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The major utilization of remote sensing data has been to compare images of an area taken at different times and identify the changes it underwent. With a wealth of long-term satellite imagery currently in open use, detecting such changes manually would be time-consuming and most likely inaccurate. EOS Data Analytics stepped in by introducing the automated Change Detection tool to its flagship product LandViewer, which ranks among the most capable cloud tools for satellite imagery search and analysis in today's market.

Unlike the methods involving neural networks that identify changes in the previously extracted features, the change detection algorithm implemented by EOS is using a pixel-based strategy, meaning that changes between two raster multi-band images are mathematically calculated by subtracting the pixel values for one date from the pixel values of the same coordinates for another date. This new signature feature is designed to automate your change detection task and deliver accurate results in fewer steps and in a fraction of the time needed for change detection with ArcGIS, QGIS or another image-processing GIS software.


Change detection interface. Images of Beirut city coastline selected for tracing the developments of the past years.


Unlimited scope of applications ‒ from farming to environmental monitoring

One of the main goals set by EOS team was to make the complex process of change detection in remote sensing data equally accessible and easy for non-expert users coming from non-GIS industries.

With LandViewer's change detection tool, farmers can quickly identify the areas on their fields that were damaged by hail, storm or flooding. In forest management, satellite image detection of changes will come in handy for estimation of the burned areas following the wildfire and spotting the illegal logging or encroachment on forest lands. Observing the rate and extent of climate changes occurring to the planet (such as polar ice melt, air and water pollution, natural habitat loss due to urban expansion) is an ongoing task of environmental scientists, who may now have it done online in a matter of minutes. By studying the differences between the past and present using the change detection tool and years of satellite data in LandViewer, all these industries can also forecast future changes.

Top change detection use cases: flood damage and deforestation

A picture is worth a thousand words, and the capabilities of satellite image change detection in LandViewer can be best demonstrated on real-life examples.

Forests that still cover around a third of the world's area are disappearing at an alarming rate, mostly due to human activities such as farming, mining, grazing of livestock, logging, and also the natural factors like wildfires. Instead of massive ground surveying of thousands of forest acres, a forestry technician can regularly monitor the forest safety with a pair of satellite images and the automated change detection based on NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index).

How does it work? NDVI is a known means of determining vegetation health. By comparing the satellite image of the intact forest with the recent one acquired after the trees were cut down, LandViewer will detect the changes and generate a difference image highlighting the deforestation spots, which can further be downloaded by users in .jpg, .png or .tiff format. The surviving forest cover will have positive values, while the cleared areas will have negative ones and be shown in red hues indicating there's no vegetation present.

A difference image showing the extent of deforestation in Madagascar between 2016 and 2018; generated from two Sentinel-2 satellite images.

Another widespread use case for change detection would be agricultural flood damage assessment, which is of most interest to crop growers and insurance companies. Whenever flooding has taken a heavy toll on your harvest, the damage can be quickly mapped and measured with the help of NDWI-based change detection algorithms.


Results of Sentinel-2 scene change detection: the red and orange areas represent the flooded part of the field; the surrounding fields are green, meaning they avoided the damage. California flooding, February 2017.

How to run change detection in LandViewer

There are two ways you can launch the tool and start finding differences on multi-temporal satellite images: by clicking the right menu icon "Analysis tools" or from the Comparison slider ‒ whichever is more convenient. Currently, change detection is performed on optical (passive) satellite data only; addition of the algorithms for active remote sensing data is scheduled for future updates.

For more details, please read this guide to LandViewer's change detection tool.

Or start exploring the latest capabilities of LandViewer on your own.

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Crime activities are very saddening for most people. Most citizens usually depend on government support to ensure security for them. Due to this expectation, the government must do all that it can to help protect its citizens from crime. Many governments have therefore adopted digital systems for crime control, prevention, and investigation. GIS is one of the information systems implemented to help curb crime. Some of the applications of GIS in crime include the following:

List of applications of GIS in crime

1. Crime identification: GIS offers a broad platform for determining location coordinates. In most cases, crime takes place in interior areas. One can send an alarm when involved in a crime situation. The signals generated by the device and can be tracked using GIS as well as its location coordinates located. Most intelligence services in various countries have a GIS to monitor crime occurrences. With this Police and intelligence agencies can then get to rescue fellow citizens who might be in critical conditions of crime

2. Crime awareness:
GIS is used to generate maps and digital content on areas that are worst affected by crime. The information generated is issued to media houses for press releases and this creates awareness. Were it not for GIS such a process would take longest to complete. Erroneous reports and information that would mislead the public can also prevail due to the manual way of doing crime analysis and this might hinder the fight against crime in our societies.

3. Evacuation:
Some criminals like terrorists are usually very merciless. Such terrorists might be demanding a very large amount of ransom. Because most governments do not negotiate with terrorists and criminals, one of the only ways might be an evacuation. These evacuations require government agencies in the security sector to have ample information about the location of terrorists and hostages before making their plans. GIS would thus be of help as satellite visualization and images can contribute to a successful hostage evacuation. Drones that are integrated with GIS are also applicable. For plane hijacking incidence, a real type tracking system that uses GIS to determine the location of aircraft might be good for planning on helping passengers

4. Crime mapping:
crime mapping enables both specialists and non-experts to picture and analyze crime hotspots. This can be done on a map or a suitable graphical representation object. To map crime activities with relation to demographic features, complex statistical methods are executed on data sets relating to crime and one that arose from different locations. This is also very helpful in detailed crime analyses.

5. Crime investigation:
Police and undercover agencies own GIS for crime investigation. Crime tracking is thus easily achieved with the help of small computer devices that make use of GPS and GPRS and the geographic information system. All possible routes that could have been taken by crime suspects are undoubtedly spotted and the suspects found in their hiding places. A GIS can be linked to satellites that capture live images to track moving suspects who might be escaping from crime scenes. Total coordination between police systems and GIS are therefore of many advantages.

