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.
by Jennifer Chan, US News and World Report, Op-Eds, November 23, 2012
Dr. Jennifer Chan, a Public Voices fellow at the OpEd Project, is the director of Global Emergency Medicine in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and an associate faculty member of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative.
In the wake of Sandy’s destruction, digital volunteers mobilized again. From their homes and offices, using iPads and laptops, hundreds of volunteers crowd-sourced information and took on microtasks to help FEMA and other agencies process large swaths of information and speed humanitarian response.
For instance, in the first 48 hours after the hurricane, 381 aerial photos collected by the Civil Air Patrol were viewed by hundreds of volunteers, with the goal of quickly giving an overview of the extent of storm and flood damage. This project was called the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap MapMill project. In response to a request from FEMA, project developer Schuyler Erle volunteered to launch and lead the project. By mid-afternoon November 2nd, more than 3,000 volunteers had assessed 5,131 images, viewing them more than 12,000 times. Just a week later, more than 24,000 images had been assessed. Each view from a digital volunteer—a mother, a researcher, a friend, a colleague—helped FEMA determine the degree of damage along the eastern seaboard, assessing the condition of buildings, roads, and houses, with the aim of helping the agency in its post-disaster recovery and planning. That’s an amazing effort.
But did it actually help?
For full text of the op-ed, visit How To Make Crowdsourcing Disaster Relief Work Better – US News and World Report.
- How To Make Crowdsourcing Disaster Relief Work Better (usnews.com)
- Crowdsourcing the Evaluation of Post-Sandy Building Damage Using Aerial Imagery (irevolution.net)
Joanne Irene Gabrynowicz, Director, National Center for Remote Sensing, Air and Space Law, University of Mississippi School of Law and Research Professor of Law, will discuss the Charter on Cooperation to Achieve the Coordinated Use of Space Facilities in the Event of Natural or Technological Disasters (Disasters Charter), which provides for the voluntary sharing of satellite imagery in the event of major disasters. Prof. Gabrynowicz will address the contents, structure, and status of the Charter, and highlight its strengths and weakness with a focus on how it could develop in the future. She also will discuss data access and sharing ideas.
by Matt Ball, Sensors and Systems, V1 Magazine, June 26, 2012
GeoEye received word late last week that the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) would be making a significant cut in their 2013 funding under the Enhanced View contract, offering only a three or nine-month option. While there is still some indication that Congress might fully fund the program, the news was bleak enough to send GeoEye stock falling more than twenty percent. In this time of tightened government budgets, and unstable global economy, it’s tough on all businesses to remain stable, but combined with dramatic defense cuts, the pressures form a perfect storm for the U.S. commercial satellite imaging industry. The overwhelming defense demand has seen both companies grow strongly over the past decade, with capacity devoted mainly to this task. That strong demand has meant less of an emphasis on growing the commercial applications of this unique spatial intelligence, and without a broad base, some time will be needed to fill revenue gaps. …
For full text of this op-ed, visit Sensors & Systems – Do the NGA cuts mark a failure of the commercial satellite imagery market?.
By Henry Kenyon, Government Computer News, Oct 07, 2011
Emergency crews responding to major natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes now have access to a Web application that delivers aerial and satellite imagery of the area to their smart phones and tablet computers. The prototype application was created by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Geodetic Survey.
Full text of the article via NOAA app delivers aerial, satellite imagery to first responders’ mobile devices — Government Computer News.
- DIY satellite imagery (kottke.org)
- Crowdsourcing Satellite Imagery Tagging to Support UNHCR in Somalia (irevolution.net)
Call for Geospatial Data Sharing through the Japan Sendai Earthquake Data Portal
In response to the 8.9 magnitude earthquake, which struck offshore Sendai, Japan on Mar 11th 2011, the Center for Geographic Analysis at Harvard University has launched the Japan Sendai Earthquake Data Portal (http://cegrp.cga.harvard.edu/japan/) to support the exchange of geospatial datasets for relief and reconstruction efforts. The portal works best with a Firefox browser.
If you have geospatial data about the earthquake impacted regions (such as satellite images, aerial photos, GIS data sets, or other data files that bear locational references) before or after the March 11th earthquake, please consider sharing them through this portal.
To contribute datasets to the portal, please email us to obtain the Secure FTP login information: chgis [AT] fas.harvard.edu.
You are also welcome to search our portal for related news and available data to download and use. All copyrights are retained by the original producers of the data, and downloads from this portal are for academic, non-commercial, relief and reconstruction efforts only.
Wendy Guan, Ph.D.
Director of GIS Research Services
Center for Geographic Analysis
Harvard University http://gis.harvard.edu
- Sendai, Japan Earthquake (recoverydiva.com)
- Video: Tsunami Waves Flood Japan’s Sendai Airport (newsfeed.time.com)
- From the sky: aerial views of Japan Sendai Quake/Tsunami destruction (big photo gallery) (boingboing.net)