In order to aid in the protection of the dune sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus arenicolus) habitat, Natural Heritage New Mexico (NHNM) is collaborating with EDAC to map its range in detail. The lizard is found only on the shinoak (Quercus havardii) dunelands of southeastern New Mexico, comprising some 1,415,000 acres. As this habitat is a checkerboard of control of federal, state and private land managers and facing an increasing number of threats from competing land uses, the need to know where important and viable habitat still exists is critical. So beginning in 2011, field crews from NHNM have gone out to the shinoak dunelands and collected and described land cover for a number of ground control plots. These plots have been used by EAC in turn with multi-temporal Landsat imagery from 2011 as well as the NAIP 2011 digital ortho-photography to create a land cover map at a 1-m spatial resolution which is intended to be useful to land managers at a 1:12,000 scale. At present the area is being mapped into 18 different land cover classes, of which the most important is to separate out the healthy shinoak dunelands and dune blowouts, which is critical to the survival of the lizard, from areas of disturbance and degraded habitat. It is expected that this map will be ready sometime in 2014.
As part of an on-going national program to inventory and map vegetation cover for all of the 280 park units in the United States, EDAC and Natural Heritage New Mexico (NHNM) developed a vegetation map for the 115,000 acre El Malpais National Monument located in western New Mexico. The rugged nature of the topography dominated by lava flows and volcanoes, some only a few thousand years old, made it especially challenging to gather field data and created much more reliance on the imagery to classify the area. Still NHNM managed to collect some 476 ground plots from 2003 to 2009 which described the vegetation cover for a sample terrain of 400 m2. These ground data sets were then used by EDAC to create a classification from multi-temporal Landsat imagery and natural color digital ortho-photography. The spectral depth and seasonality of the Landsat imagery was used to model differences in surface reflectance and phenology between vegetation types whereas the photography was used to enhance the spatial resolution of the final product. The resulting map classified the park into 12 Map Unit Level 1 classes (equivalent to the NVCS Group level) and 49 Map Unit Level 2 classes (equivalent to the NVCS Alliance level). The completed maps and accompanying reports have been provided to the US National Park Service as digital products to aid in their present and future management of their natural resources.
FEMA’s Risk Mapping, Assessment, and Planning (RiskMAP) Program’s vision is to provide quality data that increases public awareness and leads to action that reduces risk to life and property. The New Mexico Department of Homeland Security (NMDHSEM) and Earth Data Analysis Center are working with FEMA Region VI as Cooperating Technical Partners through RiskMAP to prioritize flood related data needs throughout the state. NMDSHEM and EDAC operate the nmflood.org website that hosts interactive maps, current flood related news, and links to online flooding tools and are active in the New Mexico Floodplain Managers Association and New Mexico Silver Jackets.
FEMA Risk MAP: http://www.fema.gov/risk-mapping-assessment-planning
FEMA CTP: http://www.fema.gov/cooperating-technical-partners-program
As a component of a larger NASA-funded project on Integration of Airborne Dust Prediction Systems and Vegetation Phenology to Track Pollen for Asthma Alerts in Public Health Decision Support Systems, EDAC is developing a web-based decision support system for forecasting Juniperus ashei, Juniperus monosperma, Juniperus scopulorum, and Juniperus pinchotii pollen concentration data. Designed to meet requirements of New Mexico’s Environmental Public Health Tracking System (NMEPHTS), the system includes state-of-the-art statistical analysis tools; geospatial visualization tools; data discovery, extraction, and delivery tools; and environmental/public health linkage information. Earth science data obtained from Earth observatories are ingested into the Pollen Regional Atmospheric Model (PREAM) by team members at the University of Arizona. EDAC receives output files from the model which then are run through a post-processing routine to develop products that are made available to NMEPHTS via web mapping and web coverage services.
New Mexico’s history of mining and exploration makes it home to hundreds of abandoned settlements. Intrepid research into the history of these settlements yielded a compilation of our state’s documented ghost towns. The data used to create this map, which includes names, locations, and the condition of the ghost town, are available for download from RGIS.
