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geospatial matters

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Tuesday
Nov052013

Helsinki wants feedback on its new urban plans

From Greg Brown.

Helsinki, Finland is developing a new city plan for the future (http://www.hel.fi/wps/portal/Kaupunkisuunnitteluvirasto_en). Helsinki becomes possibly the first major world city to use PPGIS to inform its comprehensive city planning process.   The PPGIS website was developed by Mapita (http://mapita.eu/), a software company founded by Prof. Marketta Kytta and others at Aalto University.  The website launched several days ago and has already had over 5500 participants map places and preferences for the future of Helsinki.
 
You can visit the website here:  https://helsinki.asiatkartalle.fi (There is an option to try out the website without having your map markers or survey responses included in the results…see option below the “Begin” button that says ”Try without saving answers”).

Tuesday
Nov052013

Some cool images showing the power of lidar and cartography

From Martin Isenburg, the brain behind LAStools.

Using LAStools, ArcGIS, and Photoshop, GRAFCAN has produced a LiDAR-derived digital suface model (DSM) that is seriously doped up: a synthetic map providing an intuitive understanding of the landscape. The product combines standard hillshading with a height and feature based color-coding that enables the viewer to "see" where trees are tall and to grasp height differences between buildings. The new product is available at a resolution of 2.5 meters/pixel via the GRAFCAN Web viewer and also as a WMS service. More info and pics here: http://rapidlasso.com/2013/11/03/grafcan-launches-dsm-on-steroids/.

Comparison between bare earth DTM and DSM with cartography.

 

Check out the greenhouses, which ppear as “low planar vegetatation”. They are made out of coarse maze fabric (instead of glass) that lets the laser through and does not deflect it (like glass would).

Monday
Nov042013

How does the USFS map vegetation post fires? 

The discussion of how the USFS deals with fires on public forests came up strongly in our recent SNAMP Public Meeting. Our Last Change field site burned in October, and we are very interested in understanding the behavior and impact of the American fire. Part of the discussion stemmed from this presentation on preliminary estimates for fire intensity, ascertained partly from analysis of WorldView imagery delivered at our SNAMP meeting. For more on the SNAMP presentation, check out our website.

The website (linked below) offers an initial description of post-fire vegetative conditions using the Rapid Assessment of Vegetation Condition after Wildfire (RAVG) process. RAVG analysis looks at fires that burn more than 1,000 acres of forested National Forest System (NFS) lands, beginning with fires that occurred in 2007. These fires result in direct losses of vegetative cover and many of the benefits associated with forested ecosystems.

NFS lands experience thousands of wildfires every year, most of which are relatively small. The largest fires typically account for 90% of the total acreage burned. RAVG analysis provides a first approximation of areas that due to severity of the fire may require reforestation treatments. These reforestation treatments would re-establish forest cover and restore associated ecosystem services. This initial approximation could be followed by a site-specific diagnosis and development of a silvicultural prescription identifying reforestation needs.

Some resources:

 

Wednesday
Oct232013

FUEGO — A concept for a fire detection satellite

A nice press release about our new paper on the concepts behind a fire detection satellite with perhaps the coolest acronym yet: FUEGO — Fire Urgency Estimator in Geosynchronous Orbit. From Bob Sanders.

Artist's conception of the FUEGO satellite

Current and planned wildfire detection systems are impressive but lack both sensitivity and rapid response times. A small telescope with modern detectors and significant computing capacity in geosynchronous orbit can detect small (12 m2) fires on the surface of the earth, cover most of the western United States (under conditions of moderately clear skies) every few minutes or so, and attain very good signal-to-noise ratio against Poisson fluctuations in a second. Hence, these favorable statistical significances have initiated a study of how such a satellite could operate and reject the large number of expected systematic false alarms from a number of sources. We suggest a number of algorithms that can help reduce false alarms, and show efficacy on a few. Early detection and response would be of true value in the United States and other nations, as wildland fires continue to severely stress resource managers, policy makers, and the public, particularly in the western US. Here, we propose the framework for a geosynchronous satellite with modern imaging detectors, software, and algorithms able to detect heat from early and small fires, and yield minute-scale detection times. Open Access Journal Link. Press Release. KPIX spot.

