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Tag: Geographic Information Systems
  • Energy Atlas—Mapping Energy-Related Data for DoD Lands: Phase 3—Data and Portal Expansion: Northeast CONUS

    Abstract: The DoD is a significant land user in northeast United States overseeing approximately 375 k acres of land with a total value of $113 B. The Department of Energy has found that major impacts from climate change will threaten energy infrastructure in the northeast US moving into the future. Current spatial information related to the energy resources and infrastructure on and adjacent to DoD installations can play a vital role in decision-making for sustainable and resilient installation planning in the region. The Energy Atlas (EA) portal provides a secure value-added resource to inform the decision-making process for current and future investment in installation infrastructure, energy management, and improvements to energy resiliency and sustainability. The EA aggregates spatial data for energy, infrastructure, and related environmental resources and facilitates access to that information through a secure online portal. The EA is hosted on a Common Access Card–authenticated portal accessible to DoD decision-makers and their partners through the Intelligence Community Geographic Information System (GIS) portal. The expansion of data coverage within the EA portal helps the DoD account for energy in contingency planning, acquisition, and lifecycle requirements in the northeast US and ensures facilities can maintain operations in the face of disruption.
  • Geomorphic Metrics Used in FluvialGeomorph

    Abstract: FluvialGeomorph (FG) is a geographic information system-based geomorphic analysis toolkit that analyzes high-resolution terrain data to provide river-reach assessments for watershed studies. This report demonstrates the utility of FG to identify physical stream channel characteristics that are used to determine channel stability. The FG toolbox is a remote-sensing approach based on lidar data, designed to measure channel, floodplain, valley, and watershed metrics necessary for watershed assessments. Currently, channel slope and cross-sectional analysis and planform metrics are being evaluated with existing lidar data from different hydrophysiographic regions within the United States. Recent study areas include the Northwest, Southwest, South, Midwest, and upper Midwest of the United States.
  • Snow-Covered Region Improvements to a Support Vector Machine-Based Semi-Automated Land Cover Mapping Decision Support Tool

    Abstract: This work builds on the original semi-automated land cover mapping algorithm and quantifies improvements to class accuracy, analyzes the results, and conducts a more in-depth accuracy assessment in conjunction with test sites and the National Land Cover Database (NLCD). This algorithm uses support vector machines trained on data collected across the continental United States to generate a pre-trained model for inclusion into a decision support tool within ArcGIS Pro. Version 2 includes an additional snow cover class and accounts for snow cover effects within the other land cover classes. Overall accuracy across the continental United States for Version 2 is 75% on snow-covered pixels and 69% on snow-free pixels, versus 16% and 66% for Version 1. However, combining the “crop” and “low vegetation” classes improves these values to 86% for snow and 83% for snow-free, compared to 19% and 83% for Version 1. This merging is justified by their spectral similarity, the difference between crop and low vegetation falling closer to land use than land cover. The Version 2 tool is built into a Python-based ArcGIS toolbox, allowing users to leverage the pre-trained model—along with image splitting and parallel processing techniques—for their land cover type map generation needs.
  • waterquality for ArcGIS Pro Toolbox: User’s Guide

