Committee on Implementation of a Sustained Land Imaging Program; Space Studies Board; Division on Engineering and Physical Sciences; National Research Council
In 1972 NASA launched the Earth Resources Technology Satellite (ETRS), now known as Landsat 1, and on February 11, 2013 launched Landsat 8. Currently the United States has collected 40 continuous years of satellite records of land remote sensing data from satellites similar to these. Even though this data is valuable to improving many different aspects of the country such as agriculture, homeland security, and disaster mitigation; the availability of this data for planning our nation’s future is at risk.
Thus, the Department of the Interior’s (DOI’s) U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) requested that the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Committee on Implementation of a Sustained Land Imaging Program review the needs and opportunities necessary for the development of a national space-based operational land imaging capability. The committee was specifically tasked with several objectives including identifying stakeholders and their data needs and providing recommendations to facilitate the transition from NASA’s research-based series of satellites to a sustained USGS land imaging program.
Landsat and Beyond: Sustaining and Enhancing the Nation’s Land Imaging Program is the result of the committee’s investigation. This investigation included meetings with stakeholders such as the DOI, NASA, NOAA, and commercial data providers. The report includes the committee’s recommendations, information about different aspects of the program, and a section dedicated to future opportunities.
The Geo-Wiki Project: Validation Competition
Owing to the importance of global land cover in disciplines such as climate change, food security and land-use modelling, the creation of a global land cover calibration and validation dataset is essential. To help us achieve this goal, we have established a global sample of validation points which we want you to classify in this competition. You will be presented with pixels overlaid on Google Earth and we would like you to tell us what land cover types you can see up to a maximum of three classes. As most pixels contain multiple land cover types, this will provide us with valuable information for future validation of land cover maps and to get a better understanding on how much people have modified the landscape.
The top 10 classifiers will be invited to join as co-authors on a scientific publication. The score will be based equally on a quality evaluation and the number of validations provided. The publication will be called: How much wilderness is there left on this planet? It will be an extension of the work done by Sandersen et al., i.e. The Human Footprint and the Last of the Wild, which you can find here. Furthermore, the top three classifiers will be awarded Amazon gift certificates with a value of 50 Euro.
The competition will end September 15th, 2012 at 23:59:59 CEST.
For more information, got to Welcome to Geo-Wiki Project.
By Lisa Friedman, Scientific American, March 19, 2012
University of Texas researchers have developed a sophisticated new mapping tool showing where vulnerability to climate change and violent conflicts intersects throughout the African continent. More than a year in the making and part of a $7.6 million, five-year Department of Defense grant, the Climate Change and African Political Stability project culls data on riots, civil unrest and other violent outbursts dating back to 1996. It overlaps with information about climate-change-induced vulnerabilities like drought, as well as the type of aid that is being delivered to various parts of Africa.
For full text of the article in Scientific American, visit U.S. Defense Department Develops Map of Future Climate Chaos: Scientific American.
- U.S. Defense Department Develops Map of Future Climate Chaos (scientificamerican.com)
From Secrecy News, September 16, 2011:
- “Climate Change: Conceptual Approaches and Policy Tools,” August 29, 2011
- “Homeland Security Department: FY2012 Appropriations,” September 2, 2011
- “Congressional Primer on Major Disasters and Emergencies,” August 31, 2011
From Paul Uhlir, Director, Board on Research Data and Information, National Academy of Sciences:Presentations from Symposium on International Scientific Data Sharing The Board of Research Data and Information (BRDI) at the U.S. National Academies co-sponsored a free, two-day symposium on April 18-19th in Washington, DC on international scientific data sharing, with focus on developing countries. The presentations from the event are available online. The symposium sought to address the following questions:1. Why is the international sharing of publicly funded scientific data important, especially for development? What are some examples of past successes and what are the types of global research and applications problems that can be addressed with more complete access to government data collections and government-funded data sources?
2. What is the status of public data access internationally, particularly in developing countries?
3. What are the principal barriers and limits to sharing public data across borders?4. What are the rights and responsibilities of scientists and research organizations with regard to providing and getting access to publicly funded scientific data? How can international scientific organizations, government agencies, and scientists improve sharing of publicly funded data to address global challenges, particularly in less economically developed countries, more successfully?
- International Symposium on the Case for International Scientific Data Sharing: A Focus on Developing Countries (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
- Opening up scientific data (blogs.nature.com)
- The emergence of spatial cyberinfrastructure (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
The United States Geological Survey (USGS) is requesting public input on its six science strategies: Ecosystems; Energy and Minerals; Environmental Health; Global Change; Natural Hazards; and Water. These strategies will used in setting priorities and implementation planning for future research activities at the agency, which was reorganized in 2010.
Some of the USGS programs that support these science strategies include:
Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC)
The Federal Geographic Data Committee is an interagency committee that promotes the coordinated development, use, sharing, and dissemination of geospatial data on a national basis. This nationwide data publishing effort is known as the National Spatial Data Infrastructure (NSDI). The NSDI is a physical, organizational, and virtual network designed to enable the development and sharing of this nation’s digital geographic information resources. FGDC activities are administered through the FGDC Secretariat, hosted by the U.S. Geological Survey.
Land Remote Sensing (LRS)
The Land Remote Sensing Program operates the Landsat satellites and provides the Nation’s portal to the largest archive of remotely sensed land data in the world, supplying access to current and historical images. These images serve many purposes from assessing the impact of natural disasters to monitoring global agricultural production.
National Geospatial Program
The National Geospatial Program (NGP) organizes, maintains, and publishes the geospatial baseline of the Nation’s topography, natural landscape, and built environment. The baseline is The National Map, a set of databases of map data and information from which customers can download data and derived map products and use web-based map services. Through the Geospatial Liaison Network, the NGP works with cooperators to share the costs of acquiring and maintaining these geospatial data. The National Atlas of the United States of America®, the small-scale component of The National Map, fosters an understanding of broad geographic patterns, trends, and conditions useful for national assessments. The Federal Geographic Data Committee promotes consistent data and metadata standards, system interoperability, and cross-government best business practices for geospatial resources, policies, standards, and technology as part of the National Spatial Data Infrastructure.
by Lou Friedman, The Space Review, Monday, March 21, 2011
The earthquake and tsunami in Japan are the type of events that impact every aspect of life. Catastrophic events are not new on Earth—an argument that climate change deniers like to make to support their position that we should not worry about climate change’s impact. But what is so different now from even a century ago, let alone over the millennia of recorded history, is both the size of our population and its dependence on technology. Both change what were limited local problems into global ones. …
For full text of the article, visit The Space Review: Earthquakes and climate change: get the data.