March, 2014

GIS Data

The spectral response of three material classes (vegetation, soil and water) overlain on a single graph. (Graph Credit: Penn State University)

The ASTER Spectral Library – a True Monument of Remote Sensing Data

In the first part of this series, Cameron Windham from Apollo Mapping takes a look at the nuts and bolts of the widely-used ASTER Spectral Library.

Maps and Cartography

Map showing Ukraine and Crimea. Source: CIA, The World Factbook.

How Cartographers Respond to Border Changes

The recent conflict in Crimea has brought to the forefront the process by which mapmakers respond to border changes.  The outcome of an upcoming referendum could switch Crimea from Ukrainian to Russian control. Julie Johnson from Bloomberg News has a short article about when and how cartographers update maps when […]

GIS Data

VegScape (Vegetation Condition Explorer) is the satellite based assessment of plant health across the United States. A deep green color shows areas of strong plant vigor. Yellow, brown, and grey sections map out poorer plant conditions.

Use of GIS in Agriculture

Geographic Information Systems are used for a variety of purposes but have seen great use in the field of agriculture. From America to the developing world GIS is tracking and mapping weather, precipitation, soil nutrients, productivity, and more to insure the safety and health of crops, potential advances in agricultural technology, and protecting the livelihood of farmers around the globe.

GIS Data

The National Atlas of the United States' Map Maker will be shut down on September 30, 2014.

National Atlas of the United States and the National Map Merging

If there is a service you rely upon from the National Atlas of the United States, you may only have until September to take advantage of it. Starting on September 30, 2014, select services from the National Atlas will be merged into the National Map. The USGS recently released information about […]

GIS Data

Click and drag the slider bar to compare these LDCM images, which zoom into the area around Fort Collins, Colo. On the left, the image is shown in natural color, created using data from OLI spectral bands 2 (blue), 3 (green), and 4 (red). The image on the right was created using data from OLI bands 3 (green), 5 (near infrared), and 7 (short wave infrared 2) displayed as blue, green and red, respectively. In the left-hand natural color image, the city's elongated Horsetooth Reservoir, a source of drinking water, lies west of the city. A dark wildfire burn scar from the Galena Fire is visible just to the left of the reservoir. The scar shows up bright, rusty red in the false color image.

Imagery and Its Use in GIS

Most imagery for use in GIS projects consist of satellite images or aerial photographs but it can also include, thermal images, digital elevation models (DEMs), scanned maps and land classification maps. This article examines imagery and how to effectively gather, store, process and interpret it for a variety of different GIS projects.