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NOAA View Data Exploration Tool


NOAA View Data Exploration Tool

The NOAA View data imagery portal provides access to NOAA's wealth of global data resources. Data on this site is intended for outreach and education purposes only and is not considered part of NOAA's official data centers. Links are provided for each dataset to access the original, science-quality data.

Over 100 environmental variables are available using NOAA View, using data from NOAA's vast archives of satellites, climate models and other observation devices.

General data themes for these environmental variables include ocean, atmosphere, land, cryosphere and climate. This image to the right displays this week's wind speed data over the ocean surface.

Date January 6, 2015

NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) instrument to be launched this month

World RS


Scheduled for launch on 29 January 2015, NASA's Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) instrument will measure the moisture lodged in Earth's soils with an unprecedented accuracy and resolution. The instrument's three main parts are a radar, a radiometer and the largest rotating mesh antenna ever deployed in space.

Remote sensing instruments are called “active” when they emit their own signals and “passive” when they record signals that already exist. The mission's science instrument ropes together a sensor of each type to corral the highest-resolution, most accurate measurements ever made of soil moisture -- a tiny fraction of Earth's water that has a disproportionately large effect on weather and agriculture.

To enable the mission to meet its accuracy needs while covering the globe every three days or less, SMAP engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, designed and built the largest rotating antenna that could be stowed into a space of only one foot by four feet (30 by 120cm) for launch. The dish is 19.7 feet (6 metres) in diameter.

SMAP's radar, developed and built at JPL, uses the antenna to transmit microwaves toward Earth and receive the signals that bounce back, called backscatter. The microwaves penetrate a few inches or more into the soil before they rebound. Changes in the electrical properties of the returning microwaves indicate changes in soil moisture, and also tell whether or not the soil is frozen. Using a complex technique called synthetic aperture radar processing, the radar can produce ultra-sharp images with a resolution of about half a mile to a mile and a half (one to three kilometres).

SMAP's radiometer detects differences in Earth's natural emissions of microwaves that are caused by water in soil. To address a problem that has seriously hampered earlier missions using this kind of instrument to study soil moisture, the radiometer designers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland, developed and built one of the most sophisticated signal-processing systems ever created for such a scientific instrument.

The problem is radio frequency interference. The microwave wavelengths that SMAP uses are officially reserved for scientific use, but signals at nearby wavelengths that are used for air traffic control, cell phones and other purposes spill over into SMAP's wavelengths unpredictably. Conventional signal processing averages data over a long time period, which means that even a short burst of interference skews the record for that whole period. The Goddard engineers devised a new way to delete only the small segments of actual interference, leaving much more of the observations untouched.

Combining the radar and radiometer signals allows scientists to take advantage of the strengths of both technologies while working around their weaknesses.

Date January 6, 2015

IJHG December 2014 edition available online

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IJHG December 2014 edition available online

The following articles are now available on the International Journal of Health Geographics (IJHG) website. These can be accessed for free and include articles submitted to the Journal from 26 November to 28 December 2014.

The SPOTLIGHT virtual audit tool: a valid and reliable tool to assess obesogenic characteristics of the built environment. Bethlehem JR, Mackenbach JD, Ben-Rebah M, Compernolle S, Glonti K, Bárdos H, Rutter HR, Charreire H et al.

Leveraging community health worker system to map a mountainous rural district in low resource setting: a low-cost approach to expand use of geographic information systems for public health. Munyaneza F, Hirschhorn LR, Amoroso CL, Nyirazinyoye L, Birru E, Mugunga JC, Murekatete RM and Ntaganira J.

Spatial pattern of body mass index among adults in the diabetes study of Northern California (DISTANCE). Laraia BA, Blanchard SD, Karter AJ, Jones-Smith JC, Warton M, Kersten E, Jerrett M, Moffet HH et al.

Generating GPS activity spaces that shed light upon the mobility habits of older adults: a descriptive analysis. Hirsch JA, Winters M, Clarke P and McKay H.

Modeling tools for dengue risk mapping - a systematic review. Louis VR, Phalkey R, Horstick O, Ratanawong P, Wilder-Smith A, Tozan Y and Dambach P.

Date December 30, 2014

GIS Database Technician at Groundwork London


GIS Database Technician at Groundwork London

Groundwork London hosts the national Groundwork Geographic Information Systems (GIS) team, who works directly with a range of clients requiring access to GIS, including charities and public bodies. Groundwork London is also a specialist resource centre for the different parts of Groundwork, delivering training and remote support to its staff around the country.

The GIS team is a member of the AGI and holds a complete national set of all Ordnance Survey’s mapping products through the partner/framework contract. Through the ESRI Developer Network and non profit scheme, the GIS team is fortunate to have access to ArcServer and ArcInfo with extensions. 

Groundwork London is seeking a GIS / Database Technician to join its award-winning team and apply its GIS experience and wider data management skills to work with people from a range of disciplines. The successful candidate will deliver a variety of projects, from neighbourhood and community mapping, analysis of national datasets to customer engagement and data management / analysis. 

As well as gathering, analysing and visualising data, the successful candidate will be involved in stretching the uses of GIS, particularly in the area of delivering interactive web maps and mobile GIS. 

In addition to your extensive technical skills, you will be an excellent communicator able to build and manage relationships with clients, partners and staff and manage your projects to time and budget. You will have the ability to help develop the team’s services, and the vision to find creative solutions to problems. 

Please visit the Groundwork London website to download the Job Description, Person Specification and Application Form.

Completed applications and enquires should be returned to londonjobs at groundwork.org.uk quoting the reference: 314/GDT.

Please note that Groundwork London will not be monitoring their jobs email during the festive break until 5 January 2015.  

Closing date for applications:  Thursday, 8 January 2015.

Interview date: Monday, 19th January 2015.

Date December 19, 2014

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
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