6. Storage of crime interview data: GIS enable data collected from different crime victims by the different government`s security officers to be stored securely in remote databases and be backed up for sampling and analysis. In cases where second party security agencies are involved, data involving security can be shared with permission and responsibly to any intelligence station for further investigation. This pervasiveness of Data entry and access is enabled by cloud-based GIS platforms.

7. Crime pattern analysis: For most places, it has been found that a given pattern of crime incidents is identified. Some places also exhibit certain times of high crime than others. In other places also, geographic features around those areas are also seen to favor criminal activities. Analysis and mapping of these patterns can be comfortable to see the relationship between crime, weather, and geographic features. The ability to unmask these crime patterns is very helpful as it can be used by security agencies to mitigate crime accordingly.

8. Crime prediction:
After pattern analysis is done, crime prediction can now be simple to realize. Past trends are a foundation of what might in the future. GIS can be feed with data involving crime at various geographical locations. This data undergoes processing and probabilistic statistics to try to unmask where the next crime incidence is to take place. The processes involved when GIS is used are accurate and fast. Having information on where crime is to occur helps the governments have more security on the ground to prevent the crime. This sounds an effective way to control and minimize crime.

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Human beings have always considered forests as one of the best renewable sources due to their important role in preserving an environment that is ideal for life. Over the past fifty years, forest management is a discipline that has been adopted by most of the countries across the world.

Forest management has been the driving force behind economics. Economics that deals with the measurement of forest growth, volume, timber harvest, usage and profits.

Geographical Information System (GIS) is an amazing technology that is used to create public policies related to forests and environmental planning. This technology has been responsible for the decision making processes for a couple of years now.

GIS together with other foresting technologies have helped foresters and environmentalists to keep clear records regarding forests and make decisions based on the data obtained. With the rapid advancement of technology, GIS is becoming popular every passing day due to its immense benefits on the environment.

In this article, we are going to discuss thirty GIS applications in forestry. But first, let’s look at forest management.

  1. Forest Management

With regard to forest management, GIS is an amazing tool because it answers crucial questions that help foresters in forest management departments such as condition, location, modelling and trends make decisions.

Other important fields of forest management that have improved by GIS include forest monitoring, protection, harvest, conservation and rehabilitation. It has also improved climate change and biodiversity.

GIS enables foresters and other specialists to create databases which are crucial in the preparation of work plans, wildlife conservation and soil conservation. Forest sectors can improve their operations by using GIS in managing forests and other important sectors related to forestry.

  1. General forest data collection

With all the advantages that come with using GIS in forestry, there are a few limitations. The use of GIS has been triggered by poor forest inventory and related systems used to gather data. GIS is dependent on data collected in the field to operate.

If the data is not collected properly, then the system will fail to produce the intended results. Further, GIS is a tool that helps in identifying the problems related to a specific field such as forestry and solving them. For it to do this efficiently, proper planning and the utilization of resources is crucial.

  1. Forest Inventory

Forest inventory is an important forest management tool because it provides information related to timber monitoring, planning, research, evaluation, yield and sale. It tries to give more information related to the quality, quantity and density of forests.

It also describes the ideal type of land in which forests grow sustainably to manage the ecosystem efficiently. Forest inventory, as its name suggests, provides qualitative and quantitative information about forests in a specific region. The data obtained is used to create long term forest plans to protect and preserve wildlife.

  1. Reconnaissance (forest)

This class is used to explore and investigate the forest population. This information intends to help foresters make informed decisions about an area or region.

  1. Forest calculations

The aim of this class is to help foresters conduct a low density investigation in an area with dense forests like a forest reserve. The information provided will be used to calculations, make decisions and plan for the long term.

  1. Forest operations

This class is used to perform an intense investigation in a relatively small area. The information provided here is normally used for the short term or popularly known as operational planning for instance timber volumes harvested in logging compartments.

GIS has improved forest inventory data thus enabling foresters to improve forest conditions, plan adequately for the short and long term, estimate the growth of forests, calculate wildlife population, discover forest species, assess potential hazards such as forest fires and discover non-timber products in the forest.

  1. Forest Fires

Forest fires are the biggest of trees and the ecosystem in general. In most cases, forest fire ignites when temperatures get too high in presence of sufficient oxygen and a highly flammable material or product. A forest fire can spread rapidly when catalyzed by the flammable material, slopes or weather conditions such as high temperatures and strong winds.

Young forests are forests that have not exceeded six years. A fire outbreak can prevent natural renewal of a young forest. Foresters have to reduce flammable substances through spraying for instance to prevent forest fires. Other ways to control forest fires include pruning, burning the cuttings, watering, building watchtowers and installing posters and signs.

  1. Deforestation

Deforestation is the destruction of forests permanently for the land to become available for other uses such as housing. A research conducted by United Nation found out that approximately 18 million acres of forest are cleared on an annual basis.

Destruction of forests has led to an increase in greenhouse emissions, unpredictable weather, extreme weather and lack of water. States such as California as experiencing droughts due to deforestation.

While we need timber to manufacture several products and the land to build houses and infrastructure, it is important for us to preserve our forests. Without forests, there will be no life on this planet. Deforestation rates are increasing every year and this will definitely lead to serious problems if not controlled.

Deforestation is done through burning forests or cutting trees down also known as clear cutting. Deforestation releases about a billion tons of carbon into the atmosphere and this is affecting the climate seriously.

Other adverse effects of deforestation include extinction of species, reduced or no rainfall, soil erosion and poor health due to decreased life quality. GIS helps foresters keep track of deforestation rates and test land cover overtime before planting forests.

