NGA: “Share Your Data!”?


National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Director Letitia Long has a message for federal agencies: If you want to realize the full value of your data, make it accessible to the public, other agencies and outside organizations. “Meta-tag your data, expose your data, make it accessible,” she said at a geospatial conference in Washington D.C., on Feb. 11. “If it is not out there for others to use, you’re not realizing the full potential and value of data.” Read More

Private Satellites Raise Profits, Privacy Concerns


 A sample image from a Planet Labs mini-satellite over Canada. Planet Labs
A sample image from a Planet Labs mini-satellite over Canada. Planet Labs
Planet Labs has more than two dozen pint-size orbiters sitting on the International Space Station. Over the next several days, if all goes as planned, astronauts will have pushed them out the door. The effort is the most ambitious yet to build a business on the back of so-called nano-satellites — miniature satellites that, until now, have been largely the domain of researchers. It’s also a sign of the coming of age of such shoebox-size orbiters, which are becoming an increasingly important tool in space. Read More

Satellite Images Reveal UK Flood Impact

From: www.

Airbus Defence and Space has released before and after satellite imagery showing the extent of recent flooding around Bridgewater in the UK. Airbus DS’s Spot 6 Earth observation satellite captured images of the River Parrett near Bridgewater in south west England on 8 June 2013, and then again on 11 February 2014 after the river had breached its banks following heavy rainfall.

Spot 6 forms part of t he Airbus Defence and Space constellation of optical and radar satellites with superior change detection capabilities that help to support flood damage assessment.

Click here to download the before and after images:

– See more at:

Get your (Geo)Geek On!

In our more advanced classes we have discussed the FGDC and other bodies that determine standards for spatial data. Please continue reading for discussion on changes to the JPEG 2000 standard:
(From GeoInformatics, 18-02-2014)

The OGC seeks comment on revised GML in JPEG 2000 Encoding Standard

The Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC) seeks comment on the candidate GML in JPEG 2000 Encoding Standard version 2. This geospatial data encoding standard defines how the Geography Markup Language (GML) is to be used within JPEG 2000 images for adding geographic content to imagery. Once approved, the GML in JPEG2000 version 2 standard will join a suite of international open standards that provide a platform for seamless service-based publishing, discovery, assessment, ordering, access and processing of geospatial information. (Click here to continue reading)

Memoriam: Dr. Roger Tomlinson, “Father of GIS”

From:, 13 Feb 2014

Dr. Tomlinson’s invention of the computerized geographic information system changed the way the world uses geographic data and maps to solve problems  

TORONTO – February 12, 2014 – Esri Canada honours the life and work of Dr. Roger Tomlinson, who passed away on February 9, 2014, at the age of 80. Known as the “father of GIS”, Dr. Tomlinson was a visionary geographer who conceived and developed the first geographic information system (GIS) for the Canadian federal government in the 1960s. He initiated, planned and directed the development of the Canada Geographic Information System to create the Canada Land Inventory, a geographic database still used today by municipalities for their land planning. His innovation has enabled the development of modern mapping technology and techniques, and established a multibillion-dollar industry employing thousands of people worldwide.   Read more here.

More about Dr. Roger Tomlinson

On-line memorial to Dr. Tomlinson

Smile! (Know When You are Being Observed)

SpyMeSat App Now Available for Android (From

GREENBELT, MD (February 12th, 2014) – Orbit Logic announced today that their popular SpyMeSat mobile app, previously available only for iPhone, is now available for Android devices on Google Play.  The SpyMeSat app provides notifications when imaging satellites are overhead and may be taking your picture.  A dynamic map shows orbit tracks and the location of satellites with upcoming passes over the user-specified location.  Click here for more.

Too Cool (Sorry for the bad pun)

Google Goes to Antarctica   February 13th, 2014 by Susan Smith

For those Antarctic enthusiasts, Google has been exploring Antarctica with its special Street View backpack carrying a special Trekker camera. It persuaded researchers at the Polar Geospatial Center to carry the trekker, a 42 pound backpack with 15 lenses. Starting with easy to obtain images using , Google has now added a range of hard to reach places.

imagery: Google Streetview Camera
imagery: Google Streetview Camera

ESRI (paid) Summer Internship

The Esri federal office in Vienna, VA has 2 summer internship opportunities. These are full time, paid internship positions. Interested candidates should complete the application on this link:

Candidates should indicate in their cover letter a desire to work in the DC area and/or support Federal/National Government use of GIS so that their resumes get sent to the Federal office for review.

Deadline to submit an application packet is 14 March.

One Year Anniversary Landsat 8

On February 11, 2013,  the Landsat 8 satellite rocketed into a sunny California morning onboard a powerful Atlas V and began its life in orbit. In the year since launch, scientists have been working to understand the information the satellite has been sending back. Some have been calibrating the data—checking it against ground observations and matching it to the rest of the 42-year-long Landsat record. At the same time, the broader science community has been learning to use the new data.