Wednesday, December 21, 2011

MultiSpec Update

A new version was released on December 19, 2011. Some of the new features include:

MultiSpec now handles the Polar Stereographic projection.

MultiSpec now reads the GML header projection information in JPEG 2000 files. The test for this has been with simulated French PLEIADES data. This spacecraft was launched this past week.

The coordinate view will be displayed and default to Lat-Long units when an image window is first opened if MultiSpec can handle the projection information that is available in the image file. This was done as a time saving feature; at least it has helped me out!

More details on the update are at the MultiSpec News link.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Archiving and Distributing Indiana Historic Sanborn Maps

This project archives and distributes the Indiana Sanborn 1883-1966 Historic Maps via the Indiana Spatial Data Portal (ISDP). All 11,517 maps are available in both TIFF and PDF formats on Indiana University’s Scholarly Data Archive (SDA). The SDA is located at both Indiana University Bloomington and Indianapolis campuses, providing automatic off-site copies of data for disaster recovery. Both the larger TIFF and the smaller PDF Sanborn images are available for spatial discovery via the Indiana Spatial Data Portal (ISDP). The public domain Sanborn images (1883-1923) which represent 87% of the dataset are available for download. Users may contact the staff at IU’s Government Information Services to request copyright restricted images (1924 – 1966) once they discover the images they need via the ISDP interface.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Landsat Tutorials from ColoradoView

ColoradoView has some really great downloadable PDFs and HTML files that take users step-by-step through essential remote sensing and GIS functions including downloading free Landsat data from the USGS GLOVIS website, creating multiple scene mosaics, clipping mosaics to a defined study extent, applying Maxent modeling and more! Many of the following ColoradoView tutorials were directly funded through AmericaView and created by ColoradoView Student Interns at Colorado State University.  Head on over to the ColoradoView Training page!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

K-12 Students Present at the AmericaView Remote Sensing Conference in Cleveland, OH

On Tuesday, October 11, 2011, 20 middle and high school students presented their research projects alongside professors and graduate students at the AmericaView Fall Technical Meeting and Remote Sensing Conference in Cleveland Ohio. The projects all used geospatial technologies (GPS, GIS and remote sensing) to address an environmental problem. Ten student-led research projects were presented in a poster session in which a total of 40 projects were highlighted, including projects from university students, professors, and state agency researchers. Some of the student projects included study of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the best roofing material to use to reduce urban heating, the Earth’s energy budget as affected by land cover changes, and the impact of ocean temperature on Cholera outbreaks. Students attended the conference for free and stayed for research presentations on wetland monitoring and ecological assessment by United States Geological Survey (USGS) and university scientists. The students received an AmericaView medal and teachers received a certificate for their participation.

Students and teachers from the following schools attended:
Penta Career Center, Perrysburg, OH – 12th grade
Lakewood Catholic Academy, Cleveland, OH – 7th and 8th grade
Roswell-Kent Middle School, Akron, OH  - 7th and 8th grade
Westerville North High School, Westerville, OH
Mr. Stefan Smolski, Grafton High School, Taylor County WV

Monday, October 10, 2011

AmericaView 2011 Fall Technical Meeting Kicks Off

The 2011 AmericaView Fall Technical Meeting kicks off today in Cleveland, Ohio.  There are a broad range of panel discussions, presentations, and workshops from some of the leading remote sensing experts in the nation.  You can view the full program here.  If you are looking to connect with a remote sensing guru in your state you can find contact information on the AmericaView membership page.  You can follow the meeting on Twitter #avftm2011.

Monday, August 22, 2011

AmericaView welcomes our 38th and 39th members: OregonView and Rhode Island View

OregonView is directed by Michael Wing, Associate Professor in the Department of Forest Engineering, Resources and Management in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University in Corvallis. In addition to teaching courses in remote sensing, Michael is co-director of the Environmental Remote Sensing Applications Laboratory (ERSAL) and teaches courses in geospatial analysis of forested landscapes, GIS, and surveying. OregonView partners include Geoffrey Duh at Portland State University, Anne Nolin in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Cy Smith in the Oregon Geospatial Enterprise Office, and Mary Hartel in the Branch of Geographic Sciences at the Bureau of Land Management.

Rhode Island View is director by Y.Q. Wang, Professor of Terrestrial Remote Sensing at the University of Rhode Island in Kingston, and Director the URI Laboratory of Terrestrial Remote Sensing. Rhode Island View is co-directed by Greg Bonynge, a Geospatial Extension Specialist in Extension at URI. Y.Q. and Greg have a great start at their consortium, including Shane White in the Division of Planning at the Rhode Island Department of Administration, John Mustard in the Department of Geological Science Brown University, Peter Cornillon in the Graduate School of Oceanography at URI, Peter August in the Department of Natural Resources Science at URI, Chuck LaBash in the Environmental Data Center at URI, Peter Schultz, Director of the Rhode Island Space Grant Consortium at Brown University, Lynn Carlson in the Environmental and Remote Technologies Center at Brown University, and Paul Jordan in the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.

