Archive for the 'Geospatial Data' Category

Geospatial Analysis – A comprehensive guide – A free web-based GIS resource

geospatial-analysis

A free web-based GIS resource – Dr Michael de Smith and Prof Paul Longley, University College London, and Prof Mike Goodchild, UC Santa Barbara

Geospatial Analysis book online – web version

Geospatial Analysis book online – PDF version  

The full text of “Geospatial Analysis – A comprehensive guide” is provided on this website. It covers the full spectrum of analytical techniques that are provided within modern Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and related software products.Click here for a PDF extract (first 60 pages, links not enabled).Topics covered in detail include:

  • Geospatial analysis concepts
  • Analytical methodologies and model building
  • Core components of geospatial analysis, including distance and directional analysis, geometrical processing, map algebra, and grid models
  • Exploratory Spatial and Spatio-temporal Data Analysis (ESDA, ESTDA) and spatial statistics, including spatial autocorrelation and spatial regression
  • Surface analysis, including surface form and flow analysis, gridding and interpolation methods, and visibility analysis
  • Network and locational analysis, including shortest path calculation, travelling salesman problems, facility location and arc routing
  • Geocomputational methods, including agent-based modelling, artifical neural networks and evolutionary computing

“Written in an engaging and accessible manner, this book does a marvelous job of balancing its coverage on principles, techniques, and software tools for spatial analysis. … It is truly a tour de force of geospatial analysis and is likely to become a classic …I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning about the latest developments in geospatial analysis and modeling.” Prof D Z Sui, Review in: Annals, Association of American Geographers, April 2009.

 

Source: http://www.spatialanalysisonline.com

TIMELAPSE Project: “Time and Space”

TimeLapse

Spacecraft and telescopes are not built by people interested in what’s going on at home. Rockets fly in one direction: up. Telescopes point in one direction: out. Of all the cosmic bodies studied in the long history of astronomy and space travel, the one that got the least attention was the one that ought to matter most to us Earth.

That changed when NASA created the Landsat program, a series of satellites that would perpetually orbit our planet, looking not out but down. Surveillance spacecraft had done that before, of course, but they paid attention only to military or tactical sites. Landsat was a notable exception, built not for spycraft but for public monitoring of how the human species was altering the surface of the planet. Two generations, eight satellites and millions of pictures later, the space agency, along with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), has accumulated a stunning catalog of images that, when riffled through and stitched together, create a high-definition slide show of our rapidly changing Earth. TIME is proud to host the public unveiling of these images from orbit, which for the first time date all the way back to 1984.

Over here is Dubai, growing from sparse desert metropolis to modern, sprawling megalopolis. Over there are the central-pivot irrigation systems turning the sands of Saudi Arabia into an agricultural breadbasket — a surreal green-on-brown polka-dot pattern in the desert. Elsewhere is the bad news: the high-speed retreat of Mendenhall Glacier in Alaska; the West Virginia Mountains decapitated by the mining industry; the denuded forests of the Amazon, cut to stubble by loggers.

It took the folks at Google to upgrade these choppy visual sequences from crude flip-book quality to true video footage. With the help of massive amounts of computer muscle, they have scrubbed away cloud cover, filled in missing pixels, digitally stitched puzzle-piece pictures together, until the growing, thriving, sometimes dying planet is revealed in all its dynamic churn. The images are striking not just because of their vast sweep of geography and time but also because of their staggering detail. Consider: a standard TV image uses about one-third of a million pixels per frame, while a high-definition image uses 2 million. The Landsat images, by contrast, weigh in at 1.8 trillion pixels per frame, the equivalent of 900,000 high-def TVs assembled into a single mosaic.

These Timelapse pictures tell the pretty and not-so-pretty story of a finite planet and how its residents are treating it — razing even as we build, destroying even as we preserve. It takes a certain amount of courage to look at the videos, but once you start, it’s impossible to look away.

Source: http://world.time.com/timelapse

 

Sentinel-1 aids Balkans flood relief

Flood_map_node_full_image_2

Although not yet operational, the new Sentinel-1A satellite has provided radar data for mapping the floods in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Heavy rainfall leading to widespread flooding and landslides has hit large parts of the Balkans, killing dozens of people and leaving hundreds of thousands displaced.

Jan Kucera of the Europan Commission’s Joint Research Centre is supervising the technical aspect of the Copernicus Emergency Management Service (EMS). While mapping the flooding in northeastern Bosnia and Herzegovina, ESA delivered a radar scan from Sentinel-1A: “I had a first look and discovered that we were missing an important flooded area visible in the middle of the image.”

Although the radar on Sentinel-1A is still being calibrated, the new information could be integrated into the Copernicus EMS flood maps of the Sava river in the Balatun area in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

“In emergency situations like these, it is important that we optimise all the available data to produce better maps for disaster relief efforts.”

The radar on Sentinel-1 is able to ‘see’ through clouds, rain and in darkness, making it particularly useful for monitoring floods. Images acquired before and after a flood offer immediate information on the extent of inundation and support assessments of property and environmental damage.

Sentinel-1A was launched on 3 April, and is the first in a fleet of Sentinel satellites developed for Europe’s Copernicus environment monitoring programme.

Sentinel-1A_scan_node_full_image_2

Sentinel-1A scan

Although the satellite is still being commissioned, this Balkan coverage is an early example of the kind of operational data the mission will provide for emergency response.

Once operational, Sentinel-1 will revolutionise the use of satellites in risk assessment management and emergency response with its provision of large amounts of radar data in a systematic fashion.

The new scans are also being used by the International Charter Space and Major Disasters, which was activated by the Russian risk management authorities involved in flood response in Serbia.

The Charter is an international collaboration between the owners and operators of Earth observation missions to provide rapid access to satellite data to help disaster management authorities.