EDAC attended the NM Department of Health kick-off for New Mexico’s Environmental Public Health Tracking (EPHT) Program in 2002, and has participated in the NM EPHT Program in the years since. New Mexico is an original Grantee in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Environmental Public Health Tracking Program and is currently one of 24 EPHT Grantees. This CDC program provides state health departments with resources to create statewide networks that integrate data sets, tools, and standards, thus allowing the state network to be an interoperable component of the National EPHT Network. New Mexico supports the national EPHT goals to prevent or reduce illnesses, injury, and death related to environmental risk factors and to increase the understanding of the relationships between environmental exposures and health effects.
EDAC develops, implements, and enhances the NM EPHT Network/System (NM Tracking) nmtracking.org and its relevant data services. NM Tracking consists of a content management system for text- and graphics-based information and an interactive, dynamic data analysis, visualization, and reporting application. The portal provides a secured, publicly accessible, Web-based mechanism to exchange data and information between data stewards, analysts, and New Mexicans and the public; to discover and view data; and to explore relationships between environmental exposures and potential health outcomes. To achieve this, NM Tracking uses an on-line data registry to make environmental public health information, data, and standardized metadata available for query, visualization, download, and report generation. Data security is ensured through secure Internet transmissions, encrypted messaging, and authenticated and authorized user roles in all communications between NM Tracking and the NMDOH environmental-health-data provider NM-IBIS and other distributed data providers.
The “New Mexico Watch – Active Wildfires” (nmwatch.org) is a public website developed and hosted by the Earth Data Analysis Center that provides information about active wildfires in the state of New Mexico. NMWatch integrates local data (public schools, hospitals, fire stations, law enforcement, community centers, watershed boundaries) with active wildfire perimeter and location information generated daily by the Geospatial Multi-Agency Coordination Group (GeoMAC). Local fire information is added as available from NM Fire Info (New Mexico Fire Information). Users can measure distance and calculate area using built-in tools.
In 2010 and 2011 EDAC contracted with the New Mexico Office of the State Engineer to georectify several hundred historic water related maps. The first project was to georectify hydrographic survey maps of the Pecos Basin using the 2005 statewide digital aerial imagery as the mapping base. Some of the maps dated as far back as the 1920s. Following the completion of that project EDAC moved to the western side of the state to do a second map georectification project in the Gila / San Francisco Basin. These maps are called Proof of Beneficial Use (PBU) maps and are used in validating historical water use within the state. These maps were especially difficult to georectify because there was almost no control point information on the maps except for the PLSS section and quarter section corners. Because of that we were unable to use a photo map base as was done in the Pecos Basin project. The best mapping base that could be found was the statewide PLSS shapefile and the digital raster graphic (DRG) mosaic of the USGS 1:24,000 map sheets.
From 2007 to 2011, EDAC, in conjunction with Natural Heritage New Mexico, mapped the land cover of the 7,000 acre Petroglyph National Monument. Although covering a relatively small area, the park with its volcanoes and lava cliffs found at the transition between the Great Plains, the Desert Basin and the Chihuahuan Desert communities has a fair amount of diversity. The mapping process combined multi-temporal high and moderate spatial resolution satellite imagery and digital ortho-photos along with field plot data to create the map. The resulting map grouped several dozen vegetation communities identified at the park into some 25 separate land cover types ranging from barren lava rocklands to grasslands and shrublands. The resulting map provides the US Park Service with a data source to aid in their management of park resources and a baseline from which to compare future changes.
As part of a project being conducted by URS Corp to map the land-use change in Harris County, Texas (greater Houston), EDAC was contracted in 2011 to create an ortho-photo map of the county using aerial photography acquired in 1983. At that time the National High Altitude Program acquired some 117 color IR photos over the area. Photo transparencies were obtained from the USGS and scanned at 2,000 dpi. The scanned photos were then rectified to the most recent photo base map for the county while using USGS 10 m spatial resolution DEMs for the elevation values. The resulting ortho-photos were mosaicked together to create the 1983 ortho-photo map at 1 m spatial resolution.
