News Items


ESA's Earth Observation Images of the week



The European Space Agency (ESA) has just posted 500 images from different parts of the earth and featured them on their website.

Titled, A Rare Cloud-Free View of Ireland, Great Britain and Northern France, the ESA has included this image to the right that includes all of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, plus the southwestern corner of Scotland.


Date December 19, 2014

Jisc's call for research data management ideas (Research Data Spring)


As part of their effort to create new solutions to common research problems, Jisc are looking for ideas from individuals and groups with an interest in research data. Please submit your ideas to promote solutions, and offer fresh perspectives for facilitating research data management. Everyone is also invited to vote for their favourite idea, or against other ideas! A simple registration is required in order to participate.

In particular, Research Data Spring is interested in ideas that make it easier to manage research data, especially from the researchers’ perspective (in addition to protocols mentioned within the first theme); in this context, it includes the re-use of data. In other words, Research Data Spring is seeking ideas that will smooth the processes of data management, deposit and re-use within the research lifecycle. This area is closely related with “data creation, deposit and re-use”, but the two are split in order to emphasize that some ideas might be focusing on generic data management support and related protocols and solutions for deposit and re-use, while others would address key disciplinary and cross-disciplinary research aspects.

As of today, the following 25 ideas have been submitted for voters' considerations: 

  • Streamlining Deposit: An OJS to Repository Plugin
  • Badges as a proxy for peer review of data
  • Standards and Schemas for Digital Research Notebooks
  • The Lab Box: Solve local backup, work towards rich metadata
  • Exchanging experience on RDM integration and interoperability
  • Research Data Infrastructure for the Visual Arts (RDIVA)
  • Provenance and Packaging
  • Standard protocol for research equipment
  • A metadata standard to enable automated genealogy generation
  • Mock idea: note that title is limited to 68 characters
  • Integrated RDM toolkit/service
  • Data browsing tools for repositories
  • Collaboration tool for qualitative data analysis
  • One page micro repositories
  • Symplectic for RDM purposes
  • DAF Question Bank
  • BOOKISH: Infrastructure Sharing for the NLS
  • Workshops/Training on Stakeholder Support of Researchers
  • Data retrieval via persistent identifiers (DOIs)
  • Exporting from DMPonline to data journals
  • Linked data notebook
  • Use semantic desktop to capture contextual research data
  • Streamline repository submissions from Zotero profiles
  • Research Data requirements vocabulary
  • Cloud Work Bench

The one idea submitted that is relevant to the geo-community comes from EDINA at the University of Edinburgh, and below is a summary of the proposal. If you find it an idea worth supporting, please visit the Research Data Spring website and cast your vote.

Cloud Work Bench

The concept of Cloud Work Bench (CWB) is quite simple – to provide researchers in the geospatial domain (GI Scientists, geomaticians, GIS experts, spatial disciplines) the tools, storage and data persistence they require to conduct research without the need to manage the same in a local context that can be fraught with socio-technical barriers that impede the actual research. By streamlining the availability and deployment of open source software tools, by supporting auto-generated web services and using open data, the work bench concept is geared towards removing the barriers that are inherent in geospatial research workflows – how to deploy the tools you want and have the storage and data management capabilities without the overhead of doing it all yourself. Think of it as an academic Dropbox with additional geospatial software tools and data thrown in...

We propose piloting the CWB approach within the geospatial research community which has a well established and broad user base across academia and industry (reflected for example via the uptake of Jisc's flagship Digimap service), and also has a mature open source toolset and data stack which are prerequisites to conducting research e.g. Open Street Map, Ordnance Survey Open data, Postgis, Geoserver, GDAL/OGR.

We anticipate that the CWB concept will be transferable to other domain and disciplinary contexts e.g. statistics.

