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GIS Trends & Topics: MidAmerica Geospatial Symposium

Mark Alonzo

As I sit here planning a trip to Kansas City to attend the biennial MidAmerica GIS Symposium, I am poring over the meeting collateral, program schedule, and course descriptions and trying to find the best way to highlight how imagery fits into the GIS community’s ground-breaking and every-day challenges. What I have found is a sense of enthusiasm about recent GIS advances and a sense of excitement about the future of GIS.

While thinking about where the imagery component fits as part of a solution to the broader GIS community’s needs, I thought I would share some of the images that came to mind while reading about the program topics. All of these images are examples of how some people might be utilizing imagery to develop geospatial products. The programs for the symposium are divided into the following five categories.

GIS in Public Safety and Health:  This image was derived from QuickBird data courtesy of Digital Globe. The light blue areas indicate inland water after hurricane Katrina.  The green areas also indicate flooding to a lesser-degree.
topographic analysis

Public Face of GIS:  This scene, courtesy of Landsat 7, displays an area of Big Horn basin in Wyoming  including a contour vector overlay that is exported to Google Earth.
topographic analysis

Smart Growth – Urban Planning & Growth:  The first image to come to mind when considering urban planning is this dark rooftop feature extraction result of a suburban pan-sharpened QuickBird dataset courtesy o f Digital Globe.
topographic analysis

GIS Behind the Scenes: A few of the program topics include a pointer to the next generation USGS digital topographic maps that I thought deserved to be shared: Digital Raster Graphics (DRG) format (formerly hard-copy topo) maps are now available via this site!

Technology and Trends – The Future of GIS: With the movement of GIS into the cloud and mobile application deployment of GIS technology, it is hard to not feel excitement about the future. But also, what about the exciting things happening in the present? With increasing GIS support for Lidar and the noticeable weight placed on the symposium topics in this category I couldn’t help but include the following image that is a 3D rendering of downtown San Diego from a Lidar LAS point cloud courtesy of  USGS.
topographic analysis

I am very excited to attend the symposium. Will you be going? What are you most looking forward to see?  How do you see imagery fitting into your daily work? Please stop by and say hello!

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