News Archive

November 2009

    Over 15 TB of Data Distributed Over 15 TB of Data Distributed

    In the month of October the GLCF distributed 15.14 terabytes of data, by far the most the GLCF has ever distributed in a month. Our last time high was 11.25 terabytes in July 2005. Also this year the GLCF passed the one petabyte mark of cumulative data volume distributed since August of 2002. The GLCF team takes pride is providing the data support and distribution capability to its users worldwide and looks forward in continuing the support for years to come. If you/your organization has benefited from our services provided by the GLCF, please take the time to directly email us or use the online tool here informing us how your organization has benefited from our work.

October 2009

    MODIS Water Mask now available MODIS Water Mask now available

    The MODIS Water Mask at 250m is now available at the GLCF. This dataset is currently available at the DAAC in HDF format, however we have made it available using the smaller UMD Tiles and in GeoTIFF file format, compatible with other available MODIS products. For further information regarding this product visit the Water Mask pages.

August 2009

    GLS collections for 1990 and 2000 epochs are now available for free download GLS collections for 1990 and 2000 epochs are now available for free download

    The Global Land Survey (GLS) is an enhanced and expanded edition of the GeoCover Landsat collection. GLS contains four epochs (1975, 1990, 2000, 2005) of terrain corrected Landsat imagery covering all vegetated land surfaces. The Global Land Cover Facility provides free access to this high quality imagery product via three means: through the web tool ESDI, through FTP and through hard media. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has coordinated the collection, including orthorectification and mosaicing accomplished by MDA Federal, and made a copy available for free to the world through their GLOVIS and Earth Explorer data portals. This is the most comprehensive collection of high integrity, high resolution satellite imagery for the world currently available. Please contact the GLCF for further information or visit the USGS GLS web site. To access the GLS collection in ESDI:
    1. Open ESDI at: http://glcfapp.glcf.umd.edu:8080/esdi/index.jsp
    2. Open the Map Search tool
    3. Click on the desired Landsat sensor at the upper left of the tool. Keep in mind that GLS1975 should have only MSS, GLS1990 should have TM, GLS2000 should have ETM+ and GLSS2005 should have TM, ETM+ and ALI. For this example, click on the ETM+ sensor.
    4. In the Require box, click on the GLS option.
    5. Click Update Map to engage choices.
    6. The map shows pink fill for anywhere on the map that meets the criteria. Zoom in and select a particular scene, or open the path/row tab and enter a desired location. For this example, click on the Path/Row tab on top of the map area. Enter "15" for path and "33" for row. Click Update Map again.
    7. Click the Preview and Download button and available scenes will be listed. Note that GLS2000 is listed under "Attr." for attribute. To download this scene, click the Download button.

July 2009

June 2009

May 2009

    Award for John Townshend Award for John Townshend

    John Townshend has been made an Honorary Fellow of the United Kingdom's Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society.  Honorary membership is awarded to individuals of prominence in the field of remote sensing and photogrammetry. The award was made by  Paul Aplin, Chairman of the Society, when John visited the UK to give the Society's Annual Lecture at the University of Nottingham on the topic of "Challenges and Opportunities for Terrestrial Earth Observation."

March 2009

    GLCF attends 2009 LCLUC meeting GLCF attends 2009 LCLUC meeting

    The GLCF team (John Townshend, C Huang, M Feng & Xiaopeng Song) attended the 2009 NASA LCLUC Science Team Meeting in Bethesda, Maryland and presented a poster on "Three Decades of Forest Cover Change in the Americas Evaluated Using the GLS Data Sets" (PDF 4.9MB). John Townshend, Director of the GLCF, also gave a talk on "Land Climate Observation Needs".
    GLCF at the AAG annual meeting GLCF at the AAG annual meeting

    C Huang, Xiaopeng Song and Do-Hyung Kim of GLCF attended the 2009 AAG (Association of American Geographers) meeting held in Las Vegas between March 22-27, 2009. Do-Hyung Kim also presented a poster on "Land Cover lassificaiton of North Korea Utilizing MOD13Q1 Data".

February 2009

January 2009

July 2008

    Search with Protected Area boundaries Search with Protected Area boundaries

    Users may now search in the Earth Science Data Interface (ESDI) using protected area boundaries. A derivative of the World Database on Protected Areas is available as a searchable Map Layer in the ESDI Map Search interface. To use, open ESDI, zoom to the area of interest, click on the Map Layers tag to select the Protected Areas and click Update Map to display. The user can then click on the Place tag and enter the name of a protected area such as "Serengeti". Once that becomes the search polygon, then the user can click the imagery of interest, such as "ETM+" and find all the ETM+ imagery available for the Serengeti National Park.
    New UNEP Atlas of Africa Available New UNEP Atlas of Africa Available

    UNEP, in collaboration with UMD GLCF and many others, has produced a new Atlas of Africa as part of their Atlas of our Changing Environment series. This text includes many Landsat images comparing a site before and after land cover change. Viewing these changes side by side is a powerful means of illustrating both positive and negative environmental impacts. Visit the UNEP site forr more details, an online PDF edition of the text, and ordering information.
    ALOS Imagery Available at RESTEC ALOS Imagery Available at RESTEC