Welcome OregonView and Rhode Island View!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Displaying Orthophotos

In this video I cover some of the basics of displaying panchromatic, 3-band, and 4-band orthophotos.  Although  this video makes use of Vermont data the information is relevant to anyone who uses orthophotographs.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Access orthophotos in VT using Map Services

Downloading imagery can be slow, plus it takes up a lot of disk space.  The good folks at the Vermont Center for Geographic Information (VCGI) have put together a collection of map services that allow one to stream the best available color and pancromatic orthophotos in VT into ArcGIS.  It's simple, it's easy, and it's fast.  This short video will show you how to make use of the VCGI image map services within ArcGIS 10.

Friday, May 20, 2011

AmericaView at ASPRS 2011

Rick Landenberger, AmericaView Executive Director

The ASPRS annual conference is a popular event for many of us in academic and applied remote sensing, and this year’s conference in Milwaukee was no exception. Over 1,100 attended, including a group of AmericaView PIs and their partners.

In fact, this year’s event was particularly exciting for us, as it was our first ‘Special Session’. Thanks to Tom Lillesand who raised the idea, Frank Scarpace for making it happen, and Sam Batzli for moderating, we were given 90 minutes on Wednesday morning, May 4th to showcase our projects. Special Sessions offer an opportunity and format for a series of closely related talks, and naturally we focused ours on the AmericaView mission of education, applied research, data archiving and distribution, and our most recent set of projects in Emergency Management.

After Sam introduced the speakers, I gave a five minute overview of the organization to set the context. Ramesh Sivanpillai, the WyomingView PI and current AmericaView Board chairman and resident historian followed with a talk about applied research supported by WyomingView. Ramesh’s accomplishments over the years featured examples of student-led research projects using Landsat data to assess and monitor natural resources and agricultural systems in Wyoming. Ramesh and his students have been able to support both forest and range managers as well as small farmers in Wyoming through development of new monitoring and assessment methods and via hands-on training in the use of Landsat data.

WisconsinView PI Sam Batzli, former Board member and AmericaView’s current chair of the Technology Committee, then provided examples of our data archiving and distribution efforts. Although our data mission has been somewhat de-emphasized due to the USGS’s free Landsat archives, Sam was able to show the relevance and efficacy of several of our ongoing projects, ending with a discussion of our latest multi-state project involving WMS distribution of recent NAIP imagery.

Peter Sforza, a member of VirginiaView and the current co-director for the Center for Geospatial Information Technology at Virginia Tech, followed Sam and provided examples of emergency management applications in AmericaView, including a number of efforts where moderate resolution Landsat and MODIS data have been used to map recent tornado damage, including a nice example where MODIS data was useful in mapping tornado paths. He ended with a description of MontanaView’s latest efforts in developing and maintaining a national database of volunteer remote sensing experts available to support EM efforts across the country.

I wrapped up the session with a discussion of AmericaView’s educational efforts, first providing some background on our state-level K-12, undergraduate, graduate, and professional development projects, and ending with examples of our two coordinated educational projects, SATELLITES and Earth Observation Day. I ended with a summary of the 2011 Earth Observation Day event statistics, describing how we as an organization were able to reach 2,500 K-12 students and 50 teachers this year, a new record that we hope to eclipse with next year’s event.

Thanks again to Tom Lillisand, Frank Scarpace, and Sam Batzli for the ideas and support. I anticipate that this will become a regular event in future ASPRS conferences, and hope to see you there!

Monday, April 18, 2011

NAIP Imagery for Texas

AmericaView members have been sharing information about USDA National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) Imagery Viewers. This blog post shares information about such a viewer established for Texas statewide imagery.

The Texas Natural Resources Information System (TNRIS) recently launched an OGC-compliant Web Mapping Service (WMS) that features a variety of orthoimage datasets. Currently, the WMS includes the following image catalogs:

Statewide - one catalog per UTM zone per each dataset 1:

  • NAIP 2004 1 meter (1m) Color Infrared (CIR)
  • TOP 2008 & 2009 50cm Natural Color (NC) & CIR 2
  • NAIP 2010 1m NC
  • Geologic Atlas of Texas 250K


  • Texas Forest Service 2008 1m CIR - 13 East TX counties
  • HPIDS 2009 Galveston 6in NC & CIR 3
  • HPIDS 2010 Bexar, Guadalupe, and Comal Co.'s 6in NC
  • HPIDS 2010 Smith 6in & 1ft NC
  • USGS 2008 30cm Amarillo, Lubbock, & McAllen NC
  • USGS 2008 30cm Border NC
  • CAPCOG 2009 6in NC (Central Texas)

1Texas straddles three Universal Transverse Mercator (UTM) zones: z13 N, z14 N & z15 N

2 Note that for 2009, zone 14 has partial coverage and zone 13 has none.

3 High Priority Imagery and Data Sets (HPIDS), a State of Texas procurement process that uses a master contract.

Instructions for accessing the WMS in ArcGIS and ERDAS Imagine:

ArcGIS 10 instructions:

  1. In ArcMap, choose Add Data > GIS Servers > Add WMS Server
  2. Insert the URL and click OK.
  3. Either add all image catalogs at once using or drill down to add individual datasets.

