News

The CaGIS Board is calling for nominations to the Board to serve starting spring of 2023. 

There are 3 positions open: the Vice President, and two Director positions. Membership on the CaGIS board requires current membership in CaGIS while serving on the Board. The CaGIS bylaws state that the Vice President position for this next year be filled with a person in academia. However, if such a person cannot be recruited the position can be filled by a member from the government or in the private sector. The two director positions are open to anyone in academia, government or private sector. The two persons rotating off the board are from government, so we are especially looking for candidates from government or the private sector to maintain representation from all of CaGIS’s constituencies.

The responsibilities and expectations of these positions are as follows:

The Vice-President shall be elected by the Voting Members for a term of one (1) year. The Vice President shall preside at the meetings of the Society and of the Board in the absence of the President and President Elect, and discharge the duties of the President in the event of disability or in case of a vacancy in both that office and the office of President Elect. 

The Vice President shall automatically succeed to the position of President Elect for a term of one (1) year at the end of their term as Vice President, and then automatically succeed to the position of President for one (1) year at the end of their term as President Elect, and then automatically succeed to the position of Past President for one (1) year after their term as President.

Directors shall be elected for four (4) – year terms by Voting Members. The term of the Directors shall be staggered so that no more than three (3) Directors are elected in any one-year. No more than three (3) Directors may be employed by the Federal Government at the time of their election. A director may serve no more than two consecutive terms on the Board. The Directors shall aid in the management of the affairs of the Society, shall furnish counsel, and shall participate in all official actions of the Board.

Board Responsibilities:

The primary responsibility is conducting the activities of the Society. The Board has the authority to determine policies and procedures of the Society; providing such actions are in conformity with the provisions of the CaGIS By-Laws. The President, in consultation with the Executive Director, Treasurer, the President Elect, and the Vice President, shall prepare an annual budget including dues paid annually by the members to cover costs of Society programs and activities. The President shall submit the budget to the Board for approval.

Please contact Thomas Pingel (tpingel@vt.edu, Chair of the Nominations Committee) with nominations by replying to this email. Self nominations are welcome. Nominees must submit a brief bio, and a statement of their interest and what they could contribute to CaGIS and the Board.

The deadline for receiving this information is Nov 15.

John Dolloff and Hank Theiss will be presenting “Principles of Accuracy and Predicted Accuracy in Photogrammetric-based Geopositioning” at the next GeoBytes webinar on Friday, October 21 at 12:00 pm ET. The webinar is FREE for all CaGIS members. See attached abstract for more information about the presentation.

Please see the CaGIS GeoBytes page for more information on registering.

Abstract

This webinar addresses the importance and use of both accuracy and predicted accuracy in a Geolocation System. Accuracy is typically represented as a LE90, CE90, and/or SE90 corresponding to 90% probable vertical, horizontal, and 3d spherical radial error, respectively, of an arbitrary geolocation
or geolocation product generated by or using data from the Geolocation System. Order statistics are recommended for their computation based on a recommended minimum number of independent and identically distributed (iid) samples of error, or approximately iid samples of error if certain constraints are met. The underlying probability distribution of errors is neither required nor used. Based on these samples, a best estimate of LE90, CE90, and/or SE90 are computed, as well as corresponding least-upper-bounds computed at a 90% confidence level, in order to assess the accuracy of the Geolocation System and/or determine if corresponding specified requirements are met. Predicted accuracy is associated with an arbitrary but specific geolocation associated with the Geolocation System. It is a “current” geolocation, either already extracted using the Geolocation System’s data, typically via a Weighted Least Squares (WLS) Solution using multiple images, or contained in one of the Geolocation System’s products, such as a Digital Surface Model (DSM). The WLS provides both a best estimate of the geolocation as well as its specific error covariance matrix. Predicted Accuracy is based on predictive statistics, the key statistic is the error covariance matrix uniquely associated with each geolocation, and an assumed type of probability distribution of geolocation errors, typically, either multivariate Gaussian or Laplacian. Using this data, either a 90% probability error ellipsoid (or ellipse) can be computed, and scalar accuracy metrics (LE90, CE90, and SE90) can also be computed that contain less information than the ellipsoid but are convenient summaries.