    The GLCF is pleased to promote use of quality satellite imagery from the ALOS satellite. Our colleagues at the Remote Sensing Technology Center of Japan (RESTEC) have made ALOS imagery available through their agreement with the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA). ALOS has three sensors capturing well documented, high precision, Earth observation imagery: PRISM, PALSAR and AVNIR-2. PRISM imagery is a 2.5m resolution panchromatic sensor with three cameras to collect a forward, nadir and backward acquisition; a very effective system for stereo mapping. PALSAR is an L-band SAR instrument, capturing small to large swaths, depending on scan mode. AVNIR-2 is a 10m resolution multispectral sensor, providing four bands from blue to NIR.
    Use RESTEC's online archive search interface, called CROSS, to locate and order ALOS imagery.

June 2008

April 2008

    GLCF Refunded for Science Activities GLCF Refunded for Science Activities

    The Global Land Cover Facility has received multiple awards from NASA programs to continue activities for several years. This includes a continuation of GLCF operations as well as the development of new land cover products. The GLCF and collaborators at UMD, NASA GSFC and SDSU will generate a new series of global forest cover and forest cover change products. Each data set produced will meet the new, high standard of an Earth Science Data Record (ESDR). Our primary activity will be through the NASA MEaSUREs program, with additional research and operation through NASA's EOS and LCLUC programs. We are appreciative of all the support received from users through email, our help-us-help-you site, and formal letters. Our goal is to continue serving the community with high quality, reliable Earth science materials.

January 2008

    UMD team at the GLCF wins MEaSUREs award UMD team at the GLCF wins MEaSUREs award

    A research team led by John Townshend at the University of Maryland Global Land Cover Facility was awarded a project in the NASA MEaSUREs program. Titled "Earth Science Data Records of Global Forest Cover Change", this project will involve GLCF staff over the next several years, with details in the following abstract.
    Abstract:
    There is long-standing recognition of the need for global forest change detection at Landsat-class resolutions. Previously this was not feasible, because of the absence of well registered multi-temporal data sets, variations in sensors, the need for intensive human input during post-processing, variations in spectral responses of forests, the efforts needed to create validation data sets and the computational and storage demands in carrying out the analysis. We demonstrate in this proposal that these problems have now been overcome by the availability of the GeoCover and the forthcoming Mid-Decadal Global Land Survey (MDGLS) data sets, our ability to create atmospherically corrected reflectance products, much improved classifiers, collection of automated dense training sets, the availability of ultra-fine resolution datasets and much lower computational costs. We therefore propose to produce the following Earth Science Data Records (ESDR) at fine and moderate spatial resolutions and provide the algorithms and services for producing such products:
    • Global fine resolution (< 100 m) surface reflectance ESDR for four epochs centered around 1990, 2000, and 2005;
    • Fine resolution (< 100 m) forest cover change (FCC) ESDR between the four epochs;
    • Fragmentation products derived from the fine resolution FCC products;
    • Global 250-m vegetation continuous field (VCF) based FCC ESDR from 2000 to 2005;
    • FCC ESDR products aggregated from the fine resolution and the 250 m FCC products to 250 m, 500 m, 1 km, and 0.05° grids for use by carbon, biogeochemical and hydrological modelers;
    • Subsets of the above products for protected areas of the world and their buffer zones.

    In addition to providing these products at the native resolutions and the above listed modeling resolutions, we will also provide estimates of forest cover change from 1990 to 2005 at country, biome, continental, and global levels.

October 2007

September 2007

July 2007

    Vegetation Cover Fields product is now available Vegetation Cover Fields product is now available

    The Vegetation Continuous Fields (VCF) product has been enhanced and expanded in a new edition. This includes the improved MODIS Collection 4 processing, providing more accurate MODIS inputs. The Collection 4 edition of VCF includes percent tree cover products for each year from 2000-2005, allowing users to view annual assessments. Additionally, while the Collection 3 is still available that edition is constrained to large, continental tiles, the Goodes projection and MODIS spheroid. The new Collection edition of VCF is available in the UMD tile scheme based upon UTM zones - making it ready for use with Landsat imagery. The product format is GeoTIFF, projection is geographic, with WGS84 datum - all designed to be easily implemented in most image processing and GIS software packages.

