|[grassrootsmapping] Can we assist in mapping the oil slick?||Jeffrey Warren||5/2/10 9:08 AM|
Hey all; what do you think? Is there a way we can help with a citizen mapping effort? Or will there be plenty of mapping already? Can we do open source maps and offer an alternative source as a way to keep BP honest?
Does anyone live near the slick? In driving range? Ideas, thoughts?
|Re: [grassrootsmapping] Can we assist in mapping the oil slick?||Heather Leson||5/2/10 10:37 AM|
Hi Jeffrey and all, by way of introduction, I am with Crisiscommons.org.
We're trying to get a mobile app out there.
There were a few folks on the call on Friday from OSM. It would be amazing to collaborate somehow.
I can let you know when the next call is. (If that is appropriate).
Twitter: heather Leson
Linked In: http://ca.linkedin.com/in/heatherleson
|Re: [grassrootsmapping] Can we assist in mapping the oil slick?||Jeffrey Warren||5/3/10 8:47 AM|
Glad to hear it; are you in touch with the LA bucket brigade and their effort to document stories and testimony of gulf coast residents? She just posted on the crisis mapper list, and while more narrative than the kind of mapping we'd be able to do, the idea of a citizen point of view as an alternative to the official story is in line with what we could offer.
On May 2, 2010 1:37 PM, "Heather Leson" <heathe...@gmail.com> wrote:
|Re: [grassrootsmapping] Can we assist in mapping the oil slick?||Heather Leson||5/3/10 9:01 AM|
HI Jeffrey, I wasn't in touch with them. Heather B, is your group or Sloane's in touch with the Bucket Brigade
|RE: [grassrootsmapping] Can we assist in mapping the oil slick?||peter...@sympatico.ca||5/3/10 9:59 AM|
You have probably thought of this already but rather than compete with the high-priced remote sensing kit the agencies are using to track the slick, I would suggest focusing upon its site-specific impacts, for which kite and balloon imaging is well-suited.
And during the aftermath there is going to be a lot of effort spent on habitat restoration and geocoded high resolution images of how the landscape was before could come in quite useful.
Date: Mon, 3 May 2010 12:01:42 -0400
Subject: Re: [grassrootsmapping] Can we assist in mapping the oil slick?
To: grassroo...@googlegroups.com; heatherle...@gmail.com
|Re: [grassrootsmapping] Can we assist in mapping the oil slick?||Dave Pitman||5/3/10 10:04 AM|
I think Peter's spot on with his suggestion! I'm sure the various agencies are already getting high-quality imagery through drones, which will hopefully be available to the public in the aftermath?
|Re: [grassrootsmapping] Can we assist in mapping the oil slick?||ortelius||5/3/10 10:06 AM|
I'm totally available to help with this on the back end if you can get
the details arranged to get someone on the ground.
The before and after is going to be super important, in which case,
someone better get down there ASAP.
|Re: [grassrootsmapping] Can we assist in mapping the oil slick?||Jeffrey Warren||5/3/10 10:20 AM|
Exactly, and so high resolution and frequency on *specific* property/high risk ecologically relevant sites would be a priority. For some areas perhaps driving a car/bike towing a kite down say a mile stretch of the beach daily sounds feasible for one or two people. Or weekly. We need to better definethe problem space.
Also of course workshops and events teaching people to do this for their own properties would be great.
If nobody is in range and there is interest we need to think about sending someone asap as jeff says.
On May 3, 2010 1:06 PM, "Jeffrey Johnson" <orte...@gmail.com> wrote:
|Re: [grassrootsmapping] Can we assist in mapping the oil slick?||ortelius||5/3/10 10:23 AM|
> Exactly, and so high resolution and frequency on *specific* property/highBoat? There are alot of fisherman not able to work now it seems from
what I am hearing/reading.
How could this be arranged in a hurry?
|[grassrootsmapping] Re: Can we assist in mapping the oil slick?||Eric||5/3/10 10:32 AM|
We are working with variety of folks in agencies to get tasking and
permission to collect imagery along the beaches, including variety of
visible, FLIR, SAR and other things---would be great to link up with
this mapping effort. Really something that this special collection of
people could make a major contribution to complex things. Guessing BP
will be appreciative of anything to help save beaches and animals---
they have championed the green energy world for long time, so one of
groups that is doing right thing because right thing. One of the
things that disappears if no data is there is the details of how
something happened, what can be done to help ---such as small straw
dams to keep things out of swamps, ways of seeing where the sludge is
and not just the oil sheen on the surface. Would be something that
having balloon over strategic place could help show the complexity of
what is going on and how changes through the day, as making time-lapse
photography as we have done with fires here in southern California.
Really look forward to working with you all---lots of same people
wearing other hats, wonderful friends.
