What is orthorectified imagery?

Using elevation to enable accurate image georeferencing

Imagery has an amazing amount of information, but raw aerial or satellite imagery cannot be used in a GIS until it has been processed such that all pixels are in an accurate (x,y) position on the ground. Photogrammetry is a discipline, developed over many decades, for processing imagery to generate accurately georeferenced images, referred to as orthorectified images (or sometimes simply orthoimages). Orthorectified images have been processed to apply corrections for optical distortions from the sensor system, and apparent changes in the position of ground objects caused by the perspective of the sensor view angle and ground terrain.

A view captured from an oblique angle (for example, 25°, left) must be corrected for relief displacement caused by terrain to generate the orthorectified view (looking straight down, right). Orthoimagery is produced by calculating the nadir view for every pixel.

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From Raptors to Butterflies, Esri Map Gallery Wows Attendees

They came to mingle, learn a thing or two, and see good maps. 

By: Ian Bramlett

After the Esri User Conference plenary on Monday, attendees flocked to the San Diego Convention Center Sails Pavilion to witness the marriage of science and aesthetics at the Map Gallery Opening and Evening Reception. Geographers and GIS professionals strolled the gallery with drinks and finger food, examining hundreds of maps created by Esri users with ArcGIS. Some were made by seasoned professionals while others were the handiwork of university and high school students—a testament to the broad use of GIS in academia. All of the individual pieces added up to a stunning collection that resembled a fine art show.

Entries from the younger map authors were on prominent display in the pavilion. Winners of the Esri Young Scholars Award showed why they were recognized for cartographic excellence; their maps told the stories of urban energy consumption in Italy, trajectories of accident patterns in Malaysia, and the need for GIS deployment in United Kingdom classrooms. The contributions of these budding cartographers were a melting pot of topics that truly spanned the globe.

Other maps showed concentrations of water main leaks for utility asset maintenance; flight paths of raptors to improve endangered bird species conservation; parcel values in Maui, Hawaii; the influx of luxury car brands in Tokyo, Japan; traffic data from highways in Turkey; population growth in Louisiana; and the dispersal of Bay checkerspot butterflies throughout San Rafael, California.

The point wasn’t lost on gallery visitors: name any topic, and a map can tell that subject’s story better than any other medium.

The 90,000 square-foot exhibit space was not only the perfect venue for hundreds of large-format maps but also a meet and greet with UC keynote speaker and author Andrea Wulf. Signing copies of her critically acclaimed book The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt’s New World, Wulf shook attendees’ hands and expounded on her scientific expeditions.

Whether you’re a UC attendee this year or plan to attend next year, consider submitting a map to next year’s Map Gallery. You might already have a map in the works that will earn its spot in the Show of Cartographic Shows.

Explore photos of the Map Gallery Opening and Reception on Esri Flickr.

 

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San Bernardino Teens on the Plenary Stage

By: Jessica Wyland

Three students from San Andreas High School in San Bernardino, California took the Esri UC Plenary stage in San Diego Monday to present their impressive GIS work. They shared how, in just one school year, they learned to make story maps and use Survey123 for ArcGIS to collect public works data.

As part of the school’s Career Technology Academy, students work with the nearby City of Highland to record information about street sign reflectivity, graffiti and other blight. Using the Survey123 app, students input data and photos that be shared, mapped, and analyzed by city staff.

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Scientists Journey of Collaboration and Communication

Perspectives from This Point in the Journey

By John Steffenson

Charles “Hobie” Perry is a Research Soils Scientist for the US Forest Service, Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Program and based in St. Paul, Minnesota. Christopher Oswalt is a Research Forester located in Knoxville, Tennessee. Neither scientist imagined the journey that would lead to their presentation in the Esri User Conference plenary session or the incredible effort it would take to boil down a very rich presentation into a compact ten minute presentation

Several years ago, Hobie was asked to lead an effort to deliver content from the Forest Service Forest Atlas to a digital environment. The idea was to build a compelling information product to engage a broader community of interest. The Forest Atlas was originally designed as a print document accompanied by associated data download capability but along this journey the FIA scientists realized that by building a platform consisting of web services, web maps and applications, they could build a dynamic portfolio that became the National Forest Atlas and an almost limitless array of compelling and accessible information products.

According to Hobie, “I finally shed my academic perspective and started thinking of an enterprise approach, the ability to share once became share everywhere, reaching the largest possible audience. I also started seeing that the Enterprise License Agreement was more, much more than just ArcMap and started asking, what is possible with these tools? Pressure from leadership started growing quickly once they saw examples being passed around and fueled a desire to make it easy for EVERYONE in the org to build apps…not just programmers.”

Hobie and Chris were first asked to present at the Esri Federal GIS Conference earlier this year. Their presentation was their first experience presenting in the plenary session of an Esri event. They did such an impressive job, we asked them to continue the journey and give an updated one. As much as you try, there’s really no way to prepare someone for how intense the experience of presenting in an Esri plenary can be. When I asked Chris about the experience of presenting, he said, “Preparing for an Esri event is unlike anything I have ever done. Preparations seemingly consume your life for months. The experience, however, leaves you with new friends (those who went through with the struggle with you), new opportunities, and lifelong memories. It is kind of like a punch to the gut… but, for some reason you end up enjoying the experience after it is all over. And somehow, it makes you better at what you do.”

