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Looking to Students to Foster Innovative Analytics

Joey Griebel

One of the most rewarding parts of working in the Academic space is seeing the raw passion students have for Analytics and the off the wall uses they come up with while using them. In Academia, there are not the borders on creativity, or deadlines on projects due to a customer, that prevent the limits from being pushed.

Last year, I had the pleasure of talking with a student from the University of Colorado who had used some of the freely available LiDAR data provide by FEMA in 2013 for the Boulder floods, in conjunction with ENVI LiDAR, to develop a Level within Minecraft. This is the perfect example of how the tools we use day to day to provide information to a customer, or someone fighting on the frontline, can be pushed and used in a way most would never think of.

This creativity and innovation in Academics is not going unnoticed. I was excited to see that NGA and USGS see the same potential coming from Academia and opened applications to become an Academic Center of Excellence for Universities. The Academic Center of Excellence will help develop state of the art geospatial sciences technologies and tradecraft.

Another great example is the Student Incentive Program we are excited to be taking part in with PrecisonHawk. Students will have the opportunity to develop new and useful Algorithm’s for Remote Sensing, using ENVI+IDL. Then, depending on relevance and usefulness, have their algorithms hosted to PrecisionHawk’s Datamapper. Not only will Students get the chance to get recognition from an exciting new UAS Company and have something to set them apart on their resume, but there is potential to earn money as well. I see Academia continuing to grow as test and development bed for cutting edge technology in the remote sensing industry. Without the constrictions of a work deadlines and the right guidance, students can truly change the future of analytics and what tools are capable of uncovering from data.

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