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geospatial matters

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Sunday
May112014

Breakthroughs article on SNAMP: Taming the flames

Despite some not-very-flattering-but-taken-with-really-rad-tintype-photography pictures of us all, this is an interesting article that focuses on our public participation in the SNAMP project.

Check it out! http://cnr.berkeley.edu/breakthroughs/sp14/taming-sierra-flames

Friday
Apr252014

1966 Lunar Orbiter 1 Images of Earth Recovered

comparison of the original Earthrise image as seen by the public in 1966 and the restored image released in 2008Interesting article from Wired on the recovery of forgotten images from the 1966 Lunar Orbiter 1 mission. The images were taken from a probe orbiting the moon and contain images of the surface of the moon and distant Earth including the first high resolution photographs ever taken from behind the lunar horizon of an Earthrise. The images were recovered from analog data tapes at NASA Ames and have not been seen publicly since the original data from the mission was received in the late 1960s and never at such high resolution. The historical images of Earth are now being used to fill in gaps about Earth's climate in the 1960s. For the full story click here.

Wednesday
Apr162014

Cropland Data Layer (CDL) and National Land Cover Dataset (NLCD): new versions released this year

Both the NASS Cropland Data Layer (CDL) and the National Land Cover Dataset (NLCD) released new versions in early 2014. Links for download are here:

Tuesday
Apr082014

NLCD released and webinar April 15 2014

These three panels of cyclical data (2001, 2006, 2011) from the National Land Cover Database depict intervals of land cover change in the vicinity of Spring Valley, a suburb of Las Vegas, NV.[Source: USGS] Just released, the latest edition of the nation’s most comprehensive look at land-surface conditions from coast to coast shows the extent of land cover types from forests to urban areas. The National Land Cover Database (NLCD 2011) is made available to the public by the U.S. Geological Survey and partners.

Dividing the lower 48 states into 9 billion geographic cells, the massive database provides consistent information about land conditions at regional to nationwide scales. Collected in repeated five-year cycles, NLCD data is used by resource managers and decision-makers to conduct ecosystem studies, determine spatial patterns of biodiversity, trace indications of climate change, and develop best practices in land management.

Based on Landsat satellite imagery taken in 2011, NLCD 2011 describes the land cover of each 30-meter cell of land in the conterminous United States and identifies which ones have changed since the year 2006. Nearly six such cells — each 98 feet long and wide — would fit on a football field. Land cover is broadly defined as the biophysical pattern of natural vegetation, agriculture, and urban areas. It is shaped by both natural processes and human influences. NLCD 2011 updates the previous database version, NLCD 2006.

Webinar about the release will be Tuesday, April 15, 2014, 2:00 PM Eastern Time: "New Version of the National Land Cover Database - April 4, 2014 Release”

The latest version of the National Land Cover Database (NLCD) for the conterminous United States will be publicly released on April 4, 2014.  NLCD 2011 is the most up-to-date and extensive iteration of the National Land Cover Database, the definitive Landsat-based, 30-meter resolution land cover database for the Nation.  NLCD 2011 products are completely integrated with those of previous versions (2001, 2006), providing a 10-year record of change for the Nation.  Products include 16 classes of land cover, the percent of imperviousness in urban areas, and the percent of tree canopy cover. NLCD is constructed by the 10-member federal interagency Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics (MRLC) Consortium.   This seminar will highlight the new features of NLCD 2011 and the related applicationsCollin Homer, 605-594-2714, homer@usgs.gov)
For more information and to download NLCD data, visit http://www.mrlc.gov/.
Please click the following link to join the webinar:
 https://usgs.webex.com/usgs/j.php?ED=279876177&UID=490357047&RT=MiM3

At start time of the webinar, each location must call one of the dial-in numbers:
From the National Center in Reston, dial internally x4848
From all other USGS/DOI locations, dial 703-648-4848
From non DOI locations, dial toll free 855-547-8255
After the voice prompt, please enter the Conference Security Code 73848024 followed by the # key. You will hear a tone confirming that you have successfully joined the conference call. If you weren't successful, you will hear another voice prompt with instructions.

Saturday
Apr052014

Sierra Nevada Decision Support System

Former student and GIS expert Chippie Kislik alerted me to this video. She is working with others at NASA Ames on a Sierra Nevada DSS Ecological Forecasting Project. A video about the project is here.

The Sierra Nevada contains vital ecosystems that are experiencing changes in hydrologic regimes, such as decreases in snowmelt and peak runoff, which affect forest health and water resources. Currently, the U.S. Forest Service Region 5 office is undergoing Forest Plan revisions to integrate climate-change impacts into mitigation and adaptation strategies. However, there are few tools in place to conduct quantitative assessments of forest and surface conditions in relation to mountain hydrology, while easily and effectively delivering that information to forest managers. To assist the Forest Service, this research team created a Decision Support System (DSS) featuring data integration, data viewing, reporting, and forecasting of ecological conditions within all Sierra Nevada intersecting watersheds.

