A Simple Story Map-based Real-Time Dashboard for the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest in Oregon

Located in the Willamette National Forest in Oregon, H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest supports research on forests, streams, and watersheds, and fosters strong collaboration among ecosystem science, education, natural resource management, and the humanities. The Forest is administered cooperatively by the USDA Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station, Oregon State University, and the Willamette National Forest.

As a charter member of the National Science Foundation’s Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Program, the site contributes to the collection of long-term datasets to support research on ecological issues that can last decades.  Using Esri’s story maps technology, a simple map-based dashboard was developed to let researchers, administrators, and the general public view real-time data from 125 different sensors including webcams, stream gauges, and weather stations deployed throughout the forest.

H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest Dashboard

H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest Dashboard. Click to view the live dashboard.

“The dashboard is a really nice way to see all these data streams in their spatial context” said Mark Schulze, HJ Andrews Experimental Forest Director.  “Being able to look at all these sensors in real time is hugely helpful for making interpretations about how our climate/weather functions in the Andrews Forest,” added Julia Jones, Geosciences Professor at Oregon State University.

View the dashboard:  www.esriurl.com/hjandrews

Does Location Really Matter? An Inter-colony Comparison of Seabirds Breeding at Varying Distances from Productive Oceanographic Features in the Bering Sea

Deep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in OceanographyDeep Sea Research Part II: Topical Studies in Oceanography, Published Online 13 March 2013

Ann Harding, Rosana Paredes, Robert Suryan, Daniel Roby, David Irons, Rachael Orben, Heather Renner, Rebecca Young, Christopher Barger, Ine Dorresteijn, and Alexander Kitaysky

“Central place foragers, such as breeding seabirds, need to commute between their nests and foraging grounds, thus close proximity of the breeding colony to productive oceanographic features might be beneficial for seabird reproduction. We tested this hypothesis by investigating the at-sea foraging and breeding behavior of thick-billed murres (Uria lomvia) nesting at three colonies (Bogoslof, St. Paul, and St. George Islands) in the Bering Sea located at different distances from the productive continental shelf-break.

Study sites in the southeastern Bering Sea

Study sites in the southeastern Bering Sea

“We found that distances to feeding areas differed only during night trips among colonies. St. Paul murres foraged entirely on the shelf, whereas St. George murres commuted to the continental shelf-break at night and foraged on the shelf during the day. Bogoslof murres foraged in oceanic waters in close proximity to the colony. Murres breeding at the both Pribilof colonies spent less time attending nests and had higher levels of stress hormone corticosterone compared to murres breeding at Bogoslof, although chick-provisioning rates and fledging success were similar among the three colonies. Lower nest attendance and higher corticosterone suggest lower food availability in the Pribilof domain compared to the Bogoslof region. Murres breeding at the Pribilofs used different foraging strategies to buffer effects of food shortages on their reproduction: flight costs associated with longer distance night trips at St. George were presumably balanced by benefits of higher density and/or more lipid rich prey in the continental shelf-break regions, whereas the additional distance of St. Paul from the continental shelf-break may have outweighed any energetic gain. Murres exhibited a remarkable degree of plasticity of foraging strategies in response to changes in their food availability, but the breeding success of murres did not reflect either food limitations or the colony proximity to productive oceanographic features.”

Doing Fieldwork on the Seafloor: Photogrammetric Techniques to Yield 3D Visual Models from ROV Video

Computers & GeosciencesComputers & Geosciences, published online 22 October 2012

Tom Kwasnitschka, Thor H. Hansteen, Colin W. Devey, and Steffen Kutterolf


  • A new technology for deep-sea micro scale mapping is demonstrated.
  • Photogrammetry based on ROV video yields 3D models.
  • Quantitative data extraction yields geoscientific insights.
  • The workflow is readily replicable and based on industrial software.

“Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) have proven to be highly effective in recovering well localized samples and observations from the seafloor. In the course of ROV deployments, however, huge amounts of video and photographic data are gathered which present tremendous potential for data mining. We present a new workflow based on industrial software to derive fundamental field geology information such as quantitative stratigraphy and tectonic structures from ROV-based photo and video material.

Warping effects due to missing lens distortion parameters (a) superimposed on the correct reconstruction (b).

Warping effects due to missing lens distortion parameters (a) superimposed on the correct reconstruction (b). Both models have been aligned at the first camera pose (c), where deviations in the model geometry and position are already apparent. The largest dislocation (gray arrow) in position and camera angle is found between the last images, (d) showing the warped path and (e) the correct path, deviating 29° in pitch, 8° in roll and 1.8° in heading. Crosses mark the location of a corresponding feature referenced in the text. Measurements of a corresponding bedding plane (white planes) indicate a strong deviation in strike (67°, lines) and dip (12°, arrows). The light transparent model (f) and camera planes (g) illustrate the model, which has been aligned to the track coordinates, resulting in positioning and also scaling errors. The white grid represents the true horizontal plane.