The New Mexico Broadband Program (NMBB) is part of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) State Broadband Initiative (SBI), which implements the joint purposes of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Broadband Data Improvement Act. The SBI program facilitates integration of broadband and information technology into state and local economies.
EDAC, in partnership with the NM Department of Information Technology (DoIT), developed a Web map for the New Mexico Broadband Program. The NMBB Map, http://nmbbmapping.org/mapping/, is an interactive map built on ESRI’s ArcGIS Server API for Flex. The map displays all wire-line and wireless broadband services available in the State of New Mexico, based on the type of technology reported in data collected from Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and other sources. Collected data are analyzed and processed according to NTIA standards, verified with the ISPs, and submitted to NTIA twice a year. NTIA incorporates the submitted broadband data into the National Broadband Map, and EDAC uses the data to update the NMBB Map.
EDAC and NM DoIT plan to improve broadband data quality through crowdsourcing in the next phase of the program. The NM Broadband Map allows consumers to identify the broadband services available in New Mexico, and policy makers to address the barriers for broadband expansion and to improve broadband adoption in under served and non-served communities. The adoption of high-speed Internet services and information technology enhances economic development, public safety, health care, educational opportunities, and the quality of life for New Mexicans.
The New Mexico Public Schools Facilities Authority (PSFA) Statewide Web map was developed to communicate information about public schools in the State of New Mexico. The Web Map displays public school information including school enrollment numbers, school capacity calculations, the New Mexico Facilities Database ranking information, and community assets are presented in tabular and graphical formats.
At the beginning of almost every legislative session, EDAC provides representatives of New Mexico’s Senate and House Districts with maps depicting the locations of University of New Mexico (UNM) Students, Employees, and Alumni within the individual districts. According to Marc H. Saavedra, UNM’s Director of the Office of Government and Community Relations, “The legislators really appreciate having the map at the start of every legislative session. The map also plays a big role in making the legislature aware of how UNM is across the entire State and in their district.”
The Pre-Disaster Hazard Mitigation Act of 2010 (PDM), administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), provides funding and technical assistance to state and local governments for disaster preparedness and management. Over the last two years, UNM has developed the first university approved Natural Hazard Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan in New Mexico. The ongoing program aims to develop ways to reduce impact of natural disasters on UNM’s resources by identifying natural hazards and associated risks applicable to UNM, determining the impacts of these hazards, setting mitigation goals, and developing strategies that would lessen potential impacts.
EDAC’s role in the plan is to perform fundamental analysis of top hazards likely to affect UNM by identifying such as thunderstorms, lightning, hail, winter storms, extreme cold/heat, wind/dust storms, tornadoes, flooding, wildfires, drought, and earthquakes and by incorporating factors such as building age, building use, and building function to properly assess the risk associated with various hazards. Through output maps and reports, hazard awareness can be better understood and shared. Priorities then can be established and the mitigation plan implemented.
Because universities provide structure and stability to local economies and directly influence their surrounding communities, states, and local governments, having a Pre-Disaster Mitigation Plan that saves lives, reduces damage and monetary loss, and keeps universities’ doors open and fully operational is essential.
Begun in 1999, the International Charter on Space and Major Disasters is a cooperative agreement between the world’s major space agencies to pool their remote sensing satellites and archival imagery libraries to aid countries whose people are impacted by natural or man-made disasters. When a disaster occurs the Charter members decide on what types of satellite imagery are appropriate, initiate new collects by the satellites, and open up their archives for historical imagery. The imagery are then obtained and delivered to first response officials on the ground at no charge to the end users. Should a Charter eligible disaster strike New Mexico in the future, Tom Budge, EDAC Manager of Image Processing Services, has been selected by the Charter members to be the state Project Manager. He would be in charge of receiving all imagery from the Charter members and delivering it to the local end users in whatever format is chosen.