Thursday
Apr032014

GIF at the White House!

Check out Kevin's report on our visit to the White House.

http://gif-news.blogspot.com/2014/04/gif-at-white-house-climate-data.html

Wednesday
Mar192014

White House Launches new Climate Data Initiative...

We are in the lovely "Indian Treaty" room.And we were there! Kevin and I went to the White House (here is photographic proof) to represent Cal-Adapt.

The President’s Climate Data Initiative was launched March 19th with the tagline: Empowering America’s Communities to Prepare for the Effects of Climate Change. The initiative is a complex partnership of government, industry, academia and local public to get the US ready for climate change. The overall goal of the climate data initiative is "Spark Innovation": release data, articulate challenges, turn data scientists loose. Here is the fact sheet and a blog post from John Podesta and John Holdren.

We saw some very interesting short talks from a range of speakers. Here are some highlights:

Jack Dangermond highlighted the many initiatives that ESRI is pushing to help with climate resilience. Kathyrn Sullivan from NOAA discussed her concept of "Environmental Intelligence", which describes the use of data to create resilience. She says: "NOAA capture 20TB daily, they release 2TB daily. Upon that data stream are built all the climate businesses we have today. What would this industry be like if we release the other 18TB?" Ellen Stofan from NASA talked about new earth observation missions, including satellites for precipitation, soil moisture, CO2, winds, aerosols. She announced another of a series of data driven challenges called "coastal inundation in your community". Rachel Kyte from the World Bank called their multiple initiatives "Open Data for Resilience". She said that climate change may eradicate the mission of the World Bank, because of its disproportionate impact on poorer communities worldwide. Rebecca More from Google gave us a fantastic overview of the Landsat, climate and topography missions that Google Earth Engine is working on. Google is contributing 1PT cloud storage, and 50 million CPU hours of collaboration.

Videos:

All was very inspiring and informative.

Here are some press links about the Initiative:

Wednesday
Mar122014

Important proposed legislation limiting UAVs: consider reading this and commenting

AB1327 is a bill that could potentially impact the work that we do in regards to remote sensing and aerial imagery collection, etc… in the near future. See the link below for more detail. The office of the California CIO, Scott Gregory, is in the process of providing the Legislature a summary analysis of the bill. In our analysis we want to highlight civilian use (non-public safety governmental) cases for UAV technology as a rebuttal to some of the limiting language in the bill.

The bill would generally prohibit public agencies from using unmanned aircraft systems, or contracting for the use of unmanned aircraft systems, as defined, with certain exceptions applicable to law enforcement agencies and in certain other cases. The bill would require reasonable public notice to be provided by public agencies intending to deploy unmanned aircraft systems, as specified. The bill would require images, footage, or data obtained through the use of an unmanned aircraft system under these provisions to be permanently destroyed within 6 months, except as specified.

http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140AB1327
 
If this bill will affect your organization’s future data collection needs, please provide them a brief summary to be incorporated into the analysis.

Here is what I have sent to Scott Gregory:

Maggi Kelly

Department of Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management

UC Berkeley

The use of civilian accessed UAV technology is commonly used for research purposes to aquire imagery at critical times over inaccessible field sites such as wetlands and forests, or over agricultural fields throught the growing season. This remote data acquisition using UAVs has several advantages: 1) it limits damage of the site, 2) it allows for mutliple returns in a cost-effective way, and 3) it allows for important very high resolution imagery to be collected. Here is a paper where we perfected techniques to find weeds in an agricultural field using UAV imagery. http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0077151

Basically, they are looking for the organization name, use case and description of that use case. Please circulate to the user community within your respective organizations to solicit feedback. Please email or call if you have any questions. He would like to have these complied by 10am Friday (3/14/14).

Email: Scott Gregory Scott.Gregory@state.ca.gov

Thanks for your help.

Tuesday
Mar112014

DigitalGlobe Crowdsourcing effort to find missing Malaysian Airlines plane


Digital Globe is enlisitng a crowdsourcing effort to scan through thousands of satellite images and tag potential sitings of the Malaysian Aircraft that went missing this weekend.

The crowdsourcing platform Tomnod, was launched on Monday afternoon and recieved 60,000 page views in the first hour depolying arguably one of the most responsive and comprehensive search missions aided by crowdsourcing and satellite imagery. 

Read more about this here and here and join the effort here

Tuesday
Mar112014

Google Earth Demo at UCB

Thanks to Dave Thau, Karin Tuxen-Bettman, John Bailey, and Emily Henderson who came to visit the GIF and give a demo of the GEE toolbox. We went over the guts of GEE, Timelapse (very cool: make your own! Here is mine), the GEE GUI framework, and the GEE API. Very fun afternoon!