 

Source: http://www.esa.int/Our_Activities/Observing_the_Earth/Copernicus/Sentinel-1/Sentinel-1_aids_Balkan_flood_relief

Big Processing of Geospatial Data

Geospatial Data has always been Big Data. Now Big Data Analytics for geospatial data is available to allow users to analyze massive volumes of geospatial data. Petabyte archives for remotely sensed geodata were being planned in the 1980s, and growth has met expectations. Add to this the ever increasing volume and reliability of real time sensor observations, the need for high performance, big data analytics for modeling and simulation of geospatially enabled content is greater than ever. In the past, limited access to the processing power that makes high volume or high velocity collection of geospatial data useful for many applications has been a bottleneck.  Workstations capable of fast geometric processing of vector geodata brought a revolution in GIS. Now big processing through cloud computing and analytics can make greater sense of data and deliver the promised value of imagery and all other types of geospatial information.

Cloud initiatives have accelerated lightweight client access to powerful processing services hosted at remote locations.   The recent ESA/ESRIN “Big Data from Space” event addressed challenges posed by policies for dissemination, data search, sharing, transfer, mining, analysis, fusion and visualization. A wide range of topics, scenarios and technical resources were discussed. In addition to the projects discussed at that event, several other big data initiatives have been launched to increase capabilities to processing geospatial data: the European Commission’s Big Data Public Private Forum, the US National Science Foundation’s Big Data Science & Engineering, and the US Office of Science and Technology Policy’s (OSTP) Big Earth Data Initiative (BEDI).

Read more at http://www.opengeospatial.org/blog/1866

 

Source: http://www.opengeospatial.org/blog/1866

 

The State of Rain

Rift-Valley-fig-1

The U.S. Geological Survey has released a satellite-based rainfall monitoring dataset specifically designed to support the early detection of drought around the world. The State of Rain: http://www.usgs.gov/blogs/features/usgs_top_story/the-state-of-rain/?from=title

Developed as a partnership between the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center and the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) Climate Hazards Group, this new dataset allows experts who specialize in the early warning of drought and famine to monitor rainfall in near real-time, at a high resolution, over most of the globe (from 50°N to 50°S).

Read more at: http://www.usgs.gov/blogs/features/usgs_top_story/the-state-of-rain/?from=title

 

Source:

http://www.usgs.gov/blogs/features/usgs_top_story/the-state-of-rain/?from=title

 

MapVision

mapvision

Geography and mapping start at your front door!

Most people do think geography is topography and some smartphone navigating around our nearby area. Geography is much more than expected; you will be amazed by the number of related international subjects. MapVision shows the diversity of most related subjects in an easy findable way.

Welcome to MapVision, the website about maps, the making of maps and where to find or get these maps in digital format or physic edition.

 

Source: http://www.mapvision.eu

Are Tropical Forests Resilient to Global Warming?

Tropical forests are less likely to lose biomass — plants and plant material — in response to greenhouse gas emissions over the twenty-first century than may previously have been thought, suggests a study published online this week in Nature Geoscience.

In the most comprehensive assessment yet of the risk of tropical forest dieback due to climate change, the results have important implications for the future evolution of tropical rainforests including the role they play in the global climate system and carbon cycle.

To remain effective, programmes such as the United Nation’s Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation+ scheme require rainforest stability, in effect locking carbon within the trees.

The research team comprised climate scientists and tropical ecologists from the UK, USA, Australia and Brazil and was led by Dr Chris Huntingford from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology in the UK.

Dr Huntingford and colleagues used computer simulations with 22 climate models to explore the response of tropical forests in the Americas, Africa and Asia to greenhouse-gas-induced climate change. They found loss of forest cover in only one model, and only in the Americas. The researchers found that the largest source of uncertainty in the projections to be differences in how plant physiological processes are represented, ahead of the choice of emission scenario and differences between various climate projections.

Although this work suggests that the risk of climate-induced damage to tropical forests will be relatively small, the paper does list where the considerable uncertainties remain in defining how ecosystems respond to global warming.

Lead author Dr Chris Huntingford, from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology in the UK, said, “The big surprise in our analysis is that uncertainties in ecological models of the rainforest are significantly larger than uncertainties from differences in climate projections. Despite this we conclude that based on current knowledge of expected climate change and ecological response, there is evidence of forest resilience for the Americas (Amazonia and Central America), Africa and Asia.”

Co-author Dr David Galbraith from the University of Leeds said, “This study highlights why we must improve our understanding of how tropical forests respond to increasing temperature and drought. Different vegetation models currently simulate remarkable variability in forest sensitivity to climate change. And while these new results suggest that tropical forests may be quite resilient to warming, it is important also to remember that other factors not included in this study, such as fire and deforestation, will also affect the carbon stored in tropical forests. Their impacts are also difficult to simulate. It is therefore critical that modelling studies are accompanied by further comprehensive forest observations.”

Co-author Dr Lina Mercado from the University of Exeter and the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology said, “Building on this study, one of the big challenges that remains is to include, in Earth system models, a full representation of thermal acclimation and adaptation of the rainforest to warming.”

The research team came from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UK), National Center for Atmospheric Research (USA), The Australian National University (Australia), CCST/Inst Nacl Pesquisas Espaciais (INPE) (Brazil), James Cook University (Australia), University of Leeds (UK), University of Oxford (UK), University of Exeter (UK), University of Sheffield (UK), Met Office Hadley Centre (UK), University College London (UK), and the University of Edinburgh, (UK).

 

Story Source:

The above story is reprinted from materials provided by Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, via AlphaGalileo.

http://www.alphagalileo.org/ViewItem.aspx?ItemId=129167&CultureCode=en


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