Using Remote Sensing in State and Local Government
Information for Management and Decision Making
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
Washington, D.C. www.nap.edu
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS
500 Fifth Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20001
NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competences and with regard for appropriate balance.
Support for this project was provided by National Aeronautics and Space Administration Contracts Nos. NASW-96013 and 01001, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Contract No. 50-DKNA-6-90040, Stennis Space Center Order Nos. NS-7426 and 7570, Environmental Protection Agency Grant No. X-82821401, Department of Transportation Order No. DTRS56-00-P-70077, U.S. Geological Survey Cooperative Agreement No. 00HQAG0204, and Department of the Army Order No. DACA89-99-M-0147. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsors.
The cover was designed by Penny Margolskee.
Cover images (left to right):
Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus image, New York, April 14, 2001.
QuickBird, 60 cm, pansharpened satellite image of the Brooklyn Bridge as it enters Manhattan. Image taken August 2002. Courtesy of DigitalGlobe.
U.S. Geological Survey aerial photograph, Lower Manhattan, April 10, 1997.
International Standard Book Number 0-309-08863-1
Copies of this report are available free of charge from:
Space Studies Board
National Research Council
500 Fifth Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
Copyright 2003 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Printed in the United States of America
THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES
Advisers to the Nation on Science, Engineering, and Medicine
The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences.
The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Wm. A. Wulf is president of the National Academy of Engineering.
The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg is president of the Institute of Medicine.
The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy’s purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Wm. A. Wulf are chair and vice chair, respectively, of the National Research Council.
STEERING COMMITTEE ON SPACE APPLICATIONS AND COMMERCIALIZATION
ROBERTA BALSTAD MILLER,
ALEXANDER F.H. GOETZ,
University of Colorado, Boulder
LAWRENCE W. HARDING, JR.,
Horn Point Laboratory
JOHN R. JENSEN,
University of South Carolina
CHRIS J. JOHANNSEN,
Resources for the Future
JOHN S. MacDONALD,
Institute for Pacific Ocean Science and Technology
JAY S. PEARLMAN,*
Boeing Integrated Defense Systems
PAMELA L. WHITNEY, Study Director
JULIE ESANU, Program Officer
DINA KAMPMEYER, National Research Council Intern
CARMELA J. CHAMBERLAIN, Senior Project Assistant
SPACE STUDIES BOARD
JOHN H. McELROY,
University of Texas at Arlington (retired),
ROGER P. ANGEL,
University of Arizona
JAMES P. BAGIAN,
National Center for Patient Safety, Veterans Health Administration
ANA P. BARROS,
RETA F. BEEBE,
New Mexico State University
ROGER D. BLANDFORD,
California Institute of Technology
JAMES L. BURCH,
Southwest Research Institute
RADFORD BYERLY, JR.,
University of Colorado
ROBERT E. CLELAND,
University of Washington
HOWARD M. EINSPAHR,
Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute
STEVEN H. FLAJSER,
Loral Space and Communications Ltd.
Oregon State University
DON P. GIDDENS,
Georgia Institute of Technology/Emory University
RALPH H. JACOBSON,
The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory (retired)
MARGARET G. KIVELSON,
University of California, Los Angeles
University of Washington
BRUCE D. MARCUS,
TRW, Inc. (retired)
HARRY Y. McSWEEN, JR.,
University of Tennessee
GEORGE A. PAULIKAS,
The Aerospace Corporation (retired)
Portland State University
ROALD S. SAGDEEV,
University of Maryland
CAROLUS J. SCHRIJVER,
ROBERT J. SERAFIN,
National Center for Atmospheric Research
Marine Biological Laboratory
C. MEGAN URRY,
J. CRAIG WHEELER,
University of Texas, Austin
JOSEPH K. ALEXANDER, Director
For several years, the Space Studies Board has recognized that because of recent advances in the spatial, spectral, and temporal resolution of available data, there are more opportunities for developing practical applications of remote sensing data. The combination of technological advances in remote sensing; widely available, compatible geographic information technologies; increased availability of data at usable scales; and greater diversity in data sources and infrastructure support has made widespread and diverse applications possible in a broad variety of new sectors. At the same time, however, changes have been taking place in the roles played by data producers and consumers in the public and private sectors, the universities, and the value-added community. Changes in the economic and policy environment for remote sensing, the growth of a commercial remote sensing industry, the expansion and proliferation of data sources worldwide, and the greater breadth of remote sensing data provided by federal agencies are the result of interacting market, technological, policy, and budgetary opportunities and incentives.
