France to make older Spot images available to researchers for free

The French government has agreed to open its Spot optical Earth observation data archive and distribute, free of charge to noncommercial users, Spot satellite data that is at least five years old.

The Jan. 23 announcement by the French space agency, CNES, followed a French government commitment made Jan. 17 during a meeting in Geneva of the 80 governments that comprise the Group on Earth Observations (GEO).

imagespot France to make older Spot images available to researchers for freeCNES said its decision was made in concert with Airbus Defence and Space, formerly named Astrium Services, which since 2008 has been the majority shareholder in the company that commercializes Spot data.

CNES said the move to open up access to Spot imagery, which dates from 1986, “is the first major contribution from the private sector to the construction of the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).”

CNES has already begun processing, at its own charge, a first tranche of 100,000 images that will be available later this year.

The French government decision follows a similar decision, made in 2013, by the European Commission to make freely available much of the data from the future Copernicus series of optical and radar Earth observation satellites. At the same time, the commission is taking steps to protect the still-fragile European private sector that makes a business of selling imagery commercially.

Source: Spacenews

WATER H@CKATHON: AppFest Registration Going on !!!!!!!!!!!

 

Water Hackathon App Fest Bangladesh 2014 by World Bank has started registration process ! Join in http://www.hackathonbd.com/participate/

In the Hackathon event there will be four kinds of registration process in the category of Problem Solvers, Tech-Mentors, Financiers, Problem statement Owners.

Problem Solvers
If you are an university student or tech professional doing job/business, you can team up with up to 5 multi-disciplinary members and register for the event to solve given problems. Outcome/solutions will be mobile apps for any platform.

Tech-Mentors
If you are expert in a particular sector in making apps, you can register yourself as mentor of the team. Your responsibility will be helping the participating problem solving team from your area of expertise. You also can choose to work with the tea after Hackathon to develop the Mobile apps further.

Financiers
It is good chance for investing or helping the problem solver teams to mentor/networking them to get access to finance (i.e. seed funding etc.) to develop their Mobile app prototype further. These are very innovative solutions. So, you can register your organisation or individually to find investment scopes.

Problem statement Owners
All those problems are coming from development sector in the thematic area of Water, Sanitation, Health and behavior changing education. We welcome GO/NGO/INGO/NFP/Donor/Private sector and any other organisations who have experience working in these thematic area and especially interest to implement/integrate these solutions to their own project to register in this category.

It is REGISTERED ONLY event. So register for the event the way you want to get involved with this COOL & Global standard event
arranged by World Bank.

You may find following links useful.

Hackathon Event
http://www.hackathonbd.com/hackathon-event/

Hackathon AppFest in a Glance
http://www.hackathonbd.com/water-hackathon-appfest-in-a-glance/

Mapping Air Pollution

Pulling real time data from the city government of Madrid, Into the Air is a project led by Nerea Calvillo (along with a team of architectural students, anthropologists, and designers) to map out air pollutants over the Spanish city.  The project was originally developed at Visualizar’08, an annual workshop/seminar that focused that year’s efforts on urban data visualization.

The 8mb Java applet tracks in real time five different air pollutants: Sulfur dioxide (SO2), Carbon monoxide (CO), Nitrogen oxide (NO), Particulate PM10, and Ozone (03).  Each of these contaminants was chosen based on its potential to cause serious health effects.  The applet has controls for zoom, tilt, menu options (to select the types of contaminants mapped and data stations), as well as a slider for selecting the time frame.  The autoplay function plays the mapped air pollutants back in time at one hour increments.

It’s fascinating to see the peaks and lows of air pollutants and how different contaminants peak in different areas of the city across the course of a day.

Into the Air: Air Pollution Mapping.

There is a prototype in the works for creating a physical version of the air mapping model that would the facade of buildings to display air pollutant levels:

The building would become a 24 hour active indicator of environmental conditions, blurring architecture with atmosphere, informing and mediating the bodies that come into contact with it.

Future plans include a physical air mapping prototype that would use the facades of buildings to indicated air pollution levels.

Future plans include a physical air mapping prototype that would use the facades of buildings to indicated air pollution levels.

The site indicates that the code for the applet will be released shortly and invites those interested to visit the Processing sketch that was created for the project.  Budapest and Santiago de Chile have also had code developed for mapping out air pollutants.

http://gislounge.com

 

Humanitarian OpenStreetMap

Aid workers are getting vital details about the trail of destruction left by Typhoon Haiyan, including damage to individual streets and buildings, from online maps developed with contributions from Red Cross staff and volunteers across the world.

A British Red Cross team is using the latest satellite photos and reports from a range of sources to help update maps that could save lives in the aftermath of the disaster.

The work, in partnership with the American Red Cross, is part of the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team project – an interactive map that can be viewed and edited by anyone with an internet connection.

The British Red Cross mapping team has 17 members and has been active since 2010, but in the wake of the disaster is focusing its efforts on a single task for the first time.

