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Informatics and GIS Program

IGIS Blog

Mapping fires and fire damage in real time: available geospatial tools

Many of us have watched in horror and sadness over the previous week as fires consumed much of the beautiful hills and parts of the towns of Napa and Sonoma Counties. Many of us know people who were evacuated with a few minutes' notice - I met a retired man who left his retirement home with the clothes on his back. Many other friends lost everything - house, car, pets. It was a terrible event - or series of events as there were many active fires. During those 8+ days all of us were glued to our screens searching for up-to-date and reliable information on where the fires were, and how they were spreading. This information came from reputable, reliable sources (such as NASA, or the USFS), from affected residents (from Twitter and other social media), and from businesses (like Planet, ESRI, and Digital Globe who were sometimes creating content and sometimes distilling existing content), and from the media (who were ofen using all of the above). As a spatial data scientist, I am always thinking about mapping, and the ways in which geospatial data and analysis plays an increasingly critical role in disaster notification, monitoring, and response. I am collecting information on the technological landscape of the various websites, media and social media, map products, data and imagery that played a role in announcing and monitoring the #TubbsFire, #SonomaFires and #NapaFires. I think a retrospective of how these tools, and in particular how the citizen science aspect of all of this, helped and hindered society will be useful.  

In the literature, the theoretical questions surrounding citizen science or volunteered geography revolve around:

  • Accuracy – how accurate are these data? How do we evaluate them?  

  • Access – Who has access to the data? Are their technological limits to dissemination?

  • Bias (sampling issues)/Motivation (who contributes) are critical.

  • Effectiveness – how effective are the sites? Some scholars have argued that VGI can be inhibiting. 

  • Control - who controls the data, and how and why?

  • Privacy - Are privacy concerns lessened post disaster?

I think I am most interested in the accuracy and effectiveness questions, but all of them are important.  If any of you want to talk more about this or have more resources to discuss, please email me: maggi@berkeley.edu, or Twitter @nmaggikelly.

Summary so far. This will be updated as I get more information.

Outreach from ANR About Fires

Core Geospatial Technology During Fires

Core Technology for Post-Fire Impact

 

Posted on Tuesday, October 24, 2017 at 12:44 AM
Tags: citizen (11), conferences (35), drones (13), fire (13), imagery (5), remote sensing (37)

The Why, How, What, and Who of GIS Fall 2017

Every fall I ask my GIS students to answer the big questions in advance of their class projects. This year climate change, wildlife conservation, land use and water quality are important, as well as a number of other topics. Remote sensing continues to be important to GISers. Scientists, government and communities need to work together to solve problems. 

Why? 

  • What does the proposed project hope to accomplish?
  • What is the problem that needs to be addressed?
  • What do you expect to happen?

How? 

  • What analysis approach will be used?
  • Why was this approach selected?
  • What are alternative methods?
  • Is the analysis reproducible?

What?

  • What are the datasets that are needed?
  • Where will they come from?
  • Have you downloaded and checked this dataset?
  • Do you have a backup dataset?

Who?

  • Who will care about this? And why?
  • How will they use the results?
  • Will they be involved in the entire workflow?

Here are the responses from Fall 2017:





Posted on Sunday, August 27, 2017 at 10:33 PM
Tags: class (29)

ESRI Storymaps – A tool for extending our work to California

With the ever-changing world of technology and knowledge we have a need to get this information out to the public in a timely manner.  One of the new tools that we can use are Storymaps from ESRI.  These web based application combine text and maps into an intuitive and interactive experience.  For more information about storymaps please go to the esri storymap website.

We at IGIS have helped build several storymaps for different groups within University of California – Agriculture and Natural Resources Division (UCANR).  These story maps have covered topics ranging from the issue of conifer encroachment in the oak woodlands of northern California to information about the UCANR Research and Extension Centers (RECS).  These different sites can be viewed at the following sites:

Title

URL

California Naturalist Program Partners

http://geoportal.ucanr.edu/sandbox/calnattest/

Did you know! REC Tour

http://geodata.ucanr.edu/RECTour/

Oregon white oak and California black oak loss due to conifer encroachment

http://ucanr.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=b85e44975bac4992b5260981007dad51

Our Partners - Master Gardener Program

https://ucanr.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=4291b2dc4125425b99446f9e05994993

UC Hopland Research & Extension Center Call for Proposals

http://ucanr.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=d166ef4d97c849a79bd2620e10f0623d

Wildfire

https://ucanr.maps.arcgis.com/apps/Cascade/index.html?appid=a6ea0024822b4eb7a96a72138d694f9d

In the coming months we will be offering training opportunities that will highlight these tools and how to build storymaps that can highlight your work.  To build storymaps you will need an ArcGIS Online account.  If you are part of the UCANR network please fill out the following form and we will help you get an account so that you can start building these storymaps yourself.

Posted on Monday, August 21, 2017 at 2:33 PM
Tags: ESRI Storymaps (1), IGIS (46), UCANR (11)

IGIS Launches Drone Mapping California Email List

Hot on the heels of a very successful three-day DroneCamp workshop, IGIS has launched a new email list for people interested in using drones for mapping and data collection.