Exposure to fine particulate dust and adhered endotoxins is an increasing Public Health concern, particularly in the exacerbation of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. This concern is demonstrated by the deployment (funded by NASA’s REASoN program) of a moderate resolution dust forecasting system (the DREAM ETA model) into the SYRIS syndromic surveillance system, and through ongoing interest by the NM Department of Health in the deployment of dust, pollen, and other environmental data sets into New Mexico’s Environmental Public Health Tracking Network (EPHTN). In support of these systems, more rapidly available and higher spatial resolution data are needed for more localized assessment of particulate exposure for use in epidemiological studies, and for more timely and targeted notification of dust events to at-risk populations.
Researchers at the University of New Mexico, George Mason University, and the University of Arizona had previously been funded by NASA to conduct an Interoperability Testbed project in 2007 to demonstrate key model and data interoperability capabilities of the Dust Regional Atmospheric Model (DREAM ETA); the higher particle- size resolution, 8-bin DREAM ETA model; and the higher spatial resolution DREAM NMM model.
This project builds upon our previous work in the Interoperability Testbed and the PHAiRS projects through two related activities to be undertaken by EDAC and our collaborators at George Mason University (funded by NASA through their 2008 Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences NRA): 1) determining the feasibility of deploying a nested dust forecasting system that consists of initial low spatial resolution (8-bin DREAM ETA) model runs that identify regions for which an HPC-enabled, high-spatial resolution DREAM NMM model should be run; and 2) developing an interoperable framework that uses OGC and W3C standards to enable model and data interoperability to streamline the execution of the model chain and deliver the products of the model runs into public health decision support systems such as EPHTN and SYRIS.
From 2001 to 2009, EDAC, in conjunction with Natural Heritage New Mexico, mapped the land cover of the 34,000 acre Bandelier National Monument in north-central New Mexico. The monument presented some unique challenges, from an elevation difference of 5,000 feet, to a terrain that includes riverine and lacustrine habitats, deep incised canyons and tall peaks capped by sub-alpine forests. In addition, over the course of the project the region underwent a significant ecological change as the ubiquitous pinyon woodlands suffered a near total dieback. The mapping process combined multi-temporal, moderate spatial resolution satellite imagery with digital ortho-photos along with the field plot data to detect and classify the different mixes of plant cover types. The resulting map grouped the hundreds of separately identified vegetation communities found at the park into 70 separate land cover types. The resulting map provides the US Park Service with a data source to aid in their management of park resources and a baseline from which to compare future changes.
Beginning in 2005, EDAC in conjunction with Natural Heritage New Mexico mapped the land cover of the 86,000 acre Guadalupe Mountains National Park in western Texas. A diverse range of environments are found in the park from the gypsic dunes and alkali playas on the west side, to the oak scrubland on the east side, to the montane conifer forests in the peaks that rise 4,000 feet above the basin floor. The mapping process combined multi-temporal, moderate spatial resolution satellite imagery with digital ortho-photos along with field plot data to detect and classify the different mixes of plant cover types. The resulting map grouped the hundreds of separately identified vegetation communities found at the park into almost 70 separate land cover types. The resulting map provides the US Park Service a data source to aid in their management of park resources and a baseline from which to compare future changes.
This three year NASA funded project builds upon EDAC’s combined experience and capabilities built as part of the PHAiRS and NM EPHT projects through the development of dust and ozone forecast products and information delivery capabilities that are deliverable through the NM EPHT system. While still in progress, this project has already delivered PM2.5 and PM10 raster and aggregated vector data products into the NM EPHT system, and through our work with modelers at the University of Arizona and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center will deliver enhanced dust and ozone forecasts into NM EPHT.
Almost continuously since 1994 EDAC has provided the Cooperative Monitoring Center (CMC) at Sandia National Laboratories with technical assistance in remote sensing and GIS technology. The mission of the CMC is to demonstrate the various unclassified technologies that can be used in border monitoring, arms control, and international security. EDAC provides expertise in remote sensing and GIS by obtaining satellite imagery and other geospatial data for a variety of CMC international projects. We assist the CMC on border monitoring analyses and modeling as well as imagery interpretation. The CMC has a visiting scholars program which hosts a wide range of domestic and international experts, and EDAC assists them with geospatial information and training. We also provide remote sensing presentations and demonstrations at CMC workshops and conferences. Presentations are conducted in Albuquerque, elsewhere domestically, and on occasion, internationally.