Predicted accuracy is assessed using (approximately) iid samples of geolocation error normalized by their corresponding error covariance matrices. Results are quantified based on how reliably the error covariance and corresponding probability distribution represent actual geolocation errors. The assessment can also be used to determine if corresponding predicted accuracy requirements for the Geolocation System are met. Reliable predicted accuracy enables informed use of geolocations and/or corresponding products as well as optimal fusion with other geolocation products. This Webinar also presented recommended processing associated with geolocations and their accuracy and/or predicted accuracy, including: (1) specification, assessment, and validation of requirements, (2) computation of error ellipsoids and scalar accuracy metrics, (3) representation of geolocation errors as random vectors, stochastic processes, or random fields, (4) Estimators and their Quality Control, such as WLS batch solutions and Kalman Filter sequential solutions, and (5) Monte-Carlo simulation or errors. Corresponding details are also provided in publicly available and referenced NGA-authored Technical Guidance Documents.

Presenters
John Dolloff, a senior scientist at KBR, has been involved in various aspects of geopositioning for over 40 years supporting the NGA and related organizations as a Subject Matter Expect (SME) specializing in applying advanced linear algebra, estimation theory, probability, and statistics; particularly, as related to photogrammetric principles.

Hank Theiss, a senior scientist who works part-time at KBR, is a Research Associate Professor at the University of Arkansas in the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies (CAST) with over 25 years of experience supporting NGA and related organizations as a photogrammetry SME.

Brianna Bambic will be presenting “Allen Coral Atlas: A New Technology for Coral Reef Conservation” at the next GeoBytes webinar on Friday, September 23 at 12:00 pm ET. The webinar is FREE for all CaGIS members. See attached abstract for more information about the presentation.

Please see the CaGIS GeoBytes page for more information on registering.

Abstract

Coral reef managers and decision makers at multiple scales need information, in near real time, to react to the increasing threats facing reefs. However, more than three quarters of the world’s coral reefs have never been mapped and lack monitoring. To address this knowledge gap and to support, inform, and inspire critical actions to manage and protect coral reefs, the Allen Coral Atlas combines high resolution satellite imagery, machine learning, and field data to produce globally consistent benthic and geomorphic maps and monitoring systems of the world’s coral reefs. The initiative’s goal is to help stakeholders ranging from local communities to regional and national governments reach their conservation targets and improve their coastal resilience. The multi-disciplinary partnership is led by Arizona State University, in collaboration with Planet, University of Queensland, and the Coral Reef Alliance. Baseline maps have multiple uses, including: sustainable coastal development, site selection of marine protected areas, planning of restoration activities, and reef fisheries management. In this presentation, we will demonstrate how the Allen Coral Atlas supports data-driven management, conservation, and restoration of coral reefs at local, national, regional, and global scales. We have developed online courses to facilitate increased use and impact of the Atlas, and are collaborating with networks of individuals and institutions who can be alerted when changes are detected (e.g., large-scale bleaching or sedimentation events).

Brianna Bambic leads the Allen Coral Atlas Field Engagement team at the National Geographic Society and Arizona State University. With a coral reef biology and resource management background, she was an Independent Researcher for 7 years that culminated in a virtual reality experience of Half Moon Caye National Monument, Belize with a National Geographic Explorer Grant, helping communicate science to the public. Brianna received her MS in natural resource management from the University of Akureyri, Iceland in 2019. Her expertise includes coastal and marine management, global science communication, and developing capacity around remote sensing and mapping. With countless hours underwater and >700 logged dives, she loves spending time exploring the ocean.

Rodney Jackson will be presenting “2022 Update of the USDoL Geospatial Technology Competency Model (GTCM)” at the next GeoBytes webinar on Friday, June 3 at 12:00 pm ET. The webinar is FREE for all CaGIS members. See attached abstract for more information about the presentation.

Please see the CaGIS GeoBytes page for more information on registering.

Abstract

In collaboration with the US Department of Labor (USDoL), the National Geospatial Technology Center (GeoTech Center) is updating the Geospatial Technology Competency Model (GTCM). The GTCM framework was developed through a collaborative effort involving the US DoL Employment and Training Administration (ETA), the GeoTech Center, and industry experts. We are seeking geospatial professionals to complete a review of the GTCM. Their commitment to participate in an assessment of the GTCM tiers via online survey will enable us to update the competency model to best reflect the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) needed in the geospatial industry.

Dr. Rodney D. Jackson serves as the Director for the Special Operations School of Information Technology (SOSIT). He has 20 years of experience in higher education, having held various teaching and administrative positions at community colleges, universities, and governmental institutions of higher learning. A geographer by training, Rodney is Certified Geographic Information Systems Professional (GISP). He prefers to fly-fish local freshwater streams during his free time. Rodney retired from the United States Army Reserves as Lieutenant Colonel in the Engineer Corps (Geospatial Designator) in 2017.

