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eNewsletter February 2010

New NGA Director Announced

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, with the concurrence of the Director of National Intelligence, Dennis C. Blair, has announced that Letitia Long, deputy director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, will be the next director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), effective this summer. Long will assume the NGA leadership later this year, replacing Navy Vice Adm. Robert Murrett, who has served as NGA director for four years. Long will be the first woman to head a major intelligence agency.

Gates noted that Long’s qualifications for the position include more than 30 years of engineering and intelligence experience. She served as Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence, Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence, and Coordinator of Intelligence Community Activities for the Director of Central Intelligence.

Northrop Grumman Provides Critical Information to First Responders During Haiti Relief Effort


The Naval Oceanographic Office (NAVOCEANO) dispatched Northrop Grumman Corporation to acquire imagery and collect data of ports and harbors in the Republic of Haiti, providing critical information to first responders after the January 12 earthquake.

The Compact Hydrographic Airborne Rapid Total Survey (CHARTS) system was deployed to the disaster area over a five-day period. During this time, Northrop Grumman personnel collected bathymetric Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data and imagery over harbors and approaches in the Port au Prince area. These images provided responders with information about underwater obstructions that might affect safe passage of boats in the area.

NAVOCEANO is using the data collected to create mapping and charting products for ports and harbors of Haiti. Less than 24 hours after the information was collected, a full suite of geospatial products was created — including soundings, contours, digital elevation models, large scale charts, and orthorectified image mosaics. This information was immediately provided to Google Earth for use by first responders.

The CHARTS system is designed for rapid coastal hydrographic surveys. It is a multi-sensor platform that includes laser systems able to map wide swaths of topography or shallow floor and comprises the SHOALS topography/bathymetric LiDAR, the CASI 1500 hyperspectral camera, the DSS medium format RGB camera, and the DuncanTech small format RGB camera.

NAVOCEANO and Northrop Grumman are part of the Joint Airborne LiDAR Bathymetry Technical Center of Expertise, which is a unique arrangement of government agencies and private contractors working side by side in the field and processing data. Kenn Borek Air, a subcontractor to Northrop Grumman, is also part of this team.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a global security company whose 120,000 employees provide systems, products, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, shipbuilding and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.

Pictometry Donates Imagery of Haiti to GISCorps Volunteer Efforts

www.pictometry.com, www.pictometry.com/government/haiti.shtml, www.urisa.org

Pictometry International Corp. has captured more than 45,000 high-resolution aerial oblique images of earthquake damage in Haiti and has donated access to the imagery via Pictometry Online to URISA's GISCorps volunteers.

Pictometry captured the images of Haiti after a January earthquake and subsequent aftershocks struck the capital city of Port au Prince and its surrounding area. Within days of capture, the company processed the imagery in Rochester and deployed it to GISCorps volunteers working on projects commissioned by relief agencies, including the United Nations.

URISA (the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association) is a non-profit professional and educational association focused on the support of the use of spatial information and technologies for optimally managing urban and regional systems. The GISCorps is a URISA program staffed by volunteers from the GIS community in the United States and Canada to support humanitarian efforts and community rebuilding initiatives around the world.

Pictometry International Corp. is a provider of geo-referenced aerial image libraries and related software. It has captured more than 130 million digital aerial images representing coverage of more than 80 percent of the United States’ population. Using its proprietary imaging process, Pictometry captures geo-referenced, high-resolution oblique (at an angle, producing a 3D-like view) and orthogonal (straight down) images, within which structures and land features can be measured. Pictometry customizes and markets these technologies for government and commercial applications, offering non-traditional software solutions to aerial imaging needs.

RADARSAT-2 Images Used To Monitor Haitian Disaster to Assess And Support Rescue And Rehabilitation Efforts


Space-based imagery from MacDonald, Dettwiler, and Associates Ltd., is being used to assess damage and direct relief efforts to the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince from the January 12 earthquake.