EDAC, in collaboration with UNM’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) and under contract to the NM Department of Finance and Administration, addressed the population undercount in the Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA) Program used to update and improve the U. S. Bureau of Census Master Address File. EDAC used digital aerial imagery for interpreting and counting housing structures within 3,500 Census blocks. These blocks were selected to provide the greatest impact upon areas that are historically the most undercounted due, in large part, to the poor addressing found in these regions. Overall, the program provided an additional 131,283 housing units not previously identified by the Census Bureau enumeration. New Mexico may benefit by as much as $11 million per year in increased federal funding once these additions are accepted by the Census Bureau.
EDAC, in cooperation with the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM), continues the partnership among state and Federal agencies, local communities, tribal entities, and professional associations to assess, inventory, acquire, and distribute data that support coordinating, planning, and developing floodplain mapping, as stated in New Mexico’s Map Modernization Management Support (MMMS) business plan. EDAC provides the State with an ongoing coordinated floodplain mapping program. In light of the Flood Map Modernization Mid-Course Adjustment greater focus has been placed on compliance with FEMA’s 2005 Floodplain Boundary Standard, which includes providing access to the most current and accurate digital data layers. The digital data will be accessible to engineers, local communities, and citizens of New Mexico thus providing officials information required for accurate assessment of risk-based mapping priorities.
In 2008, the five-year NASA-funded REASoN project known as PHAiRS entered its fifth and final year. This project is unique in that it has successfully modified a dust forecast model for conditions in the southwest United States and improved the model’s performance by using NASA Earth observation data as input parameters. Furthermore it has engaged the public health communities in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas in all phases of the project. Significant progress has been made in developing a demonstration web client, the standards-based service based architecture on which it depends, and incorporation of EPA in-situ particulate matter concentration data. Most significant is the availability of forecast dust data via Open Geospatial Consortium web services, allowing users to quickly acquire data using time-enabled WMS requests, both through direct requests and through an online KML generation tool for streamlined visualization in desktop virtual globe applications such as Google Earth. In the final months of the project, the PHAiRS capabilities and products will be incorporated into the Syndrome Reporting and Information System (SYRIS) and tested by the City of Lubbock Department of Health and the Texas Department of Health District 1.
EDAC worked with the National Diabetes Prevention Center (NDPC), Program Development Branch, National Diabetes Wellness Program, and Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to assist in serving Native communities. As part of the project we developed a public health tool for displaying, analyzing and mapping diabetes in Indian country. This lead to the development of culturally sensitive educational materials, diabetes mapping tools and other GIS/healthcare related products.
EDAC in cooperation with the National Indian Council on Aging, and sponsored by the Indian Health Services (IHS) through the Indian Elder Care initiative developed an interactive Atlas of Indian Elder Health. The interactive atlas provided query capability to IHS databases and displayed the results as maps at national, regional, or local levels. Health data were overlaid with environmental, socioeconomic, and geopolitical data from the US Bureau of Census, the Environmental Protection Agency and other public domain data sources. While targeting Indian elders, the interactive mapping application contained IHS de-identified data for patients of all ages, making it a valuable national healthcare resource for Indian country. The Atlas highlighted the needs and conditions of this special population while providing tools and methods to better understand elders and elder needs.
In conjunction with our application development work, we also provide ongoing hosting of the applications that we develop for particular projects. The specific hosting model will vary from project to project, but the following services are available as part of any hosting package:
Specific hosting solutions are typically customized to meet the requirements of particular applications. The general capabilities that have previously been deployed and hosted on EDAC’s servers include:
While these solutions are just examples of the numerous application development and hosting solutions that EDAC has developed over the past several years, they do provide an illustration of the breadth of options available for hosting services provided by EDAC.