  1. Reforestation

Reforestation is the opposite of deforestation. It involves planting trees massively to counter the effects brought by deforestation. While there’s some truth in this statement, reforestation cannot alleviate all the problems brought about by deforestation.

The amount of carbon dioxide released during deforestation cannot be wiped out completely through reforestation. However, better half a glass of water than none. Reforestation restores the ecosystem to an extent by reducing carbon, creating wildlife habit and increasing the amount of water.

To prevent deforestation levels escalating beyond the set levels, other effective methods that complement reforestation are being used such as shifting the human diet. If more people have plant-based diets, the need to clear land to nurture livestock would be lowered. GIS allows foresters to conduct surveys using maps online and make plans for reforestation.

  1. Forest Heights

Forest heights provide important information about the vertical structures and diameters of forest stands. Further, forest heights are used to estimate timber volumes. Forest heights help foresters in reviewing the quality of site and quantifying yield. However, tree height measurements are quite expensive and time consuming.

Also, since tree crown apices are the aspects that are measured in scattered plots, data will only be available for small sections or areas in the forest. With little information about an area, there is nothing much that can be done to improve it. In most cases, forest inventories are repeated after ten to twenty years.

This means that there are no measurements available for long periods of time. Due to the rapid advancement of technology, measuring information systems such as LiDAR data have improved accuracy and frequency of measurements thus allowing foresters to make informed decisions.

  1. Vertical Point Profile

Vertical point profile is an aspect that helps foresters have a better understanding of tree height and structure. Researching and obtaining important information about trees has been the key to scientific revolutions over the years.

Knowing the right type of trees to plant in a specific area will definitely improve the environment in general. The use of satellites and LiDAR software has improved the accuracy of research and results thus paving way for better decision making processes.

  1. Tree lines

Tree lines can be defined as geographical limits where trees cannot thrive. Tree lines are mostly used in high altitude areas such as mountains or areas with extreme weather conditions such as deserts and polar regions.

The tree line is very evident when observed from a distance but on the ground, the tree line is not evident. In fact, it starts to lose its importance as trees become shorter or fewer in number. Tree lines are characterized by ecology or geography.

Some of the tree lines available today include the Arctic tree line, Alpine tree line, Desert tree line and Antarctic tree line. GIS helps foresters and researchers to determine and draw the tree line.

  1. Illegal logging

Illegal logging is the cutting down of trees without permission form the authorities. One major cause of deforestation is illegal logging. Technology allows foresters to keep count of forests in a specific area to ensure that illegal logging doesn’t happen.

According to edubirdie, illegal logging can be prevented through fining people who indulge in these heinous activity high fines and educating people on the importance of forests in their lives.

  1. Forest Carbon Reserves

The goal of every environmentalist and forester is to reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. As we said earlier, carbon is mainly caused by deforestation. And reforestation can reduce the amount of carbon but not completely. Carbon can be reduced through creating forest reserves and monitoring them using technological tools such as satellites.

  1. Agent Based Simulation

Agent based simulation involves mimicking the spread of an agent such as a fire caused by a random event such as lightning on a measured landscape. Through the use of a GME Cellular Automated Model, foresters can gauge the level of destruction that can happen in area and take action on time.

  1. Global Forest Watch

Foresters and other experts can work together through an integrated forest watch online platform to monitor forests and make informed decisions. Collaborating with other specialists will help in brainstorming ideas and taking necessary action with regard to the environmental aspects.

  1. Drones for the Indigenous in Indonesia

Forests can be sustained and promoted through the use of drones in Indonesia. Drones are quite effective because foresters get to analyze and review a hugely covered area and ultimately make wise decisions.

  1. Wild Fire Rescue

Wild fire rescue saves many lives and resources which would have been destroyed by wild fires. The rescue teams use wild fire satellite monitoring to ensure that everything is in order. Foresters can prevent wild fire by reducing and/or eliminating flammable materials or products both horizontally and vertically.

Good infrastructure is also a crucial element when it comes to minimizing forest fires. For instance, good roads and adequate water supply will prevent forest fires from spreading wildly and affecting human beings. It’s important to remember that different trees and plantations have different flammability levels.

  1. Vegetation potential

Analyzing and researching on growth and distribution of trees is important for the preservation of the environment and human life. GIS has made it easier for foresters and experts to understand vegetation potential clearly.

  1. Leaf area index

Calculating the total area of leaves in a ground or square unit helps foresters draw important conclusions which will determine the next course of action for a better future.

  1. Amazon Rain Forest

GIS has helped in maximizing the satellite view to reduce soil erosion, climate degradation, extinction of species and destabilization in Brazil. The Amazon rain forest is home to thousands of creatures.

  1. Remnant Rain forest

Using technology will help forest experts understand why remnants of rainforests always slope or face towards the east which is protected by the dry westerly winds.

  1. 4D GIS

This technological innovation helps in understanding the basics of timber harvesting and vegetation growth in different parts of the world.

  1. Age trees

Understanding and analyzing the rings of trees and their positions in the forest database helps foresters understand the age of trees.

  1. Forest disease

Researching on the spread and impact of forest diseases such as mountain pine beetle helps us understand the effects we will experience on the environment and economy. The Google Disease Map can help a lot on this.

  1. Wildfire simulation

Automating the spread of fire in forests using 3D virtual software such as Capaware helps foresters to prepare for such situations and eliminate the factors that could lead to fire outbreaks early enough.

  1. Traffic sign deterioration

Analyzing the effects of air pollutants through the use of Traffic sign deterioration will help in conserving forests and the environment.

  1. Wetland inventory

Wetland inventories classes different types of wetland by function. Through the use of National Wetland inventory, we can understand wetlands better and make informed decisions.