“We demonstrate proof of principle tests for this workflow on video data collected during dives with the ROV Kiel6000 on a new hot spot volcanic field that was recently identified southwest of the island of Santo Antão in the Cape Verdes. Our workflow allows us to derive three-dimensional models of outcrops facilitating quantitative measurements of joint orientation, bedding structure, grain size comparison and photo mosaicking within a georeferenced framework. The compiled data facilitate volcanological and tectonic interpretations from hand specimen to outcrop scales based on the quantified optical data. The demonstrated procedure is readily replicable and opens up possibilities for post-cruise “virtual fieldwork” on the seafloor.”

No High Ground: Visualising Scotland’s Renewable Energy Landscapes using Rapid Viewshed Assessment Tools

Proceedings of the GIS Research UK 20th Annual Conference, 2012

Steve Carver and Michael Markieta

“Rapid viewshed modelling techniques are used to address the conflicts between landscape protection and renewable energy goals in Scotland. The area of the country currently without a view of a wind turbine is calculated and used to identify areas that could be developed as wind farms without further impacting on the non-visible areas.

Viewshed analysis of core wild land areas in Scotland

Viewshed analysis of core wild land areas in Scotland

“The analysis is repeated for protected landscapes and core wild land areas and lowest impact zones identified. The method used relies on the use of voxel-based real-time viewshed modelling techniques to make these analyses practical.”

Fledermaus and ArcGIS Integration

Output of the Fledermaus mid-water mapping tool over the source of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico

The importance of visualizing the water column is shown by this output of the Fledermaus mid-water mapping tool over the source of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The visualization, produced by and courtesy of UNH-CCOM (http://ccom.unh.edu/project/deepwater-horizon), shows acoustic backscatter data over the wellhead collected after it was successfully capped in mid-July of 2010. Although the wellhead was indeed capped, the visualization suggests a small amount of natural gas was still escaping.

Satellites can clearly map the ocean surface, and acoustic sensors can map the ocean floor, but ocean scientists currently have a limited view of the water column between the ocean surface and the ocean floor. There is a critical need to study the internal structure of features in the water column such as plumes (hydrothermal vent plumes, oil well plumes as in the Gulf of Mexico spill) or schools of fish to obtain fish stocks dynamics, spawning grounds, seasonal habitats, and to discern the impact of the climate change on these vital resources. To exploit water column data, an efficient means of reading, processing, and analyzing the data is required.

To improve support for multidimensional data and analyses in the ArcGIS environment, Esri has been working closely with partner Quality Positioning Services (QPS). QPS is a maritime technology and services provider with headquarters in The Netherlands, with US-based operations in Portsmouth, NH and Houston, TX. They are a highly specialized company and are well known in the hydrographic, petroleum, and oceanography communities for their domain knowledge and excellent software. QPS recently acquired Esri partner IVS 3D, makers of the Fledermaus scientific visualization system, and are consolidating product lines.

Fledermaus 3D visualization of the northeast Atlantic Ocean.

Fledermaus 3D visualization of the northeast Atlantic Ocean.

Fledermaus is heavily used at the world-famous Scripps Institution of Oceanography Visualization Center and is a defacto scientific visualization standard throughout the marine geology and geophysics arm of the ocean science community, including the large international NSF-sponsored programs Ridge 2000, Margins, and the Ocean Observatories Initiative. It is also used at many national hydrographic and naval agencies.

Esri and QPS are now working together to integrate Fledermaus tools into the geoprocessing framework of ArcGIS for Maritime—Bathymetry at version 10.1.

Spatial Analysis of Terrain in Virtual Reality

IEEE VR Workshop 2012

Rolf Westerteiger, Andreas Gerndt, Bernd Hamann, and Hans Hagen

“We extend an existing Virtual Reality terrain visualization framework to support spatial analysis tasks for geoscientific purposes. Interactive measurement of height profiles is used as an example application to demonstrate the efficacy of the approach. In this application, virtual reality technology enables superior perception of profile line localization with respect to terrain features.”