How the mapping process works

Using satellite images taken after the typhoon, the team is updating maps of the worst affected areas with information about damage to buildings. By looking at recent pictures to find out whether structures are partly or totally destroyed, they can give aid workers information about blocked roads or the scale of destruction in a particular neighbourhood.

Other details mapped include the number of people reported missing in different areas and the location of Red Cross aid workers. Sources include figures from the Red Cross and other organisations like the UN. The maps are ‘layered’ so users can choose to see the information that’s relevant to them.

Updates are made every hour of every day, so the maps are constantly evolving source of data. In a fast-changing situation like the aftermath of a typhoon, up-to-date information can make a huge difference to the work of those on the ground.

Andrew Braye, who leads the British Red Cross’ involvement in the project, said the organisation is using this kind of mapping more and more. It’s made possible by new technology and the growth of online collaboration tools such as OpenStreetMap and Google Docs. These let individuals and organisations work together to create new online tools that can be used by everyone.

But it takes smart planning to deliver good results. “The trick is doing what’s useful and not duplicating what other people are doing,” Andrew said.IFRC typhoon damage

Tacloban building damage map blogpic“It’s amazing to help”

The team has been using its mapping expertise to support the British Red Cross for three years – helping everyone from aid workers planning trips abroad to volunteers dealing with emergencies in the UK.

As well as Red Cross staff, its members include digital volunteers recruited through adverts on the internet and events linked to digital mapping. The team usually works on a wide range of projects – but for the first time has come together to focus on a single task.

Volunteer Johnny Henshall has recently completed a Masters in geographical information systems. He said: “It’s a chance for me to use the skills I’ve just got. This is what I want to be doing. It’s amazing to be able to help – there aren’t many opportunities to do this for a humanitarian organisation.”

Andrew says the team’s “revolving door” of volunteers brings in people with highly specialised skills who would normally cost a huge amount to employ. But many are willing to give their time for a few weeks or months between paid contracts.

Could you join the team?

If you have some spare time and know how to use PostgreSQL, PostGIS, GeoServer and OpenLayers, the team would like to hear from you. Email them for more information.

http://blogs.redcross.org.uk

Visualization of Earth’s Next 100 Years

Scientists use climate models to predict how Earth’s climate will change. Climate models are computer programs with mathematical equations. They are programmed to simulate past climate as accurately as possible. This gives scientists some confidence in a climate model’s ability to predict the future.

Climate models predict that Earth’s average temperature will keep rising over the next 100 years or so. There may be a year or years where Earth’s average temperature is steady or even falls. But the overall trend is expected to be up.

Earth’s average temperature is expected to rise even if the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere decreases. But the rise would be less than if greenhouse gas amounts remain the same or increase.

Take a look at this amazing visualization that explains how we’ve treated the Earth over the past 100 years and what the next 100 might hold.

Now you can create your own Street View

Have you ever tried to convey the feeling of walking through your favorite park? Or have you wanted to create a virtual tour of your business to attract customers? Well, starting today, it’s now possible for you to build your own Street View experiences to do just that. Using a new feature in our Views community, you can easily connect your photo spheres to create 360º virtual tours of the places you love, then share them with the world on Google Maps.

Creating Street View from your photo spheres is as easy as connecting the dots into what looks like a “constellation” of stars. You can even connect your photo spheres to our own Street View panoramas.

To get started, just create photo spheres using your Android phone or a DSLR and then share them on Views. Next, select the photo spheres from your profile and use our new tool to connect them together (as seen in the example above). Once your photo spheres are connected and published, people can navigate between them on Google Maps, just like they can in Street View. Please visit the help center to learn more about connecting photo spheres.

Above this Street View experience from photo spheres have been created with both  Android phone (Nexus 4) and  DSLR camera. Now everyone can virtually explore this beautiful location visited on user’s last vacation.

Google are excited to see the different types of Street View experiences that everyone will contribute. For example, this feature can now enable environmental non-profits to document and promote the beautiful places they strive to protect. It also opens up a new tool for photographers to showcase diversity in a specific location — by times of day, weather conditions or cultural events — in a way that Street View currently doesn’t cover.

And, just like with Street View, you can embed Google’s interactive viewer on your own website or build applications with it using the Google Maps API. You can learn more about solutions for developers.

It is being hoped that this new feature will enable people to share and witness the beauty and breadth of our planet through Google Maps. Whether you’re photographing exotic islands or your favorite neighborhood hangout, mountain peaks or city streets, historic castles or your own business, we’re thrilled to see the places you love coming to life on Google Maps.

Source:

Detecting Forest Cover Change by High Resolution Space Imageries

Dr. Matthew Hansen at the University of Maryland, we’ve built the first detailed maps of the world’s forests, from 2000-2012, documenting and quantifying forest landscape changes such as fires, tornadoes, disease and logging.

The most significant findings were that the overall rate of tropical deforestation is increasing, and global forests have experienced a net loss of 1.5M sq km during 2000-2012 due to both natural (disturbance) and human causes. That’s a loss of forested land comparable in size to the entire state of Alaska.

