New WebGIS: the USDA/FAS Global Agricultural & Disaster Assessment System (GADAS)

The US Department of Agriculture’s Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA/FAS) has developed a new WebGIS called the Global Agricultural & Disaster Assessment System (GADAS). While GADAS currently only supports the Google Chrome browser, it contains many useful geospatial layers, including agrometeorology, remote sensing, crop masks, etc.

Here’s a screenshot centered over the northern Atlantic Ocean:


Now focusing in on Ireland, which is subject to a drought now:



Help map and identify areas of destruction in Philipines

Digital Globe are organizing a crowd sourced campaign to map areas affected by the Typhoon to help direct aid efforts.

Go here to sign up.


The sort of image you’ll be dealing with:



Elfordstown Earthstation I Midleton I Co Cork
Press Release URL:

PRESS RELEASE: 13 June 2013, for immediate release


Leading global satellite technology companies, space agencies and maritime users from all over the world will visit Cork on 26 and 27 June, 2013 to attend the fourth C-SIGMA Conference (Collaboration in Space for International Global Maritime Awareness), hosted by National Space Centre Ltd, Midleton, Co Cork.  

The conference, C-SIGMA IV is a maritime security conference and workshop which over two days of presentations, discussions and demonstrations will focus on developing global plans and policies needed for the future.  Participants will be attending from Canada, Europe, Japan, New Zealand, USA, Russia, UK and of course Ireland.

C-SIGMA IV hosts, National Space Centre Ltd will add an innovative dimension to this year’s event by using its onsite control room at Elfordstown Earthstation to give real life demonstrations of how maritime domain awareness technologies can be used in real life events.
National Space Centre Chief Executive Rory Fitzpatrick said “At this conference, which explores an exciting and emerging industry, participants will get to meet peers from all over the world and participate in road-mapping future needs. We have experts coming from all sectors including industry, government agencies, maritime end users and emergency services. It promises to be an engaging and productive couple of days.”

C-SIGMA IV sessions will take place at Fota Island Resort Hotel, and Elfordstown Earthstation.  Bookings can be made online at  


* C-SIGMA is an unfunded, collaborative organisation established in 2011 to foster wider co-operation and exchange in the use of and access to satellite based maritime observation information at global level to benefit maritime safety and security.  Previous C-SIGMA workshops were hosted in Frascati (Italy), La Spezia (Italy) and the last workshop C-SIGMA III was hosted by the Canadian Embassy in Washington.

Highest wind speed ever in ireland!

Its a windy one. The met stations around the country are recording some of the highest windspeeds in their history. But we can measure windspeed with satellites. Not directly but we can use RADAR satellites to measure the roughness of the sea and then infer the windspeed. These instruments are called scatterometers and because they produce a beam of energy that can penetrate cloud they can be used in all weathers. The data from a whole suite of satellites is freely available from EUMETSAT and NASA PO_DAAC service (click “parameters”) . You need specialist software to view the information – or you can go to OSI SAY a EUMETSAT service that does the processing for you: Here from the site is an image of the windy weather last night – the arrows, showing windspeed and direction are generated by the scatterometer data (ASCAT) and the image is from the met8 satellite:

It was windy last night

More information on how the ASCAT scatterometr works can be found here

GGIM | United Nations Initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management

A new high level group has been establsihed by UN on geospatial issues – seems it will take a hand in GEOSS. Some data sets on global landuse available on the web site

GGIM | United Nations Initiative on Global Geospatial Information Management.

If Fukushima had happened in Ireland?

Trying to get to grips with the scale of what’s happening in Japan – i thought i might look at the aftereffects if they had happend in Ireland. Imagine the Carnsore Point plant had been built, a disaster had happened and a 20km long term evacuation zone had been established (as in Japan). Quck screen grab from googlemaps shows what 20km circle around carnsore point looks like

The white cicle shows the 20km perimter- it captures the southern half of wexford town along with roslare and surrounding lands.  A quick GIS analysis on the Census 2006 data shows this would mean a population of about 25000 people evacuated (in realty i suppose the whole of wexford town might be evacuated or people would chose to leave of their own accord). As with the Fukushima area you can see from the image its some of Irelands most prodcutive agricultural land.