Open Data and Collaboration

Opticks Open Source Remote Sensing and Image Processing Software, a Community College GIS Program, and Collaboration

Session Type: 
Nathan Jennings, American River College/Opticks

Nathan Jennings, GIS professor at American River College in Sacramento, California has currently been using the Opticks open source digital image processing software (produced and provided freely by Ball Aerospace) for remotely sensed imagery and serves as the primary software used in the required Remote Sensing and Digital Image Processing course. With very tight budgets across the Los Rios Community College District, open source software such as Opticks has allowed this required course to continue and serve a growing demand for this course, its knowledge content, and students’ abilities to obtain hands-on training with highly functioning software. In addition, with a highly useful and “free” software, students can continue their learning and obtain additional hands-on experience by being able to use the software at home, whereas, with other commercial software packages, students are required to spend $100-$200/license which many cannot afford. The Opticks software allow remote sensing students to gain practical knowledge and develop image processing skills in many of the digital image processing functions and methods found in the remote sensing and GIS industry. Opticks provides capability in areas such as image enhancement, spectral signature processing, and hyperspectral and RADAR image analysis. The paper will review the following:

1. Use of Opticks in a community college geographic information systems (GIS) Program
2. Review Author’s RADAR algorithm development using Opticks
3. Collaboration of the author with Opticks and Google Summer of Code Program
4. Summarize using the Opticks Python Scripting Extension

Speaker Bio: 

Adjunct GIS Professor, American River College, Sacramento, CA
Sr. GIS Analyst, City of Sacramento, Sacramento, CA
Principal, JenningsPlanet, GIS Consulting
Opticks, Contributor-Collaborator-Mentor

Geographic Reference Interface For Internet Networks

Session Type: 
Jan Kolar PhD, Grifinor Project

Geographic Reference Interface For Internet Networks (GRIFIN) is an experimental platform for exchanging spatio-temporal objects designed since 2005 primarily by Jan Kolar.

The goal of this effort is to consolidate research on next generation geographic systems, by the project participants as well as others, through designing a platform that could form a common core for research.

The purpose of the platform is to publish and exchange geo-referenced objects.

The term “object” here refers to a particular form for geo-related content that allows non-specialists to explore the objects in a digital representation of space-time, but also allows specialists to use instantly new, variable object-models.

Therefore it facilitates sharing and improvement of the models.
The platform design can provide a public Internet service, which allows for non-binding use by any user of the network in a similar manner as the Electronic mail, FTP or the Web services.

The properties of the service’s design address several research and development subjects.

The key ones are: globally ordered content, decentralization, interoperable and programmable content, and visualization.
These properties have been achieved using a number of scientific and engineering concepts of which the most important are: geospatial indexing, object oriented programming, terrestrial reference frame, managed code, and 3-D computer graphics.
The article provides an overview of the main aspects behind these concepts and how they were used in the design and development of the new service.

From the design point of view it is important to recognize that some of these concepts are relevant only for a specific property.
For example the concepts of 3-D computer graphics were almost exclusively applied for the support of visual representation of the content.

Other concepts, in contrast, are relevant for several of the listed properties.

Speaker Bio: 

With M.Sc. degree from Czech Technical University in Prague and Ph.D. from Aalborg University in Denmark, Jan is currently working as a consultant in geoinformatics.

The Oklahoma/Kansas cyberCommons: An Ecological Informatics Research Laboratory

Session Type: 
Mr Jonah Duckles, University of Oklahoma
Mr Mark Stacy
Mr Brian Cremeans

Integrative ecological research efforts often collapses under the weight of the massive amounts of data they hope to integrate. We share our approach to addressing this by building a loosely-coupled data and analysis toolkit. This toolkit draws heavily from from FOSS4G, OGC services and open standards to enhance scientific analysis capabilities. We share several examples where we organize, process, enhance and expose spatiotemporal datasets, such as: 1) weather radar reflectivity data before quality control, used to classify biological targets; 2) archives of earth observing remote sensing satellite imagery and derrived products; 3) regional carbon flux modeling. We show the FOSS4G tools we draw upon and how we've arranged them into a system to meet our research goals.

Speaker Bio: 

Jonah is a member of the Eco-Informatics group at the University of Oklahoma. Eco-Informatics embeds IT professionals with ecological scientists to enhance research capabilities.

Education, research and development in an institutional cooperation towards the establishment of an open source GIS platform

Session Type: 
Roberto Giachetta, Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE)
István László
István Elek
István Fekete

This study presents research and development outcomes and future plans of a collaboration program in GIS in Budapest, Hungary. Since 2004, Eötvös Loránd University, Faculty of Informatics grants home to a Geographic Information System educational module with the following courses: Introduction to Cartography, Geoinformatics, Spatial Databases, Remote Sensing Image Analysis, and GIS Application Development. This module has been completed by over 400 students to this date. In terms of education and research the University tightly cooperates with the Institute of Geodesy, Cartography and Remote Sensing. Students with interests in these fields may complete their professional practice in the Institute.

During lab seminars, students were working on many small scaled projects and have presented several theses and papers in Scientific Students’ Association. These works concern the full spectrum of GIS: from GPS tracking and navigation, 3D spatial modeling and display to spatial database development, web applications and services, and the fields of remote sensing, image segmentation and clustering, thematic classification, shape and texture recognition.

Research in this area also covers many fields, including the development of the university digital map server, document based spatial data storage, temporal properties of spatial data, data fusion methods on satellite images, knowledge-based automated raster-vector conversion of maps, image filter library development, segmentation and segment based evaluation of remotely sensed images.

Speaker Bio: 

Graduated in 2009 at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest. Currently carrying out PhD studies in computer science, in the field of geospatial databases.

Embracing Web 2.0 and GIS to Enhance Public Participation in Science

Session Type: 
Mr Shaun Langley, Michigan State University

Recent decades have seen a dramatic shift towards transdisciplinary research. Such projects require a unique integration of skill and communication. The integration of academic disciplines resulting from these endeavors creates a unique challenge, particularly for data management and analysis. The explosion in availability of spatial data has further exacerbated this problem as researchers and the public alike are enticed by the utility of such data sets. With the advent of Web 2.0, the public is becoming increasingly interested in GIS and data exploration, often for no purpose other than personal edification. At the same time, researchers are showing a greater appreciation for “indigenous knowledge” and it’s ability to provide unique insight into old questions. Volunteered GIS (VGI) has been successful at engaging non-scientists in scientific exploits, though often with little or no methodology or purpose. Participatory GIS (PGIS) has sought to enhance the relationship between researchers and the public in order to solve problems; however it is often of limited utility for the researcher and even more frequently lacking a technical aspect.

Recent advances in technology and spatial analysis, in conjunction with a greater technological understanding by the public, make it possible to revisit a cooperative relationship between researchers and non-scientists. The availability of mobile devices and wireless communication permit the public to be more involved in research activities to a greater degree than in the past. Furthermore, the accuracy of these devices is rapidly improving, allowing us to address old questions of uncertainty and error in data collections. Such cooperation between researchers and the public integrates themes common to VGI and PGIS, to bring about a new paradigm in GIScience.

Speaker Bio: 

I am a doctoral student in Geography at Michigan State University. My research focuses on adapting new computing technologies for use in an academic context.

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