10_15 Earth Imaging Broadcast (Hurricanes, Wildfire Mapping and More)

Hello, and welcome to this Earth Imaging-themed GeoSpatial Stream. I’m your host, Todd Danielson, and today’s Lead Sponsor is Trimble Geospatial Division.

Today’s Top Story is Hurricanes. Our U.S. audience is probably most familiar with Hurricane Joaquin, which has so far been the most powerful Atlantic hurricane of the 2015 season. This image is from NASA’s Aqua satellite on Oct. 1st, as the hurricane hit the Bahamas, where it caused extensive damage. This photo was taken by NASA Astronaut Scott Kelly from the International Space Station before the hurricane moved north toward the United States. While never making landfall there, it did contribute to unprecedented rainfall and flooding in South Carolina, and the storm led to the sinking of an American cargo ship, with 33 crew missing and presumed dead.

In the Pacific Ocean, a strong El Niño was thought to help generate the first recorded trio of simultaneous major hurricanes. From left to right in this NASA MODIS satellite image is Kilo, Ignacio and Jimena. The European Space Agency created this hurricane animation by using three different satellites to see through clouds to measure wind speeds at the ocean surface, which is essential to forecast marine weather and waves as well as predict the storm path for more-effective warnings.

Hurricanes are one of nature’s great marvels—and most dangerous—but imaging technology is helping to better understand them to save lives and lessen impacts.

That was today’s Top Story. I’ll be back with more news after this Trimble interview clip from the 2015 Esri User Conference.

Scientists studying the bearded capuchin monkeys of northeastern Brazil—especially interesting because they use stone tools to crack open the hard casings of palm nuts to eat the meat inside—are concerned the monkeys will lose critical habitat as industrial agriculture is rapidly expanding and intensifying in the region.

A new study in the Journal of Applied Remote Sensing explains how researchers used remote sensing and GIS, including this multispectral satellite image, to characterize capuchin habitat to identify and protect their range.

And here are some video clips from a Re/Code story about smallsat technologies targeted for wildfire response. One of the subjects is Bronwyn Agrios, the co-founder of Astro Digital. V1 Media’s Earth Imaging Journal, of which I’m the editor, is featuring an interview with her in our upcoming November/December issue, so subscribe now.


In industry headlines, MDA’s Information Systems group introduced two new RADARSAT-2 imaging modes for commercial use. The modes are designed specifically for maritime monitoring and are expected to enhance RADARSAT-2 capabilities.

Toledo-based Blue Water Satellite Inc., which uses satellite data to provide high-accuracy measurements of water and soil conditions, received a $1 million loan from the state of Ohio.

And NASA awarded a blanket purchase agreement to Esri to provide geospatial software licenses and maintenance, with a potential value of $9.5 million.

For today’s Final Thought, here’s a clip of an interview V1 Media captured at the recent Commercial UAV Expo in Las Vegas. We talk with Patrick Meier, founder of the Humanitarian UAV Network. The entire interview is posted on GeoSpatial Stream.

That’s it for this broadcast, but if you’d like to receive alerts when new GeoSpatial Stream videos are released, or sign up for additional V1 Media newsletters, please visit this Web site and register:


I’m Todd Danielson, and this … was your GeoSpatial Stream.