January 2007

December 2006

July 2006

May 2006

April 2006

March 2006

    SDP IKONOS and QuickBird Available SDP IKONOS and QuickBird Available

    The 3284 IKONOS and QuickBird scenes acquired through the NASA Science Data Purchase are now available for free at the GLCF. This is a restricted collection, however, and users must be NASA-affiliated researchers, and fill out the registration form. This collection is invaluable for a wide range of Earth science activities, and has been tested and reported upon through the JACIE program, among others. Please note that this imagery is property of Space Imaging/GeoEye and DigitalGlobe.
    Air & Space Museum series features Dr. John Townshend Air & Space Museum series features Dr. John Townshend

    Dr. John Townshend was the distinguished lecturer in the Smithsonian Institution Air & Space Museum's Exploring Space Lectures series on March 14, 2006. His presentation, titled "Where have all the forests gone? Monitoring the Earth's vegetation with remote sensing" was delivered in the Lockheed Martin IMAX theater at the Air & Space museum in Washington, D.C.. The lecture was preceded by an IMAX film titled "Living Planet" and a 'meet the lecturer' question and answer session. This series is sponsored at the Air & Space museum through NASA and Ball Aerospace. Contact the Smithsonian for further information on the series.
    GLCF Presentation at the 2006 AAG Meeting GLCF Presentation at the 2006 AAG Meeting

    Kuan Song and Jose Roa of the Global Land Cover Facility made presentations at the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers in Chicago on March 7-11, 2006. Mr. Song's presentation was titled " Automated Forest Change Mapping, from a Geographer's Perspective and a Computational Approach", while Mr. Roa presented on " A Rapid Assessment of Landslide Susceptibility and Hazard Using Landsat Imagery and SRTM Data".

January 2006

December 2005

    MSS for Amazon Research MSS for Amazon Research

    558 MSS scenes have been added to the GLCF Landsat data archive. The GLCF thanks colleagues at Goddard Space Flight Center for this donation. Please visit ESDI to preview and download the new scenes. To view the recently added scenes please click on the link below. Please click here to proceed the map.

November 2005

October 2005

    Dr. John Townshend Wins 2005 William T. Pecora Award Dr. John Townshend Wins 2005 William T. Pecora Award

    John Townshend, Project Director of the GLCF and Chair of the UMD Geography Department, is a recipient of the prestigious 2005 William T. Pecora award for "Outstanding Leadership in Advancing Global Land Remote Sensing." This major award is presented annually to recognize outstanding contributions by individuals or groups towards understanding the Earth by means of remote sensing. The award was presented to Dr. Townshend on October 26, 2005, at the 16th annual William T. Pecora Memorial Symposium held in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The award is sponsored jointly by the Department of the Interior (DOI) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). The award was established in 1974 to honor the memory of Dr. William T. Pecora, former Director of the U.S. Geological Survey and Under Secretary, Department of the Interior, whose vision and support helped establish what we know today as the Landsat satellite program. Currently John Townshend chairs three international committees. He chairs one of the panels of the Global Terrestrial Observing System, known as Global Observations of Forest Cover and Landcover Dynamics (GOFC-GOLD), which is an international coordination committee for long term environmental observations, sponsored by the Food and Agricultural Organization and the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) among others. He is also co-chair of a related activity known as Integrated Global Observations of the Land (IGOL), which has the responsibility for creating a 10-year plan for observations of all aspects of the terrestrial environment. In addition, he chairs the Advisory Committee for the UNEP?s Division of Early Warning and Assessment for North America. In the past he has chaired two committees, which coordinated the creation of novel data sets derived from remote sensing of the terrestrial environment. As chair of the International Geosphere Biosphere Programme?s Data and Information System, he led the planning for the creation of the first global 1km resolution data set. He was also chair of a joint NASA/NOAA Committee that led to the creation of the pathfinder data set from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer depicting changes in the terrestrial biosphere from 1981 onwards.
    Unfunded ASTER Withdrawn Unfunded ASTER Withdrawn

    Unfortunately, the USGS has made clear its policies regarding ASTER redistribution. This involves parameters of the official ASTER agreement between NASA/USGS and Japan. The GLCF was required to remove 803 ASTER scenes that have international locations because they have never been paid for but were provided free just to the NASA research data pool. The GLCF remains committed to providing access to ASTER scenes over the United States, plus any international scenes that have been paid for. If you have ASTER scenes that have been paid for and would like to make them available for free to the world, please contact the GLCF so we can move them online for free access.

September 2005

    GLCF Engages in Data Exchange with Chinese Institute GLCF Engages in Data Exchange with Chinese Institute

    On September 3, John Townshend from the University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies and Chair of the Department of Geography, Principal Investigator of the Global Land Cover Facility, signed a data exchange agreement with Liu Jiyuan, Director General of the Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research in the People's Republic of China. GLCF looks forward to fruitful collaboration activities with the Institute. Check back soon for results from our mutual operations.

August 2005

July 2005

    GLCF at ESRI Annual User's Conference GLCF at ESRI Annual User's Conference

    Staff from the Global Land Cover Facility participated in the ESRI Annual User's Conference at the San Diego Convention Center, July 26-28, 2005. Paul Davis, Project Manager for the GLCF project, made presentations regarding GLCF activities, including one titled "Effective Integration of Satellite Imagery and GIS Technologies".