Bo Zhao will be presenting “Deep Fake geography? A humanistic GIS Reflection upon Geospatial Artificial Intelligence” at the next GeoBytes webinar on Friday, May 27 at 12:00 pm ET. The webinar is FREE for all CaGIS members. See attached abstract for more information about the presentation.

Please see the CaGIS GeoBytes page for more information on registering.

Abstract

The ongoing development of Geospatial Artificial Intelligence (GeoAI) has raised deep concerns about the emergence of deep fake geography and its potentials in transforming the human perception of the geographic world (Zhao et al 2021). This seminar presents a humanistic GIS reflection upon GeoAI (Zhao 2022) and its social implications using an empirical study that dissected the algorithmic mechanism of falsifying satellite images with non-existent landscape features. To demonstrate our pioneering attempt at deep fake detection, a robust approach is then proposed and evaluated. Our proactive study warns of the emergence and proliferation of deep fakes in geography just as “lies” in maps. We suggest timely detections of deep fakes in geospatial data and proper coping strategies when necessary. More importantly, it is encouraged to cultivate critical geospatial data literacy and thus to understand the multi-faceted impacts of deep fake geography on individuals and human society.

Bo Zhao is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Washington, Seattle. His recent research interests include GIScience, geographical misinformation, and social implications of emerging GIS technologies, especially in the context of the United States or China.

Carolynne Hultquist and Cascade Tuholske will be presenting “Using Geospatial Data to Evaluate Climate Hazards and Inform Environmental Justice” at the next GeoBytes webinar on Friday, April 22 at 12:00 pm ET. The webinar is FREE for all CaGIS members. See attached abstract for more information about the presentation.

Please see the CaGIS GeoBytes page for more information on registering.

Abstract

This webinar will introduce two new datasets released by NASA Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC): Global High Resolution Daily Extreme Urban Heat Exposure UHE-Daily) v1 (1983-2016) and U.S. Social Vulnerability Index Grids v1 (2000, 2010, 2014, 2016, and 2018). UHE-Daily is a global inventory of extreme heat events covering more than 13,000 urban settlements from 1983 – 2016 across five different extreme heat thresholds. It includes the number of people exposed to each heat event as well as 34-year exposure trends. The U.S. Social Vulnerability Index Grids data set contains gridded layers for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) for the overall score from 15 variables and four sub-category themes (Socioeconomic, Household Composition & Disability, Minority Status & Language, and Housing Type & Transportation) based on census tract level inputs. The webinar will introduce the datasets and provide brief tutorials in Python and QGIS.

Carolynne Hultquist is a Postdoctoral Research Scientist at the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESIN) at the Columbia Climate School, Columbia
University. Hultquist specializes in developing computational methods for the fusion and validation of spatial data sources to better understand complex environments, especially
vulnerability in relation to climate hazards. She holds a Ph.D. (2019) from the Pennsylvania State University in Geography and Social Data Analytics.

Cascade Tuholske is an Earth Institute Postdoctoral Research Scientist working with the Center for International Earth Science Information Network (CIESN) at the Columbia Climate School, Columbia University. His research centers on the intersection of climate change, urbanization, and food security, with a recent focus on mapping urban extreme heat exposure worldwide. He received his PhD in 2020 from the Department of Geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

On March 22, 2022, the world lost a GIS giant and cartography compadre when Dr. Lynn Usery passed from this earthly plane. Not even a week earlier, Lynn was busily planning workshops for AutoCarto 2022. He will be sorely missed by our community, not only for his many research contributions, leadership and vision, and tireless service, but also for his friendship and camaraderie.

Aileen Buckley and Lynn Usery, the US delegation at the 2015 ICC in Rio de Janiero, Brazil.

Michael Tischler of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) wrote, “On paper, we knew him as the Director of the Center of Excellence for Geographic Information Science [CEGIS]. But he was far more than that title would lead one to believe. Lynn leaves a remarkable legacy given his extraordinary scientific accomplishments, presence as a leader in the geographic science community, and impact on individual geographic scientists inside USGS and around the world.”

It’s a challenge to specify the impact that Lynn has had on the field of GIScience because of the breadth and depth of his involvement and contributions. He was centrally involved in many areas of the discipline, including cartography, GIS, remote sensing, and spatial analysis. His eclectic research interests included digital cartography, map projections, scale and resolution, image classification, temporal GIS, geospatial semantics and ontology, and high-performance computing for geospatial data. It would be difficult to name a subject in our field about which Lynn could not speak knowledgably and insightfully.

