Geographic Information Systems and Geospatial Data

Geographic Information System (GIS) refers to systems that integrate hardware, software, and databases linked to a place on Earth (geo-referenced). GIS is used to create maps and models, usually with several layers that represent features or patterns of a particular location. These maps and models are used to discover, monitor, analyze/interpret, predict, and mitigate, allowing users to see a problem or a possibility for informed decision making. SGT links and integrates a variety of types of imagery and data to relate vast amounts of information on spatial relationships. SGT designs and develops GIS methods to monitor, interpret, predict, and mitigate the impact of natural and human processes changing the global landscape and environment. SGT is an ESRI partner and also supports open source activities including Open GIS and NASA World Wind.

Landsat Imagery of the United States Credit – USGS
Landsat Imagery of the United States
Credit – USGS

SGT GIS projects include:

National Archive for Remote Sensed Land Data provides technical and science support for USGS’s EROS Center to operate an end-to-end land sciences data and information enterprise with a major remote sensing component. This enterprise encompasses one of the world’s largest data archives of environmental and Earth imagery — over 5 petabytes of data with 8 terabytes of new data daily.

National Land Cover Database (NLCD) provides consistent public domain information on the nation’s current and historical land cover characteristics.

Land Cover Applications and Global Change (LCAGC) — AID Senegal integrates field data, remote sensing and simulation modes to better understand and seek solutions to national and global issues.

Land Characterization and Land Cover Status and Trends provides assessment of the rates, causes, and consequences of contemporary U.S. land cover and land use change.

Spatial Data Warehouse (SDW) for Homeland Security Infrastructure Protection (HSIP) 133 Urban Areas high-resolution orthorectified imagery products. SGT performed system engineering, data management, website development and management, and data delivery of geospatial data through The National Map. Website providing elevation data in support of the SDW received an average of more than 10 million hits per day for the month of September in 2011.

National Science Foundation (NSF) — SGT provides mapping products, visualizations, and training for resident staff at the U.S. McMurdo Bay Research Station in Antarctica. SGT works closely with disaster response coordinators at EROS in order to provide state, federal, and international agencies with satellite images, aerial photos, elevation and land cover data, and other information necessary for a prompt and effective response to both natural and man-made disasters.

NASA World Wind – NASA’s World Wind is a highly adaptable, high performance visualization platform based on international standards for spatial data. It provides the virtual globe technology and tools for visually managing spatial data. This open source tool can be integrated into any application so that geospatial data can be experienced in a real world context. SGT’s Intelligent Systems Research and Development (ISRDS) contract supporting NASA Ames Intelligent Systems Division (Code TI) provides development and sustaining engineering support to the NASA World Wind project. Our ISRDS engineers are the original development team for World Wind — the team was awarded the 2009 Software of the Year Award by the NASA Inventions and Contributions Board. ISRDS engineers work with NASA to manage open source releases, maintaining the integrity of the “main branch” of World Wind source code. They work in collaboration with other agencies (e.g., FAA, DoD, NGA, USGS, DOE, USDA) to develop new features and applications for NASA World Wind. SGT, through our GIS Integrated Technology Center, is partnering with NASA to further promote and maintain World Wind in the open source community.

Capabilities include:

Core Processing — Raster, vector, and tabular data; geo-referencing; terrain correction; projection conversion; data restructuring; metadata creation; creation of browse images; data digitization; film scanning and correction (for data capture distortions)

Mapping — Thematic map layers (particular feature linked to a geographic position on Earth); Overlays (clipping/masking); time-series maps from before, during, and after a natural or human-induced disaster; scale (area/polygons, lines/arcs, points); classification (nominal/type, ordinal/rank, interval/quantitatively

Modeling — Two and three dimensional modeling; topographic modeling; time-series modeling; network/routing modeling: water flow, fertilizer runoff, carbon release, etc.; simulation or optimization modeling; animated modeling; biogeochemical modeling; ecosystem process modeling