June 2005

    GLCF at the Federation of ESIPs Summer Meeting GLCF at the Federation of ESIPs Summer Meeting

    GLCF team members participated in the summer meeting of the Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIPs), in San Diego, CA, June 13-16, 2005. GLCF also participated in the tandem NASA Data Systems Working Group meeting, over the same dates and location. Paul Davis from the GLCF presented development results for the Metrics Performance and Reporting Working Group. Throughout the meeting, GLCF staff focused upon broadening the scope of data sharing within and outside the Federation.
    UNEP releases Atlas UNEP releases Atlas

    The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has released a major publication titled "One Planet, Many People; An Atlas of Our Changing Environment". A PDF version of the Atlas and documentation are available at their site: One Planet Many People. This represents a significant investment in utilizing remotely sensed data to help explain global change processes to the general public.

March 2005

    The LEDAPS Project Releases First Continental Reflectance Product From TM, ETM+ GeoCover Data The LEDAPS Project Releases First Continental Reflectance Product From TM, ETM+ GeoCover Data

    The LEDAPS project is pleased to announce the release of a 30-meter resolution, atmospherically-corrected surface reflectance product for North America. This "Beta" dataset includes over 2100 Landsat scenes, including most of Canada, the contiguous United States, and Northern Mexico. Coverages for TM (centered on 1990) and ETM+ (centered on 2000) are included in this release to support change-detection applications.
    The surface reflectance product is based on the GeoCover dataset produced by Earth Satellite Corporation under contract to NASA (as available at the GLCF). Orthorectified Landsat images were calibrated (using revised Landsat-5 calibration coefficients as necessary), converted to top-of-atmosphere reflectance, and atmospherically corrected to surface reflectance using the MODIS/6S approach. Users may download data products via FTP, using either a map interface or by navigating the FTP archive directly.
    Also included is a "Beta" release of a Forest Disturbance product (1990-2000 stand clearing disturbance and regrowth) for the Mid-Atlantic region. The disturbance product includes 30m resolution scene-based coverages (11 path-rows), as well as 500m resolution Lambert Azimuthal Equal Area and 0.05 degree Geographic grids. A wall-to-wall North American disturbance product will be released at the end of this year.
    GLCF System Maintenance GLCF System Maintenance

    In order to provide better service to our users, GLCF will be performing some necessary system maintenance. All GLCF services, including the web site and FTP servers will be offline on the following dates : 3/18, 3/19, 3/20, 3/25, 3/26, 3/27. We apologize for any inconvenience.

February 2005

    ESDI Maintenance ESDI Maintenance

    In order to provide better service to our users, GLCF will be performing some system maintenance. All ESDI related services, including the web interface and FTP servers will be offline from 2pm, Feb 28 2005 to 2pm, March 1 2005 (EST). We apologize for any inconvenience.
    ASTER Imagery via ESDI ASTER Imagery via ESDI

    ASTER imagery is now available via the Earth Science Data Interface. The GLCF team has made this happen so that users can search for this important data collection in the same manner and in conjun ction with Landsat, MODIS or other products in the archive. ASTER is in GeoTIFF format through the GLCF, and is free to anyone with access to FTP. For more information about this product please visit the ASTER data page
    GLCF Endorses Conservation Commons Principles GLCF Endorses Conservation Commons Principles

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    In keeping with the GLCF mission to engage communities with remotely sensed imagery and products, and in support of the World Conservation Union (IUCN) the GLCF has formally endorsed the Principles of the Conservation Commons. The Conservation Commons is an effort within IUCN, its members and collaborators to ensure "open and effective access to data, information, and knowledge on biodiversity and conservation practice". The Principles of the Commons are as follows:
    Principle 1: Open Access The Conservation Commons promotes free and open access to data, information and knowledge for conservation purposes.
    Principle 2 Mutual Benefit The Conservation Commons welcomes and encourages participants to both use resources and to contribute data, information and knowledge.
    Principle 3 Rights and Responsibilities Contributors to the Conservation Commons have full right to attribution for any uses of their data, information, or knowledge, and the right to ensure that the original integrity of their contribution to the Commons is preserved. Users of the Conservation Commons are expected to comply, in good faith, with terms of uses specified by contributors and in accordance with these Principles.

January 2005

    ESDI Maintenance ESDI Maintenance

    In order to provide better service to our users, GLCF will be performing some system maintenance. All ESDI related services, including the web interface and FTP servers will be offline from 2pm, Jan 31 2005 to 2pm, Feb 1 2005 (EST). We apologize for any inconvenience.
    GLCF at the Federation of ESIPs Winter Meeting GLCF at the Federation of ESIPs Winter Meeting

    GLCF team members participated in the winter meeting of the Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIPs), in Washington, DC, January 4-6, 2005. Mike Smorul and Gary Jackson from GLCF/UMD presented a series of discussions regarding data grid technologies and the Federation. During this session, the GLCF work on a SEEDS funded project was presented and expectations for its continued growth within the Federation discussed through the wide audience. Throughout the meeting, GLCF staff focused upon broadening the scope of data sharing within and outside the Federation.

