With this issue, Blueline Publishing marks the beginning of the eleventh year of publishing Apogeo Spatial (formerly Imaging Notes). The past 10 years have been an exciting ride as the magazine continues to document the amazing steps forward that have been made in the world of Earth observations. We also celebrate 30 years of the publication’s existence, in a few different incarnations.
This issue offers some reasons to be inspired. As the Secure World Foundation column notes, Landsat 8 is making history with the best Landsat data ever, the use of agile new unmanned aerial systems (UAS) is thriving, and new commercial space systems promise to revolutionize the industry of capturing Earth observations (EO) data and turning them into useful, actionable information. What an exciting time to be publishing the achievements of the industry!
Professor Chris Justice and other staff members of the University of Maryland’s Department of Geographical Sciences demonstrate important international cooperation with their description of the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) Global Agricultural Monitoring (GLAM) initiative, which they have led. GEO is a major multilateral effort to provide global-scale information on different constituents of Earth’s environment to organizations and individuals around the world, using both satellite and ground-based information. GEOGLAM is focused on improving agricultural forecasting and planning through international cooperation and is made possible in large part by the improved flow of high-quality data from Landsat 8.
The article by Dr. Valerio Baiocchi of Sapienza University of Roma summarizes the use of a new software-based technique to improve safety and reduce the loss of lives in earthquake-prone urban areas. It illustrates the use of Trimble’s eCognition Developer 8.0 image analysis software with remotely sensed data and position, navigation and timing (PNT) data to identify collapsed buildings soon after an earthquake and improve chances that rescue teams can locate survivors quickly and efficiently.
Finally, enjoy the Q&A with Alan Hall, CEO of Tempus Global Data, a firm that specializes in combining space-based weather observations with a “big data approach” to analysis to improve weather forecasting, particularly for severe weather. The Q&A should prove enlightening about what is on the horizon for commercial satellite weather data–ideally, better severe weather forecasts, lower costs, and bridging the pending weather data gap. This article follows our interview with PlanetiQ’s CEO, Anne Hale Miglarese, in our Fall 2014 issue.
One of the most inspiring scientists of today is Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, well-known astrophysicist who spoke recently about the “Cosmic Perspective” of seeing the Earth from space, which is similar to the “Overview Effect,” (included in our Fall 2014 Publisher’s Letter . That view of our fragile planet from space changes our perceptions, and inspires a sense of unity, as we cannot see any political borders from space. We see only the captivating beauty, the land masses and oceans as one, and the smallness of our home. We hope that these articles similarly inspire us to work together for the benefit of all.
We look forward to another year of publishing timely, informative, and accessible articles on the many uses of Earth observations in support of elevating global awareness for the long-term sustainability of the planet and people. Send your suggestions for future articles and any comments to myrna@ apogeospatial.com. We value your input to the magazine.
Ray Williamson, PhD, Editor
Myrna James Yoo, Publisher