LDCM and OSGeo input

Lowell.Filak lfilak at medinaco.org
Wed May 17 08:36:14 PDT 2006

Mark Lucas writes: 

> Ned and fellow board members, 
> I'd certainly support this.  I'd suggest we put it out for quick  comment 
> on discuss, prepare a letter for the board, put it on the  agenda for the 
> next board meeting, discuss and approve.  I've added  it to the agenda for 
> this Friday's board meeting.  If there are any  concerns or issues that 
> arise from the discuss list or fellow board  members we can discuss and/or 
> defer until they are resolved. 
> Ned, it would expedite things if you could draft the letter for the  
> board. 
> comments? 
> Mark 
> On May 16, 2006, at 10:37 PM, Ned Horning wrote: 
>> Mark, 
>> Thanks for the quick reply. The proposal I am working on now needs  to be
>> wrapped up by Monday the 29th so this is somewhat urgent. Assuming  the 
>> board
>> considers that our proposed work falls within the category of a "well
>> intentioned effort" would it be best for me to draft a letter of  support 
>> so
>> you have something to work with or is there a good wordsmith on the  
>> board
>> who could write something without too much trouble? 
>> I'll start thinking about a protocol for receiving and processing  this 
>> sort
>> of request. Would you prefer that I float initial ideas with the  board 
>> or
>> the discuss list? 
>> Here is the summary section as it stands now and I'm happy to  provide 
>> more
>> details from the proposal if that would be useful. Comments would  also 
>> be
>> welcome.
>> --
>> Landsat image data are an invaluable component for conservation  planning 
>> and
>> management (REF). With an archive beginning in 1972, the Landsat  program
>> represents the premier Earth observing satellite by providing the  
>> longest
>> contiguous dataset of repeat satellite imagery applicable to  analyses of
>> land use/land cover (LULC) and to land use/land cover change  (LULCC) at
>> local (REF), regional (REF) and continental (REF) scales. Despite  the 
>> great
>> potential of Landsat image data for use in natural resource  management 
>> and
>> conservation planning, broader application of these data and  acceptance 
>> of
>> their derived products has been slow within both the biological and
>> conservation community. The general reluctance toward the use of  Landsat
>> image date is partially due to the limited accessibility of affordable
>> analytical tools. However, there are also overarching concerns  regarding 
>> the
>> ability to precisely identify features within satellite imagery and  
>> validate
>> the accuracy of resulting products. While access to Landsat image  data 
>> has
>> dramatically improved in recent years, access to analytical tools  and 
>> data
>> vital for interpretation, classification, and validation of image  data 
>> has
>> largely been overlooked. 
>> Greater use of Landsat image data and better acceptance of derived  
>> products
>> could be achieved through improved awareness of open source tools  and 
>> the
>> formulation of a spatially and temporally complementary archive of  
>> ground
>> data collected in situ. Ground data provides an important reference  set
>> (e.g., land cover, habitat type, percent canopy closure) that can  be 
>> used to
>> improve interpretation, classification, and validation of analyses  based 
>> on
>> Landsat image data. Typically, ground data are collected on a  project by
>> project basis in a geographically focused area and simply recorded as
>> geocoded textual descriptions. Textual descriptions are perceived  to 
>> have
>> limited usability because they are not always reinterpretable. A  more 
>> robust
>> form of ground data are geocoded ground-level photographs.  Photographic 
>> data
>> contain a greater amount of information than textual descriptions  alone 
>> and
>> can be reexamined and reinterpreted as needed. 
>> Since 1993, the American Museum of Natural History's (AMNH) Center for
>> Biodiversity and Conservation (CBC) has been working locally and
>> internationally with conservation professionals and governmental and
>> non-governmental agencies to foster a greater interest and capacity  for
>> applying remote sensing techniques to the conservation and  management of
>> biodiversity by 1) expanding scientific research on diverse species in
>> critical ecosystems; 2) strengthening the quality and quantity of  
>> scientific
>> data used to inform conservation strategies and public policy; 3)  
>> building
>> professional and institutional capacity; and 4) contributing to the  
>> Museum's
>> efforts to heighten public understanding and stewardship of  
>> biodiversity.
>> Through these efforts and a diverse network of individual,  
>> institutional,
>> and organizational collaborators, the American Museum of Natural  
>> History's
>> Center for Biodiversity and Conservation is uniquely positioned to  
>> represent
>> the conservation community and make a considerable contribution to the
>> Landsat Data Continuity Mission's (LDCM) objectives. 
>> We propose a new initiative focused on improving access to  complementary
>> resources vital for accurate analysis of land use/land cover change  with 
>> the
>> goal of increasing the use and interoperability of Landsat image  data 
>> with
>> historic, current, and future remotely sensed data for the purpose of
>> ecosystems monitoring. 
>> To accomplish this goal we will:
>> 1.	Develop an Internet-based interactive archive and complementary
>> desktop tools for the acquisition, visualization, and distribution of