ERDAS Imagine 2011 instructions:

  1. Choose Open > Files of type: Web Mapping Service (*.wms) > Connect
  2. In GeoServices Explorer, choose Add Service
  3. GeoService Type: Web Mapping Server
  4. Insert the URL and click OK.
  5. Back on the main Imagine window, right-click in the Retriever space > Open GeoService
  6. Find from the Select a Server dropdown menu & select OK.
  7. Expand the WMS and drag desired image catalogs onto the View.

The WMS is compatible in AutoCAD and Microstation.

Issues? Questions? Use this form for inquiries and issues related to TNRIS GIS and LiDAR data and the WMS image service.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Posting to the AmericaView Blog

The purpose of this post is to provide guidance on posting to this blog for AmericaView members.  Blog posts are a simply, yet effective means for getting information out in a timely manner.  It's far easier than updating a web page and because the AmericaView Blog is replicated through Planet Geospatial, it is seen by a broad audience.

Step1: Become a blog contributor
Simply get in touch with Mike Battaglia and ask him to add you as a contributor.  As the AmericaView Blog runs off of Blogger, which is owned by Google, you will need to provide Mike with your Google/Gmail account ID (e.g.  If you don't have a Google/Gmail account, signing up for one is easy.

Step 2: Create a new post
From the AmericaView Blog main page click on New Post in the upper right corner.
This will take you to the Posting > New Post window where you can start your blog post.

The Blogger toolbar allows you to inset hyperlinks and images.
Step 3: Preview your post
At any time you can preview your post to see what it will look like when it gets published.  Simply click on the Preview button at the bottom of the Posting window.  This will launch a new browser window that you can close once you have finished.
Step 4: Add labels
Label, or tags, made it easier for others to find relevant information in the AmericaView blog, so give some consideration to adding labels to your post before you publish it.  If the label resembles been used before Blogger will give you an auto fill option.  Multiple labels can be separated by a comma.
Step 5: Publish your post
Congratulations, you are now finished!  Simply click on the Publish Post button and your post will be added to the AmericaView blog.  You can always go back into the post and edit it if you notice an error down the road.

Friday, April 8, 2011

USGS EROS Image Gallery

The EROS Image of the Week Gallery assembled by USGS is a wonderful resource for educational outreach.  You can browse and download posters that demonstrate how Landsat satellite imagery is used for everything from monitoring natural disasters to detecting anthropogenic induced land cover change.  The images are very powerful and the descriptions are clear and concise.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Earth Observation Day - April 8th, 2011

Last year I posted about AmericaView's 2010 Earth Observation Day, an education and outreach event designed to support K-12 and undergraduate teachers in their use of geospatial science and technology in interdisciplinary STEM education. Building on our success in 2010, AmericaView is hosting Earth Observation Day 2011 on April 8th. The focus again this year is on freely available Landsat data and the many interesting and exciting applications that teachers and their students can use to better understand the world around them. A Very Spatial podcast describing the project provides more detail.

To support Earth Observation Day (EOD) 2011, AmericaView has developed a web site that hosts educational resources and statewide Landsat posters of all 50 states. The educational resources span K-12 from kindergarten to high school, and can be adapted for use at the undergraduate level as well. Lesson plans are provided that feature the use of puzzle games of matching Landsat images, and lesson plans that use Google Earth to explore the land use patterns around schools, including a lesson that introduces land cover mapping. For an excellent introduction to the field of geospatial science and technology, the Geospatial Revolution Project at Penn State Public Broadcasting recently created a series of on-line episodes that teachers can use as background.

We hope that teachers and students find these resources to be both exciting and powerful as a way to introduce geospatial science and technology into the classroom.

Enjoy the event, and let us know what you think.

The AmericaView EOD Team

Monday, March 7, 2011

Accessing Landsat Data and Using it in ArcGIS

With a continuous record of global imagery extending back the 1972, the USGS Landsat archives are a real treasure trove of information.  For a long time Landsat imagery was the domain of remote sensing experts, but with USGS making most Landsat images available online through their Global Visualization Viewer (GLOVIS) the data are now accessible to all.  One of the most common questions I get when discussing image processing to GIS professionals is "How do I do that in ArcGIS?"  Well, if you are looking to download some Landsat imagery and manipulate it in ArcGIS, this video is for you.  It will walk you through the entire process, from downloading the imagery from GLOVIS to generating a Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) layer in ArcGIS.