    Abstract: Monitoring water quality of small inland lakes and reservoirs is a critical component of the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) water quality management plans. However, limited resources for traditional field-based monitoring of numerous lakes and reservoirs covering vast geographic areas often leads to reactional responses to harmful algal bloom (HAB) outbreaks. Satellite remote sensing methodologies using HAB indicators is a good low-cost option to traditional methods and has been proven to maximize and complement current field-based approaches while providing a synoptic view of water quality (Beck et al. 2016; Beck et al. 2017; Beck et al. 2019; Johansen et al. 2019; Mishra et al. 2019; Stumpf and Tomlinson 2007; Wang et al. 2020; Xu et al. 2019; Reif 2011). To assist USACE water quality management, we developed an Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI) ArcGIS Pro desktop software toolbox (waterquality for ArcGIS Pro) founded on the design and research established in the waterquality R software package (Johansen et al. 2019; Johansen 2020). The toolbox enables the detection, monitoring, and quantification of HAB indicators (chlorophyll-a, phycocyanin, and turbidity) using Sentinel-2 satellite imagery. Four tools are available: (1) automating the download of Sentinel-2 Level-2A imagery, (2) creating stacked image with options for cloud and non-water features masks, (3) applying water quality algorithms to generate relative estimations of one to three water quality parameters (chlorophyll-a, phycocyanin, and turbidity), and (4) creating linear regression graphs and statistics comparing in situ data (from field-based water sampling) to relative estimation data. This document serves as a user’s guide for the waterquality for ArcGIS Pro toolbox and includes instructions on toolbox installation and descriptions of each tool’s inputs, outputs, and troubleshooting guidance.
  • Automated Detection of Austere Entry Landing Zones: A “GRAIL Tools” Validation Assessment

    Abstract: The Geospatial Remote Assessment for Ingress Locations (GRAIL) Tools software is a geospatial product developed to locate austere entry landing zones (LZs) for military aircraft. Using spatial datasets like land classification and slope, along with predefined LZ geometry specifications, GRAIL Tools generates binary suitability filters that distinguish between suitable and unsuitable terrain. GRAIL Tools combines input suitability filters, searches for LZs at user‐defined orientations, and plots results. To refine GRAIL Tools, we: (a) verified software output; (b) conducted validation assessments using five unpaved LZ sites; and (c) assessed input dataset resolution on outcomes using 30 and 1‐m datasets. The software was verified and validated in California and the Baltics, and all five LZs were correctly identified in either the 30 or the 1‐m data. The 30‐m data provided numerous LZs for consideration, while the 1‐m data highlighted hazardous conditions undetected in the 30‐m data. Digital elevation model grid size affected results, as 1‐m data produced overestimated slope values. Resampling the data to 5 m resulted in more realistic slopes. Results indicate GRAIL Tools is an asset the military can use to rapidly assess terrain conditions.
  • Geospatial Suitability Indices (GSI) Toolbox: User’s Guide

    Abstract: Habitat suitability models have been widely adopted in ecosystem management and restoration to assess environmental impacts and benefits according to the quantity and quality of a given habitat. Many spatially distributed ecological processes require application of suitability models within a geographic information system (GIS). This technical report presents a geospatial toolbox for assessing habitat suitability. The geospatial suitability indices (GSI) toolbox was developed in ArcGIS Pro 2.7 using the Python 3.7 programming language and is available for use on the local desktop in the Windows 10 environment. Two main tools comprise the GSI toolbox. First, the suitability index (SIC) calculator tool uses thematic or continuous geospatial raster layers to calculate parameter suitability indices using user-specified habitat relationships. Second, the overall suitability index calculator (OSIC) combines multiple parameter suitability indices into one overarching index using one or more options, including arithmetic mean, weighted arithmetic mean, geometric mean, and minimum limiting factor. The result is a raster layer representing habitat suitability values from 0.0–1.0, where zero (0) is unsuitable habitat and one (1) is ideal suitability. This report documents the model purpose and development and provides a user’s guide for the GSI toolbox.
  • Energy Atlas—Mapping Energy-Related Data for DoD Lands in Alaska: Phase 2—Data Expansion and Portal Development

