Posts Tagged: Google Earth
Students, researchers, mappers, and big data enthusiasts took place in an exciting 2 day Google Earth Engine workshop this last week hosted by the GIF and the Google Earth Engine Team. We had an exiting overview of the latest and greatest research adventures from Google by Kelly lab alum Karin Tuxen-Bettman including advances in some of what Google Earth Outreach team is involved in...
- The HALO Trust Clearing landmines with Google Earth Pro
- Jane Goodall Institute
- Appalachian Mountaintop Removal
- Chief Almir and the Surui Mapping indigenous culture in Google Earth and monitoring the Surui Carbon Project with Open Data Kit
- WWF & Eyes on the Forest Mapping forests and wildlife ranges in Sumatra with Google Maps Engine
And we were there! Kevin and I went to the White House (here is photographic proof.)
The President’s Climate Data Initiative was launched March 18th with the tagline: Empowering America’s Communities to Prepare for the Effects of Climate Change. The initiative is a complex partnership of government, industry, academia and local initatives to get the US ready for climate change. The overall goal of the climate data initiative is "Spark Innovation": release data, articulate challenges, turn data scientists loose.
We saw some very interesting short talks from a range of speakers. Here are some highlights:
Jack Dangermond highlighted the many initiatives that ESRI is pushing to help with climate resilience. Kathyrn Sullivan from NOAA discussed her concept of "Environmental Intelligence", which describes the use of data to create resilience. She says: "NOAA capture 20TB daily, they release 2TB daily. Upon that data stream are built all the climate businesses we have today. What would this industry be like if we release the other 18TB?" Ellen Stofan from NASA talked about new earth observation missions, including satellites for precipitation, soil moisture, CO2, winds, aerosols. She announced another "data driven challenge" called "coastal inundation in your community". Rachel Kyte from the World Bank called their multiple initiatives "Open Data for Resilience". She said that climate change may eradicate the mission of the World Bank, because of its disproportionate impact on poorer communities worldwide. Rebecca More from Google gave us a fantastic overview of the Landsat, climate and topography missions that Google Earth Engine is working on.
Here are some press links:
Thanks to Dave Thau, Karin Tuxen-Bettman, John Bailey, and Emily Henderson who came to visit the GIF and give a demo of the GEE toolbox. We went over the guts of GEE, Timelapse (very cool: make your own! Here is mine), the GEE GUI framework, and the GEE API. Very fun afternoon!
In 1998 Al Gore made his now famous speech entitled The Digital Earth: Understanding our planet in the 21st Century. He described the possibilities and need for the development of a new concept in earth science, communication and society. He envisioned technology that would allow us "to capture, store, process and display an unprecedented amount of information about our planet and a wide variety of environmental and cultural phenomena.” From the vantage point of our hyper-geo-emersed lifestyle today his description of this Digital Earth is prescient yet rather cumbersome:
"Imagine, for example, a young child going to a Digital Earth exhibit at a local museum. After donning a head-mounted display, she sees Earth as it appears from space. Using a data glove, she zooms in, using higher and higher levels of resolution, to see continents, then regions, countries, cities, and finally individual houses, trees, and other natural and man-made objects. Having found an area of the planet she is interested in exploring, she takes the equivalent of a "magic carpet ride" through a 3-D visualization of the terrain.”
He said: "Although this scenario may seem like science fiction, most of the technologies and capabilities that would be required to build a Digital Earth are either here or under development. Of course, the capabilities of a Digital Earth will continue to evolve over time. What we will be able to do in 2005 will look primitive compared to the Digital Earth of the year 2020. In 1998, the necessary technologies were: Computational Science, Mass Storage, Satellite Imagery, Broadband networks, Interoperability, and Metadata.
He anticipated change: "Of course, further technological progress is needed to realize the full potential of the Digital Earth, especially in areas such as automatic interpretation of imagery, the fusion of data from multiple sources, and intelligent agents that could find and link information on the Web about a particular spot on the planet. But enough of the pieces are in place right now to warrant proceeding with this exciting initiative.”
Much has changed since he gave his talk, obviously. We have numerous examples of Virtual Globes for data exploration - for example, Google Earth, NASA’s WorldWind, ESRI’s ArcGIS Explorer, Bing Maps 3D, TerraExplorer, Marble. (These virtual examples are made tangible with NOAA's terrific Science on a Sphere project.) We also have realized a new vision of the Digital Earth that includes much more than immersive viewing of data. Today’s Digital Earth vision(s) include analytics and expertise for solving problems that are often cross-discplinary and large scale. Additionally, we make much more use today than was anticipated in 1998 from sensor networks and the geoweb (e.g. volunteered geographic information and croudsourcing). Examples of this multi-disciplinary Digital Earth concept include Google Earth Engine (and its recent forest loss product), Nasa Earth Exchange, and our own HOLOS.
Really interesting video of 600 pot farms in Humboldt Co. as readily shown via Google Earth. I am re-posting this in light of Alice's excellent talk today.