December 2004

    GloPEM Data Collection Now Available GloPEM Data Collection Now Available

    The Global Production Efficiency Model (GLoPEM) data collection is now available via FTP. GLoPEM maps Net Primary Production (NPP), based on AVHRR imagery, for use at the global, regional or local scale. Twenty years of processed data are available as annual files or 10-day increments. This product was developed at the University of Maryland, Department of Geography, by Dr. Stephen Prince. For more information about this product visit the GloPEM data pages.
    GIMMS Data Collection Now Available GIMMS Data Collection Now Available

    The Global Inventory Modeling and Mapping Studies (GIMMS) data collection is now available via FTP. The Global Inventory Modeling and Mapping Studies (GIMMS) normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data sets were generated to provide a 22-year satellite record of monthly changes in terrestrial vegetation. For more information about this about this product please visit the GIMMS data pages.

October 2004

    Participation in the NASA Earth Science Data Systems Meeting Participation in the NASA Earth Science Data Systems Meeting

    GLCF team members participated in the first Earth Science Data Systems (ESDS) meeting held in Greenbelt, Maryland. As NASA REASoN program participants, the GLCF attends these meetings to collaborate with other REASoN projects toward coordinating technologies used by NASA with research activities. Paul Davis, Project Manager of the Global Land Cover Facility, participated as co-chair of the Metrics Planning and Review Working Group, including a demonstration of the REASoN Metrics Collection Tool.
    ESDI Downtime ESDI Downtime

    In order to provide better service to our users, GLCF will be performing some system maintenance on Oct 6th, from 12pm to 7pm EST. During the maintenance, ESDI will not be available, however the FTP sites will remain operational. We apologize for any inconvenience.

August 2004

April 2004

March 2004

    Paraguay land cover research results presented at AAG Paraguay land cover research results presented at AAG

    The Global Land Cover Facility presented research results at the 100th annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers, in Philadelphia, on March 19. The GLCF science team presented a paper titled "Subtropical Deforestation: Paraguay in the 1990s". This was held in the paper session on "Remote Sensing Forest Issues". The abstract is:
    "Deforestation has significant impacts on soil erosion, watershed hydrology, local climate, biodiversity, and is a key component in atmospheric carbon models. Remote sensing data from the Landsat series of satellites has been used to successfully identify and map deforestation in tropical forests. In this study, data from Landsat 5 and Landsat 7 were used to map deforestation in the subtropical forests of Paraguay for the decade of 1990 - 2000.
    The Rio Paraguay bisects the Republic of Paraguay into two distinct ecological regions. West of the river are dry deciduous woodlands on the alluvial plains of the Gran Chaco. Although the Chaco is sparsely populated, recent large scale conversion of forest to agriculture has occurred in the vicinity of established Mennonite settlements. East of the Rio Paraguay, where most of the Paraguayan population resides, are remnants of the humid Interior Atlantic Forest. This biologically diverse forest that once covered 85% of eastern Paraguay has been reduced to a quarter of its original area by timber harvesting, conversion to agriculture and encroachment by rural settlements. This study examines the extent, patterns, causes and impacts of deforestation in these two very different forested biomes."
    GLCF participates in Tech2004 GLCF participates in Tech2004

    The Global Land Cover Facility participated in the Tech2004 forum on March 19. Tech2004 is 'a showcase of electrical engineering, computing and systems research at the University of Maryland'. At this well attended event, the GLCF development team presented current research into data grids, interoperability, and off-site processing of large Earth Science datasets.

February 2004

January 2004

    GLCF at NASA's Land Cover Land Use Change Meeting GLCF at NASA's Land Cover Land Use Change Meeting

    The Deforestation Mapping Group/GLCF Science Group participated in NASA's Land Cover Land Use Change Science Team Meeting at the University of Maryland, January 20-22, 2004.
    A poster was presented which outlined the study results for the LCLUC project "Improvements in Landsat Pathfinder methods for monitoring tropical deforestation and their extension to extra-tropical areas". The poster included a map of forest cover and forest cover change across Paraguay derived from satellite imagery and an outline of the accuracy assessment strategy for the map.
    Dr. John Townshend, Principal Investigator for the LCLUC project, presented the GLCF REASON project and also made a programmatic presentation for GOFC/GOLD.
    GLCF Participates in 12th Federation Meeting and SEEDS Working Group Kick-Off Meeting GLCF Participates in 12th Federation Meeting and SEEDS Working Group Kick-Off Meeting

    GLCF team members participated in the winter meeting of the Federation of Earth Science Information Partners (ESIPs), and the first the SEEDS Working Group Kick-Off Meeting, in Orlando, Florida, January 5-8, 2004. John Townshend and Mike Smorul from GLCF hosted and presented a special breakout session "Grid Technologies and the ESIP Federation", including Reagan Moore from San Diego on the discussion panel. During this session, the GLCF work on a SEEDS funded project was presented and expectations for its continued growth within the Federation discussed through the wide audience. Additionally, GLCF staff presented five posters in the main poster session, and associate Mike Smorul made a separate presentation on the Storage Resource Broker data grid, in a Technical Workshops session. The overall Federation meeting was another success, bringing Earth science community members into closer association. Following the Federation meeting, the SEEDS Working Group Kick-Off meeting was attended by GLCF staff, primarily in the Metrics and Technology working groups. The GLCF team looks forward to the summer meetings.Click here for photos taken at the event.

