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Earth Observation Day is here!

Happy Earth Observation Day!

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We will be celebrating the day by having a mini-mapathon followed by pizza and an earth observation research talk by Dr. Brian Hornbuckle.  Dr. Hornbuckle will be discussing his work with the satellites SMAP (Soil Moisture Active Passive-US) and SMOS (Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity- European) and ground sensors to determine soil moisture across Iowa.

If you have time for some fun today consider playing the AmericaView Remote Sensing Imagery Game!

 

 

Celebrating a 40 year milestone of Landsat Color photomosaics

I was going through a collection of maps in my basement this weekend and found the map seen below: PORTRAIT U.S.A. – the first color photomosaic of the 48 contiguous United States which was featured in the July 1976 issue of National Geographic Magazine. Here’s to forty years of color photomosaics!  Happy Monday!

Here’s a description of the map from the National Geographic website: The first color satellite photomosaic of the 48 contiguous United States, this landmark map was published in July of 1976. The near-true color imagery creates a portrait of the patchwork quilt of the entire country. Trace the Mississippi river from its source to the Gulf of Mexico. See the deserts of New Mexico, Arizona, and California. Follow the Rocky Mountains through the western states. A cartographic benchmark, this map laid the groundwork for the many that have followed. http://www.natgeomaps.com/portrait-usa-map

 

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In the blog post, “When the Earth Began Looking at Itself: the Landsat Program,” Fosco Lucarelli, provides additional history and images of Landsat program. The PORTRAIT U.S.A is composed of 700 mosaic images.

Dive into the OSM World of Mapping – 4-H youth mapping event

On June 30, 2016, IowaView staff hosted a mapping workshop as part of the annual Iowa 4-H State Conference. There were 7 students in attendance. The workshop included an introduction to GIS/remote sensing, a summary of a current GIS Facility project, and two hands-on mapping projects in George, Iowa and Mount Singabung, Indonesia.

For various mapping workshops, IowaView has been adopting small towns (Leon, Ogden) across Iowa to continue adding to and filling in the Open Street Map basemap for Iowa. George, Iowa is a small town with a population of 1,055 located in Lyon County in northwest Iowa.

IowaView choose to focus our second project on Mount Singabung, Indonesia which was identified as a top priority by the United States Geological Survey – Volcano Disaster Assistance Program. Sinabung is an active stratovolcano that has had consistent activity since 2010. The volcano poses a significant risk to those living in close proximity. Recent activity includes eruptions in 2010, 2013, 2014. The latest eruption occurred May 2016, killing 7 Indonesians.

The group made over 2,500 edits during the workshop.

Below are before and after screen shots of George, Iowa.

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George7_13_2016-Closeup

Results from MLK Jr. Day MapGive Event

On January 18, 2016, IowaView hosted our second annual mapping party to celebrate the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Over the course of the party we mapped over 1,500 ways (linear features and boundaries) and over 10,000 nodes (points). Our efforts were primarily focused on the town of Ogden, Iowa and Raung, East Java, Indonesia, an area identified as high priority by the Volcano Disaster Assistance Program.

Below is a link to a story map showing the progress we have made mapping Ogden, Iowa over the last two mapping events we have hosted.  http://arcg.is/1VNfIJH

2nd Annual MLK Jr. Day Mapping Party!!!

On January 18, 2016, the IowaView staff hosted the 2nd Annual OSM/MapGive Mapping Party at ISU’s Durham Center on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. There were 20 mappers that were able to join in the day of service on site and several that participated remotely. For the first part of the session participants mapped a small Iowa town and then for the second part of the session participants spent time mapping areas around Raung Volcano, in East Java, Indonesia as part of a collaboration with Volcano Disaster Assistance Program.

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IowaView Staff Attend AmericaView Fall Technical Meeting in SD

erosThe IowaView Staff attended the AmericaView Fall Technical Meeting on October 22 and 23, 2015, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota at the Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center. The meeting was attended by many of the AmericaView members. It was a good time of collaboration and sharing of knowledge and expertise. Below are three posters that IowaView staff contributed to the poster session.

IowaView Research Poster

IowaView Outreach Poster

IowaView Tile Mapping Poster

Back to School Teaching Tools: Using Phenocam Images in the Classroom

The new school year has begun. As we trade in our flip flops and towels for shoes, socks, and shirts, the world around us is also signalling the change of seasons. The grass and trees will soon be getting their autumn colors as they fade from their vigorous summer greens and yellows to reds, oranges, and browns. This is a great time to introduce and discuss concepts of seasonal change, phenology,

The Harvard Forest website has over two dozen great resources to get students (5th grade – high school) thinking about seasonal change. Below are several exercises that especially stood out:

  1. Comparing historical writing to current phenocam data for observe changes in species leaf off timing
  2. Comparing the percentage of color change of individual trees in a phenocam image to the percentage of change in a canopy-wide image
  3. Generating a temperature vs. percent leafs fallen graph