  1. Dead zones

Having a clear idea where marine and forest life is not supported is crucial for the preservation of the environment.

  1. Environmental assessment

Analyzing the effects of a proposed development project on forests and the environment is important to avoid destroying our planet.

Conclusion

Technology has revolutionized every aspect of our lives. Forest departments have not been left behind. Without forests, we cannot survive. Therefore, it’s important to preserve our environment by planting trees and discouraging deforestation.

Wild fires are also a serious concern that technology has helped resolve in the forest departments. Different studies have been conducted with regard to forest fires and experts recommend planting trees and shrubs with low flammability and consumption levels to reduce the risk of forest fires. Young forests are more vulnerable to forest fires than mature forests. Let’s do our best to protect our forests for the sake of future generations.

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Sometime while doing the GIS analysis we often have to convert the polygon to point feature and also it has to be centroid of the polygon. So here are few ways that you can create centroid of the polygon.

A. Using Geometry Calculation

B. Using Geoprocessing Tools

A. Using Geometry Calculation

1. Create an X field and Y field on your attribute table. Make sure the field type is able to hold decimal places, here we are using double as a field type.



2. Right Click the X field and click the Calculate Geometry.


3. Then Select the "X coordinate of Centroid" and your desired units.

4. Repeat the process from 2 to 3 for the Y field. Make sure you select "Y Coordinate of Centroid"

5. Export the table to your local drive and add to the Table of content.


6. Say "Yes" to add to the Table of Contents.

7. Right click the added table and select "Display X and Y data" Coordinates.

8. By default it will take X and Y filed. If you have named it differently then you assign to appropriate field.

9. Press Ok to plot the coordinates. It is an event file, you can export it as a shape file or feature class for permanency.

B. Using Geoprocessing Tools

1. Find the tool called the "Feature to Point" using the Search box on ArcGIS 10.x. Or it is located under "Data Management Tools".

2. Open the tool, then select your polygon" under the "Input Feature". Assign the path for your file and make sure you select the "Inside" option. Then press Ok which will create a centroid point.

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Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are becoming critical components of the pipeline routing process. For the oil and gas industry, GIS is used to store, analyze, and manage geographic data pertaining to an oil and gas project. By creating a complete GIS rendering and simulation of a geographic location, an oil and gas company can provide better, more accurate estimates regarding their current and future projects.

Here's how GIS is revolutionizing pipeline routing, and how drone technology is being used to improve upon it.

The Importance of GIS for Pipeline Planning and Development

Oil and gas companies have a lot to consider when they plan new pipeline. Decades ago, most pipelines could be laid in a straight point-A to point-B course; there was very little standing in the way. Today, environmental concerns, preexisting infrastructure, and even other pipelines make it difficult to find a clear path. This has created a need for new technologies and new processes.

GIS can be used to easily identify potential roadblocks to pipeline planning, making it easier for pipeline developers to find a clear course that's still as cost-effective and efficient as possible. Rather than having to potentially change course later in the project (which can be extremely costly), the developer will know exactly where the pipeline is going to be laid from the start.

GIS is used to:

  • Identify the most effective routing for pipes. Pipes need to be routed as directly as possible, while still not intruding upon existing structures. Today, there has been such a significant amount of pipeline laid down that it can be difficult to avoid other pipelines — not to mention the potentially large amounts of development that may be present in any given area.
  • Plan around obvious obstructions. Pipelines don't necessarily need to go around obstructions, but can instead attempt to go above, below, or through them. Nevertheless, planners need to be aware that an obstruction exists so they can account for it. GIS data can be used to identify these obvious obstructions, while also maintaining right-of-way.
  • Locate any potential environmental concerns. Environmental regulations have gotten stricter, with environmental impact studies necessary for every major development. An environmental impact survey requires in-depth information about the surrounding area, which will need to be analyzed to determine whether there are any major causes for concern.
  • Simulate how the new pipeline could impact the surrounding community. In addition to determining whether there could be environmental impact, the pipeline project also needs to explore how the surrounding community may be impacted by the new development. This includes studies regarding potential disruption or runoff, as well as concerns as to how a leak or malfunction could affect the surrounding area.
  • Improve the project's bottom line. There are multiple ways in which GIS can reduce a project's costs, like reducing the chances of an accident, increasing adherence to regulations, and meeting environmental impact studies. As the project continues, GIS and surveying can be used to ensure that the project is moving forward correctly.

Ultimately, pipeline routing with GIS is safer, cheaper, and faster than traditional methods. When pipeline routing is done without GIS, a significant amount of data must be compiled manually, and the entirety of the project may potentially be disrupted. Of course, that still leaves companies with a question: What is the most effective way of gathering GIS?

Collecting GIS Data Via Aerial Surveying

Aerial surveying makes it easy to collect accurate GIS data quickly. With the power of aerial surveying, GIS information can be collected in as little as an evening. This level of speed is incredibly important: Surveying must be done before the pipeline can be routed, and delays in pipeline development will likely be extremely costly.

Faster and safer than traditional ground surveys, aerial surveys collect large volumes of 3D topological information from above. When these aerial surveys are completed by drone, they have higher resolution and greater accuracy; drones can fly low to the ground, getting more 3D information, and thus making the project less likely to experience issues in the future.

Aerial surveys conducted via drone can be almost immediately deployed, depending on the weather, and multiple drones can be used to collect information from larger swathes of territory at once. Drones are more cost-effective than plane or helicopter surveys, because they don't require a manned crew or specific licensing and permits. Drones are also faster than ground surveys.

A combination of GIS and aerial surveys will be able to provide improved visibility across any potential project site, saving a company money and improving upon the project's ultimate outcomes.