    ABSTRACT: As the largest Department of Defense (DoD) land user in Alaska, the U.S. Army oversees over 600,000 hectares of land, including remote areas accessible only by air, water, and winter ice roads. Spatial information related to the energy resources and infrastructure that exist on and adjacent to DoD installations can help inform decision makers when it comes to installation planning. The Energy Atlas−Alaska portal provides a secure value-added resource to support the decision-making process for energy management, investments in installation infrastructure, and improvements to energy resiliency and sustainability. The Energy Atlas–Alaska portal compiles spatial information and provides that information through a secure online portal to access and examine energy and related resource data such as energy resource potential, energy corridors, and environmental information. The information database is hosted on a secure Common Access Card–authenticated portal that is accessible to the DoD and its partners through the Army Geospatial Center’s Enterprise Portal. This Enterprise Portal provides effective visualization and functionality to support analysis and inform DoD decision makers. The Energy Atlas–Alaska portal helps the DoD account for energy in contingency planning, acquisition, and life-cycle requirements and ensures facilities can maintain operations in the face of disruption.
  • Semi-Automated Land Cover Mapping Using an Ensemble of Support Vector Machines with Moderate Resolution Imagery Integrated into a Custom Decision Support Tool

    Abstract: Land cover type is a fundamental remote sensing-derived variable for terrain analysis and environmental mapping applications. The currently available products are produced only for a single season or a specific year. Some of these products have a coarse resolution and quickly become outdated, as land cover type can undergo significant change over a short time period. In order to enable on-demand generation of timely and accurate land cover type products, we developed a sensor-agnostic framework leveraging pre-trained machine learning models. We also generated land cover models for Sentinel-2 (20m) and Landsat 8 imagery (30m) using either a single date of imagery or two dates of imagery for mapping land cover type. The two-date model includes 11 land cover type classes, whereas the single-date model contains 6 classes. The models’ overall accuracies were 84% (Sentinel-2 single date), 82% (Sentinel-2 two date), and 86% (Landsat 8 two date) across the continental United States. The three different models were built into an ArcGIS Pro Python toolbox to enable a semi-automated workflow for end users to generate their own land cover type maps on demand. The toolboxes were built using parallel processing and image-splitting techniques to enable faster computation and for use on less-powerful machines.
  • Energy Atlas—Mapping Energy-Related Data for DoD Lands in Alaska: Phase 1—Assembling the Data and Designing the Tool

    Abstract: The U.S. Army is the largest Department of Defense (DoD) land user in Alaska, including remote areas only accessible by air, water, or wintertime ice roads. Understanding where energy resources and related infrastructure exist on and adjacent to DoD installations and training lands can help inform Army decision-makers, especially in remote locations like Alaska. The Energy Atlas–Alaska provides a value-added resource to support decision-making for investments in infrastructure and diligent energy management, helping Army installations become more resilient and sustainable. The Energy Atlas–Alaska utilizes spatial information and provides a consistent GIS (geographic information system) framework to access and examine energy and related resource data such as energy resource potential, energy corridors, and environmental information. The database can be made accessible to DoD and its partners through an ArcGIS-based user interface that provides effective visualization and functionality to support analysis and to inform DoD decision-makers. The Energy Atlas–Alaska helps DoD account for energy in contingency planning, acquisition, and life-cycle requirements and ensures facilities can maintain operations in the face of disruption.
  • Monitoring Ecological Restoration with Imagery Tools (MERIT): Python-based Decision Support Tools Integrated into ArcGIS for Satellite and UAS Image Processing, Analysis, and Classification

    Abstract: Monitoring the impacts of ecosystem restoration strategies requires both short-term and long-term land surface monitoring. The combined use of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and satellite imagery enable effective landscape and natural resource management. However, processing, analyzing, and creating derivative imagery products can be time consuming, manually intensive, and cost prohibitive. In order to provide fast, accurate, and standardized UAS and satellite imagery processing, we have developed a suite of easy-to-use tools integrated into the graphical user interface (GUI) of ArcMap and ArcGIS Pro as well as open-source solutions using NodeOpenDroneMap. We built the Monitoring Ecological Restoration with Imagery Tools (MERIT) using Python and leveraging third-party libraries and open-source software capabilities typically unavailable within ArcGIS. MERIT will save US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) districts significant time in data acquisition, processing, and analysis by allowing a user to move from image acquisition and preprocessing to a final output for decision-making with one application. Although we designed MERIT for use in wetlands research, many tools have regional or global relevancy for a variety of environmental monitoring initiatives.