Monday, October 5, 2015

AmericaView UAS teams respond to train derailment

VermontView and MinnesotaView were conducting joint Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) training in Vermont when they responded to an emergency request from the state to gather overhead imagery of a train that derailed in Northfield, VT.  Within 45 minutes of the request the joint UAS team was headed to the site.  The team immediately established a launch site, conducted flight operations, and then provided to the imagery to the incident commanders on the site.  The imagery is being further processed to assist in the longer term recovery and investigation efforts.
UAS imagery of the train derailment.
The greatest strength of AmericaView is the network of remote sensing professionals who share knowledge and expertise. It is this network that enabled the sharing of UAS best practices, which in turn resulted in application of remote sensing technology to aid decision makers.
The UAS team at the incident command post.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

AmericaView Announces New Board of Directors

AmericaView wrapped up its winter business meeting with a new Board of Directors.

Russ Congalton - University of New Hampshire
Kevin Dobbs - University of Kansas
Rebecca Dodge - Midwestern State University
Rick Lawrence - Montana State University
Mary O'Neil - South Dakota State University
Jarlath O'Neil-Dunne - University of Vermont
J.B. Sharma - University of North Georgia
Pia van Bentham - University of California at Davis
Brent Yantis - University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Monday, February 23, 2015

Frozen UAS tour

Several AmericaView members participated in the "Frozen UAS Tour" back in January.  Head on over to the Western Great Lakes Region ASPRS blog for more info.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Program on Citizen Science and Climate Assessment

An upcoming program explores Citizen Science Contributions to the National Climate Assessment (November 18, 2014, 2:00-4:30pm EST) 

Speakers include Virginia Burkett from the USGS and Richard Spinrad from NOAA. Speakers will explore ways in which crowd-based approaches can be used to track climate change and support indicators or indicator systems.  The program will be streamed live.

For more information, Twitter links, and for a Webcast link:

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Vermont Remote Sensing Workshop

This past week VermontView held its first remote sensing workshop.  Over 20 participants from around the state attended.  They came from federal, state, and local government, higher education, non-profit groups, and the commercial sector.  The workshop was particularly valuable for government employees, who having been subjected to rather substantial budget restrictions over the last several years, have seen their ability to attend professional events severely curtailed.

The first day of the workshop centered on imagery.  Participants were give a variety of exercises taht focused on building effective remote sensing workflows for processing and analyzing imagery, with a particular focus on Landsat, the Vermont orthophotos, and NAIP.  All of those attending the workshop use imagery such as the Vermont orthophotos and NAIP on a daily basis, but understanding the power of multi-temporal Landsat imagery was new to them.  Some of the regional planners in attendance remarked at how useful Landsat would be for illustrating change in the communities they serve.

The second day of the workshop focused on LiDAR.  Thanks to USGS funding the amount of LiDAR coverage in the state is on the rise, but due to the complexity of the data it remains underutilized.  Participants had a chance to dig into LiDAR point clouds, generate various LiDAR surface models, and perform advanced analysis using Quick Terrain Modeler.  We wrapped up the session by integrating imagery and LiDAR to automatically extract features using eCognition.  Despite being new to object-based image analysis (OBIA) a number of participants were able to produce high-quality land cover maps from the data.

VermontView is grateful to the many AmericaView partners who offered their insight into running a successful workshop.  Given the overwhelmingly positive feedback we hope to make this an annual event.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Tasseled Cap Transformation for Landsat 8

The article "Derivation of a tasselled cap transformation based on Landsat 8 at-satellite reflectance" by Muhammad Hasan Ali Baig et al., which appeared in the most recent issue of Remote Sensing Letters, is currently available to be viewed by anyone interested in learning about newly developed tasseled cap transformation coefficients for Landsat 8 data. From the publication's abstract:
“The tasselled cap transformation (TCT) is a useful tool for compressing spectral data into a few  bands associated with physical scene characteristics with minimal information loss. TCT was originally evolved from the Landsat multi-spectral scanner (MSS) launched in 1972 and is widely adapted to modern sensors. In this study, we derived the TCT coefficients for the newly launched (2013) operational land imager (OLI) sensor on-board Landsat 8 for at-satellite reflectance.”

The article will be freely available through the end of the year and can be accessed by clicking here.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Americaview’s Panel Discussion on Landsat Needs Assessment During the 2014 ASPRS Annual Conference

Following the successful launch of Landsat 8, discussions are underway about the capabilities of future Landsat missions. The US Geological Survey (USGS) is tasked with soliciting input from users in terms of their information needs. On March 26 at the 2014 ASPRS Annual Conference in Louisville, KY, AmericaView hosted a panel discussion that highlighted the value of moderate resolution Landsat data and solicited input for future data needs.
Russ Congalton, Chair, AmericaView Board of Directors
Russ Congalton, Chair, AmericaView Board of Directors, introduced AmericaView and highlighted its various accomplishments. John Crowe, Land Remote Sensing Program, USGS, provided an overview of the Landsat program, and described its value in terms of radiometrically calibrated data, historic archive, and free access to users.

StateView PIs highlighted one or more characteristics of Landsat data from their mapping and monitoring applications. Jarlath O’Neil-Dunne (VermontView) and Rick Lawrence (MontanaView) highlighted the value of calibrated thermal bands for conducting their research on urban heat island and geothermal heat flux of lakes in Yellowstone National Park respectively. Availability of several multispectral images during one or more years was highlighted by Jim Campbell (VirginiaView), Rick Lawrence, and Haluk Cetin (KentuckyView) for applications such as monitoring pest outbreaks in white bark pine, mapping crop growth, and water quality and soil moisture mapping. Brent Yantis (LouisianaView) demonstrated the value of Landsat’s long-term archive through the land cover change analysis of Pecan Island. Ramesh Sivanpillai (WyomingView) described the value of the panchromatic band for improving our ability to map small water bodies. Russ Congalton (New HampshireView) shared his study where spectral information from Landsat bands was combined with high resolution imagery for improving forest cover mapping efforts. Ramesh Sivanpillai moderated this session.
Following these presentations input was collected from those present about: a) the value of Landsat data for their research and educational applications, and b) data characteristics that they would like to see in future Landsat missions. Input collected from this and future panel discussions will be compiled and presented to the USGS.