generated and populated for related tables. Also, users have greater control over using photos in ArcPad projects, and hyperlinked photos are now integrated in the checkout and check-in process.

Other improvements and new features in ArcPad 10 include

  • Improved performance—Performance has been increased with better allocation of memory and a new quick draw tool. Enhancements have also been made to the Esri StreetMap extension to ensure the maximum amount of memory is available to both ArcPad and StreetMap.
  • Dynamic QuickCapture toolbar—ArcPad 10 includes a dynamic toolbar that automatically builds the tools and forms you need to edit your data. With a simple tap of the stylus you can add data to the data layer of your choice. The customized QuickCapture toolbar can be used across all of the user’s ArcPad projects.
  • Better camera and photo experience—A new camera module, DirectShow, works for a greater number and range of hardware devices. The camera’s user experience is the same on all mobile devices. Along with improved photo management (within the ArcPad Data Manager extension for ArcGIS Desktop), users are able to incorporate photos into their ArcPad projects much faster and more easily.

For more information on what’s new in ArcPad or to evaluate ArcPad, visit www.esri.com/arcpad. Outside the United States, contact your local Esri distributor. For a current distributor list, visit www.esri.com/distributors.

[Source: ESRI press release]

Presentations Invited for URISA’s Fifth Caribbean GIS Conference in Trinidad

Abstract submissions are now being accepted for URISA’s Fifth Caribbean GIS Conference. The conference, themed “Geospatial Technologies: Connecting our Industries in Meeting the Region’s Challenges,” will take place December 6-10, 2010 in Trinidad. Abstract submissions are due on or before August 20, 2010.

The conference committee, chaired by Dr. Jacob Opadeyi, from the Department of Geomatics Engineering and Land Management at The University of The West Indies, is seeking presentations within these categories:

Earth Observation Systems & Applications

  • Location-based Services
  • Spatial Modeling and Reasoning
  • Environmental Management
  • Land and Water Use Planning
  • Planning and Natural Resources
  • Watershed management
  • Urban and Environmental Planning

Disaster and Emergency Management

  • Law Enforcement and Safety
  • Disaster and Emergency Management
  • Oil Spill Management
  • Public Health
  • Management, Policy and Standards
  • Protection and Safety of Life

Managing GIS

  • Spatial Data Infrastructure
  • Spatial Data Quality and Uncertainty
  • Standardization and Interoperability for GIS
  • Location Privacy, Data Sharing and Security
  • Caribbean & International Collaboration
  • Funding Mechanisms, Strategies, and Opportunities
  • GIS Performance Evaluation
  • Capacity building and Enhancement


  • Utilities: Telecommunication, Electricity, and  Water Supply
  • Decision Support Systems
  • Participatory GIS
  • Census/Census Mapping
  • Mobile, Web, and Real-time Applications

Again, abstract submissions are due on or before August 20, 2010. For details and online submission, visit: http://www.urisa.org/2010caribbean_call

URISA is pleased that CARILEC, the Caribbean Electric Utility Service Corporation – an association of electric utilities, suppliers, manufacturers and other stakeholders operating in the electricity industry in the Caribbean, will be a partner in the 2010 conference. For more information about CARILEC, visit www.carilec.org.

Previous Conferences

  • URISA’s Fourth Caribbean GIS Conference – August 25-29, 2008 – Grand Cayman
  • URISA’s Third Caribbean GIS Conference –  October 29 – November 1, 2006 – Bahamas
  • URISA’s Second Caribbean GIS Conference – September 13-17, 2004 – Barbados
  • URISA’s First Caribbean GIS Conference – September 9-12, 2001 – Jamaica

For more information, contact Wendy Nelson at URISA, wnelson@urisa.org

[Source: URISA press release]

On Building and Fitting a Spatio-temporal Change-point Model for Settlement and Growth at Bourewa, Fiji Islands

June 2010; Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series C (Applied Statistics) (in review)

G. K. Nicholls and P. D. Nunn

“The Bourewa beach site on the Rove Peninsula of Viti Levu is the earliest known human settlement in the Fiji Islands. How did the settlement at Bourewa develop in space and time? We have radiocarbon dates on sixty specimens, found in association with evidence for human presence, taken from pits across the site. Owing to the lack of diagnostic stratigraphy, there is no direct archaeological evidence for distinct phases of occupation through the period of interest. We give a spatio-temporal analysis of settlement at Bourewa in which the deposition rate for dated specimens plays an important role. Spatio-temporal mapping of radiocarbon date intensity is confounded by uneven post-depositional thinning. We assume that the confounding processes act in such a way that the absence of dates remains informative of zero rate for the original deposition process. We model and fit the onset-field, that is, we estimate for each location across the site the time at which deposition of datable specimens began. The temporal process generating our spatial onset-field is a model of the original settlement dynamics.”

New Book: Introduction to Geometrical and Physical Geodesy: Foundations of Geomatics

“Unique in its approach, Introduction to Geometrical and Physical Geodesy: Foundations of Geomatics presents an introduction to geodesy influenced by GIS, remote sensing, and land surveying. Designed to provide an overview of the discipline, this book is divided into three sections that address basic concepts and tools, geometrical geodesy, and physical geodesy, culminating in the reader’s applied knowledge of the subject.

“Intended primarily for the classroom, this text addresses the necessary topics to build a well-rounded introductory course in geomatics. Introduction to Geometrical and Physical Geodesy is suitable for students of geodesy, GIS, remote sensing, engineering, natural resources, and earth science courses. As a professional reference, this book demonstrates how practical problems can be solved by geodetic theory.”