Drone Mapping California is a moderated email list intended to share news, information, and questions about using drones for mapping and data collection. That covers a lot - technology, training, regulations, hardware, software, analytical techniques, etc. We hope this list will be a channel through which new and seasoned drone operators and researchers can share and grow their knowledge and expertise.

The list has a California focus, but all are welcome. If you are interested in collecting data with drones, please subscribe here! IGIS will administer the list for the foreseeable future, including moderating messages to prevent spam, but we are always open to comments and suggestions.

 

Top: Matrice 100 with dual RGB and multispectral sensors
Bottom: mNDGI image of a field at Desert Research and Extension Center
Photos by Sean Hogan

 

Posted on Tuesday, August 15, 2017 at 9:27 AM
Tags: drones (13), IGIS (46), UAVs (3)

Wrap up from #DroneCamp2017!

UC ANR's IGIS program hosted 36 drone enthusiasts for a three day DroneCamp in Davis California. DroneCamp was designed for participants with little to no experience in drone technology, but who are interested in using drones for a variety of real world mapping applications. The goals of DroneCamp were to:

  • Gain an broader understanding of the drone mapping workflow: including
    • Goal setting, mission planning, data collection, data analysis, and communication & visualization
  • Learn about the different types of UAV platforms and sensors, and match them to specific mission objectives;
  • Get hands-on experience with flight operations, data processing, and data analysis; and
  • Network with other drone-enthusiasts and build the California drone ecosystem. 

The IGIS crew, including Sean Hogan, Andy Lyons, Maggi Kelly, Robert Johnson, Kelly Easterday, and Shane Feirer were on hand to help run the show. We also had three corporate sponsors: GreenValley Intl, Esri, and Pix4D. Each of these companies had a rep on hand to give presentations and interact with the participants.

Day 1 of #DroneCamp2017 covered some of the basics - why drone are an increasingly important part of our mapping and field equipment portfolio; different platforms and sensors (and there are so many!); software options; and examples. Brandon Stark gave a great overview of the Univ of California UAV Center of Excellence and regulations, and Andy Lyons got us all ready to take the 107 license test. We hope everyone here gets their license! We closed with an interactive panel of experienced drone users (Kelly Easterday, Jacob Flanagan, Brandon Stark, and Sean Hogan) who shared experiences planning missions, flying and traveling with drones, and project results. A quick evaluation of the day showed the the vast majority of people had learned something specific that they could use at work, which is great. Plus we had a cool flight simulator station for people to practice flying (and crashing).

Day 2 was a field day - we spent most of the day at the Davis hobbycraft airfield where we practiced taking off, landing, mission planning, and emergency maneuvers. We had an excellent lunch provided by the Street Cravings food truck. What a day! It was hot hot hot, but there was lots of shade, and a nice breeze. Anyway, we had a great day, with everyone getting their hands on the commands. Our Esri rep Mark Romero gave us a demo on Esri's Drone2Map software, and some of the lidar functionality in ArcGIS Pro.

Day 3 focused on data analysis. We had three workshops ready for the group to chose from, from forestry, agriculture, and rangelands. Prior to the workshops we had great talks from Jacob Flanagan and GreenValley Intl, and Ali Pourreza from Kearney Research and Extension Center. Ali is developing a drone-imagery-based database of the individual trees and vines at Kearney - he calls it the "Virtual Orchard". Jacob talked about the overall mission of GVI and how the company is moving into more comprehensive field and drone-based lidar mapping and software. Angad Singh from Pix4D gave us a master class in mapping from drones, covering georeferencing, the Pix4D workflow, and some of the checks produced for you a the end of processing.

One of our key goals of the DroneCamp was to jump start our California Drone Ecosystem concept. I talk about this in my CalAg Editorial. We are still in the early days of this emerging field, and we can learn a lot from each other as we develop best practices for workflows, platforms and sensors, software, outreach, etc. Our research and decision-making teams have become larger, more distributed, and multi-disciplinary; with experts and citizens working together, and these kinds of collaboratives are increasingly important. We need to collaborate on data collection, storage, & sharing; innovation, analysis, and solutions. If any of you out there want to join us in our California drone ecosystem, drop me a line.

Thanks to ANR for hosting us, thanks to the wonderful participants, and thanks especially to our sponsors (GreenValley Intl, Esri, and Pix4D). Specifically, thanks for:

  • Mark Romero and Esri for showing us Drone2Map, and the ArcGIS Image repository and tools, and the trial licenses for ArcGIS;
  • Angad Singh from Pix4D for explaining Pix4D, for providing licenses to the group; and
  • Jacob Flanagan from GreenValley Intl for your insights into lidar collection and processing, and for all your help showcasing your amazing drones.












#KeepCalmAndDroneOn!

Posted on Thursday, July 27, 2017 at 11:47 PM
Tags: conferences (35), drones (13), field pics (3), learning (10), remote sensing (37), training (11), uav (7)

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