Using GIS Data for Simulations, 3D Modeling, and Future Development

Once GIS data has been collected with aerial surveys, it can then be used in advanced simulations and 3D modeling suites. Not only can this GIS data be used to route pipelines more effectively, but it can also be used to simulate potential environmental issues, disasters, and other scenarios. GIS data can be used to create comprehensive environmental impact reports and advanced 3D presentations. All this information can be presented to everyone from investors to environmental surveyors.

Furthermore, aerial surveys and GIS data can be used for future additions to the development, as well as management and maintenance of the work site. During the pipeline development process, GIS data and aerial surveys can be used to make sure that the project is progressing as it was planned, and that there aren't any unexpected complications. Once the project has been completed, regular aerial surveys can be used to identify damage to the pipeline or spot maintenance issues before they become severe.

The oil and gas industry is increasingly leveraging advanced technologies for better results. GIS (and UAV technology) can reduce the costs of pipeline projects as well as the potential risks. By making the project faster, safer, and more effective, GIS can also make it more profitable, protecting the oil and gas company's bottom line, both during construction and after the project has been completed.

Guest Post: Dustin Price is a licensed land surveyor and the Operations Manager at Landpoint. He leads the company's technical approach to delivering professional surveying services by providing tailored solutions using UAV technology.

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LandViewer, a cloud service developed by the U.S.-based company, EOS Data Analytics, is known for providing easy access to satellite data and incredibly fast-paced analytics. In recent months it has undergone numerous updates which have expanded the existing catalogue of satellite imagery, introduced more tools for remote sensing analysis and added some other nice bonuses on top.

Introducing high-resolution remote sensing data

By the end of 2018, free space and airborne datasets available for browsing, analysis, and download via LandViewer included imagery from ESA's Sentinel-2 and Sentinel-1, NASA-USGS's Landsat 8 and previous missions, MODIS, CBERS-4, and NAIP. This broad selection of Earth observation data has grown even larger with the addition of high-resolution commercial imagery from Airbus, SpaceWill, and SI Imaging Services

Preview of KOMPSAT-3A image collected over Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport on Oct 29, 2018.

LandViewer has evolved into a single platform, where on top of open source data one can freely explore the benefits of commercial data acquired through passive remote sensing with global coverage, short revisit periods, and spatial resolution up to 40 cm. The current catalogue includes imagery from Pléiades 1a/1b, SPOT 5, SPOT 6 and SPOT 7, along with KOMPSAT-2, 3, 3A, SuperView, Gaofen 1, 2 and Ziyuan-3. Compared to other HR imagery browsers, LandViewer boasts such advantages as free preview, automatic price calculation by selected area and fast image delivery within 3 business days via cloud EOS Storage.

Remote sensing from space for journalists

Let's not forget that, besides the informative spectral data contained in satellite image pixels, these pixels are simply fun to look at. With that in mind, LandViewer has introduced the Time-lapse Animation feature allowing journalists and remote sensing specialists, who're active in social media, to create engaging animated stories and share them on the Internet. Each GIF can contain up to 300 scenes, with indexes or band combinations applied.

Sentinel-2 satellite time lapse of Bhadla Solar Park construction from 2016 to 2019.

From calving of glaciers and erupting volcanoes to construction of new stadiums – satellite imagery is full of information that's worth watching and sharing with the world.

Long-term observations with Time Series Analysis

An abundance of available GIS data, such as weekly updated Sentinel-2 imagery and historical Landsat datasets, has made it much easier to monitor changes over long time spans. But how long would it take to select and process several years of passive satellite sensor data to get a multitemporal perspective? You'll never know, because the new Time Series Analysis will crunch all that satellite remote sensing data for you and deliver the results in an easily interpretable graph.

Sentinel-2 time series graph generated for agricultural fields in Kansas state.

All you need to do is select an area of interest (AOI), a satellite dataset and a time period between 1 month and 10 years. The algorithm can then pick all imagery with minimum cloudiness and calculate NDVI, NDWI or NDSI in just a few moments. By default, the generated Time Series graph contains lines (representing the min, max, mean and std values) that can be hidden or displayed for convenience, and whenever you notice an unusual spike or drop in values, a satellite scene that represents that part of the curve can be visualized in order to establish the cause. The results can be downloaded either as an image (.png), or a .csv file for working in Excel.

More vegetation insights with new remote sensing bands analytics

Everyone searching for a more in-depth look at vegetation cover will be benefit from LandViewer's new spectral indexes: SAVI, EVI, ARVI, GCI, SIPI and NBR. These can complement generalized NDVI analysis derived from satellite data by making corrections for atmospheric, topographic effects or soil brightness influences, depending on vegetation density, climate and elevation in the area of interest. NBR index, in its turn, is designed to highlight burned areas against healthy vegetation; whereas, the difference between pre-fire NBR and post-fire NBR values can be applied to estimate the severity of burn.

The use of several remote sensing indexes simultaneously enables better insight into plant health and helps to identify stressed or infected vegetation at an early stage.

Sentinel-2-derived SAVI analysis of an arid agricultural region in Saudi Arabia.

User-friendly legend for remote sensing indexes and area calculation

Another new LandViewer feature, the index legend, is designed to solve the problem of interpreting the index results, a common issue for new users of GIS tools. Now when a spectral index is applied over the selected territory, the user can view a detailed legend, where each color-marked class contains a short description. For example, calculation of NDVI will identify and highlight areas with "dense", "moderate", "sparse vegetation", "open soil" or "no vegetation".

One more recently added time-saving functionality is that the area of each class within the remote sensing index legend is now calculated automatically, in both square meters and by percentage.

And don't forget to make use of the expanded Area of Interest (AOI) tool, which enables bulk uploading of AOIs and speeds up work by allowing simultaneous visualization and fast switching of all AOIs on a map for imagery searches across datasets or new scene subscription.

