Saturday, October 10, 2009

Using GIS & Remote Sensing to Measure Urban Sustainability

The environmental impact of human activity on irreplaceable natural resources has set off a national chain of events and a need to evaluate feasible sustainability solutions.

Issues that were once scholarly debates are now urgent concerns, from global warming caused by greenhouse gases to energy conservation, people the world over are taking notice and learning what they can do to reduce pollutants and waste, and tap into renewable energy sources to preserve our precious natural resources.

Smart growth and urban sustainability are such hot topics that they are now becoming part of public policy and stimulus money is being used for green initiatives. Many of these initiatives are focused on renewable energy resources, green jobs, green cities, and energy efficiency. However, talk has only just begun on how States, County and local governments will go about creating and implementing “green” action plans, determining baseline conditions and land use, and collecting the geospatial data necessary to determine the costs of such action plans.

However, not much has been said about how and where powerful new geospatial technologies can help to achieve these goals. We would like to share how we can be of service to those of you who are trying to align your purpose with many others now investing in their own green cities.

See NCDC's new capabilities brochure here.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Question of Sustainability

Jason San Souci, GISP (left) and Dr. Jane Goodall, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute
and UN Messenger of Peace (right) at Map World Forum in Hyderabad, India.

"Why is the most intelligent creature living on earth destroying it's own home, " asked Dr. Jane Goodall of the gathered geospatial community at Map World Forum in Hyderabad, India (February 10-13, 2009). This, one of the most important questions questions posed at the conference, got everybody thinking. Many about the different ways in which GIS is helping preserve the future of out planet.

The main theme of Map World Forum, a biennial event now held for the second time in the southern Indian capital of the state of Andhra Pradesh, was "Geospatial Technologies for Sustainable Planet Earth." Dr. Goodall, who currently travels the world for 300 days a year to raise awareness of this issue, was alerted to the significance of GIS by visualization of the tremendous effect of deforestation on Gombe National Park in Tanzania. NCDC Imaging was responsible for the QuickBird satellite image processing and forest composition analysis for this project. Not only did GIS raise her personal awareness, 3D models made it easier for the villagers around the park to understand what had happened to their natural living environment.

Delegates failed to come up with an answer to the seminal question posed by Dr. Goodall, but the theme was everywhere.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Satellite Imaging and Human Rights

It's been forty years since the first images of Earth from space were captured, but the sight of our planet is still inspiring.

Now, Amnesty International is harnessing the power of these images and putting them to work for human rights.

Thanks to high resolution satellite imagery, human rights advocates can now document abuses anywhere in the world - even in countries that are sealed off from on-the-ground researchers. All from 280 miles above the Earth's surface.

Amnesty International's unprecedented Eyes On Darfur project leverages the power of high-resolution satellite imagery to provide evidence of the atrocities being committed in Darfur - enabling action by private citizens, policy makers and international courts. Eyes On Darfur also breaks new ground in protecting human rights by allowing people around the world to "watch over" and protect twelve highly vulnerable, villages using commercially available satellite imagery.

NCDC Imaging is working with Overwatch Geospatial and AAAS to accelerate the production of the satellite evidence. As internationally-reknown experts in the application of geographic object-based image analysis (GEOBIA), NCDC Imaging is streamlining the way that buildings are extracted from the commercially available satellite imagery, saving hundreds of hours in searching the wide landscapes for scattered buildings.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Greensburg Tornado Damage Assessment

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of this disaster. As a demonstration of the power of high resolution imagery, NCDC performed a damage assessment using pre-event 1-meter NAIP imagery and post-event 2-foot QuickBird imagery.

You can click on the image above for a closer look. As you can see, the tornado ripped through Greensburg destroying over 80% of the standing structures.

Kiowa County is one of our clients for E911 Base Map Development in 2007. We will continue to support the recovery efforts.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Understand | Communicate | Collaborate

I read a great article in the Winter 2006/2007 ArcNews recently. I want to republish one section of it here because it so clearly defines the purpose of GIS in the world today.

GIS Is a New Medium

"GIS is becoming a new medium for humans to understand, communicate, and collaborate.

GIS is being used to model the physical and cultural knowledge of our world, breaking it down into components and subsystems, providing us with systematic knowledge, and integrative framework, analytic methods, and intuitive visualization. GIS is attractive to humans because it responds to both cognitive as well as intuitive dimensions of understanding. GIS creates order and meaning. It is helping us define interconnections and interdependencies, and it provides a broad understanding of nature and human ecology.

GIS is influencing how we see things and how we respond. It is helping us build a common understanding, creating a sense of engagement, providing greater science and logic, and improving accuracy and realism. Finally, because GIS is integrating with real-time data or "sources", it is providing immediacy." (Dangermond, ArcNews, 2007)

It is truly an exciting time to be working in GIS. A running story at our office about our company inception is that "we were creating a new application a week" using GIS and Remote Sensing. With all of the questions that can be answered using GIS today, this rate of solution creation is quite realistic.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Geospatial Technology!

Welcome to the NCDC Imaging blog. We are hoping to share a bit of our knowledge as a resource for our clients. Many clients have similar thoughts and questions regarding Remote Sensing, GPS and GIS. We'll post the responses to those questions and shed some light on our forward thinking approach to geospatial technologies along the way. By searching the blog you may find what you need.

We are always searching for new applications of geospatial technology. We speak with many visionaries on future applications and current problems that require solutions. We looking forward to speaking to all of you directly. Ask questions, you may be surprised at what you will find. You can always find more at our website

This blog is dedicated to revealing forward thinking applications of geospatial technology. The contributors at NCDC Imaging & Mapping are subject matter experts with a depth and breadth of knowledge in a wide variety of subjects related to our vertical markets and the tools that we use to get our jobs done everyday. Happy Reading!

Thank you,
Jason San Souci, GISP