A little more than 300,000 square miles of forest was established or replanted worldwide between 2000 and 2012. Unfortunately, almost 900,000 square miles was destroyed during the same time period — logged, ravaged by fire, or attacked by insects.

Those are the main conclusions of a study that examined hundreds of thousands of images snapped by the U.S. government’s Landsat satellites. Academic researchers partnered with Google staff to produce stunning maps displaying the world’s forests and areas that have been deforested or reforested since 2000. Those maps were used to produce the following short videos:

About a third of the deforestation occurred in the tropics, and half of that was in South America. Logging and clearing of land for farming were responsible for much of the loss. Hearteningly, the researchers found that deforestation has been slowing down in Brazil, where worldwide concerns about the loss of the Amazon have helped spur domestic efforts to save the rainforest. But that slowdown was offset by increasing losses in other countries.

 

“Although Brazilian gross forest loss is the second highest globally, other countries, including Malaysia, Cambodia, Cote d’Ivoire, Tanzania, Argentina, and Paraguay, experienced a greater percentage of loss of forest cover,” the scientists wrote in the paper, published Thursday in Science. “Given consensus on the value of natural forests to the Earth system, Brazil’s policy intervention is an example of how awareness of forest valuation can reverse decades of previous wide-spread deforestation.”

The tropics lost more forest cover during the study period than any other region. The second-worst hit were the boreal forests of spruce, fir, and larch in and around the Arctic, with fire the leading cause. Previous research has shown that these forests are burning at a rate not seen in at least 10,000 years, with climate change increasing temperatures and drying out the landscape.

That wasn’t the only worrisome climate-related finding in the new paper. The mountains of the American West are losing forests due not only to logging, but also because of fire and disease — with mountain pine bark beetles marching up mountains as temperatures warm, feasting on banquets of ill-prepared pines.

The loss of forests is making it even more difficult for the Earth to suck back up all the carbon dioxide that we’re pumping into its atmosphere.

Source:

10 ArcMap Productivity Tips You Can Use Now

Here are some tips you can try out in ArcMap right away. The 10 shortcuts below can shave milliseconds off common tasks, and hey, milliseconds count when you’re trying to get stuff done. You just may be able to get to lunch five minutes earlier and beat the crowd.

Working with Maps

  1. To activate a data frame, hold down the Alt key and click the data frame name.
  2. To create a copy of a layer within the same data frame, hold down the Ctrl key and drag the layer up or down. If multiple layers are selected, you can copy all of them at the same time by Ctrl-dragging. (When dragging a layer into a different data frame, the layer is copied by default. If you want to move a layer to a different data frame, hold down Ctrl while you drag it to the new data frame.)
  3. Hold down the Alt key and click a layer name to zoom to the extent of that layer.
  4. Select (click) a layer and press Enter to open its layer properties dialog box. Map and table open in ArcMap 10
  5. Hold down the C key while any tool is active to pan the map. Hold down X to zoom out, and Z to zoom in. This shortcut is especially useful when you need to select features that are geographically disbursed.


Working with Tables

  1. To quickly open a table, hold down the Ctrl key and double-click a layer or table in the Table of Contents; alternatively, select the layer or table and press Ctrl+T.
  2. Outside of an edit session, press the spacebar to select or unselect a row.
  3. Press Ctrl+U to switch (reverse) a selection.
  4. Double-click a field name to sort the field in ascending order. Double-click the field name again to sort in descending order.
  5. Click a field name and press Ctrl+H to turn off (hide) the field. (To display the field again, go to the layer properties dialog box > Fields tab, check the field name, and click OK.)

You can find these tips and many others in the ArcGIS for Desktop Help.

GIS Day, 2013 – Discovering the World Through GIS

GIS Day is a global event that celebrates the real-world benefits of geographic information systems (GIS) – the use and analysis of mapping technology for decision-making and data visualisation. Individuals, businesses, governments, charities…everyone can benefit from GIS. GIS Day provides an international forum for users of geographic information systems (GIS) technology to demonstrate real-world applications that are making a difference in our society. Organizations all over the world that use GIS, or are interested in GIS, participate by holding or sponsoring an event of their own. In 2005 more than 700 GIS Day events were held in 74 countries around the globe.  The first formal GIS Day took place in 1999. Esri president and co-founder Jack Dangermond credits Ralph Nader with being the person who inspired the creation of GIS Day. He considered GIS Day a good initiative for people to learn about geography and the uses of GIS. He wanted GIS Day to be a grassroots effort and open to everyone to participate.

GIS Day is held the third Wednesday of November each year, during Geography Awareness Week, a geographic literacy initiative sponsored by the National Geographic Society.

GIS Day is One Fun Day to

  • Celebrate GIS with everyone
  • Discover and explore the benefits of GIS
  • Showcase the uses of GIS
  • Build and nurture your GIS community

Future Dates

  • 2013 – Wednesday, November 20, 2013
  • 2014 – Wednesday, November 19, 2014
  • 2015 – Wednesday, November 18, 2015
  • 2016 – Wednesday, November 16, 2016
  • 2017 – Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Find the GIS Day Events Around the Globe

GISday Map – an Instagram Experiment