Clustering – the index-based satellite image segmentation

By introducing the clustering function, EOS' remote sensing experts and GIS software developers have taken LandViewer's spatiotemporal analytics to the next level. With this function, users can run unsupervised satellite data-based classification of an area up to 200 sq.km into as many as 19 clusters (or zones). This process involves setting custom parameters (size/number of zones) and waiting a few moments for LandViewer to build a raster image of the area with color-marked zones, and a vector layer outlining the boundaries. Both outputs can be downloaded.

This scalable remote sensing data analysis can provide various insights across agriculture, forestry, coastal monitoring and other industries. For example, a farmer can make use of convenient color mapping of zones within the field based on NDVI values for precise in-field navigation and crop management.

All these LandViewer features and image data are freely available at https://eos.com/landviewer

Try them out!

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A geographic information system, or GIS, provides a central database storing every piece of data your landmen, equipment, and operations generate and turn it into actionable information. 

 

Here are 30 ways you can use GIS data to improve your oil and gas business.

 

1. Prospect Analysis: Use GIS to estimate hydrocarbon reserve or volume as well as estimate reserves. Perform raster analysis based on a deterministic prospect volume of petroleum and reservoirs and spatial analysis of well data in unconventional hydrocarbon sources such as shale.

 

2. Data Acquisition: Acquire data for your plan survey, including restricted vs. accessible areas; farm boundaries, cities, and roads; and the potential for the use of dynamite or vibroseis. Create seismic, gravity, magnetic, and tomographic visualizations from the data.

 

3. Data Interpretation: Generate maps and visualizations of data for data interpretation. Create a 3D data tie and visualization. Generate surface maps including satellite imagery. Develop gravity and magnetic maps as well as seismic subsurface grids and maps from a complex collection of data.

 

4. Data Index Map Creation: Deliver effective digital maps for oil company staff to use to see the data that is available. They can use the data to significantly reduce the time spent on information seeking to perform their work. These maps are often available via web-based GIS applications that are extremely intuitive and user-friendly, requiring little training. All data of interest is shown side-by-side in a single user interface or dashboard.

 

5. Automated Map Production and Visualization: GIS provides a data-driven method for creating maps of multiple sites. Efficiently route service trucks and other vehicles and stakeholders.

 

6. Exploration Survey: For onshore surveys, generate a visual framework for exploration across all your assets. You have access to 3D modeling of geophysical, geological, and petrophysical hierarchical data. Offshore, utilize bathymetry mapping and access seafloor surveys. Define shipping lane maps with data integration. Perform a 3D seismic analysis and use on-demand satellite image processing for offshore exploration and mapping activities.

 

7. Thematic Maps: Create and display a variety of thematic maps using the substantial data set within the GIS. You can create choropleth, proportional, isarithmic (contour), dot, and dasymetric maps for virtually any use. Thematic maps are a form of data visualization that can show quantitative data in color representing density, percent, average value, or quantity of an event within a geographic area. Sequential colors represent increasing or decreasing positive or negative data values or a range of values. Isarithmic or contour maps use isolines to show 3D values for elevation or other information types for topographic mapping.

 

8. Acreage Analysis: With a GIS, you can evaluate and grade opportunities rapidly from a multi-disciplinary asset data set. Assign weightings and criteria, rank acreage, leases, companies, and blocks. Explore statistics on a visual platform.

 

9. Basin Analysis: Map the potential hydrocarbon accumulations. Perform hydrological modeling and subsurface secondary fluid migration network mapping. You can visualize flow direction and flow accumulation mapping across DEM as well as potential migration paths.

 

10. Play Analysis: Map risk segments for each petroleum play element. You can also map regional risk and generate geological maps. Perform ground truthing or develop validating imagery with field survey data.

 

11. Block Ranking: Block ranking is a quantitative analysis method used for ranking opportunities that are more efficiently performed with GIS than manually. Assess oil and gas lease blocks or licenses and grade them to mine substantial quantities of various data types to simplify the decision-making process. Block ranking is especially effective when competing for license acquisitions.

 

12. Well Planning: Well planning has been complicated with the increase in unconventional hydrocarbon resources such as shale oil and gas as well as coal bed methane. GIS assists in planning well pad patterns around multiple surface drilling constraints. The spatial analytics optimizes drilling patterns to find the most efficient configurations and optimizing workflows.

 

13. Pipeline Management: Track inspections with remote data. Analyze spatially dispersed data in real-time and access seafloor geodesy and asset management data offshore. Monitor your pipelines for geohazards and leaks.

 

14. Pipeline Routing: Determine the optimal path to build pipelines to carry petroleum products. Produce a least cost path analysis and network analysis for environmentally friendly and cost-effective routes. Least cost path analysis identifies the route with the fewest obstructions between a source point and the delivery destination. The analysis is based on the effort required to move through the cells in one or more raster datasets such as slope and landcover. Reduce costs by 15%.

 

15. Field Operations: Use flying sensor technology to gather on-demand imagery in high-resolution over a field location. Survey the site and regularly monitor your sites. Identify and manage any changes found. Using GIS for this purpose is much more cost effective than commissioning satellite capture data.

 

16. Distribution Management: Combine pipeline routing and management with vehicle and vessel tracking to plan and monitor all phases of hydrocarbon distribution. Visualize the complete journey from well to refinery to selling and distribution.

 

17. Drilling Operations: Survey the surface location, determine the type of rig, and acquire log data remotely. Geosteer the well to a precise target location and live stream the data to tie with subsurface work. Use spatial analysis within the GIS to optimize drilling patterns and configurations. Empower decision making for efficient and productive drilling operations with terrain analysis for seismic planning along with seismic survey maps and satellite image processing.