Director, Viz Center
|Re: [grassrootsmapping] Can we assist in mapping the oil slick?||Jeffrey Warren||5/3/10 10:33 AM|
Well I can start looking around for funding or we could do a quick call for donations but before we do that we should know exactly what's lacking or what we could offer. Heather and heather, do you know more about current available data? I can ping crisismappers.
On May 3, 2010 1:23 PM, "Jeffrey Johnson" <orte...@gmail.com> wrote:
|Re: [grassrootsmapping] Can we assist in mapping the oil slick?||Marc Pfister||5/3/10 10:37 AM|
On Mon, May 3, 2010 at 10:06 AM, Jeffrey Johnson <orte...@gmail.com> wrote:I can assist Jeff on the back end if needed and could probably provide
some processing abilities and temporary storage .
|Re: [grassrootsmapping] Can we assist in mapping the oil slick?||Jeffrey Warren||5/3/10 12:49 PM|
OK, i've been calling around and such. Progress update very soon -
Here's a nice map of the spill based on coast guard/noaa data:
Also NASA data:
Any other maps available? We should thoroughly know the existing data before making a case for new data.
|Re: [grassrootsmapping] Can we assist in mapping the oil slick?||ortelius||5/3/10 12:53 PM|
Animation based on MODIS data. http://earthnc.com/oilspill/
No hi-res imagery available yet AFAIK?
|Re: [grassrootsmapping] Can we assist in mapping the oil slick?||Jeffrey Warren||5/3/10 1:00 PM|
are possible contacts on the ground.
|Re: [grassrootsmapping] Can we assist in mapping the oil slick?||Jeffrey Warren||5/3/10 1:00 PM|
sorry the second one should've been http://oilspill.labucketbrigade.org
|Re: [grassrootsmapping] Can we assist in mapping the oil slick?||Jeffrey Warren||5/3/10 2:03 PM|
- can we even see oil at lower altitudes? it's not that easy to pick out
- could we run a filter on it to make it easier to see?
- is there a case for much much higher res data for specific areas, like 10cm or better?
- what private property is at risk? immediate risks seem to be to nature preserves. is there a difference since perhaps private property might not have a large organization advocating for it, i.e. might benefit from low cost imagery more?
On Mon, May 3, 2010 at 3:53 PM, Jeffrey Johnson <orte...@gmail.com> wrote:
|Re: [grassrootsmapping] Can we assist in mapping the oil slick?||ortelius||5/3/10 2:14 PM|
> - can we even see oil at lower altitudes? it's not that easy to pick outhttp://asapblogs.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/2007/10/29/scotus_exxon_valdez_rumb.jpg
Seems like it should not be problematic.
|[grassrootsmapping] Re: Can we assist in mapping the oil slick?||Miguel Castrence||5/4/10 1:46 PM|
I'd like to second Peter's suggestion, as well as introduce myself as
I've recently joined this Google group.
First, I think that having before/after images for change detection
purposes would be extremely useful for response/restoration efforts. I
also think that making such images publicly available as soon as
possible would help increase awareness about the severity of this
problem. The mainstream media's size comparisons of the oil spill to
different geographic areas are meaningless and useless to the general
Second, I'd also like to start sharing ideas with others involved with
nearshore mapping. In Hawaii, we're working on a low-cost system for
monitoring invasive alien algae removal efforts over a reef flat, as
an alternative to plane-based aerial surveys. We're going as low-tech
as possible, using helium-inflated garbage bags. One of the problems
we're facing is aerodynamic drag (our site usually gets trade winds
between 15-25mph). Plus we've had problems with losing helium from
improperly sealed bags. Does anyone has a template for reshaping
plastic garbage bags or even mylar?
In addition to the normal challenges of sending a camera up in the
air, we've also been working on a cheap and light waterproof housing
to protect the camera in case of a crash landing over the water.
After a couple of failed attempts to get airborne, we finally got some
decent photos from around 100ft above the ground on a relatively
windless day. I've been documenting our progress in the following
Another challenge--which I'm still working on--is in the process of
mosaicking and georeferencing, as features in the marine environment
are harder to discriminate than they are in the terrestrial
environment. Optical/spectral similarity of submerged features,
turbidity, sea surface roughness and sun glint all contribute to
confound both automatic and manual image mosaicking. I'm looking into
image processing algorithms for removal of sun glint and sea surface
effects as well as water column correction, primarily in ERDAS
Imagine, but Photoshop would also be ideal. Batch processing is ideal
for the amount of images we need to cover the area, but in my
experience with plane-based aerial imagery, we still need manual
interpretation to ensure accuracy.
Finally, it's a lot harder to collect ground control points with GPS
in the water than on land. And given the high spatial resolution of
our collected images and dynamic nature of the marine environment,
it's hard to get adequate reference images to match ground control
points on our aerial images. I've been using QuickBird satellite
images from earlier in the year, but the coarser spatial resolution
and rapid environmental changes over time really make it difficult to
I welcome any advice that this group may have, and I'd love to share
ideas with others who are involved in nearshore mapping.