MDA has provided imagery acquired by the RADARSAT-2 satellite over Haiti in support of disaster recovery and reconstruction efforts by the Canadian Government and relief agencies through the Canadian Space Agency’s participation in the international charter “Space and Major Disasters.” The first imagery, covering the main stricken areas of Port-au-Prince, was acquired on January 14, and more images were acquired over the following days and posted on the MDA website for download.

When a natural disaster of the magnitude experienced in Haiti occurs, there is an urgent need to identify major changes on the ground. Satellite imagery acquired immediately after the event provides updated views of how the landscape has changed and the extent of damage to critical infrastructure — such as buildings, roads, and airports. These images can be compared with satellite imagery taken before the event to help identify areas that have been hit hardest by the disaster, and to determine passable routes for aid workers, as well as safe areas suitable for establishing aid camps to provide medical support and shelter.

Launched in 2007, RADARSAT-2 is the world’s most advanced commercial C-band Synthetic Aperture Radar satellite. RADARSAT-2 offers new imaging capabilities and a faster turn-around schedule for data acquisition and product delivery. It provides enhanced information for applications such as environmental monitoring, ice mapping, resource mapping, disaster management, and marine surveillance. RADARSAT-2’s ability to collect imagery despite darkness or inclement atmospheric conditions is a valuable support during times of emergency to supplement airborne and ground resources for local and regional damage assessment.

MDA provides advanced information solutions that capture and process vast amounts of data, produce essential information, and improve the decision-making and operational performance of business and government organizations worldwide. Focused on markets and customers with strong repeat business potential, MDA delivers a broad spectrum of information solutions ranging from complex operational systems to tailored information services and electronic information products.

MDA employs more than 3,200 people in locations across the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada.

European Space Imaging and DigitalGlobe Host WorldView Global Alliance Partner Conference in Munich, Germany

www.worldviewglobalalliance.com, www.euspaceimaging.com, www.spaceimagingme.com, www.digitalglobe.com

European Space Imaging (EUSI), a supplier of high-resolution satellite imagery to customers in Europe and North Africa, and DigitalGlobe, a global content provider of high-resolution world imagery solutions, recently completed their co-hosted WorldView Global Alliance Partner conference. More than 80 senior executives, representing 37 companies and 24 countries, attended the two-day event in Munich, Germany, on January 20 and 21.

The conference featured details about WorldView-2, the DigitalGlobe constellation, tasking options, Web Services, and a wide range of new products and services that the Alliance will be supporting. The conference also included presentations by industry thought leaders from DLR (the German space agency) and the European Space Agency (ESA).

In addition to the service sessions, EUSI customers learned more about WorldView-2’s 8 multi-spectral band applications, large area collection capability, and customer support services and were given a tour of the Direct Access Facility in Munich.

Spatial Energy Adds 19 Oil & Gas Basins to BasinWatch Service

www.spatialenergy.com, www.spatialenergy.com/programs_basin.html, www.spatialondemand.com

Spatial Energy, a source for digital imagery and related solutions for the energy industry, has added 19 oil and gas producing basins to its BasinWatch imagery service. To provide this solution, the company continually acquires new sub-meter satellite imagery of the world's most active geologic basins and delivers them in comprehensive and up-to-date image data sets to support the hydrocarbon exploration and production activities of clientele worldwide.

Spatial Energy now offers BasinWatch imagery data sets for 34 geologic basins in North America and around the world. New additions to the service include the following basins: Marcellus, Horn River, and Eagle Ford in North America, and the South Iraq and North Caspian internationally. Most of these data sets were acquired in 2008 or 2009 and are constantly being updated.

The BasinWatch service introduced ten new basins last year. Among the most popular BasinWatch data sets are the Haynesville, Barnett, Powder River, Green River, Permian, and Williston in North America,, along with plays in Algeria, Argentina, China, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Kazakhstan, Libya, Sudan, and Tunisia.