 

18. Asset Management: A GIS stores, collects and visualizes the physical location of each asset, including pipelines, wells, pump stations, and tank terminals. It also monitors non-spatial information such as the date and installation of pipes. Monitoring of non-spatial data helps you determine when there is a need for maintenance or repair.

 

19. Facilities Management: Accurately monitor associated environmental changes in near real-time for health, safety, and environmental compliance with the GIS-provided 3D layout. Remotely monitor emergency responses during oil spills, explosions, or leaks.

 

20. Land Management: Landmen use GIS data to map important lease information such as expiry dates, overriding royalty interest, overriding royalty, working interests, lessor names, and gross and net acreage. Centralize your land management data to generate reports to comply with regulators easily.

 

21. Vessel Tracking: Monitor valuable water-going assets with precise location to ensure timely delivery of goods and services. Vessel tracking also supports efficient emergency responses.

 

22. Vehicle or Fleet Tracking: Track mobile land vehicles to ensure timely arrival without incident. In disaster events, you can easily monitor the position and speed of each vehicle and the fleet as a whole.

 

23. Production Monitoring: GIS data analysis enables you to monitor your complete oil and gas business. Track well production, manage pipelines and facilities and manage your port operations to follow all oil and gas products as they move about the world.

 

24. Well Log Digitization: Acquiring well log data in a digital format improves overall efficiency. There is no need to keep paper logs, and everyone involved with a particular well has access to the same information every time. Updating multiple documents is not needed, decreasing the potential for error and the effort required to maintain the data.

 

25. Environmental Monitoring: Controversy has surrounded the oil and gas industry for years regarding its environmental impact. With shale development, it is crucial to monitor environmental changes accurately. Integrate and visualize time-stamped data against baseline such as routinely updated DEMs to detect subsidence caused by resource extraction.

 

26. Environmental Management: The variety of types of drilling and the length of the pipelines for distribution demands environmental management to ensure safety, and environmental regulations are followed and any issues resolved immediately. Monitoring environmental data and responding to identified problems quickly reduces lost costs and maintains the land for future use once drilling and distribution are complete.

 

27. Remote Sensing for Terrain Stability: Your GIS can receive, store, and manipulate data from satellite interferometric synthetic aperture radar, or InSAR. Monitor potential geohazards to understand when and where to deploy staff, increase safety precautions, and continue production. For further accuracy, remote sensing data can be compared to that from ground surveys.

 

28. Disaster Management: As you drill deeper into the ocean or deploy fracturing operations, the need for disaster management grows. Traditional drilling and field operations already require a wealth of data to maintain safety. Oil rigs in the deep ocean and shale production add to the complexity of data accumulated. GIS takes the mountain of data and makes sense of every need for repair and maintenance activity to mitigate disasters and minimize the resources required to recover.

 

29. Emergency Response: The faster you can respond to an emergency, the lower the impact on operations and the environment. Gathering and analyzing remote data within the GIS database is fast and easy, allowing your emergency response to hit the ground running with the right information at the right time.

 

30. Decommissioning: When it comes time to shut down operations and remove assets, GIS can analyze field data from earlier oil field life cycle phases and help you remove any infrastructure and assets placed. Recover the site for land use in record time and without anything slipping through the cracks.

As the need for hydrocarbon exploration and production continue to grow, despite inroads from wind, wave, and solar energy, the amount of data generated by these operations expands exponentially.

By automating your data storage and report generation, you can build more efficient and effective processes than in the past. A GIS is an investment that will return itself many times over, starting from your first well.

 

Author's bio:

Paul Cones is the President of CourthouseDirect.com, an innovative technology company that provides legal record search products and services. Since 1982, they have offered the nation's largest and most comprehensive repository of courthouse documents online.

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GIS applications in the field of tourism goes back several years. Tourists can now rely on maps and other GIS related material to find their way around the world. Below are some of the applications of GIS in tourism.

1. Personality Atlas:

Assigning personality stereotypes to countries around the world based on a sample size of global population's perspectives.

2. Tourist Map

Plotting out landmarks in tourist maps. GIS has also been instrumental in plotting out maps for various locations across the globe. This way, tourists are able to find their way into various locations.

3. Sunrise and Sunset

Finding the perfect sunrise and sunset during at any given location. Using GIS, tourists are able to locate the perfect sunrise and sunset and capture the best moments using this technology.

4. Subway Map

Simplifying maps for the reader to better understand such as the lines of a subway map in high contrasting colors.

5. Linear Referencing

Using linear referencing along shorelines to track volumes of organic debris.

6. Off-Beaten Tracks

Finding the off-beaten track for backpackers and marking its position with 3 words.


7. Safe Travel

Advising travelers where unsafe location are on a map.

8. Tourism Dollars

Tracking the exports of purchased goods and services using desire lines.

9. Sustainable Tourism Planning

Identifying conflicting interests from tourism and solving issues by examining suitable locations for proposed developments.

10. Hotel Search

Searching geographically for five star hotels using a circle radius.

11. Horizon Blockage

Calculating the horizon blocking line in all directions from a given observation point with gvSIG's Horizon Blockage.

12. Travel Mode Detection

Detecting travel mode (walk, car, bus, subway and commuter rail) from a multi-modal transportation network using GIS and GPS in New York City.

13. Finding Islands

Using satellite to find uninhabited islands around the world – Landsat found Landsat Island near the coast of Canada.

14. Time Zones

Representing time zones around the world. GIS can also be used to represent time zones across all areas in the world. Tourists can then use this information to know what time it is wherever they are going.

15. Eco-Tourism Site Selection

Gauging environmental impacts for sustainable eco-tourism sites. GIS can also help in gauging the impact of environmental occurrences.

16. Virtual Travel

Seeing your destination before physically being there. Through virtual travel, tourists are also able to view their destination and see how it looks before actually getting to the destination.

