Story Maps DC Meet Up

Come to our next Washington, DC Meet Up on Thursday, May 16, and learn how GIS can enrich your story. There are countless examples of incredible uses of GIS technology. Everything from charting at-risk communities, presidential elections, hurricanes, and various kinds of public information. Map making in this kind of capacity facilitates improved decision making, and increased ability to understand complex data and relationships.

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NOVA Weather Balloon Initial Flight


Authors: Internship project by GIS student Gustavo R. Zastrow. Supervised by Professor Michael J. Krimmer and Professor James S. Brown. Northern Virginia Community College

Abstract title: Revisiting Tournachon – How balloon aerial photography has been moved out of history and into the GIS classroom

erial photography has come a long way since the famous balloonist Gaspar Felix Tournachon (known as Nadar) took the first aerial photograph in 1858. However using weather balloons for taking aerial photos is becoming increasingly popular as an inexpensive way of capturing images for GIS/Remote Sensing use. Northern Virginia Community College, department of Geospatial Studies has developed an internship project to study the use of weather balloons and modified digital cameras as a way to capture aerial imagery. This imagery will later be processed using commercial as well as open source GIS software.

This project which is currently being implemented, not only takes in consideration the affordability of the solution, but also a low environmental impact compared to traditional methods. Whereas conventional methods involve airplanes or satellites, this one uses a helium filled weather balloon on a fixed tether thus there is no need to use harmful fossil fuel or invest a huge amount of time and money for a small project. In addition a re-purposed digital camera is used to capture NIR (Near Infrared) by modifying the camera’s filter, and the camera firmware is hacked to allow for time-lapse photos to be taken as the balloon hovers over the campus. By using this approach, thousands of nadir images can be easily taken so that the chance of not having any usable images is practically nil. The resultant imagery of the Loudoun NVCC campus will be rectified and registered and will become educational material for GIS and Remote Sensing classes. In addition the photos will be the basis for using GIS software to digitize fields, parking areas, and building outlines where other campus CAD drawings are not available.




Don’t miss this year’s GEOINT Community Week as we bring together the defense, intelligence, homeland security, and geospatial communities at-large for a week of briefings, educational sessions, learning workshops, technology exhibits and networking opportunities..

Registration is required for all events except GEOINTeration Tuesday.

REGISTER TODAY as space is limited!

  • Tuesday, May 21 – NGA Tech Showcase East This year’s new format will include morning briefings followed by demos at analyst workstations throughout the building. Registration is required as space is limited given the new format. NCE – Springfield, VA 0700 – 1500 Free for Government / $150 all others / Registration required
  • Wednesday, May 22 – Spatial Literacy Workshop and YPG Session Esri will host a workshop on the geographic approach and spatial literacy. You can also join USGIF’s Young Professionals Group on managing your online presence, followed by a networking reception. Reston Hyatt, Reston, VA 1400 – 1900 Free and open to all / Registration required
  • Thursday, May 23 – USGIF Technology Day Features nearly 20 professional development, education, and training offerings this year as well as 50 exhibiting organizations and a networking reception. Trainings are first-come, first-serve and will fill up quickly. Reston Hyatt, Reston, VA 0700 -1900 Free for Government / $25 all others / Registration required

REGISTER TODAY as space is limited!