Clients have the option of purchasing BasinWatch data sets by the basin or subscribing to unlimited streaming access through Web Mapping Service (WMS) technology and the Spatial on Demand imagery hosting service. Through this service, clients can quickly search, view, and retrieve available data customized to the specification required for use within desktop applications — including Petra, Geographix, ESRI, Global Mapper, Google Earth, Petrosys, Virtual Earth, and Autodesk.

The advantages offered by the BasinWatch solution include:

  • streaming sub-meter resolution imagery for the entire basin with imagery purchase;
  • large area coverage with known geo-locational accuracy;
  • 3D seismic modeling/planning, well spotting;
  • monitoring, change detection, and feature extraction;
  • no mobilization costs to collect imagery and updates automatically available;
  • ability to share information easily, on demand, without having to exchange files.

With the most up-to-date and complete imagery available, BasinWatch continues to support Spatial Energy's ongoing commitment to functional, cost-effective innovations on behalf of the energy industry.

Spatial Energy is solely dedicated to meeting the needs of energy companies operating worldwide. To that end, it acquires, processes, and manages the world's most extensive collection of high-resolution satellite and aerial imagery, topographic maps, and digital elevation models (DEMs).

Aero-Metric Puts Intergraph’s 100th Digital Mapping Camera into Operation

www.intergraph.com, www.aerometric.com

Aero-Metric, a provider of geospatial services with locations across the United States, has acquired its third Intergraph Z/I Imaging Digital Mapping Camera (DMC) to expand its aerial imaging capabilities. The deal marks the 100th Intergraph large-format DMC to be put into operation and in flight by customers around the globe.

The Intergraph DMC was the industry’s first large-format frame digital aerial camera, the first to be certified by the United States Geological Survey and the first to offer a Solid State Disk (SSD) storage technology to decrease camera weight and footprint. Intergraph has also recently introduced the RMK D, a medium-format digital aerial camera designed to replace film-based technology for smaller mapping and remote sensing projects and for high-resolution engineering projects.

In addition to digital sensors, Intergraph’s Earth imaging solutions include photogrammetric workstations, flight management and post-processing systems, and a photogrammetric data exploitation software suite.

Aero-Metric has been an Intergraph customer since 1983. In addition to the three DMCs, the company also leverages Intergraph’s ImageStation geospatial data production software suite.

Intermap Technologies' 3D Map Data Enables Accurate Planning for an International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Initiative


High-resolution NEXTMap digital elevation data from Intermap Technologies, a worldwide 3D digital mapping company, is being used to develop a terrain and obstacle solution in advance of the ICAO's eTOD (Electronic Terrain Obstacle Data) initiative. The process for collecting the NEXTMap dataset is currently undergoing certification by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). NEXTMap data will ultimately enable an eTOD solution, which will help address cross-border harmonization issues in an effort to satisfy the need for uniformity and consistency in the provision of aeronautical information.

Developed in concert with several European-based air navigation service providers, the solution can potentially reduce the risk of collision with terrain and other obstacles by satisfying new reporting and accuracy requirements within well-defined distances surrounding aerodromes throughout Europe.

Available as early as Q2 2010, the solution will be compatible with existing planning tools and software, enable low up-front costs to the member states, and provide easy access to a seamless terrain and obstacle database that is centrally located.

Registration for ICRSS Discounted until February 26


The 2010 International Commercial Remote Sensing Symposium, which will be held March 3-5 at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C., brings attendees three days of discussions on the issues affecting the international commercial remote sensing community.

Speakers at the 2010 ICRSS will include representatives from India, the United Kingdom, Germany, Israel, Italy, and South Africa; U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gary Locke; GeoEye’s President and CEO, Matthew O’Connell, and its COO, William Schuster; DigitalGlobe’s CEO, Jill Smith, and Executive VP and CTO, Walter Scott; Wolfgang Biedermann, CEO of RapidEye AG; John Hornsby, General Manager of MDA; Antoine de Chassy, President and CEO, U.S. Operations, SPOT Image Corp.; Marcello Maranesi, CEO of e-Geos; and Warren Ferster, Editor in Chief of SpaceNews.