17. Geo-tagging

Discover places with 360 panoramic camera views.

18. Highway Planning

Constructing viewpoints with multiple layers like ecology, topography and cultural features for a three-dimensional visual highway.

19. Virtual Arctic

Exploring the Arctic in Google Street View without getting out of your chair.

20. 3D Synthetic Scene

Overlaying synthetic scenes over real scene.

21. Yellowstone

Putting all the pieces together in a GIS database at Yellowstone National Park including its geologic past, geyser recharge and seismic activity.

22. Trip Planning

Adventuring around for your next road trip with pit stops and offbeat using suggested sites.

23. Observer Points

Calculating visibility through multiple observer points.

24. Historic Street View

Time-travelling in the past to see just how much a location has changed over time with historic street view.

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GIS applications in the field of tourism goes back several years. Tourists can now rely on maps and other GIS related material to find their way around the world. Below are some of the applications of GIS in tourism.

1. Personality Atlas:

Assigning personality stereotypes to countries around the world based on a sample size of global population's perspectives.

2. Tourist Map

Plotting out landmarks in tourist maps. GIS has also been instrumental in plotting out maps for various locations across the globe. This way, tourists are able to find their way into various locations.

3. Sunrise and Sunset

Finding the perfect sunrise and sunset during at any given location. Using GIS, tourists are able to locate the perfect sunrise and sunset and capture the best moments using this technology.

4. Subway Map

Simplifying maps for the reader to better understand such as the lines of a subway map in high contrasting colors.

5. Linear Referencing

Using linear referencing along shorelines to track volumes of organic debris.

6. Off-Beaten Tracks

Finding the off-beaten track for backpackers and marking its position with 3 words.


7. Safe Travel

Advising travelers where unsafe location are on a map.

8. Tourism Dollars

Tracking the exports of purchased goods and services using desire lines.

9. Sustainable Tourism Planning

Identifying conflicting interests from tourism and solving issues by examining suitable locations for proposed developments.

10. Hotel Search

Searching geographically for five star hotels using a circle radius.

11. Horizon Blockage

Calculating the horizon blocking line in all directions from a given observation point with gvSIG's Horizon Blockage.

12. Travel Mode Detection

Detecting travel mode (walk, car, bus, subway and commuter rail) from a multi-modal transportation network using GIS and GPS in New York City.

13. Finding Islands

Using satellite to find uninhabited islands around the world – Landsat found Landsat Island near the coast of Canada.

14. Time Zones

Representing time zones around the world. GIS can also be used to represent time zones across all areas in the world. Tourists can then use this information to know what time it is wherever they are going.

15. Eco-Tourism Site Selection

Gauging environmental impacts for sustainable eco-tourism sites. GIS can also help in gauging the impact of environmental occurrences.

16. Virtual Travel

Seeing your destination before physically being there. Through virtual travel, tourists are also able to view their destination and see how it looks before actually getting to the destination.

17. Geo-tagging

Discover places with 360 panoramic camera views.

18. Highway Planning

Constructing viewpoints with multiple layers like ecology, topography and cultural features for a three-dimensional visual highway.

19. Virtual Arctic

Exploring the Arctic in Google Street View without getting out of your chair.

20. 3D Synthetic Scene

Overlaying synthetic scenes over real scene.

21. Yellowstone

Putting all the pieces together in a GIS database at Yellowstone National Park including its geologic past, geyser recharge and seismic activity.

22. Trip Planning

Adventuring around for your next road trip with pit stops and offbeat using suggested sites.

23. Observer Points

Calculating visibility through multiple observer points.

24. Historic Street View

Time-travelling in the past to see just how much a location has changed over time with historic street view.

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GIS has been applied in asset management in a variety of ways. Currently, it is possible to analyze the value of an asset thanks to the availability of GIS. Below are some of the applications of GIS in asset management.

 

Market Share - Examining branch locations, competitor locations and demographic characteristics to identify areas worthy of expansion or determine market share in Maptitude. Investors can be able to analyze the available market share and figure out the potentiality of a given market using GIS.

 

ATM Machine – Filling in market and service gaps by understanding where customers, facilities, and competitors are with address locating, database management and query tools. Through the use of GIS, banks are able to make good use pf their assets and resources through mapping out the various locations where an ATM should be put up.


World Bank Economic Statistics – Slicing and dicing raw financial data from the World Bank. It is now a bit easier to make sense of the available data from the World Bank and other economic lenders and determine the viability of some of the investment decisions that need to come from these areas.


Merger and Acquisitions – Profiling and finding opportunities to gain and build where customers are with market profiling. Many mergers and acquisitions occur globally and investors could make use of information provided by GIS to be able to identify what mergers would be profitable and which ones will not.


Supply and Demand – Identifying under-served areas and analyzing your competitor's market. It is also a bit easier, thanks to GIS, to analyze the market dynamics of demand and supply and identify areas where demand is diminishing and where supply may be increasing.


Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) – Fulfilling the obligations to loan in areas with particular attention to low- and moderate-income households – using GIS to understand spatial demographics.


Mobile Banking – Capturing locations where existing mobile transaction occur and assisting in mobile security infrastructure. GIS can also help in identifying the areas where mobile transactions occur and mapping out accordingly in order to plan for these.

 

Commercial Establishments – Updating commercial establishment using gvSIG Mobile and a local databases. It is also easier than ever to update various commercial establishments using GIS.


Supply Chain – Finding which supply chains are vulnerable to better plan for interruptions. GIS is also an asset to supply chains because it helps in identifying the areas where the chains are suppressed and then important decisions can be made regarding the survival of these chains.


Integrated Freight Network Model – Integrating highly detailed information about shipping costs, transfer costs, traffic volumes and network interconnectivity properties in a GIS-based platform.

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