Lynn was unique in that his impact came through his careers in both government and academia. Lynn started working for the USGS in 1977. He was a cartographer and geographer for the USGS from 1978 to 1988 focusing on developing automated cartographic production systems. In 1988, he took on a geography faculty position at the University of Wisconsin (UW) – Madison. In January of 1994, he moved to Georgia to serve on the geography faculty at the University of Georgia (UGA). In May of 1999, Lynn took on a Research Geographer position with the USGS in addition to his academic job at UGA. In 2005, he returned to USGS and ultimately conceived and became Director of CEGIS. In this role, he directed the science program and the visions and plans for topographic mapping research. While at USGS, Lynn also taught remote sensing at the Missouri University of Science and Technology.

In all his positions, Lynn was a ground breaker. In his early days at USGS, he began the development of digital mapping systems for the automated production of printed topographic maps. At UW, he helped found a GIS program. At UGA, he helped establish certificate programs in GIScience at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. When he returned to USGS, he started a cartography research program that led to CEGIS. For CaGIS, he chaired AutoCarto 2005 to close an eight-year gap and resurrect the symposium series. He also spearheaded the effort to bring the International Cartographic Conference back to the United States for only the second time, the first being in 1978.

Lynn was involved in nearly every major activity of CaGIS. He was president of the society from 2002 to 2004. He was editor of the Cartography and Geographic Information Science journal from 2003 to 2006. He was the conference organizer for AutoCarto 2005, 2006, and 2010. He was chair of the U.S. National Committee for the ICA from 2008 to 2012. He was presented with the CaGIS Distinguished Career Award in 2012. He was designated an ACSM Fellow in 2006, a year after CaGIS became independent. In fact, the only CaGIS activity that Lynn cannot be recognized for is a winning entry in the Map Design Competition, which he never entered.

That Lynn was so involved in and rightfully earned recognition from the society for his dedication and many contributions is admirable. That he did the same with many other societies (ASPRS, UCGIS, ICA), at the same time, makes Lynn exceptional and unparalleled. There is truly no match for him in this regard, and really not even anyone in the running.

On a personal note, Lynn was born in December 1951. He had two children, a son Kelynn, born 1986, and a daughter, Lacy, born 1988. Lynn received his BS in geography from the University of Alabama and MA and Ph.D. degrees in geography from UGA. He died Tuesday, March 22, 2022, after a brief illness.

On an even more personal note, I first met Lynn when, as a lowly master’s student, I invited him to give a presentation at Indiana University using funding from the American Association of Geographers Visiting Geographical Scientist program. To me, Lynn was already a GIS giant. I placed him on a proverbial pedestal, but he wouldn’t stay put. He treated me as an equal, though I didn’t feel that was deserved. And throughout the remainder of our association, he continued to do the same. He also did that with everyone else I saw him interact with. He was truly a giant, but he interacted with people on the same level, not by bringing himself down to their level, but by elevating them to his. He will truly be missed.

Aileen Buckley

Ellie Leydsman McGinty will be presenting “A History of the Landsat Program” at the next GeoBytes webinar on Friday, April 8 at 12:00 pm ET. The webinar is FREE for all CaGIS members. See attached abstract for more information about the presentation.

Please see the CaGIS GeoBytes page for more information on registering.

Abstract

The Landsat Program, presently administered by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), provides the longest continuous remotely sensed record of the Earth’s surface. Landsat data have revolutionized scientific approaches, promoted an improved and deeper understanding of natural resources and ecosystems, and cultivated a profound appreciation for the remarkable and diverse landscapes on Earth. The Landsat Program has a fascinating history that was shaped by key agencies and prominent individuals. Of notable mention, Dr. William T. Pecora, eighth Director of the USGS, was the motivating force behind the Landsat Program. His initial vision of developing a civil spaceborne remote sensing program was speculative, but his foresight, intellect, and perseverance made it a reality. While the Landsat Program became a reality, operations throughout the decades were somewhat unpredictable. Presidential administrations and several pieces of legislation affected how the Landsat Program was managed over time. Despite financial and legislative hurdles, the Landsat Program has persisted and continues to be one of the most valuable, respected, and referenced Earth observation programs in the world.

Ellie Leydsman McGinty is a researcher and cartographer in the Remote Sensing/GIS Laboratory at Utah State University in Logan, Utah. She also serves as the State Coordinator for UtahView. Her academic interests include working with satellite and aerial imagery to develop land cover datasets that can be used to support conservation and restoration efforts. Through her work, she has grown a deep appreciation for Earth observing satellite systems and how they display the phenomenal beauty of planet Earth.

Join the largest Cartography and Geographic Information Science network.