Until February 26, registration is discounted, as follows:

  1. Academia: $99
  2. USGIF members & Government: $399
  3. Non-USGIF members: $699
Registration will re-open onsite on March 3, and prices will increase to $999 for non-USGIF members and $699 for USGIF members and government employees. Academia rates will remain at $99 through the event.

Mobile Mapping and LiDAR Uses in Haiti at ILMF

www.lidarmap.org, www.lidarmap.org/conference

The International LiDAR Mapping Forum, to be held in Denver, Colorado, March 3-5, will devote a new session and several new introductory workshops to mobile mapping. It will also include two presentations on how LiDAR is being used in Haiti to assess the damage from the recent earthquake and the future probability of subsequent earthquakes.

Mobile Mapping

More than 50 exhibitors will be promoting mobile mapping — including Riegl USA Inc., StreetMapper Inc., Optech Corporation and GeoCue Corporation. The standards and best practices for airborne LiDAR and mobile mapping are closely aligned, making this a natural addition to the well established ILMF conference program. The ASPRS will host a Hot Topics session that will focus on both airborne LiDAR and mobile mapping.

With airborne LiDAR mapping now well accepted as a cost-effective and accurate method of creating large-area topographic maps or digital elevation models, the new rapidly emerging technology to watch is mobile LiDAR mapping. The advantages of mobile mapping are: the speed of data acquisition and the recording of “real world”, geo-referenced information; increased efficiency and productivity as many different forms of data are acquired simultaneously rather than requiring separate survey missions; and the accuracy of the data, resulting from the high resolution and precision of the sensors, which can be verified very quickly on site. Mobile mapping offers flexibility as these systems can be mounted on a variety of platforms, including cars, trucks, railroad “high-rail” vehicles and even boats.

At the ILMF conference, delegates will have the opportunity to learn about the leading commercial mobile mapping sensors, the ancillary enabling technologies such as positioning systems and processing software, and the technical considerations with integrating this technology into production shops that have historically processed airborne data.

Paul DiGiacobbe, National Data Aquisition Manager with HNTB, will highlight how mobile mapping technology is changing how transportation projects are surveyed, designed, and built; Jolle Jelle de Vries, Managing Director with Geomaat in the Netherlands will demonstrate how mobile mapping enables surveys to be completed with minimal impact on road users with high accuracy results; and Brian Bailey of Optech will demonstrate how the innovative Lynx Mobile MapperTM has been at the forefront of this burgeoning technology.


Imagery of the region damaged by the January 12 earthquake, including high-resolution photography and airborne LiDAR, has revealed that there is a significant risk of a subsequent large event that could occur even closer to Port-au-Prince. Kenneth W. Hudnut, Ph.D, a geophysicist with the U. S. Geological Survey, will give a presentation on how LiDAR helps assess the probability of future earthquakes and how LiDAR data is being used to help agencies assess the damage to buildings, roads, bridges, and port facilities. John Antalovitch, President, and Andrew Mitchell, LiDAR Processing Specialist, of Kucera International will present a paper on their recent LiDAR missions to Haiti.

Kucera International Inc. in collaboration with the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and ImageCat of Long Beach, California was sponsored by the World Bank to perform a high resolution aerial LiDAR and multispectral image survey of primary earthquake-damaged areas and fault zones. The surveys were performed from Kucera's dual-sensor port twin-engine aircraft using Kucera's Leica ALS60 aerial LiDAR system and RIT's WASP multispectral sensor. The data is currently being used for the ongoing relief and rebuilding effort. Kucera's presentation will review the performance of the aerial survey, the expedited processing and distribution of the aerial data, and potential future refinement and applications of the data.

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