Winter  >>  2006  

Letters to the Editor

The Summer 2005 issue was interesting to me in its entirety. Indeed, I find Imaging Notes to be a good read in many respects. The magazine is small so it gets read in short order; it’s perfect for my busy schedule. It is colorful and graphic intensive, which is in line with the basic nature of this industry — imaging and maps. I find that the pictures and illustrations in Imaging Notes are often a great way to illuminate conversations with my colleagues and management. Finally, the articles are varied and not often slanted toward one particular topic, so there is always a good chance for everyone to find something interesting to read. I’m going to share this issue with multiple people in my group.

Paul Pope, Ph.D.
Los Alamos National Lab


I make it a priority to stay abreast of industry news, whether it’s about new technologies, policy trends, new applications for geospatial information, or the exciting initiatives of my colleagues. i always look forward to the new issue of Imaging Notes. in fact, after reading the Fall 2005 issue cover to cover, i think it was the best edition yet. Thank you for the insightful and interesting stories.

Anne Hale Miglarese
CEO, EarthData International, Inc.


The article by Raytheon, “Warfighter use of commercial imagery” highlights a capability and technology that the army views as having great potential, and this just shows it can be done. Very timely. kudos to Imaging Notes! i hope Imaging Notes will continue to bring stories of cutting edge technologies to scientists and policy makers working to find solutions to the challenges we all face.

Allen Sowder
HQDA G-2 Space, IMINT and Geospatial Team Chief
Intelligence Plans and Operations
U.S. Army


Letter from the Editor

Dear Reader:

It is a distinct honor to be named editor of Imaging Notes. As a long-time policy analyst of the remote sensing industry and a reader of this magazine since its inception, I take great pleasure in being asked to help guide the magazine’s future direction. As writer of the Policy Watch column for the past two years, I have had the satisfaction of seeing this publication improve in appearance and content. Since she took over as publisher two years ago, Myrna Yoo has broadened the scope of this magazine and with the separation from the former Space Imaging, has turned it into an independent voice of the remote sensing industry. More than ever, Imaging Notes brings you articles that reflect the wide scope of the remote sensing and geospatial industry.

I see a bright future for the magazine and I look forward to helping it achieve greater heights of industry relevance. To that end, we are adding a new column on environmental threats, “Earth Scope,” written by Dr. Timothy Foresman, a former director of the U.N. Environment Programme’s Division of Early Warning and Assessment.

We are also instituting Letters to the Editor. We look forward to receiving your suggestions, plaudits, and even complaints. (Well, no one likes to hear complaints, but constructive criticism can help us improve and focus even more sharply on the content that you would like to see in the magazine.)

The current issue includes compelling stories that not only present timely new information, but also illustrate the broad utility of remotely sensed data: We are very pleased to publish the article on China’s limited nuclear capabilities, which previews the full report by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) scheduled to appear later this year. This story is similar to the North Korea cover story in the Summer 2005 issue of Imaging Notes and shows how commercial remote sensing can unwrap some of the mysteries of countries and regions to which we have limited access. Ultimately, such information can reduce tensions and contribute to global stability.

Remote sensing also has a key role to play in the conservation of endangered animals, as is illustrated by Lilian Pintea, who writes about research on chimpanzee conservation and local village sustainability carried out by the Jane Goodall Institute Center for Primate Studies. At the ESRI User Conference in San Diego in July 2005, Jane and Lilian shared portions of this research, which is available on DVD (see page 21).

Finally, remote sensing even makes its way into the many committees that provide policy advice to the federal government. In her article, NOAA’s Kay Weston describes the Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing (ACCRES). Its function is to advise NOAA’s Commercial Remote Sensing Licensing program on how best to construct the licenses of commercial remote sensing satellite operators so that they assist industry growth and competitiveness, without undercutting national security and foreign policy interests.

All in all, this issue has an interesting line-up of articles and columns — a harbinger of future excellence. Don’t forget to let us know how we can make this magazine more relevant to your interests.

Email Ray from the "Contact Us" page.

Ray A. Williamson is research Professor of Space Policy and international Affairs in the Space Policy institute of the George Washington University, Washington, D.C. He is also a faculty member of the international Space University, Strasbourg, France, primarily in the Summer Session Program. Ray has written or edited nine books on space technologies, policies, and history, and written over 125 articles. He is coeditor of Commercial Observation Satellites (rAnD and ASPrS); editor of Dual-Purpose Space Technologies (Space Policy institute); editor of Imaging Notes; and is on the editorial board of Space Policy. He is a member of the national Academy of Sciences Committee on the tropical rainfall Measuring Mission, and testifies before Congress on U.S. and international earth observations policies. Previously, he was Senior Associate in the U.S. Congressional Office of technology Assessment. He holds a PhD in astronomy and physics.

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