by Economist, May 12, 2012
ON APRIL 8th Envisat, Europe’s largest Earth-observing satellite, unexpectedly stopped talking to its users on the Earth below. Since then those users have been frantically trying to re-establish contact. They rely on Envisat’s radars and other sensors for a wide range of measurements, from the temperature of the oceans to the chemistry of the stratosphere. Scientists have used it to gauge ocean conditions for shipping and to investigate earthquakes; its data have been the basis of thousands of scientific papers.
For full text of the article, visit Earth-observation satellites: Something to watch over us | The Economist.
- Satellite observes rapid ice shelf disintegration in Antarctic (naturenplanet.com)
- ESA’s Ailing Envisat Imaged by Another Earth Orbiting Satellite (universetoday.com)
- Legendary Earth-Observing Satellite Goes Silent (news.discovery.com)
- Op-Ed Contributor: Earth-Observing Satellites in Jeopardy (nytimes.com)
- Researchers Unable to Revive Europe’s Envisat (news.sciencemag.org)
by Marcia Smith, SpacePolicyOnline.com, May 6, 2012
The Washington Post wants NASA’s earth science satellites and NOAA’s weather satellites to be on the list of issues debated in this presidential election year. … The editorial comes in the wake of the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) “mid-term review” of how NASA and NOAA are implementing the recommendations of the NRC’s 2007 Earth Science and Applications from Space (ESAS) Decadal Survey. … The editorial does not mention…the Senate Appropriations Committee’s recommendation to transfer NOAA’s satellite programs to NASA because it believes NOAA manages those programs poorly…
For full text of the article, visit WPost Wants Earth Observation Satellites to Get More Political Attention.
- Report warns of weather satellites’ ‘rapid decline’ (usatoday.com)
Dawn J. Wrighta, Department of Geosciences, Oregon State University, and
doi: 10.1073/pnas.1103051108 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences April 5, 2011 vol. 108 no. 14 5488-5491
Abstract: Cyberinfrastructure integrates advanced computer, information, and communication technologies to empower computation-based and data-driven scientific practice and improve the synthesis and analysis of scientific data in a collaborative and shared fashion. As such, it now represents a paradigm shift in scientific research that has facilitated easy access to computational utilities and streamlined collaboration across distance and disciplines, thereby enabling scientific breakthroughs to be reached more quickly and efficiently. Spatial cyberinfrastructure seeks to resolve longstanding complex problems of handling and analyzing massive and heterogeneous spatial datasets as well as the necessity and benefits of sharing spatial data flexibly and securely. This article provides an overview and potential future directions of spatial cyberinfrastructure. The remaining four articles of the special feature are introduced and situated in the context of providing empirical examples of how spatial cyberinfrastructure is extending and enhancing scientific practice for improved synthesis and analysis of both physical and social science data. The primary focus of the articles is spatial analyses using distributed and high-performance computing, sensor networks, and other advanced information technology capabilities to transform massive spatial datasets into insights and knowledge.
Burley, T.E., and Peine, J.D., 2010, The Future of Geospatial Data Management: A Natural Resource Perspective, GeoWorld, v.23, no. 7, p. 20-23.
Do you know where your data are or how they came to be? This question has been pondered by nearly everyone working in natural-resource management. Spatial data, in particular, are being collected at a significant rate, and an increasing number of sources are freely available. Geospatial tools and technology that were “cutting edge” 10 years ago now are expected as a component of most natural-resource studies. And an increased realization that spatial data are unique and valuable has shaped the types of data and information used in decision making.New types of geospatial data and information have led to exciting approaches to resource-management issues. These new geospatial data and information come with many considerations, such as spatial accuracy, projection and datum, field methods, and electronic formats. Although GIS and GPS technology greatly contribute to improved resource management and decision making, such tools don’t automatically lead to greater efficiency and effectiveness. When these tools are used without careful pre-planning, the ability to capitalize on their potential is lost or greatly diminished. Data deficiencies resulting from poor data documentation and overall data management shortcomings can greatly reduce the value and utility of spatial data, and impede the ability to address natural-resource management issues in the most effective manner. …
For full text of the article, click here.
- GeoData Policy: FGDC Briefing on Geospatial Platform and OMB Circular A-16 Supplemental Guidance (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)
by Molly Macauley and Ramanan Laxminarayan, Resources for the Future, Published August 2010
This report highlights the major conclusions and outcomes from a workshop held June 28–29, 2010 at Resources for the Future in Washington, DC, on methodological frontiers and new applications of valuing information and its social benefit. The participants provided answers to a series of questions: What is meant by “value of information”? When does information have value? What are state-of-the-practice methods to ascribe value to information? Participants also identified steps to ascribe, measure, and communicate value.
The workshop was distinctive in serving as the first multi-day, in-depth meeting to convene experts in the two disparate communities of social science and Earth science to identify and critique state-of-the-practice methods for ascribing value and societal benefit to information. The workshop outputs include specific recommendations and actions to enhance and further demonstrate the value of information from public investments, particularly those in Earth science applications.
A main finding is that investment in Earth observations confers many benefits but a lack of tools and resources has caused these benefits to be less well measured and communicated than warranted. The report includes suggestions attendees offered as next steps to enhance modeling, evaluation, and communication of the array of benefits.
Report PDF can be found at: http://www.rff.org/Publications/Pages/PublicationDetails.aspx?PublicationID=21266
Interestingly, one participant of the workshop remarked on “the difference between public and private sector perspectives. In the public sector (and academia), the primary questions seem to concern the overall value of information. To be useful in the private sector, such questions must be augmented by knowledge of how that value is allocated throughout the supplier-customer chain.”
For commentary by one of the workshop’s steering committee members, Bill Hooke, visit his blog posting Knowing What the Earth Will Do Next? Priceless.
**Also, check out the comment posted by Bill Gail, another workshop steering committee member, by clicking the comment link right under the title at the very top of the post.