Understanding our world and the interconnectedness of the natural and built environment is a great challenge to global development professionals as well as scientists and technologists. The role that Earth observation (EO) plays in this understanding is difficult to put in terms of economic value. However, to capture the greatest use from EO, our community is continually challenged to make this information much more accessible and ready for analysis, enabling data-driven development.
Geospatial data and the expertise to interpret it can be helpful to journalists who are researching and reporting complex stories, such as the movements of populations at the intersection of land rights, ecotourism, and political power.
Contentious land development on the Mozambican side of the border with South Africa was billed as a way to protect rhinos and elephants from poachers while providing jobs for the local Cubo community and water for their cattle. However, according to the local villagers, it turned into a land grab by South African conservationists and tourism businesses, aided by corrupt politicians, bribes, and false promises.
The overall goal of the event is to advance the interoperability of satellite data. The reality is that the use of satellite imagery is still a small niche, even though increased knowledge of our planet has the potential to make a huge difference in everyone’s lives. We believe a significant reason it remains a niche field is that going from raw pixels to actionable insight is still very difficult. As an industry, we force users to search for relevant data in many different locations and then put it on them to pre-process the imagery properly to perform their analysis.
It is our pleasure to introduce to you Dr. Vanessa Lawrence CB, a senior strategic geospatial advisor to governments, inter-governmental organizations and the private sector. As the longest-serving Director-General and Chief Executive of Ordnance Survey — Great Britain’s national mapping agency since 1875 — as well as the first woman to hold that position since it was founded in 1791, Dr. Lawrence helped to transform the organization to be a leading provider of geospatial data, before stepping down in 2014, after 14 years at the helm.
Radiant.Earth is pleased to announce the release of version 0.5.0 of the STAC specification! Most of the activity is in the github repo, as well as lots of great discussion in our gitter channel. The team is excited for the next sprint in August, and it’s shaping up to be a great gathering — submit on the form if you’re interested in joining.
As part of a recent Radiant.Earth workshop, 30 leading international experts participated in the launch of a new Technical Working Group on Machine Learning for Global Development. The group includes Earth observations (EO), machine learning (ML), and land cover (LC) classification experts, all working collaboratively towards the goal of developing a community standard on best practices for use of ML with EO, a commons for labeled training data catalogues, and a hierarchical schema for global LC classification.
Small island nations isolated in vast expanses of the Pacific Ocean may be the canaries in the coal mine for what could be climate change’s dangerous impact on a global scale. With nearly a third of the island nation’s population living on land less than 5m above sea level, they are especially vulnerable to the global threat of rising sea levels, extreme weather patterns, deteriorating soil quality, and coral bleaching, all of which damage not only coastlines, but also communities and livelihoods.
There’s been some excellent progress on SpatioTemporal Asset Catalogs (STAC) in the past month, so we wanted to share what’s been going on. And we’re also running the third community even in August, so wanted to welcome potential participants.
Radiant.Earth is pleased to introduce to you Dr. Einar Bjorgo, Director of the Division for Satellite Analysis and Applied Research and UNOSAT’s Programme Manager at the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). In this Q&A, Dr. Bjorgo talks about how to contribute to sustainable development and improve disaster responses for small island nations that are experiencing climate change.
The last month has seen a number of great Cloud Optimized GeoTIFF advances, with lots of enthusiasm at the FOSS4G-NA conference. There’s new software supporting COG’s, a new logo, a new mailing list set up for collaboration, and some great ideas of how to make COG’s more useful by surfacing best practices and making the spec a wee bit more formal.