Tuesday
Oct222013

Post American fire imagery

Check out these images from after the American fire, from the WorldView 2 satelllite from our northern SNAMP site. The blue boundary is our SNAMP site.  This background imagery is a pan-sharpened WV2 image (0.5 meters, channels 7, 5, 3). The red color depicts alive vegetation (at least for the time being) and green-blue is post-fire NPV (non-photosynthetic veg).  Thanks to Carlos Ramirez for the images.

 The post-fire imagery shows the heterogeneity of this fire - some spots burned all the vegetation, some spots have standing trees remaining.

Tuesday
Oct082013

California Geoportal Offers One-Stop Shop for Statewide GIS Data

The California Geoportal, officially launched in March 2013 (see here for related launch press release), augments and in some ways replaces the original Cal-Atlas statewide GIS data download webpage with a more simplified, smooth, and more intuitive website for all GIS related data in the state. You can now search or browse for GIS data by geography and any corresponding metadata using traditional search queries as well as by using a standalone webGIS interface. The portal also provides direct download links to some Oregon and Nevada state GIS datasets. The site acts as a GIS data repository for publicly available GIS data and related documents and maps from state agencies and local and regional governments. Rather than hosting the physical data, the site instead acts as a library of direct download links to datasets that connect directly to the author’s databases. The site also links you to other state GIS applications such as the California Coastal Geoportal and webGIS viewers from various state agencies.

Screenshot of the CA Geoportal

Screenshot of the CA Geoportal Map ViewerSee below for an informative video on how and why the portal was created and for highlights of features:

Tuesday
Oct082013

New 2012-2013 SOD Confirmations Added to OakMapper!

New 2013 SOD Blitz and 2012-13 UC Davis DataNew confirmed cases of Sudden Oak Death (SOD) (P. ramorum) have been added to OakMapper, a project that tracks the spread of Sudden Oak Death from data collected by citizens and organizations. All official SOD cases are collected and confirmed by the California Department of Food and Agriculture or the University of California. Community SOD cases are submitted by citizens via the OakMapper website and iPhone application. 442 new points collected between 2012-2013 have been added to OakMapper bringing the total number of confirmed SOD locations to 3246. The new data consists of laboratory confirmed cases collected by the annual SOD Blitz campaign of 2013 from the Forest Pathology and Mycology Lab run by Dr. Matteo Garbelotto and also laboratory confirmed cases collected by the UC Davis Rizzo Lab run by Dr. David Rizzo.

Click on the image left to view a close-up of the new confirmed SOD data (in green) from SOD Blitz and UC Davis. 

Explore the new data online here.

OakMapper.org

 

Monday
Oct072013

New VTM photo reshot from Joyce - check it!

The latest from Joyce. This photo is "looking southwest from point on highway between Drytown and Amador. Cattle ranch headquarters surrounded by grassland without a brush problem. Amador Co." Taken by Albert Everett Wieslander himself, who incidentally graduated from CNR in 1914!

photo 1940photo 2013

Monday
Oct072013

Google earth video of Humboldt County pot farms

Really interesting video of 600 pot farms in Humboldt Co. as readily shown via Google Earth. I am re-posting this in light of Alice's excellent talk today.

Friday
Sep132013

Photos from the American Fire

These are courtesy of Christopher Dow, crew leader for our SNAMP field work. They were in the Last Chance area gathering post-treatment data when the American Fire started. They were able to collect all the field data we needed for SNAMP before leaving. Which is great news for SNAMP. The fire burned through our northern control and treatment firesheds. Check out the SNAMP project here.

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