A VerySpatial Podcast
Shownotes – Episode 366
July 22, 2012
Main Topic: Gretchen Peterson, Cartographer’s Toolkit
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A year after the introductory post to my “All tied up” series I am actually releasing my next post. In the intervening year terms have, if anything, become even more interwoven with many of us often going to the now de facto ‘geospatial technologies’ to explain the wealth of technologies and data that we pull out of the toolbox and database for any given project. The term that has most been hidden by this (in my opinion, with no easy way to back it up) is Remote Sensing. By Remote Sensing I refer to what Lillesand and Keifer define as “The science and art of obtaining information…acquired by a device that is not in contact with the object…”.
This is a very broad definition and it captures all of the ways in which remotely sensed information is captured, but here I will narrow it down to those raster-based data (and occasionally point cloud data) that are captured from a distance. We can easily include photogrammetry (planes, balloons, etc) and satellite remote sensing capturing everything from panchromatic to hyperspectral images.
While we are on ‘what it is’ I will include what may get lumped in occasionally. Remote sensing is not all sensor data from remote locations. While the term is not incorrectly used, it is not always the same since some of these sensors are in direct contact with what they are measuring (stream gauges, temperature sensors, etc). So in a Venn diagram there is a large overlap between sensors located remotely and remote sensing instruments, but they are not completely overlapping sets. Kind of an aside, but I wanted to make a Venn diagram.
Getting back to remote sensing, there are two ways to look at the term. One is that it isn’t so much tied up, but largely absent in the industry today. In many areas, imagery has become the term of choice and, of course, the backdrop in our web maps, cartographic products, etc. In these projects and products we talk about imagery, but its source has become an almost unimportant aspect of some work. The other way we look at remote sensing is definitely one that is tied up in GIS. Many, many moons ago you had raster software and vector software and much of that raster geospatial software was driven by remote sensing activities, but that has changed (I think we can agree, for the better) in the GIS space as vector and raster has come together. As discussions with some of the leading remote sensing software vendors on the podcast have shown they are inline with, or even making tools available directly within, GIS software packages. We have lost the divide between GIS and Remote Sensing which having to switch between applications gave us. The separation continues to fade in terms of the software arena.
What does standout in terms of Remote Sensing, not tangled up if you will, is the hardware used to capture imagery (from satellite to helicopter to kite to drone…) and the data itself. This content continues to push our industry forward as we can collect both broad swath information that pushes science forward (e.g. moderate resolution data) and we continue to create sensors with ever-finer resolution and higher accuracy and precision (e.g. lidar). These data, as mentioned, are seen now more than ever with web maps and virtual globes, but it is the analytical potential that they offer, whether resulting in time series, human/environment processes, or finding archaeological sites, that are the strength of our investment in remote sensing platforms and data.
We will cut the strings there, as raster analysis is another set of terms that have been tied together as well. But keep in mind as you are doing your research or projects that your imagery is the result of over a century of research in capturing and manipulating images from a distance. While we have begun to take the technologies for granted in some cases, remote sensing remains an integral part of many areas of the industry.
With only a week to go, I wanted to remind everyone that we are in the last week of our Like4Trees campaign. We will donate $1 per person who has liked the VerySpatial Facebook page by July 25th to the Greenbelt Movement (up to $250). Everyone who likes the Facebook page will also be in the running for one of two Keep Cups that you will be able to customize to your hearts content.
We also have a couple of spots left for folks to attend our A VerySpatial Evening, Wednesday 25 July at our condo a couple of blocks from the San Diego convention center. We will have food, beverages, and plenty of geoconversation. If you would like to reserve a spot, please contact us.
Finally, if you are going to be at the Esri EdUC or UC and would like to talk to us about your project, product or just to say ‘hi’ then give us a shout and we will setup a time to meet. Or, if you see us wandering around, just stop us and we will be happy to chat, unless we are running to another interview, of course.
Hope to see you in San Diego!
I know I am about a week behind on this, but I am still pretty excited about TomTom’s ever growing utilization of its MapShare database. With the release of regular, free updates of the community provided information this brings not only a boon for the TomTom nav unit customers, but an increasing recognition of, and, I would assume in turn, an increase in community provided data. This is a great asset for the TomTom data licensing customers who benefit from these user driven data updates. (Yay!)
As we enter July we approach several big dates for VerySpatial. The 12th is our 7th anniversary for the site, the 24th for the podcast, and our annual meet up/live show at the Esri UC to celebrate our 7th will be on Wednesday, July 25th. We traditionally do a meeting room at the convention center, but it is always a big room and a few people. This year we are heading across the street to the VerySpatial Condo (yes, we [I] brand everything) for an evening of geospatial, podcasting, and food (maybe even grilling if the grill is still there).
Unfortunately, since we are in a limited space we must put a cap on the number of folks we can fit on our patio. So, if you are interested in joining us from 6:30 until… please contact us to reserve your space for A VerySpatial Evening. We will provide more details as we get a bit closer to the UC and the evening.
For those of you who will not be in San Diego or will be a bit busy I have been working on the technical requirements to make sure we can do a Google+ hangout during the podcast as long as the network plays nice.
The great Ed Parsons giving Reuter’s the skinny on maps now and the future (the fine line between useful and creepy).
Three years ago we decided to try to entice folks to follow us on twitter, and we used people’s love for trees to
dupe convince them to follow us as we gave $$ to charity. Fast forward to the summer of 2012 when I decided to set up a new VerySpatial Facebook page (in addition to the already existing VerySpatial Friends group). I did this to allow for direct links to the podcasts from the FB page and to add one more place for me to visit at least occasionally. The downside is that with only a handful of page likes I feel that the FB page needs more attention (look at us, look at us).
I have decided (and I forced others to agree with me) that we will once again pull on folks heartstrings and their love trees, this time in exchange for Facebook Likes. I have dubbed this venture (sadly enough) Like4Trees*.
SO…for each person that Likes the new VerySpatial Facebook Page by Tuesday, 24 July (around our 7th Anniversary podcast) we will donate $1 to a tree related charity (no points for joining the Group, but why not make it a two-fer). Of course we are on a budget so we have a limit of $250, though hopefully that will not limit the number of followers.+
Last time, for Tweet4Trees, we made our donation to American Forests though we have not finalized who we will be giving to this time around so share your favorite environmental charities in the comments or on the Facebook page or in a tweet (@veryspatial) or in an email or in a boat or in a candygram (cupcakegram? Is that a thing? That should SO be a thing!!!)
If anyone is interested in matching our donations or making their own, let me know and we will give you special recognition on the podcast and blog.
We will provide the results of the Like4Trees drive during our show at the Esri UC in San Diego which will go up as Episode 367 on July 29, and of course on the blog.
*no imagination muscles were strained in the creation of this moniker
+if more than 250 folks like us and we have $$ left in the budget at the end of the year we will give more, though if previous years are an indication this isn’t likely
This year’s Insights Conference has come and gone this week. There seems to be little in the way of large announcements coming out of the event but I will point you to a few places you can catch on what happened down in the Big Easy.