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Easy Access to Imagery and Analytics in your Geospatial Lab

Mark Alonzo

As a new year and a new college semester kick into gear, I wanted to highlight the use of imagery in geospatial science and technology programs.  Esri ArcGIS is probably the most ubiquitous software tool in the geospatial education programs.  As the GIS leader, Esri is in the unique position to help bring large quantities of great imagery to students across the US.

Esri Image Services allows for easy access, search and ingest of Landsat imagery and what they call NaturalVue imagery.  Having such a wide availability of multispectral imagery allows geospatial teaching and research to include remote sensing and image analytics, which are increasingly important in solving complex geospatial problems.

2013 also marks the start of an Esri and Exelis VIS campaign to make the best use of this imagery.  In ENVI 5 Service Pack 1, support for accessing Esri Image Services, and Esri Mosaic Datasets is now embedded natively into the user interface (ArcGIS 10 must also be installed).  With this development, academic institutions are able to explore easily building out their geospatial labs with the advanced analytics provided by ENVI and the increased remote sensing capabilities of ArcGIS 10.1.

Imagery is a rich source of data.  Remote sensing software is mature and common place.  For the geospatial industry to continue growing, analytics with these tools and data are necessary to solve increasingly complex problems.  For this reason, academic geospatial programs need to continue to expand their teaching and research to include them.  Beyond just imagery, other data such as LiDAR and Radar are going to be needed as well, and are the subject of future blog posts.  What do you see as the areas of focus that need additional research and teaching?

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