Fault network on Mars next to Valles Marineris

Fault network on Mars next to Valles Marineris

DLA 2012 Conference: Geodesign, 3D Modeling, and Visualization

DLA 2012 Conference: Geodesign, 3D Modeling, and Visualization“The focus of the DLA Conference 2012 is GeoDesign, 3D-Modeling and Visualization. It will be held in Bernburg at the Kurhaus Conference Center which was built in 1902. Since 1990, the Kurhaus has also housed the Bernburg Research Center INDIGO Innovations Park. The DLA 2012 will include presentations, exhibitions of vendors, poster sessions and workshops. Excursions and social events will take place at the Bernburg Cloister, the nearby Castle Hohenerxleben, the Bauhaus Dessau and the Woerlitz Gardens.”

Thursday, 31 May 2012: 3D-Landscape Modeling
9:00 Welcome and Keynote: Prof. Dr. Jörg Schaller, Technical University Munich, Germany: Applying 3D Landscape Modeling in GeoDesign
11:00 Parallel lectures sessions on: 3D-Landscape Modeling
14:00 Parallel lectures sessions on: 3D-City Modeling
Poster Presentation
Parallel 1,5 hour Workshop: Open Street Map by Philip Paar, Laubwerk a.o.
20:00 Reception Buffet at Bernburg Cloister

Friday, 1 June 2012: Landscape Visualization
9:00 Keynote Prof. Dr. Christina von Haaren, Leibnitz University of Hannover, Germany: The potential of GeoDesign for linking Landscape Planning, Landscape Visualization and Landscape Management
11:00 Parallel lectures Sessions on: Virtual Environmental Design | Applying Mobile Devices in Planning and Design
14:00 Parallel lectures sessions on: Planting Design and Modeling
Parallel 1,5 hour Workshop: New Devices for GIS by Prof. Joachim Kieferle, Univ. Rhein-Main, Germany, Prof. Dr. Uli Kühnle. Burg Giebichenstein, Halle, Germany, a.o.
Parallel 1/2 –Day Workshop: BIM, CityGML and Related Standardization by Prof. Dr. Thomas Kolbe, TU Berlin, Lutz Ross, virtualcitySYSTEMS, Berlin, a.o.
20:00 Conference Dinner DLA Awards, at Castle Hohenerxleben

Saturday, 2 June 2012: GeoDesign
9:00 Short presentation 3-minute impulses
9:30 Keynote Prof. Dr. Carl Steinitz, Harvard University, United States: Public Participation in Landscape Planning: a Prognosis for the Future? Dr. Stephen Ervin, Harvard University, United States: The Future of GeoDesign
11:00 Parallel lectures Sessions on: GeoDesign Applications
14:00 Parallel lectures sessions on: GeoDesign Interfaces | Teaching GeoDesign and Digital Planning Methods Parallel 1/2 –Day Workshop: GeoDesign by Dr. Stephen Ervin, Harvard University, United States, Matthias Pietsch, Anhalt University, Bernburg, Eric Wittner, ESRI GeoDesign Group, Redlands, USA, Pascal Müller, ESRI Procedural Group, Zürich, Switzerland, a.o.
17:00 Closing Panel
20:00 Evening Lecture and concert at Bauhaus Aula, Dessau

Sunday, 3 June 2012: Excursion
1/2 –Day Excursion Wörlitz Garden and Bauhaus Dessau | Full Day Excursion Harz Mountains (Historical Gardens)

More information

Climate Change-related Vulnerabilities and Local Environmental Public Health Tracking through GEMSS: A Web-based Visualization Tool

Applied GeographyApplied Geography, Volume 33, April 2012

Adele Houghton, Natasha Prudent, James E. Scott III, Richard Wade, and George Luber


  • Platform for tracking local climate change environmental public health indicators.
  • Visualization of potential health, vulnerability impacts of climate change policy.
  • Vulnerability indicators primarily used existing, freely available data sources.

“Climate change will impact health through a variety of pathways – both direct and indirect. Identifying the specific link between climate-related hazards and vulnerability will require the integration of socio-environmental, meteorological, and health data. An enhanced monitoring and tracking system is critical for public health efforts to identify and reach populations vulnerable to climate-related hazards, mobilize resources, and inform local climate action policy to reduce climate-related health risks.

“In this paper we present a novel application of a geospatial tool that integrates multiple data sources, allowing for the streamlined visualization of environmental risk, socio-economic and demographic vulnerability, baseline mortality, and policy intervention measures. GEMSS (Geospatial Emergency Management Support System) is a browser-based application that is designed to assemble geospatial information from multiple local or remote sources in a common operating environment, allowing for multi-data visualization. Using vulnerability to extreme heat and heavy rainfall-induced flooding as climate impacts on health, we tested GEMSS’s capability as a multi-data platform to visually analyze spatial patterns of climate change environmental public health indicators at the local level. The selected indicators relied on socio-environmental and demographic vulnerability, health, policy, and weather data.

