Since Eye on Earth just won an award at the Rio+20 Earth Summit in Rio de Janiero, it seemed fitting to reprint this article about the EEA and the role of Eye on Earth.
Article Reprinted from GISWeekly, June 20, 2011
The Vast Reach of the European Environment Agency
By Susan Smith
While in Copenhagen in late March of this year GISWeekly met with Stefan Jensen, head of information services group, SEIS support program that supports the implementation of INSPIRE and develops and maintains the EEA SDI related to user needs, metadata and data licensing and Jan Bliki, project officer, GIS system development for the European Environment Agency (EEA), an agency of the European Union.
European Environment Agency main building, Copenhagen
At Rio+20 Earth Summit held in Rio de Janiero, Brazil last week, was originally titled the U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development. Varying reports have emerged from that conference, with many seeking to find answers to the problems surrounding sustainable development and environmental challenges.
In the beginning the conference’s aim was to set of Sustainable Development Goals that would replace the U.N. Millennium Development Goals—which were agreed to in New York in 2000 and are set to expire in 2015—to address global poverty.
Concerns were more broadbased than that at this Summit as parties recognized and pressed forward with votes to support the need for many progressive changes in the development and environment agenda, such as broad approval for addressing an array of ocean sustainability and agricultural issues and the creation of a new high-level forum that will draft new Sustainable Development Goals by 2014.
Most of us understand the hydrologic cycle in terms of the visible paths that water can take: rainstorms, rivers, waterfalls, swamps, etc. Hydrology takes a different path through a larger volume of water that flows through the air through evaporation and transpiration. This is very different from hydrology as we think of it traveling through visible paths such as waterfalls, streams, rivers, rainstorms, and swamps,etc. Evaporation and transpiration claim 61% of all terrestrial precipitation, and together are referred to as evapotranpsiration. Esri’s Mapping Center has produced a web map showing the world’s average annual evapotranspiration to understand how this process works.
Esri’s Bernie Szukalski says map tips are enabled when you use Explorer Online, and are currently not supported in the ArcGIS.com map viewer (though with just a click you can display what you see in the map tip and more). Map tips work with feature layers, including “map notes” and other feature layers you create, derive, or connect to.
According to Rayonier New Zealand’s Philip Elworthy, the new Cable Harvesting Planning Solution (CHPS) will help foresters in New Zealand and possibly around the world, to harvest logs from very steep plantations more efficiently. This announcement was made to delegates at a forestry geographic information systems conference organised by Scion in Rotorua.
Some steep terrain harvesting was already taking place in New Zealand, but most of this planting occurred in the early 1990s and would be ready for harvest in the next five to 10 years, creating “huge challenges” for harvest planners, said Elworthy.
On this type of land, this is generally done by cable harvesting, where felled trees are lifted on cables to a central hauler that can be cost effectively reached by trucks. CHPS combines planning software with Esri ArcGIS software to allow planners to model a plantation and configure the most effective locations in which to position the hauler and cables for least environmental impact.
CHPS has been developed by Rayonier, Geographic Business Solutions (GBS) and Atlas Technology, with input from various industry group, including Rotorua’s Scion crown research institute. It will be presented in the United States next month at a conference organised by Esri.
In a session entitled “10 killer apps,” at Esri DevSummit 2012 last week in Palm Springs, CA, Mansour Raad @mraad and Sajit Thomas @spatialAgent show 10 new beta apps developed using Esri technology. The demo in this video shows a UAV shark driven by a Flex Mapping app, the shark is filled with helium and being “flown” around the room powered by a cool Flex mapping app.
Keith Besserud, AIA, is the director of BlackBox, a research-oriented computational design resource within the Chicago office of Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM). With design partner, Ross Wimer, Keith set up the BlackBox studio in 2007 to lead the development and integration of advanced computational concepts within the multi-disciplinary design processes of the office. This includes reviewing computational tools used in architecture and how they apply in urban design.
The Change Matters viewer from Esri can show how your area has changed over a given time period, say for instance, from 1988 to 1990. Las Vegas is known for its phenomenal sprawl over the past four decades. Time-lapseimages from the Landsat earth monitoring satellites reveal in false-color, multispectral imagery how urban sprawl has stretched out from Nevada’s “Sin City” over the past four decades.
This latest video was posted by NASA in honor of the 28th anniversary of Landsat 5’s launch on March 1, but the pictures actually go back to 1972, when the Landsat program began.