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Welcome to the Kellylab blog

geospatial matters

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Check out the ZevRoss blog: Know Your Data

Technical Tidbits From Spatial Analysis & Data Science. This nice blog highlights many technical aspects of web mapping: Leaflet, D3, R... lots of neat examples.


Mapping Ebola Over Time

HealthMap is an automated electronic information system that monitors data from electronic media sources (e.g. social media, government websites, physician social networks) in order to visualize and foster an understanding of infectious disease outbreaks around the world.  The system is credited with recognizing the current Ebola epidemic in West Africa nine days before the World Health Organization was able to do so (see:  Here you can access their visualization of the spread of Ebola across West Africa, and later into Europe and the United States:


ASPRS scholarship application deadline Oct 31


New for 2015, the DigitalGlobe Foundation Award for the Application of High-Resolution Digital Satellite Imagery will make available one new collection of imagery in addition to the archive imagery previously available.  Applicants may apply for one new collection from any of DigitalGlobe’s five satellites (IKONOS, QuickBird, GeoEye-1, WorldView-1, and WorldView-2), not exceeding 500 square kilometres. Grant of a new collection may not compete with areas experiencing high demand for satellite resources or with DigitalGlobe Regional Affiliates (Contact the DigitalGlobe Foundation for details). This is limited to one new collection that will be granted within one calendar year, conditioned upon satellite availability and a strong application.
The SAIC/Estes Memorial Teaching Award will now be supported by Leidos whose mission ‘…is built on a commitment to do the right thing for our customers, our people, and our community.”  The Award will be known as the Leidos/Estes Memorial Teaching Award.


Upcoming local conferences of interest


Wednesday, October 22, 9:00 AM – 5:30 PM. Banatao Auditorium, 310 Sutardja Dai Hall, UC Berkeley

Tickets available online:

When man-made images constitute the evidence of our environment and even our existence, how is our perception of the world manipulated and shaped?  The IMAGE as LOCATION conference brings together artists, technologists, and theorists to discuss how images define our understanding of our environment by allowing us to access the inaccessible. Beginning at the microscopic scale and moving through our human dimensions into planetary orbits, we will discover what it means to wrap our world in visual artifacts both from a cultural and public policy perspective.

Stanford’s Geospatial Computational Social Science Conference

Monday, October 20, 2014, 8:30 - 5:15, Mackenzie Room (#300), Huang Engineering Center, 475 Via Ortega, Stanford, CA 94305

Speakers join us from Airbnb, Facebook, Google, and more. 


NASA images reveal shocking scale of Aral Sea disaster

A series of satellite images from NASA’s Terra satellite, which began capturing the images in 2000, has revealed the shocking decline of water levels in the Aral Sea. 

Terra satellite image, Aug. 15, 2001. (NASA)Terra satellite image, Aug. 19, 2004. (NASA)

For fuller report on this issue, check out the NPR story.



Students! Apply for the NASA DEVELOP 

All students (grad, undergrad, recent graduates) interested in geospatial technology: the application for the NASA DEVELOP Program in Spring 2015 term opens this Monday, September 29th, and runs through November 7th. 

The NASA DEVELOP National Program fosters an interdisciplinary research environment where applied science research projects are conducted under the guidance of NASA and partner science advisors. DEVELOP is unique in that young professionals lead research projects that focus on utilizing NASA Earth observations to address community concerns and public policy issues. With the competitive nature and growing societal role of science and technology in today’s global workplace, DEVELOP is fostering an adept corps of tomorrow’s scientists and leaders.

This is a great program, and several CNR students have been involved, and have great things to report.

Students can apply here:


High resolution free DEM data released for Africa

SRTM 3 Arc-Second (approx. 90m) SRTM 1 Arc-Second (approx. 30m) Landsat 7 December 17, 2000

Just in time for class on topography and rasters tomorrow: new high res shuttle DEM data is being released for Africa. The image above shows the Niger River Delta in 90m res, 30m res, and landsat.

From the press release: In Africa, accurate elevation (topographic) data are vital for pursuing a variety of climate-related studies that include modeling predicted wildlife habitat change; promoting public health in the form of warning systems for geography and climate-related diseases (e.g. malaria, dengue fever, Rift Valley fever); and monitoring sea level rise in critical deltas and population centers, to name just a few of many possible applications of elevation data.

On September 23, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS, a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Interior) released a collection of higher-resolution (more detailed) elevation datasets for Africa. The datasets were released following the President’s commitment at the United Nations to provide assistance for global efforts to combat climate change. The broad availability of more detailed elevation data across most of the African continent through the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) will improve baseline information that is crucial to investigating the impacts of climate change on African communities.

Enhanced elevation datasets covering remaining continents and regions will be made available within one year, with the next release of data focusing on Latin America and the Caribbean region. Until now, elevation data for the continent of Africa were freely available to the public only at 90-meter resolution. The datasets being released today and during the course of the next year resolve to 30-meters and will be used worldwide to improve environmental monitoring, climate change research, and local decision support. These SRTM-derived data, which have been extensively reviewed by relevant government agencies and deemed suitable for public release, are being made available via a user-friendly interface on USGS’s Earth Explorer website.

Nice slider comparing the 90m to the 30m data here.


Raining on the King Fire

wunderground mapWundermap has a nice interface where you can add fires to your animated weather radar map. I caught this snap as our rare September storm (an atmospheric river apparently) moved over the King fire this afternoon. It radically changed the flow of the smoke plume, which shifted from northeastly to northerly. According to Scott, who talked to Rob, it was dumping up at Blodgett. So we will see what this means for the fire tomorrow.


How Scotland voted

Reds are Yes, blues are NoHere is a map of voting results from yesterday's historic independence vote in Scotland. Overall the Nos carried the day - 55% - 45%. Interestingly, Motherwell and Hamilton, two towns in my family's life, were split. Motherwell voted Och Aye and Hamilton voted the Noo.



King fire update

Blodgett looks like it is going to be OK, but the King fire is burning through the SNAMP Eldorado study area. This is where the SNAMP owl reasearchers are doing their work. We are getting a response from them to post on the SNAMP website.

Center for Forestry map of the King Fire

Inciweb (why don't they publish the fire boundary file any more????)

Carlin Starrs gets her perimeters from

Geomac -

and the NIFC FTP server at!2014_FEDERAL_Incidents/CA-ENF-023461_King/IR/

We will keep our eyes on it.

And Happy 100th Anniversary Berkeley Forestry!

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