> From: heatherle...@gmail.com
> Date: Mon, 3 May 2010 12:01:42 -0400> To: grassroo...@googlegroups.com; heatherleeblanch...@gmail.com
> Twitter: heather Leson
> On May 2, 2010 1:37 PM, "Heather Leson" <heatherle...@gmail.com> wrote:> http://wiki.crisiscommons.org/wiki/Gulf_Oil_Spillhttp://wiki.crisiscommons.org/wiki/Oil_Spill_Response
> Twitter: heather Leson
|Re: [grassrootsmapping] Re: Can we assist in mapping the oil slick?||Jeffrey Warren||5/4/10 1:51 PM|
wow that's super, Miguel - we have been working on a lot of the same problems!
For aerodynamic balloon advice, take a look at these pages:
And a student presentation on aerodynamic balloons from a recent workshop:
For stitching the resulting photos, try looking at Cartagen Knitter:
or Map Warper:
I'll have more time after Saturday to help you with this stuff so perhaps someone else on the list could chip in for now.
|Re: [grassrootsmapping] Re: Can we assist in mapping the oil slick?||Jeffrey Warren||5/4/10 1:52 PM|
yeah, orthorectifying imagery offshore, with no reference points, sounds very very tough. Do you see any underwater features?
|Re: [grassrootsmapping] Re: Can we assist in mapping the oil slick?||Marc Pfister||5/4/10 1:54 PM|
Seems like this would be an appropriate opportunity to try a
parasailing approach, like:
You would probably want to skip on the human photographer part but you
might be able to find a grounded fisherman who would be happy to drive
your KAP rig around since it could help his/her legal claim for
|[grassrootsmapping] Re: Can we assist in mapping the oil slick?||Miguel Castrence||5/4/10 2:33 PM|
I have some sample images taken a few days ago in my Picasa album (see
link in my first post). We had unusually calm, glassy conditions on
the water, plus we were out on a super low tide so there was little to
no water column interference. Sediment can be kicked up from
carelessly walking around the reef flat, so it's a good idea to stand
down current, walk very slowly or even wait for the sediment to
The good thing is that the sand/seaweed interface provides good
contrast for feature identification. However, if it's windy and
choppy, white caps can mistakenly identified as stable features by
automated processes like Photoshop's photomerge. Shadows from clouds
(or even the balloon!) are also a humbug on the sea surface. The
timing of the surveys is crucial to get the ideal sun angle (30-45
degrees). Overcast conditions are actually ideal to minimize sun glint
Back to the ground control point issue, I've thought about deploying
targets (e.g. white crosses made from PVC pipes), but that would
require significant effort in planning GPS surveys. However, without a
survey-grade GPS (i.e., sub-meter resolution), this may all be moot. A
low-tech approach using compass triangulation to reference points on
land could be another solution, but I worry about the accuracy.
> On Tue, May 4, 2010 at 4:51 PM, Jeffrey Warren <jywar...@gmail.com> wrote:> >http://grassrootsmapping.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/vanessa_ballo...
> >http://grassrootsmapping.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/nuvu-julian.pdf> > On Tue, May 4, 2010 at 4:46 PM, Miguel Castrence <mcastre...@gmail.com>wrote:
|[grassrootsmapping] Re: Can we assist in mapping the oil slick?||Miguel Castrence||5/4/10 2:55 PM|
I just realized that I've hijacked this thread to talk about general
nearshore mapping. I apologize, and I can re-post on a new thread if
anyone wants to continue this discussion.
Back to the oil spill mapping efforts, it would be useful if folks
could get a hold of existing imagery to see where there might be gaps
or assess whether higher spatial resolution is needed. I know that
Digital Globe has been offering free satellite imagery through its
Crisis Event Services like after the recent earthquake in Haiti.
|Re: [grassrootsmapping] Re: Can we assist in mapping the oil slick?||Jeffrey Warren||5/4/10 2:59 PM|
I tried compiling imagery and put some on the wiki, but gotta start packing. Good idea though.
On May 4, 2010 5:55 PM, "Miguel Castrence" <mcast...@gmail.com> wrote:
|[grassrootsmapping] Re: Can we assist in mapping the oil slick?||Miguel Castrence||5/4/10 3:03 PM|
To avoid overlapping efforts, I would also suggest getting in touch
with GISCorps, who has already been involved in post-Katrina mapping
|Re: [grassrootsmapping] Re: Can we assist in mapping the oil slick?||Jeffrey Warren||5/4/10 4:04 PM|
I'd love to; I think were going to have some offline time here as we get down there; would anyone step up to follow up on some of these leads?
On May 4, 2010 6:03 PM, "Miguel Castrence" <mcast...@gmail.com> wrote:
|[grassrootsmapping] Re: Can we assist in mapping the oil slick?||Gary||5/5/10 6:51 AM|
You might want to ask these guys to come along