Date December 19, 2014
More information

Clark Labs announces the release of TerrSet


Clark Labs announces the release of TerrSet TerrSet is an integrated constellation of software applications for monitoring and modeling the Earth system. Developed in close cooperation with leading institutions focused on sustainable development and environmental conservation, TerrSet provides groundbreaking tools for addressing major challenges to smart growth - climate change: trends, projections and adaptation; land cover conversion: trajectories and impacts; ecosystem services: present and future value. TerrSet = Space + Time Built upon three decades of leadership in the development of GIS and image processing tools (IDRISI), which includes its last release of Selva, Clark Labs has added the critical element of time to create what can now be called a GeoTemporal System (GTS). TerrSet = One System The relationship between TerrSet and IDRISI is thus quite intimate. IDRISI provides two of the major components of the system (GIS Analysis and Image Processing) as well as the foundation for all of the vertical applications. All components use the IDRISI API and the IDRISI data file structures. While IDRISI was once a standalone product, it is now incorporated within the TerrSet software system. TerrSet includes: * Land Change Modeler * GeOSIRIS * Habitat and Biodiversity Modeler * Ecosystem Services Modeler * Earth Trends Modeler * Climate Change Adaptation Modeler * IDRISI GIS Analysis * IDRISI Image Processing Pre-order TerrSet now as shipping is scheduled for 15 January 2015. Trial requests for TerrSet will be available after 20 January 2015.

Date December 18, 2014

The Environment Agency: now sharing its flooding data for free


The Environment Agency: now sharing its flooding data for free As part of its commitment, the Environment Agency (EA) has announced that as of 11 December 2014, the EA has made its Risk of Flooding from Rivers and Sea datasets easily accessible and available as open data, free of charge and with minimal restrictions. The EA saw the potential for innovation during the flood events last winter when its flood data was released free of charge. Developers came up with a range of solutions to help, from a phone service that connects people with their energy supplier in the event of a power cut, to an app that alerts Twitter users to volunteering opportunities in their local area. The EA hopes that removing cost barriers to their data through Open Data will create more opportunities for developers to create web and mobile applications for businesses and the public to help local communities understand their local environment and better protect themselves from flood risk.

Date December 17, 2014

How to make a true colour Landsat 8 image


How to make a true colour Landsat 8 image Interesting and useful tutorial from Robert Simmon at NASA's Earth Observatory. The Earth Observatory's mission is to share with the public the images, stories, and discoveries about climate and the environment that emerge from NASA research, including its satellite missions, in-the-field research, and climate models.

Date December 17, 2014

EduServ 13 e-Learning courses for 2015

Learning Resource

EduServ 13 e-Learning courses for 2015 Now open for registration, topics of four e-learning courses will be introduced during the Federal Office of Metrology and Surveying (BEV)-hosted seminar in Vienna from 9 to 10 March 2015. Two-week e-learning courses are scheduled from March to June 2015: Mapping using high-resolution satellite imagery (16 - 27 March 2015) Tutor: Dr. Daniela Poli, Terra Messflug GmbH, Austria Change detection in High-Resolution land use/cover geodatabases (7-17 April 2015) Tutor: Dr. Clément Mallet, IGN, France RPAS in land survey – theory and practice (27 April - 8 May 2015) Tutors: Dr.-Ing. Görres Grenzdörffer, University of Rostock & Dr.-Ing. Michael Cramer, University of Stuttgart, Germany International standards for geographic information (8 -19 June 2015) Tutor: Prof. Wolfgang Kresse, University of Applied Sciences, Neubrandenburg, Germany EduServ courses can be followed over the Internet from any location and require about thirty hours of online study. Course fees are: €600 for 1-2 courses, and €700 for 3-4 courses (participation at the pre-course seminar is included). Fee for attending only the seminar: €100 A limited number of scholarships will be available to fully cover the course fee and to partially support the travel costs to the pre-course seminar (up to € 500). The scholarships are intended to Ph.D./Master students and other applicants with no or very limited financial support from their university or public institution. In order to proceed with the application, please register with EduServ13 via link below. Fill in the application form that includes a motivation letter, information about professional experience and calculation of travel costs. It is recommended to support the application with a reference letter. Both documents shall be submitted to eurosdr at soc.kuleuven.be not later than on Friday, 30 January 2015. Applicants will be informed about the acceptance/rejection of their application latest on 13 February 2015. The approved travel costs will not be refunded before successful completion of registered eLearning courses. More information is available on the EuroSDR website.