>> geocoded, ground-level photographs to support the interpretation,  
>> analysis,
>> and validation of Landsat image data and their derived products,
>> 2.	Implement and promote open data standards for the collection,
>> storage, and distribution of data within the scope of LDCM objectives
>> 3.	Promote, distribute and develop additional free resources and tools
>> pertaining to the use and integration of Landsat image data with other
>> remotely sensed image data for LULCC analysis,
>> 4.	Encourage public involvement in the collection and stewardship of
>> spatial data relevant LDCM objectives through citizen science  
>> initiatives.
>> -- 
>> All the best, 
>> Ned 
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Mark Lucas [mailto:mlucas17 at mac.com]
>> Sent: Tuesday, May 16, 2006 3:08 PM
>> To: Ned Horning
>> Cc: board at board.osgeo.org
>> Subject: Re: [OSGeo-Board] FW: LDCM and OSGeo input 
>> Ned, 
>> First, thanks for taking the initiative on these efforts.  Being  fairly 
>> new,
>> we don't have a formal process for any of this yet.  In general,  
>> everyone
>> that is pitching in is of like mind on what we are trying to  accomplish 
>> and
>> understands what the goals and limits of osgeo are.  Given the common
>> motivation and open source background I would expect that we could  move
>> pretty rapidly to put together a support letter for well intentioned
>> efforts. 
>> I would welcome your efforts to put forward a protocol for deciding  what
>> gets supported and how we communicate and approve it.  We can  review it
>> before the board and then approve the process.  In the interim, if  there 
>> is
>> something that needs to get worked quickly, we can probably move  quickly 
>> and
>> bring it up at the next board meeting. 
>> Let us know when you are ready and we can bring it and discuss it  with 
>> you
>> at an upcoming board telecon.  Let me know if you need anything. 
>> Mark 
>> On May 16, 2006, at 2:22 PM, Ned Horning wrote: 
>> Hi, 
>> Last week I sent the message below to the "discuss" list and didn't  get 
>> a
>> response so I thought trying the "Board" list might be a good  second 
>> step.
>> The basic question I have is if it is possible to receive a letter of
>> support from OSGeo for specific proposals. This seems to be an  important
>> question and I expect the response will be of interest to many in  the 
>> OSGeo
>> community. For the proposal I am working on at the moment I mention  how 
>> we
>> will promote (through example and discussion) the OSGeo ideals but  
>> getting a
>> letter of support from OSGeo would carry significant weight to show  that 
>> the
>> foundation explicitly supports our proposed work. 
>> If this is possible then a protocol for deciding what gets  supported 
>> should
>> be put in place so folks like me know how to go about it. I am  happy to 
>> help
>> define and document this process. I will also send more details  about 
>> the
>> proposal to see if this specific project is something OSGeo should  
>> support.
>> If the basic concept of formally supporting project proposals  doesn't 
>> fit in
>> the scope of the Foundation then that would be good to know as well. 
>> Any comments would be helpful. 
>> Thanks, 
>> Ned 
>> --
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Ned Horning [mailto:nedh at lightlink.com]
>> Sent: Monday, May 08, 2006 11:26 AM
>> To: 'discuss at mail.osgeo.org'
>> Subject: LDCM and OSGeo input 
>> All, 
>> I wanted to see if I could get some feedback regarding a proposal I am
>> starting to write. I envision the project would have an open source  
>> software
>> development component as well as exploration of open data and public
>> participation issues related to data collection that would mesh  well 
>> with
>> the OSGeo goals. Two objectives are to improve accessibility to  Landsat 
>> data
>> as well as involve a broader community in the collection of  ancillary 
>> data
>> (primarily photographs) to help users of Landsat data better  interpret 
>> land
>> cover from the imagery. The details are still being worked out and  
>> probably
>> aren't important at this point. I'd like to know appropriate ways to
>> associate this work with OSGeo goals in the proposal. For example,  do 
>> you
>> think it would be possible to get a letter of support from OSGeo?  Can 
>> you
>> think of other ways association with OSGeo can benefit and benefit  from 
>> new
>> projects? This discussion/information might be useful to others who  are
>> thinking about mutual benefits of associating proposed projects  with 
>> OSGeo. 
>> All the best, 
>> Ned


 From the "whatever it's worth category".
Our experience here with Landsat derived data was ended due to shear 
Starting in 2000 we actively tried every avenue we could find (aka. we 
bugged every rep that showed up at conferences, emailed any contacts who 
appeared to work there...) to contact someone at USGS or etc that could 
provide a set of algorithms used to develop the 1996 (yr?) land use/cover 
Some of the leads sent us to other people which ended up unanswered.
Maybe I asked the wrong question, maybe I asked the wrong people, whichever, 
it would have been nice to know.
I/we would like to see more use of Landsat data also and one thing that 
would help is if the people who have already invented the wheel would share 
the design. Which is certainly an argument for OS, however I wouldn't want 
to see OS getting drug down because all of a sudden OS becomes responsible 
for redistributing the blueprints for a wheel that the designer never handed 


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