December 2003

    GLCF PI visits Minister of Science and Technology for China GLCF PI visits Minister of Science and Technology for China

    GLCF Principal Investigator, John Townshend, recently visited Beijing, China, at the personal invitation of the Minister of Science and Technology, Xu Guanhua. He provided advice on international cooperation in earth observation. Topics included the Minister.s current chairmanship of the Committee on Earth Observing Satellites and the work of the Group on Earth Observations set up during the ministerial summit in Washington DC last July. During his visit, John gave presentations on recent research to the National Remote Sensing Center for China, the Institute of Remote Sensing Applications of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing Normal University, the Chinese Meteorological Society's annual meeting and the Chinese National Satellite Meteorology Center. Click here to see photos taken at the event

November 2003

    GLCF and DeLorme exchange spatial data and products GLCF and DeLorme exchange spatial data and products

    The Global Land Cover Facility has exchanged spatial data and software with the DeLorme company, a leading mapping and spatial technologies company located in Yarmouth, Maine. GLCF provided DeLorme with Landsat GeoCover imagery covering much of the world. DeLorme provided GLCF with distribution hardware and a generous set of software and tools. GLCF has integrated DeLorme's mapping technologies internally and has provided duplicates to the University of Maryland Geography Department's Cartography program, to assist mapping classes with their superior products. The list price for the DeLorme mapping materials is over $4,600. GLCF and UMD Geography appreciate this gift from DeLorme.

October 2003

    GLCF attends the Science Planning Meeting at Dumbarton Oaks GLCF attends the Science Planning Meeting at Dumbarton Oaks

    On 23 October 2003, the Global Land Cover Facility staff joined experts from the archeology and conservation biology fields to discuss non-traditional applications for the AIRSAR instrument. The meeting was held at Dumbarton Oaks in Washington D.C.
    AIRSAR has the ability to uniquely characterize sub-canopy vegetation, hydrology, and topography. As such, AIRSAR was deemed useful to both the analysis of habitat dynamics and the non-intrusive study of archeological sites. The meeting concoured that, in addition to possible monitoring of the World Heritage sites through US/ICOMOS (which is the United States Committee for the International Council on Monuments and Sites), the MesoAmerican corridor would be an ideal place for a subsequent deployment of the instrument.

June 2003

May 2003

    Landsat 7 suffers shutdown due to anomaly Landsat 7 suffers shutdown due to anomaly

    The Landsat 7 satellite has not been functional since late May, 2003. No imagery is available from this sensor since the shutdown occurred. There is a possibility that the sensor will become active again, but at what date is uncertain. In the interval, the GLCF staff are ready to assist with alternate orders of Landsat 5 or ASTER acquisitions. Please contact the GLCF Data Coordinator for further information.

April 2003

    GLCF has new Project Manager GLCF has new Project Manager

    Paul Davis is the new Project Manager, taking over the position after Frank Lindsay’s departure. After many years of productive management of the GLCF Frank has moved on and we wish him well. Mr. Lindsay is now working at NASA Headquarters in the Earth Science Enterprise Program Planning & Development division, and can still be contacted using his UMD email: flindsay@umd.edu.

    John Townshend and Joseph Ja'ja' wishing Frank farewell


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    Mr. Davis has a background in commercial remote sensing, earth science, history and geographical information science. Global Land Cover Facility operations will continue as usual. If you have questions for Mr. Davis regarding the GLCF please contact him at pdavis@umd.edu.
    GLCF displays products at Design Center awards dinner GLCF displays products at Design Center awards dinner

    Products from the Global Land Cover Facility were on display at the Neighborhood Design Center’s “Community Building by Design” benefit on April 24, 2003. The GLCF staff were pleased to support this important non-profit organization in this manner, demonstrating the use of imagery at both the global and local scales. With former Governor Parris Glendening and many politicians and volunteers from Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties in attendance, the Neighborhood Design Center was given recognition for its many services to Maryland communities, and awards were presented to critical supporters.

March 2003

    Providing Satellite Imagery to the Developing World Providing Satellite Imagery to the Developing World

    As is becoming increasingly evident, the GLCF's open data policy is benefiting members of the international research community on an increasingly large scale. The following quotes are from a doctoral student in Columbia who, were it not for GLCF, would have been unable to complete his thesis' remote sensing analysis. "...discovering the GLCF database was an amazing opportunity for my research. As a native of Colombia, I have always been limited by the satellite imagery I could get from my country, not only for the lack of coverage or relatively cloud free scenes, but also because of the price of acquiring these images." "...it was the first time I was able to obtain a multi temporal dataset to study landcover change in a specific location."
    Data Reciprocity Standard Enters New Phase Data Reciprocity Standard Enters New Phase

    Traditionally, users of online satellite data sources participate as 'consumers' and as both 'consumers' and 'providers'. In what amounts to giving back to the community, a growing number of GLCF users have freely chosen to not just download and consume data but also to share their own data and products. For example, the same user referenced in the nugget, "Providing Satellite Imagery to the Developing World", chose to reciprocate and provide GLCF with several of his own scenes. For other members of the Earth science community, this means that they will have a complete coverage of the region in question, and will be able to access scenes which were otherwise not available.

