To mark the five-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s devastating landfall in the Gulf Coast, NASA Earth Science has released this short video retrospective of some of the imagery and analyses that were used to track and visualize Hurricane Katrina
ERDAS has entered the cloud service race with the announcement of Apollo on the Cloud. It is a hosted solution that provides access to Apollo Professional on SkyGone’s servers. We have talked to Mladen Stojic about Apollo on the podcast in the past which is one of ERDAS’s newer products that provides that layer of abstraction that many enterprises are looking for between the geotechnologies and the casual user…aka the guy at the desk. With a browser-based viewer, integration with Titan, and standards compatible there are plenty of ways for the user to connect to the service. On the backend you get all of the power that Apollo offers in serving data, running geoprocessing services, and creating user experiences. If you are looking for a way to centralize the processing of your remote sensing data and do not want to host a solution locally or don’t have the dedicated IT staff to do so, this is worth a look.
Recently we featured the Grassroots Mapping project, a community participatory mapping initiative from the MIT Media Lab, on the podcast, and now the Grassroots team has headed down to Louisiana to try to utilize their balloon-based camera system to acquire imagery and map the Gulf oil spill along the Louisiana coast. Their goals are not to replace official imagery and mapping of the disaster, but rather to supplement the information by allowing citizens to provide their own documentation of the event using low-cost balloons to get aerial images for mapping.
If any of you are in the area, and would like to help out with the efforts, you can find more information at the Grassroots Mapping wiki for the Gulf Oil Spill project. There is also an article posted on CNN.com.
The data from NASA’s earth observation satellites are critical resources in many areas of research, and it’s important to highlight the achievements of the Earth Observation System program, a multi-national and multi-agency partnership including NASA, JPL, and JAXA. The goal of the EOS program has been to provide comprehensive data sets on Earth’s climate, land cover, clouds, oceans, atmospheric conditions and other variables to help researchers and scholars better understand our planet.
Today marks the tenth anniversary of the launch of NASA’s flagship EOS satellite, Terra, which carries ASTER, MISR, MODIS, MOPITT, and CERES sensors and continues to provide us with amazing data more than four years after its projected six-year mission.
The Terra mission website has a nice retrospective gallery of images from Terra’s first ten years, and here’s hoping it can keep providing us with great data for another ten years!
The Electronic Frontier Foundation had an interesting piece about two weeks ago that I just ran across. The Supreme Court of Massachusetts recently ruled that it is against their state constitution for the police to track a vehicle using GPS without court approval. The interesting thing here is that the crux of their rationale is that the scale of GPS is too great that it interferes with the owner’s “possessory interest”. To be honest, my understanding of the law is weak enough that I’m not sure what “possessory interest” means and why GPS violates it. However, older US Supreme Court cases from the ’70′s ruled that beepers were permissible by the police without owner permission. Basically because GPS is more powerful and more exactly, it is a bigger threat. New York has similarly ruled that as well.
All in all, the case only has jurisdiction in Massachusetts, but it might set a precedent that Federal courts could follow.
DigitalGlobe is getting ready to launch its next commercial Earth imaging satellite, WorldView-2, and you can watch the launch live. Although slightly delayed, the plan for WorldView-2′s launch is now set for Thursday, October 8th at 11:38 a.m. Pacific time. The satellite will be launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. WorldView-2 will have an 8-band multispectral imaging capability, including near-IR and near-IR2 bands, which will allow the data it captured to be used for multiple types of remote sensing analyses, including change detection and vegetation analyses. With the spec sheet listing the multispectral resolution at just under 2 meters (panchromatic is at 46cm), WorldView-2 will gather multispectral data at a much finer resolution than that of Landsat products (Landsat imagery is free however).
The launch webcast will be available through Boeing’s website here. (The webcast will be live on the launch day).
In case you haven’t seen this around, BoingBoing.net has a nice link round up for NASA’s photos of the current California fires as seen from space. The smoke cloud is impressive in the most depressing way possible. The BoingBoing link has links to NASA’s original image and large version, a NYT piece on the fires featuring the image, and some detailed information about the fires from the JPL at NASA.
Really, what CAN’T geospatial do? Researchers out of University of Padua in Italy took aerial photos of an area just north of Venice and discovered what used to be Altinum, a thriving city that existed before Venice. The site is fairly unique in that it’s one of the few places that haven’t been built upon by later generations, thus making it ripe for study. The team intends to continue their work using LiDAR and other techniques to help archeologists figure out the best places to continue their work excavating this important site.
The RSPSoc – Remote Sensing & Photogrammetry Society is a UK-based academic association that looks at the application to education, science, research, industry, commerce and the public service of RS and aerial imagery. The RSPSoc maintains a significant number of activities and publications. The upcoming RSPSoc 2009 conference will be taking place in Leicester on September 8-11. Publications from the association include the International Journal of Remote Sensing (IJRS), the The Photogrammetric Record (PHOR), a newsletter, and proceedings from the annual conference. The RSPSoc website has a wealth of information including an educational area, public outreach, student community, and special interest groups.