GLOBAL LIDAR FOREST MAP – Errors in Ireland?

Even as the EPA offers tenders for investigating the use of LIDAR for wood biomass measurements, NASA have published a global forest map derived from LIDAR.

NASA GLAS derived forest map

The map was made using data from the GLAS LIDAR on ICESAT. This has footprint of 70m or so on the ground and was coupled with MODIS optical data. A fine achievement (not just area of foretsyr but height of the canopy as well) but zoom into Ireland from the published map (on the left, forested areas in green)– shows it probably doesn’t supersede the EPA’s call!
Indeed the combination of drumlins, wet soils and small fields seems to have confused the map around the border region if we compare with the forest layer (311,312,313,324) in the CLC2006 map (on the right, forested areas in green)

Crude comparison of NASA GLAS derived forest map on left with corine 2006 forest map on right


iSpy: EO apps for your smart phone

EO apps seems to fall into 3 categories: satellite tracking, spatially enabled imaging and GPS.

Do your own weather forecasting with met sat data on your phone.
You can pretend to be satellite and get a satellite real-time view of your position.
Get Accumaps DTM on your phone

Then of course have the phone as remote sensing instrument. The 2D bar code .
scanning that big in asia and starting to catch on here. There are faces and object recognition systems, and also spatially enabled augmented reality

The potential for spatially enabled and EO driven apps seems to be huge. My own suggestion?The laundry day app (should I put the washing out?) Meteosat/Rain radar cloud tracking in relation to your own position!

Surveillance Special

Two new developments in UAVs. Boing have launched a new UAV called the “Phantom Eye” and the british MOD yesterday unveiled an unmanned fighter aircraft prototype, the Taranis (apparently named for the Celtic thunder god). At aground level a new paper in Nature Photonics expands the acquisition range of terahertz scanning (though it not quite clear to me exactly what being detected and, as plasma are involved exactly how non-invasive it is).

Google Street view in Ireland

Apparently not content with sniffing german routers, the Google street view team are finally going to bring street view to Ireland. Dont forget the horse heads! BTW there is now a 3d option for street view, right click in the viewing window when in street view and activate 3d- you need anaglyph glasses

Citizen Groundtruth!

Thinking of ground truth as in the phenology post yesterday, I thought I’d bring the following to your attention. It’s a very slick and clever use of online mapping, geo-tagging and tree hugging. It’s an online map of the urban tree cover in San Francisco. Essentially people log on and submit a report of a tree, location and species, including a photograph. Its very impressive. I know there are a couple of projects looking at urban forestry in Ireland.. The nearest I can think in an Irish context is the Invasive species mapping, Alien Watch run by the National Biodiversity Centre but its not nearly as slick.

Oil Spills in ireland

The Gulf Oil spill at the moment caused me to wonder about Irelands readiness for such an event. Here you can find the oil spill strategy for the Shannon. Whilst I cant be a judge of the document as a whole, I am struck by the relative absence of remote sensing technologies (2 mentions). The document was drawn up in 2002, and since then there have been big strides in the technology and in availability of specialised hazard products from EO, particularly in terms of temporal availability. Perhaps we should be looking at reviewing these documents with an eye utilising fully some of the new products coming out of SAFER and GMES.

Gulf Oil Spill

Phenology 2010

As far as this attendee was concerned, the Phenology 2010 conference was a great success. Some of the presentations are now up . From a remote sensing perspective the obvious demand and role for Ireland was and is in ground truthing. There’s a strong demand for spatial tagged, medium/long term records of phenological events (start of season, flowering, growth rates etc). The talks on Pheno-cams, simple web enabled cameras observing forests etc was particularly interesting and should not be a difficult area for students to get involved in.