Hobie was reflecting, “I was on the faculty at Humboldt State University for 6 years before joining the Forest Service, so I had a reasonable comfort level with public speaking. But the UC, it’s a whole different experience. The scripting, the pacing with other presentations, working with an acting coach, the pressure of such a large audience, the expectations of our peers at the Forest Service and Esri, and so on. It is the singularly most stressful thing I have ever done, and this includes defending my Ph.D. But I can honestly say I would do it all again. It is an amazing experience.”

Now that they have started creating some great web services, web maps and applications, they are starting to turn their attention to other aspects of modernizing their information architecture, building capacity and envisioning the next steps in this journey. FIA is working closely with the agency CIO and GIO to develop the next generation information architecture based on web services, cloud deployments, configurable apps and mobile enablement.

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Storytelling with Maps Contest Winners Announced at Esri UC

Two New Formats Recently Added to Popular Story Map Apps

Winners of the Esri 2016 Storytelling with Maps Contest were announced at the Esri User Conference in San Diego. The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society took grand prize for its Story Maps of the organization’s 2015 annual report. The annual contest, which had a record-breaking 965 submissions, invites individuals and organizations to create narratives using Story Map apps that combine interactive maps with multimedia content.

Contestants employed a variety of Story Map formats, including Story Map Tour, which presents a series of geo-tagged photos, and Story Map Journal, combining long-form text with rich multimedia content.

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New Orleans at Esri UC – a Behind the Scenes Look and Repeatable Solutions

This year the City of New Orleans showcased their great work at the Esri User Conference Plenary. A major theme of their presentation was citizen engagement and creating a real two-way engagement enabling citizens to take in civic responsibility. New Orleans is doing outstanding work, and all of the solutions are configurations that can be repeated for any local government.

The first demonstration was the Property Survey solution in which we have enlisted User Conference attendees to help survey their properties for blight at https://propertysurvey.nola.gov/photosurvey/ This solution can be useful for a variety of applications such as code enforcement, emergency management assessment or tax appraisers. The Photo Survey Solution from the Esri Solutions gallery will allow you to process geo-tagged photos and an application to set up randomized surveys as New Orleans has done. Since 16,000 UC attendees were enlisted to help assess properties and shared on social media, Esri Managed Services was used to make sure the underlying infrastructure was ready for reliability and scalability.

New Orleans Property Survey

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Don’t Miss the Technical Keynotes at Esri UC

By Mark Coast and Dave Grenley

Approaches to Spatial Analysis

It’s an incredibly exciting time to be a GIS user. People around the world are applying GIS as a framework to gain real insight, drive innovative solutions to complex problems, work more efficiently, make better decisions, collaborate and communicate more effectively, and make a real difference—intelligently effecting meaningful change.

Spatial analysis is at the very heart of GIS technology. It enables us to better understand our place in the world, and the impact we can make — mapping where things are, how they relate, what it all means, and what actions to take, for the best results. Analysis of geographic patterns and relationships uncover new insights — for actionable intelligence, such as optimum routes, site selection, asset location, supply chain and advanced predictive modeling.

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2016 Esri UC Plenary Videos Now Live

Did you miss any UC plenary presentations this year? We’ve got good news for you.

Videos from Monday’s plenary session are now available online. Experience first-hand how GIS is enabling a smarter planet and witness the next generation of geospatial technology, today.

Feel free to share these resources with your colleagues. And don’t forget to share your favorites on social media with the #EsriUC tag.

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So You are Inspired by the Plenary…

10 Useful Tips Following an Amazing Day

Who doesn’t like a motivating and informative plenary session? It’s the appetizer that tantalizes your palate for more information on how to use GIS in ways that enable a smarter world. With so much information in such a short time, you may be wondering how you can learn more about what you saw on stage. So let us take you behind the scenes and tell you a little more.

Tip 1 – Explore The Plenary Session Illustrated Quick Guide.

Explore a compact guide of the key messages from users and the product teams and look at the behind the scenes designs. Discover the interconnections between our work and yours so that you can relive the entire day in a simple illustrated guide. If you need to remember what you saw, take notes back home, share information with your boss, or plan your road ahead, then this is a great way to get started.

UC 2016 Plenary Quick Guide

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UC Reflections from a Veteran Geogeek

See You in San Diego, Esri Users!

Every so often, you can get lonely at the Esri User Conference (UC).

Now in my 27th year of attending UC (my 17th as an Esri employee), it’s sometimes difficult to remember what it’s like to be a user at the conference. As I sit at my desk today preparing my slides and reviewing the agenda for all the interesting sessions (that I probably won’t make it to) while trying to confirm last minute meetings, I had a memory of my first UC.

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