Date December 17, 2014

Bathymetric Data Processor/Assistant Geomatics Analyst


Bathymetric Data Processor/Assistant Geomatics Analyst

The Geomatics team in the Environment Agency is seeking applicants for two short term posts (up to 6 months January to May/June 2015). 

The role will involve processing survey data to support the delivery of our national bathymetry programs, using specialist software and GIS to process and quality control data from the EA's state of the art survey instrumentation including our Multibeam Echo Sounder, to produce GIS ready mapping products

For this post, applicants will have a good degree in a relevant scientific discipline. A good level of competence in Esri ArcGIS (or similar level of GIS) and preferably able to demonstrate recent experience working with complex mapping data such as Digital Elevation Models derived from either Sonar Bathymetry or Airborne LIDAR.

Successful candidates will be able to demonstrate practical knowledge of working with data in an GIS environment with a particular emphasis on:

  • Working with raster and vector data formats, in particular making and editing shapefiles and creating elevation models 
  • Spatial analysis of raster elevation models
  • A basic knowledge of how a Multibeam Echo Sounder works 
  • A basic knowledge of how GNSS works

Experience of working with CARIS HIPS/SIPS would be an advantage. 

The work is through a recruitment agency. The pay will be equivalent £20,504 per annum and there will be an interview process followed by any successful candidates then needing to register with the recruitment agency (details to be supplied).

Please submit a CV if interested to: andrew.richman at environment-agency.gov.uk

Date December 15, 2014

PostDoc Geoinformatics, Heidelberg University

PostDoc Geoinformatics, Heidelberg University

A PostDoc position is available in the GIScience Research Group at the Department of Geography of the Heidelberg University within a third-party funded research project at the intersection of 3D geodata processing and analysis of user-generated content (e.g. VGI). The GIScience Research Group has a strong emphasis on 3D data processing and analysis (including LiDAR research). The PostDoc should have a demonstrated research track in one or more of the following topics:

  • Crowdsourced and Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI)
  • Analysis and Modeling of 3D Geodata (e.g. point clouds)
  • Algorithms development for (3D) spatial analysis, geoprocessing and fusion of heterogeneous geoinformation (e.g. crowdsourced and VGI)

The position is initially funded for 3 years and start in early 2015.

Applicants are expected to have a PhD in either Geoinformatics, Geography, Computer Science or related fields, as well as strong and demonstrated research experience and know-how in Geoinformatics / GIScience, paired with the ability for independent scientific work, as well as teamwork and leadership. Proven experience in the acquisition of third-party funding is an asset. 

This post offers the opportunity to be part of an international and interdisciplinary dynamic team with excellent possibilities for research and further qualification. The GIScience Research Group is member in the Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing (IWR), the Heidelberg Center for the Environment and the Heidelberg Center for Cultural Heritage (HCCH). 

Please send the common documents (cover letter, CV incl. grades, publications and further scientific achievements) to 

Mrs. Bettina Knorr: 

Bettina.knorr at geog.uni-heidelberg.de (Managing Assistant of Prof. A. Zipf and Jun.-Prof. B. Höfle).

Selection of candidates starts from January 2015 until the position is filled.

Date December 12, 2014
More information

Will the UK government be releasing more data?

Will the UK government be releasing more data?

The Independent continues to monitor events that could lead to the release of more spatial data.

Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister, who wants to give the public greater access to government data, will announce that from this week, real-time information on flooding risks around the country will be made available by the Environment Agency.

The full article can be found on The Independent.

Date December 11, 2014

Bath Historical Maps


Bath Historical Maps

The British Library and Bath & North East Somerset Council (B&NES) have recently published several digitised maps of Bath available online under an open licence. To make those maps useful and easy to explore, these old maps have been aligned with their modern equivalents so that users can explore maps dating from 1572 using Google Earth. 

These maps have been packaged into an archive that contains the original image(s) and the georeferenced TIFF files used to generate the Google Earth overlays.

Date December 11, 2014
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