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EPA EarthWhere™ Pilot Project Briefing September 14, 2004. John S. Iiames, Jr. United States EPA Biologist/Remote Sensing Research Office of Research and Development National Exposure Research Laboratory Environmental Sciences Division Landscape Characterization Branch

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EPA EarthWhere™ Pilot Project Briefing

September 14, 2004

John S. Iiames, Jr.

United States EPA

Biologist/Remote Sensing Research

Office of Research and Development

National Exposure Research Laboratory

Environmental Sciences Division

Landscape Characterization Branch

Mark Hardy


VP and GM, Geospatial Solutions Group

  • Introduction by John Iiames – video-conference
  • Who is SANZ and what is the Geospatial Solutions Group?
  • What problems are we addressing?
  • What is EarthWhere? What is data provisioning?
  • EarthWhere Demo
  • EPA EarthWhere Pilot Project
    • Objectives, methodology, timeframe
  • EarthWhere roadmap – distributed provisioning
  • Questions
sanz company profile
SANZ Company Profile
  • SANZ Inc. is a nationwide data management and storage integration firm focused exclusively on the design, deployment and support of intelligent data management solutions.
  • Publicly Traded; Stock Symbol (OTC BB): SANZ
  • $70* Million in Revenue
  • Engineering Focus
  • 50% Federal and 50% Commercial Mix
  • National Presence – 15 Regional Offices
    • Headquartered in Englewood, CO
  • Independent Business Unit – Geospatial Solutions Group
  • *expected 2004 revenues
geospatial data
Geospatial Data…

The Office of Management and Budget still does not know how much agencies are spending on geospatial information more than a year after lawmakers first requested the information.

At last year’s hearing, OMB officials estimated agencies spent nearly $4 billion a year on geospatial data and half was duplicative. While Evans would not reaffirm that number, she said the new budgetary requirements should clarify how much agencies are spending and what is duplicative.

GAO recommended that OMB:

  • Update the national strategy to coordinate federal geospatial assets
  • Encourage agencies to comply with guidance by delaying or denying funding requests
  • Require agencies to specifically identify geospatial data in all business cases and submit annual reports to the Federal Geographic Data Committee on their geospatial investments, including systems and data sets.

Government Computing News 6/23/04

as an organizational asset
As an organizational asset

Soon government agencies will be mandated to account for and manage all geospatial data as “assets”. To maximize the ROI on these assets, organizations must:

  • Reduce Asset Costs
    • Acquisition – Capital Expense
    • Processing/manipulation – CapEx and ongoing
    • Management – Recurring costs
      • Storage
      • Protection
      • Distribution
  • Reduce Duplication/Redundancy
    • Acquisition, processing and management
  • Leverage the data efficiently throughout the organization
    • Distribute the costs across multiple stakeholders
sanz geospatial solutions group
SANZ Geospatial Solutions Group


That geospatial data assets will be managed as

a common, fundamental component of an organization’s infrastructure

utilized at all levels of the business

Implemented with

Practical, data management best practices built specifically for the management of these assets

Using tools such as EarthWhere™

geospatial data management challenges
Geospatial Data Management Challenges

Users demand rapid access to their geospatial datasets delivered precisely to their specific requirements.

  • Storage – files can be between 50MB and 2GB; budgets and resource constraints often are a major challenge
  • Lack of skilled end users – working with this data requires advanced skill sets; it is very difficult to train and maintain a skilled workforce
  • Users need custom subsets of the data – most end users need pieces of information from multiple layers built specifically to their requirements
  • Access and Distribution – user expectations are changing; users want access to all of their data and want it in Internet time
  • Security –data licensing constraints and restrictions to classified locations within the datasets
  • User base is growing - Applications are increasing
  • Data is distributed – Across multiple stakeholders and agencies
what is earthwhere
What is EarthWhere?

A software application which addresses the following issues:

Geospatial Data Management


Security – Access Control

Reporting and tracking

File management/archiving

Data Distribution

Source file distribution and access

Creation of derivative datasets per user request

EarthWhere Automates the Process of Data Provisioning…


1a: The act or process of providing.

b: The fact or state of being prepared beforehand.

c: A measure taken beforehand to deal with a need or contingency.