“The GEMSS system has the potential to support multiple goals including: a) the ongoing monitoring and assessment of climate-related vulnerability through visualization; b) providing policymakers with an open-source tool for understanding how vulnerable populations and the environment could be impacted by proposed climate action policies; c) tracking the ongoing status of climate change policies in reducing socio-environmental vulnerability; d) raising awareness among the general public about the links between climate change and public health; and, e) providing a basis for epidemiologic research (i.e., identifying gaps between climate and human vulnerability leading to hypotheses and hypotheses-testing).”

Crowdsourcing, Citizen Sensing and Sensor Web Technologies for Public and Environmental Health Surveillance and Crisis Management: Trends, OGC Standards and Application Examples

International Journal of Health GeographicsInternational Journal of Health Geographics 10:67, Published 21 December 2011

Maged N Kamel Boulos, Bernd Resch, David N Crowley, John G Breslin, Gunho Sohn, Russ Burtner, William A Pike, Eduardo Jezierski and Kuo-Yu Slayer Chuang

“‘Wikification of GIS by the masses’ is a phrase-term first coined by Kamel Boulos in 2005, two years earlier than Goodchild’s term ‘Volunteered Geographic Information’. Six years later (2005-2011), OpenStreetMap and Google Earth (GE) are now full-fledged, crowdsourced ‘Wikipedias of the Earth’ par excellence, with millions of users contributing their own layers to GE, attaching photos, videos, notes and even 3-D (three dimensional) models to locations in GE.

Mobile CO measurements in the city of Copenhagen (December 2009)

Mobile CO measurements in the city of Copenhagen (December 2009)

“From using Twitter in participatory sensing and bicycle-mounted sensors in pervasive environmental sensing, to creating a 100,000-sensor geo-mashup using Semantic Web technology, to the 3-D visualisation of indoor and outdoor surveillance data in real-time and the development of next-generation, collaborative natural user interfaces that will power the spatially-enabled public health and emergency situation rooms of the future, where sensor data and citizen reports can be triaged and acted upon in real-time by distributed teams of professionals, this paper offers a comprehensive state-of-the-art review of the overlapping domains of the Sensor Web, citizen sensing and ‘human-in-the-loop sensing’ in the era of the Mobile and Social Web, and the roles these domains can play in environmental and public health surveillance and crisis/disaster informatics. We provide an in-depth review of the key issues and trends in these areas, the challenges faced when reasoning and making decisions with real-time crowdsourced data (such as issues of information overload, “noise”, misinformation, bias and trust), the core technologies and Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) standards involved (Sensor Web Enablement and Open GeoSMS), as well as a few outstanding project implementation examples from around the world. ”

GIS Cloud to be Featured at Eye on Earth Summit

Esri logoEsri Platform Supports Collaborative Environmental Problem Solving

At the Eye on Earth Summit Esri will describe how cloud GIS is positioned to create an international geospatial platform for sharing environmental data and designing solutions. Also former US president Bill Clinton, Esri president Jack Dangermond, and European Environment Agency (EEA) director Jacquelyn McGlade will join other renowned speakers to present the value of accessible data for international collaboration and decision making.

The Eye on Earth network will be featured at the summit in Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates, on December 12–15, 2011. Esri, Microsoft, and EEA have pooled their expertise to retool EEA’s Eye on Earth with a cloud-based geospatial content management system modeled after ArcGIS Online. The Eye on Earth network now provides tools for creating maps, accessing thousands of readily available maps and datasets, and managing geospatial content. People can use the network to share content with the public and among groups or to use privately. Governments, research organizations, nongovernmental organizations, and the public can use the network to work together to understand problems, develop policy, design plans, and take action. Furthermore, the cloud-configured network provides the foundation for other regions to create similar environmental platforms.

“People truly care about their environment, but they can be at a loss as to how to participate in policy and make a difference,” said Dangermond. “By putting environmental and social information into the hands of many people, the Eye on Earth network will become a catalyst for conversation. We think this is going to bring people to their feet by empowering them to understand problems and be part of the solutions.”

Esri’s ArcGIS Online technology, coupled with Windows Azure and Microsoft SQL Azure, allows EEA to host and maintain the platform, create database and business process management systems, and integrate security constraints. GIS web apps help user groups create and share map-based services, perform analysis, and publish geospatial products.

In the summit’s pavilion, experts will demonstrate the Eye on Earth network’s capabilities such as citizen engagement and collaborative environmental problem solving.

[Source: Esri press release]