Category Archives: Earth Observation Day

Earth Science Week – Day 3: Earth Observation Day

Happy Earth Observation Day!

Today we are celebrating remote sensing, the study of the earth using secondary observations from instruments such as planes, kites, drones, satellites as an exciting and powerful educational tool to help us show changes over time.

This year the AmericaView/NASA team has put together a fun and beautiful educational poster!

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A Great Day For Earth Observation – Part II

The second part of Earth Observation Day was dedicated to using OpenStreetMap to remotely map Wayland, Iowa and Mindanao region of the Philippines.

Amy Logan, an IowaView staff member, gave a brief introduction to remote sensing and OpenStreetMap. Then mappers began working on a TeachOSM task – Improving the Iowa OSM Basemap: Wayland, Iowa (https://tasks.teachosm.org/project/981). Beverly Conrad, the city clerk of Wayland came for the mapathon and was able to provide local knowledge about the areas participants were mapping. New mappers were encouraged to do the OSM iD Editor Walk-through before they began mapping. It provides users with a nice hands-on introduction of the OpenStreetMap interface and how to create data.

Beverly Conrad discussing a feature with mapathon participants.

Wayland is a small town (population: 966) in southeast Iowa that has wanted to move towards a GIS asset management system, yet much of their city needed to be mapped. As a result of the volunteer efforts of our 22 mappers during the Earth Observation Day mapathon event, partcipants mapped over 70% of the city, including over 470 buildings as well as sidewalks, alleys, parks, and other points of interest. Below is a before and after screenshot of the OpenStreetMap basemap for the City of Wayland, Iowa.

Thank you, Mappers!

The second project was a Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Task improving the basemap in the Philippines to promote food security. This project added details to the basemap such as minor roads and path, buildings, and farmland.

A Great day for Earth Observation – Part I

Earth Observation Day 2019 was super.

First, Professor Peter Wolter shared with us several projects he has worked on in northern forests of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan. He explained how he has used multiple satellites/sensors to identify specific traits in trees (wavelength, height, temporal change, etc.) which allowed him to classify different regions of the forest by species. Below are some pictures from his presentation. Thank you, Peter!

Coming Soon: Earth Observation Day – Tuesday October 15, 2019

When: Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Where: GIS Teaching Lab, Room 248, Durham Center, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa

This year the ISU GIS Facility in collaboration with IowaView will be celebrating Earth Observation Day. This year the theme is “Geoscience is Everywhere.” We have a great day planned.

To start out our day at 10:30am, Professor Peter Wolter will share how he is using remote sensing to measure forest structure and composition. Then we will have a Humanitarian Open Street Map Event 11am-12:30pm. No experience is needed. First, we will have an Iowa-Focused activity 11:00am-11:45am and then we will focus our efforts on an international Humanitarian OpenStreetMap activity from 11:45am-12:30pm. We will also have pizza and you are encouraged to try our new puzzles.

REGISTER NOW: https://forms.gle/pDeEHbLY1eEV6Ejq7Ejq7

Happy Earth Observation Day!

Gregg Hadish gave a great presentation about the Iowa Geographic Map Server to celebrate Earth Observation Day.  It was a hands-on demonstration of the Iowa Geographic Map Server ArcGIS App which meant participants could follow along as he explained the various features and functions of the map server. Gregg also showed participants how to leverage map server layers within their own ArcGIS Online organizational accounts and basics for creating their own apps. 

Thank you, Gregg for a great demo! 

Here are some pictures from our Earth Observation Day event.

Checking out the new statewide 1 ft color infrared imagery in the web app.

Gregg giving an introduction to the Iowa Geographic Map Server.

Showing a historical layer – 1880s Andreas Atlas.

Earth Observation Day – October 16, 2018


IowaView, in collaboration with ISU GIS Facility and AmericaView, will be hosting the annual Earth Observation Day celebration, Tuesday, October 16, 2018, in Durham 248 from 12:15 to 1pm as part of Earth Science Week.  This year, Gregg Hadish, a staff member of ISU GIS Facility and Iowa NRCS will be our featured speaker; he will give a hands-on demo of the Iowa Geographic Map Server (http://ortho.gis.iastate.edu/.) Iowa Geographic Map Server is browser-based website for statewide Iowa imagery. Gregg has been involved with the development of the Iowa Geographic Map Server for nearly twenty years.  The presentation will highlight recent innovations to the map server including an updated interface as well as many new features and image services. 

Iowa Geographic Map Server hosts statewide Iowa imagery dating back to the 1930s through spring 2018 as well as layers of elevation data (Lidar hillshade, contours), high-resolution land cover data, and historical data including the 1880s General Land Office maps and Andreas Atlas.  Many of the layers are available as web services within GIS software.  This is one of the most robust, publicly available, spatial imagery datasets in the country. This treasure trove of Iowa imagery that is waiting to be incorporated into your research.  This workshop is for all levels. There will also be time for questions.  If you plan to come, please RSVP with amylogan@iastate.edu as computer space is limited.  

Earth Observation Day – Thursday, October 12, 2017

This year for Earth Observation Day we had a mini mapathon and a speaker.  Our mapathon efforts focused on a project  in Puerto Rico that was mapping features as part of the Hurricane Maria recovery efforts.  Then Daryl Herzmann presented about the Iowa Environmental Mesonet (IEM), a storehouse and distribution center for weather, satellite, and transportation data for the US. Daryl gave a brief history of IEM along with highlighting many of its uses. Click here to view Daryl’s powerpoint.