To explore the implications of these significant changes in the environment for the production and use of remote sensing data and information, the Space Studies Board appointed the Steering Committee on Space Applications and Commercialization and initiated a series of three workshops. Each workshop dealt with a different area: (1) the extension of remote sensing technologies and products into operational applications through technology transfer; (2) the impact of the new and evolving remote sensing environment on basic research in the Earth sciences; and (3) the development and use of remote sensing applications in the public sector, specifically state and local government. The board obtained
sponsorship for the workshops from several government agencies: the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Headquarters and Stennis Space Center), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service and National Ocean Service), the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Transportation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Geological Survey.
The first workshop, “Moving Remote Sensing from Research to Applications: Case Studies of the Knowledge Transfer Process,” was held in Washington, D.C., in May 2000 and resulted in the report Transforming Remote Sensing Data into Information and Applications (National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 2001). The second workshop, held in Washington, D.C., in March 2001, was titled “Remote Sensing and Basic Research: The Changing Environment.” It, too, resulted in a report, Toward New Partnerships in Remote Sensing: Gov ernment, the Private Sector, and Earth Science Research (National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 2002).
This is a report on the third workshop, “Facilitating Public Sector Uses of Remote Sensing Data,” held in January 2002. Its focus was on the development and use of remote sensing data and information by state, local, and regional governments. The workshop was attended by public sector officials from state, local, regional, and federal agencies as well as remote sensing data providers (both satellite and airborne) from the public and private sectors and university scientists. To encourage the participation of representatives of the nonfederal public sector, the workshop was held not in Washington, D.C., but in Boulder, Colorado. Like the previous two workshops, this one was preceded by a planning meeting to which representatives of the sponsoring agencies and other interested individuals were invited.
The charge to the steering committee was to examine the opportunities and the potential challenges and policy issues associated with the application and use of remote sensing data in the public sector. Specifically, the steering committee was asked to
Identify opportunities, approaches, bottlenecks, and procedures for government agencies to use, apply, and share remote sensing data with other institutions;
Provide a forum for government science and operational agencies and policy and commercial entities to exchange information, priorities, experience, and procedures on remote sensing applications; and
Identify barriers to the development and use of remote sensing applications across the government.
In preparing this report, the steering committee (Appendix B) drew on information from several sources: the workshop itself, including presentations, written submissions by participants, and discussions (see the workshop agenda in Appendix C);
information presented at the planning meeting in August 2001; and steering committee research and deliberations during and after the workshop. The steering committee also drew heavily on its first report, Transforming Remote Sensing Data into Information and Applications, because the issues discussed in that report also apply to state and local governments (see Appendix A for the Executive Summary of that report). Although it is not a formal study of public sector remote sensing applications, this third report in the series reflects input to the steering committee from a broad spectrum of public officials and data providers.
This report is addressed primarily to nontechnical managers and decision makers in state, local, and regional governments. It both introduces them to the subject of remote sensing applications and raises significant institutional, budgetary, legal, intergovernmental, and technical issues related to the development of effective, operational remote sensing applications in the public sector. The steering committee decided to direct the report primarily to managers, because they have decision-making authority on remote sensing and other technological resources but may have fewer opportunities to understand the technology and its implications than do staff in state and local government who use geospatial information. The report is also directed at those who have responsibility for geospatial data and information in the public sector, both federal and nonfederal, and to remote sensing data providers in both the public and private sectors who may benefit from further insight on the particular challenges of using remote sensing data in state and local government.
Acknowledgment of Reviewers
This report has been reviewed in draft form by individuals chosen for their diverse perspectives and technical expertise, in accordance with procedures approved by the National Research Council’s (NRC’s) Report Review Committee. The purpose of this independent review is to provide candid and critical comments that will assist the institution in making its published report as sound as possible and to ensure that the report meets institutional standards for objectivity, evidence, and responsiveness to the study charge. The review comments and draft manuscript remain confidential to protect the integrity of the deliberative process. We wish to thank the following individuals for their review of this report:
Eric A. Anderson, City of Des Moines, Iowa;
Patrick J. Bresnahan, Richland County, South Carolina;
Joseph Engeln, Missouri Department of Natural Resources;
Donald Rundquist, University of Nebraska, Lincoln; and
Jan Svejkovsky, Ocean Imaging, Inc.
Although the reviewers listed above have provided many constructive comments and suggestions, they were not asked to endorse the conclusions or recommendations, nor did they see the final draft of the report before its release. The review of this report was overseen by John V. Evans, Comsat Corporation (retired). Appointed by the National Research Council, he was responsible for making certain that an independent examination of this report was carried out in