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DC-28 - United States Census Data

The Census Bureau collects extensive numeric data on the residents of the United States as well ast the national economy.  This is accomplished both through a decennial census as well as numerous other more frequent surveys. The decennial census is a fundamental basis of American democracy, mandated by the U.S. Constitution and essential for the equal representation in a democratic government. Numeric census data are maintained in vast collections of tables and organized at many different levels of geographies. From the Census website, the geographic and tabular data can be downloaded and then joined for display and analysis within a GIS. Because of the nature of individual data aggregated over areas and other matters, care must be taken to avoid statistical errors when undertaking spatial analyses.

DC-32 - Landsat

The Landsat series of satellites have collected the longest and continuous earth observation data. Earth surface data collected since 1972 are providing invaluable data for managing natural resources, monitoring changes, and disaster response. After the US Geological Survey (USGS) opened the entire archive to users, the number of monitoring and mapping applications have increased several folds. Currently, Landsat data can be obtained from the USGS and other private entities. The sensors onboard these Landsat satellites have improved over time resulting in changes to the spatial, spectral, radiometric, and temporal resolutions of the images they have collected. Data recorded by the sensors in the form of pixels can be converted to reflectance values. Recently, USGS has reprocessed the entire Landsat data archive and is releasing them as collections. This section provides an overview of the Landsat program and remotely sensed data characteristics, followed by the description of various sensors onboard and data collected by the past and current sensors.

DC-27 - Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR)

LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) is a remote sensing technology that collects information reflected or refracted from the Earth’s surface. The instrumentation that collects LiDAR data can be housed on drones, airplanes, helicopters, or satellites, and consists of a laser scanner that transmits pulses of light. These transmitted pulses reflect or refract from objects on the Earth’s surface or from the surface itself, and the time delay is recorded. Knowing the travel time and the speed of light, an elevation of each pulse above the surface can be determined. From the pulse data collected, the user can determine the topography and landscape features of the Earth or whatever surface has received the pulses. The evolution of software that displays and analyzes LiDAR data and the development of new and more compact file formats have allowed the use of LiDAR to grow dramatically in recent years.

DC-24 - Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS)

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) are revolutionizing how GIS&T researchers and practitioners model and analyze our world. Compared to traditional remote sensing approaches, UAS provide a largely inexpensive, flexible, and relatively easy-to-use platform to capture high spatial and temporal resolution geospatial data. Developments in computer vision, specifically Structure from Motion (SfM), enable processing of UAS-captured aerial images to produce three-dimensional point clouds and orthophotos. However, many challenges persist, including restrictive legal environments for UAS flight, extensive data processing times, and the need for further basic research. Despite its transformative potential, UAS adoption still faces some societal hesitance due to privacy concerns and liability issues.

DC-39 - Time-of-Arrival (TOA) Localization for Indoor GIS

Indoor geographic information system (GIS) opens up a new frontier for identifying, analyzing and solving complex problems. In many indoor GIS-driven applications such as indoor wayfinding and logistics planning and management, determination of location information deserves special attention because global positioning system (GPS) may be inaccessible. Alternative methods and systems have emerged to overcome this hurdle. The time-of-arrival (TOA) measurement is one of the most adopted metrics in numerous modern systems such as radar, acoustic/ultra-sound-based tracking, ultra-wide band (UWB) indoor localization, wireless sensor networks (WSN) and Internet of things (IoT) localization. This topic presents the TOA technique and methods to solve the localization and synchronization problem. We also introduce variants of the TOA system schemes, which are adopted by real-world applications. As a use case of the TOA technique realized in practice, a UWB localization system is introduced. Examples are given to demonstrate that indoor localization and GIS are tightly interconnected.

DC-01 - Professional Land Surveying

Professional Land Surveyors are the only profession that create the legal description of land parcels, which are then officially recorded to show ownership and rights pertaining to each and every land parcel within a jurisdiction. The Surveyor is skilled at undertaking the physical measurements that are needed to locate accurately land parcels on the ground and to write the unambiguous legal description of the land to create legal title in real estate. These land ownership records are critical for the transfer of ownership in the real estate market. The legal land description provided by Surveyors forms the foundation, and the real estate market provides the mechanism, for real estate to become the largest store of tangible wealth in any free market economy.

DC-30 - Georeferencing and Georectification

Georeferencing is the recording of the absolute location of a data point or data points. Georectification refers to the removal of geometric distortions between sets of data points, most often the removal of terrain, platform, and sensor induced distortions from remote sensing imagery. Georeferencing is a requisite task for all spatial data, as spatial data cannot be positioned in space or evaluated with respect to other data that are without being assigned a spatial coordinate within a defined coordinate system. Many data are implicitly georeferenced (i.e., are labeled with spatial reference information), such as points collected from a global navigation satellite system (GNSS). Data that are not labeled with spatial reference information can be georeferenced using a number of approaches, the most commonly applied of which are described in this article. The majority of approaches employ known reference locations (i.e., Ground Control Points) drawn from a reliable source (e.g., GNSS, orthophotography) to calibrate georeferencing models. Regardless of georeferencing approach, positional error is present. The accuracy of georeferencing (i.e., amount of positional error) should be quantified, typically by the root mean squared error between ground control points from a reference source and the georeferenced data product.

DC-22 - Federal agencies and national and international organizations and programs
  • Describe the data programs provided by organizations such as The National Map, GeoSpatial One Stop, and National Integrated Land System
  • Discuss the mission, history, constituencies, and activities of international organizations such as Association of Geographic Information Laboratories for Europe (AGILE) and the European GIS Education Seminar (EUGISES)
  • Discuss the mission, history, constituencies, and activities of governmental entities such as the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), United States Geological Survey (USGS) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as they related to support of professionals and organizations
  • involved in GIS&T
  • Discuss the mission, history, constituencies, and activities of GeoSpatial One Stop
  • Discuss the mission, history, constituencies, and activities of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC), Inc.
  • Discuss the mission, history, constituencies, and activities of the Nation Integrated Land System (NILS)
  • Discuss the mission, history, constituencies, and activities of the Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC)
  • Discuss the mission, history, constituencies, and activities of the National Academies of Science Mapping Science Committee
  • Discuss the mission, history, constituencies, and activities of the USGS and its National Map vision
  • Discuss the mission, history, constituencies, and activities of University Consortium of Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) and the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCGIA)
  • Discuss the political, cultural, economic, and geographic characteristics of various countries that influence their adoption and use of GIS&T
  • Identify National Science Foundation (NSF) programs that support GIS&T research and education
  • Outline the principle concepts and goals of the “digital earth” vision articulated in 1998 by Vice President Al Gore
  • Assess the current status of Gore’s “digital earth”
DC-12 - Aerial photography image interpretation
  • Use photo interpretation keys to interpret features on aerial photographs
  • Calculate the nominal scale of a vertical aerial image
  • Calculate heights and areas of objects and distances between objects shown in a vertical aerial image
  • Produce a map of land use/land cover classes using a vertical aerial image
  • Describe the elements of image interpretation
DC-09 - Field data technologies
  • Identify the measurement framework that applies to moving object tracking
  • Explain the advantage of real-time kinematic GPS in field data collection
  • Describe an application of hand-held computing or personal digital assistants (PDAs) for field data collection
  • Considering the measurement framework applied to moving object tracking, identify which of the dimensions of location, attribute, and time is fixed, which is controlled, and which is measured
  • Describe a real or hypothetical application of a sensor network in field data collection
  • Outline a combination of positioning techniques that can be used to support location-based services in a given environment