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Author Archive

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Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Going Beyond Global Forest Change Modeling Toward Big Earth-system Sustainability

One of the more impressive earth observation achievements in recent years was the collaboration between Google and the University of Maryland to create a global forest change assessment and visualization. This effort was unprecedented in terms of the raw computing power applied to the substantial Landsat archive, and yielding results that opened a lot of

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Google Earth Outreach Continues Collaboration with Nonprofits, Educators and Researchers for Earth Modeling and Monitoring

Google Earth is all about putting things in geographic context, aiding literacy and helping users in discovery. This capacity that started out with Keyhole technology has continuously evolved to include more data, and greater usability now with direct interface integration with Google Maps. From its early origins, the tool has also been applied to local

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

UNEP Takes Advantage of Today’s Technology for Better and Cheaper Monitoring

The United Nations Environment Program is responsible for assisting countries in the collection of environmental data for more informed development, improving their quality of life without compromising that of future generations. Jacqueline McGlade, formerly the executive director of the European Environment Agency for ten years, recently joined this group as Chief Scientist, bringing her passion

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Improving Global Carbon Estimates with LiDAR

International efforts to mitigate climate change hinge on limiting global anthropogenic CO2 emissions. About 12 percent of these emissions are due to deforestation and forest degradation, mostly in developing countries. To limit forest emissions, in 2008 the United Nations launched its Collaborative Program on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries (UN-REDD). Building

Monday, February 24th, 2014

UAS for Agriculture, Ready for Take-off

  Unmanned aerial systems (UAS) have recently become ubiquitous in the mass media and in trade publications, due to a variety of factors that include : international controversy over their military use by the United States against targets in Pakistan; domestic concerns about potential privacy violations; the development of ever cheaper and more capable systems; congressional

Monday, December 16th, 2013

Advocating for Geography Education

  A recent opinion piece by Kirk Goldsberry, visiting scholar at Harvard University, gained a good deal of attention because it advocated for a return of a geography department to that august institution. Sensors & Systems (S&S) special correspondent Matteo Luccio spoke with Goldsberry about his background, about the need to reveal spatial patterns, and

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Can Satellites in the Sky Help Prevent Atrocities on Earth?

Currently, about a dozen government and commercial Earth-imaging satellites circle the Earth daily. They take thousands of pictures that governments, private companies, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) use for purposes as varied as monitoring wheat production, looking for point sources of pollution, and displaying images on Google Earth.

Monday, October 14th, 2013

SkyTruth Hopes to Make Skytruthing Into a Verb

SkyTruth has a mission to use remote sensing and digital mapping to educate the public and policymakers about the environmental consequences of human activity. Sensors & Systems (S&S) special correspondent Matteo Luccio recently spoke with John Amos, president of SkyTruth, about the organization’s motive and mission. Included in the conversation are details on imagery sources,

Monday, August 5th, 2013

The Abyss, Now Live on Your Desktop

  The advent of Earth-observation satellites transformed how we view our planet—from occasional snapshots to near continuous, comprehensive, and real-time coverage. Likewise, the advent of cabled sensor networks on the sea floor is beginning to provide scientists and the public with a continuous flow of data, including video streams, that will revolutionize our understanding of

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Applying Spatial and Temporal Intelligence to Marine Spatial Planning

There’s an ongoing need to apply spatial and temporal intelligence to make sense of change. The Pacific Marine Analysis and Research Association (PacMARA) is an organization that is applying decision support tools for ecosystem-based decision making for marine spatial planning. Sensors & Systems (S&S) special correspondent Matteo Luccio spoke with Henry Kucera, director of the

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