February 2003

January 2003

    GLCF hosts Earthsat's VP GLCF hosts Earthsat's VP

    Earthsat, an established NASA collaborator and developer of remote sensing products, recently visited GLCF. Jon Dykstra, Earthsat's Vice President and Director of Image Processing, attended the meeting. The first of several such meetings, the foundation was laid for extended collaboration between our organizations. In part this is significant insofar as both our organizations are leaders in our fields and this meeting represents the ability of advanced academic and commercial enterprises to work together toward shared goals.
    East - West Data Exchange East - West Data Exchange

    Subsequent to a long-term relationship with members of the Russian environmental community, GLCF, in cooperation with WRI Russia, has taken steps for the exchange of hundreds of Landsat 7 scenes. All of these scenes, some previously available only at substantial cost to US researchers, will now be freely accessible to the US remote sensing community. We believe that this exchange of data represents just one of what will hopefully be many such exchanges and look forward to a long-term collaboration with our new colleagues.

December 2002

November 2002

October 2002

    GLCF is proud to announce the completion of our data migration and the release of a new version of ESDI, v1.3 GLCF is proud to announce the completion of our data migration and the release of a new version of ESDI, v1.3

    The migration of our data to our new servers should result in more responsive access times and resolve most download issues. The new version of ESDI has many additional and enhanced features including:
    • New layout for main search page. Most information should fit on the screen with a resolution of 1024x768.
    • Area of Interest (AOI) map is now larger and the size can be adjusted depending on screen resolution.
    • 300 scenes are now required for "Preview and Download" instead of 100.
    • Center Map on Path/Row has been replaced by a Path/Row range search.
    • Center Map on Lat/Long has been replaced by a Lat/Long range search.
    • Location search by country now available for Landsat scenes.
    • Ability to require or exclude a search based on attributes has been included.

    Workspace

    • New Status field has been added for each scene which can be any of the following values: "Online", "Offline", "Archived", "Restricted".
    • New location field includes information about where the scene is located at.
    • Preview images have been normalized to the resolution closest to 150x150 while maintaining the correct aspect ratio. An option to see a larger, browse image is also included.
    • Link to the FTP directory for each scene has been included in the file list.

September 2002

    Frank Lindsay of the GLCF attends the SCCE meeting in Houston Frank Lindsay of the GLCF attends the SCCE meeting in Houston

    Several members of the Federation's Standing Committee for Community Engagement (SCCE) met in Houston to plan for the upcoming World Space Congress (WSC), October 10-19. The Federation has acquired a 25 foot conference display to be used in promoting Federation science and education activities. Images of the display (empty of presentation materials) can be seen here. Members of the SCCE are at work developing the information and materials to be displayed at the WSC. For further information contact flindsay@umd.edu.

    A break during the SCCE meeting.


    display

August 2002

    Deforestation Mapping Group undertakes a field campaign in Western Canada Deforestation Mapping Group undertakes a field campaign in Western Canada

    Two staff members of the Deforestation Mapping Group, Alice Altstatt and Didier Devers, have begun an ambitious 2 week field campaign in Western Canada. The purpose of this field work is to validate deforestation products the group is developing for extensive areas of Canada's forests. They periodically send us updates on their activities and have recently sent some photos from the study areas.
    • Photo 1 -Here's the team with their equipment performing aerial surveys
    • Photo 2 -While flying they are able to capture still images of forest cover. These can be used to help in the validation process of classified imagery of the area
    • Photo 3 -Mixed spruce, lodgepole pine, and aspen forest near Swan Hills, Alberta, Canada
    • Photo 4 -Heterogeneous landscape northeast of Peace River, Alberta as captured by still photography during an aerial survey
    • Photo 5 -A six week old burn in the area northeast of Peace River, Alberta
    • Photo 6 -The DMG field team supplemented over flight photography with on the ground canopy cover measurements
    Treemaps Used to Visualize Data Holdings Treemaps Used to Visualize Data Holdings

    The Human-Computer Interaction Laboratory (HCIL) at the University of Maryland has provided us tools to visualize our data holdings using treemaps. With this technology, we can view our entire online data store and it aids in finding missing, extraneous, and duplicate data. The current version uses metadata from the underlying file system to generate the treemaps. Future plans have been made to integrate the tools with our database to also include our archived holdings. Additional information on treemaps can be found at http://www.cs.umd.edu/hcil/treemap
    Contribution of 32 Landsat images Contribution of 32 Landsat images

    GLCF recently received a contribution of 32 Landsat images for an area in the Russian Far East, an area for which there is currently no landsat data in our archives. We would like to thank Dale Miquelle of the WCS Asia Program (owner of the images) and Gillian Woolmer of the Wildlife Conservation Society (facilitated in the sharing process) for sharing their data with us. This data will not be available for download for a few months.
    Data Migration Nears Completion Data Migration Nears Completion

    As of August 22, 2002, we have migrated close to 5TB of our data holdings to our new system. This includes 1.02TB of data stored on disk RAIDs and 3.90TB of data archived onto our tape system using the Tivoli Storage Manager. Once complete, this transition will allow our users instant access to our most popular data holdings while allowing us to stage archived data upon customer request. The migration is scheduled to be completed no later than October 31, 2002.

July 2002

    New metrics pages going online New metrics pages going online

    GLCF has been working to integrate and update the Federation Evaluation web pages. New quarterly metrics and GPRA monthly forms, viewers, and status reports have been constructed. A customer satisfaction questionnaire is being developed and will be made available on these new web pages. The nuggets entry form and viewer has been improved. For instance, the nugget viewer now allows a user to query based on nugget category, date entered, and ESIP. This is a huge improvement of the previous viewer which only allowed query by category. This site will be a one-stop shop for entering and viewing metrics related data.
    John Townshend's field work in Paraguay John Townshend's field work in Paraguay

    John Townshend and senior NASA scientist Jim Tucker embarked on a one week field survey of deforestation activity in Paraguay. Land cover change research conducted by the Deforestation Mapping Group (DMG), a science initiative hosted by the GLCF, has revealed large areas in Paraguay where extensive agriculture is driving the mass conversion of forested area to fields. Townshend and Tucker are validating several key areas identified using Landsat TM and ETM imagery. While in country they will have the opportunity to perform several aerial flyovers of recently cleared areas, and intend on meeting with Paraguayan local experts and other government officials. The results of this campaign will significantly enhance our understanding of the deforestation process and how well our current science data products have captured this change.

June 2002

    GLCF attends the third international conference on urban remote sensing GLCF attends the third international conference on urban remote sensing

    A paper was given regarding the growth of urban areas and using remotely sensed data to characterize contemporary growth patterns. This paper, "A Tale Of Two Cities: Characterizing Urban Growth Using Variable Resolution Remote Sensing Data" by Francis E. Lindsay, UMIACS, and Jeffrey G. Masek, NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, was work sponsored in part by the Global Land Cover Facility. The paper was presented at the 3rd International Symposium on Urban Remote Sensing held in Istanbul, Turkey.

    The following is the abstract of the paper and presentation. The presentation is available from the Global Land Cover Facility.

    Satellite remote sensing offers considerable promise for examining the dynamics of urban growth, and relating observed patterns to basic principles of socio-economics. It is clear from past research that substantial variations exist in the rate at which North American cities have grown during the last several decades. These differences may relate to regional economic conditions, policy choices at the metropolitan level, or other physical geographic factors. Similarly, within individual cities, growth has not occurred in a spatially uniform manner, but is often more heavily concentrated in particular areas. In this paper we discuss the outcome of our research that compares urban growth and land-use efficiency between two very different metropolitan areas. We elucidate these differences by exploring varied urban centers namely Washington, D.C. and Portland, Oregon. Using Landsat and SPOT remote sensing data, we have mapped urban growth using a modified change-vector approach. Mapped rates of urban expansion since the 1970's appear to reflect economic conditions as well as land-use policy, and per capita growth rates (land-use efficiencies) range from 100 m2/person (Portland) to 400 m2/person (Washington).

    To evaluate these results quantitatively, we have created a GIS-based numerical model for urban growth that relies on economic placement theory, available land for development, population, and transportation convenience. The model results show graphically how individual decision-making cascades to form the complex urban patterns observed in the satellite data.
    Decline of Coastal Marshes in the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays Decline of Coastal Marshes in the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays

    Professor Michael Kearney of the University of Maryland Department of Geography recently published an article in EOS describing the loss of coastal marshes in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. These losses were measured in part through the use of GLCF-supplied Landsat imagery. The losses are associated with sea level rise in the eastern United States. The decline of coastal marshes represents a major collapse of a significant ecosystem and may also lead to major releases of carbon.

    Dr. Kearney's article received overwhelming local press coverage from publications including the Baltimore Sun, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Scripps Howard News Service and Geotimes. Dr. Kearney also gave several radio and TV interviews on the subject.

    Click here to view a review published in the Geotimes.

    For further information on the subject of watersheds and our coastal wetlands, please see the GLCF web site. GIS and remote sensing data available from GLCF may be used to highlight those areas most needing remediation.

    Citation: "Landsat Imagery Shows Decline of Coastal Marshes in Chesapeake and Delaware Bays." Eos, volume 83, Number 16, pp. 173, 177-178, 16 April 2002.

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