2: A stock of needed materials or supplies usually used in plural.

geospatial data who are the users
Geospatial Data Who are the Users?
  • Data Analysts – ERDAS, ENVI, PCI
    • Highly skilled users of remote sensing data
    • Desktop analytical tools
    • Need highest accuracy; closest to the sensor
    • Looks beyond the visual picture
    • Producers of derivative datasets
  • GIS/Mapping Users – ESRI, MapInfo, GeoMedia
    • Varying degrees of remote sensing skills
    • Remote sensing data used for correcting vector datasets or as a backdrop within their mapping applications
    • Internet Mapping Applications or Desktop GIS
    • Varying degrees of accuracy required
  • Business End Users – Adobe, MS Office, Custom App
    • Little or no remote sensing skills
    • Specialized applications and local equipment
    • High accuracy; mission specific datasets
    • Usually tactical end users
traditional provisioning process
Traditional “Provisioning” Process


from tape

End User

Needs Data


Retrieve from disk



Retrieve from CD/DVD

Deliver the result

Call the System


Call the

GIS Group

Acquire externally

GIS Specialists

Transfer “RAW” data to

GIS workstations

Process “RAW” data into

Data “Product”

How can I utilize my spatial data in a

timely, cost effective and accurate manner??

Elapsed Time: Too Long

Is this what you needed??

earthwhere provisioning process
EarthWhere Provisioning Process



End User

Needs Data


Provisioning Subsystem


Log into EarthWhere

Tier 1


Tier 2


Alert End User



Network Attached




Data Storage Subsystems


Elapsed Time: Minutes

Is this what you needed??

Stage Source


Produce Output






Save Results


Shared file

Streaming server

Web Mapping

Desktop Application

who uses earthwhere
Who Uses EarthWhere ?

At the USGS, EarthWhere turbocharged data provisioning processes providing a 200x improvement in productivity…

At DigitalGlobe, EarthWhere reduces the sales cycle for selling imagery by immediately providing data in pre-sales engagements - shaving weeks off the process…

At the Army Corps of Engineers, sharing data was not possible due to the lack of consistency in the desktop tools used by the stakeholders. EarthWhere provides an easy method for collaboration between the USACE, the State of New Mexico and private contractors…

At the USDA, Aerial Photography Field office in Salt Lake City, a compliance mission requires the collection of 10 TB’s of ortho imagery each year. EarthWhere catalogs and provisions custom data to the USDA’s GIS applications.

Other customers: ONR, NGA, US Army

earthwhere and esri
EarthWhere and ESRI
  • Source imagery stored in original format
  • EarthWhere manages the source imagery in one or many file archives
  • EarthWhere can provision datasets for ArcSDE implementations
  • End users can also reach into the archive from ArcIMS to provision datasets from the archive

Processed Tiles

and Metadata




epa pilot
EPA Pilot

Joint Effort between SANZ and the EPA – RDU

Objective: To determine the applicability of a spatial data provisioning process on a technical project within the EPA


  • Identify a project - Pamlico Sound Demonstration Study
  • Document the current data processes
  • Determine the optimal data management processes including a “provisioning” process
  • Identify the gaps between the current EarthWhere functionality and the requirements for an optimal process
  • Force rank the gaps and categorize
  • Develop functionality to meet the top “gaps”
  • Deploy the system
  • Measure the results
  • Document and present results

Start October 4 – tentative end in December 2004

current epa modis processing workflow
Current EPA MODIS Processing Workflow

Swath data in HDF

New Science


Level 1 & 2


EPA ENVI script


Level 3 & 4


Tile swath data into AOI

ortho in BSQ/Albers

44 standard data products

currently using 13

How is the EPA currently using MODIS datasets and are there areas where EarthWhere can provide process optimization?

Where are the technical gaps in handing these datasets?? How can these be addressed??

Many GBs of data



Various Data


Various research


earthwhere epa modis processing workflow
EarthWhere EPA MODIS Processing Workflow

Preliminary Plan

  • Task 1
  • Metadata retrieval access for Level 1 & 2 data
  • Integrate EPA ENVI script for instant access to
  • BSQ/Albers data in EarthWhere – capability to
  • clip, reproject, resample, combine, and reformat
  • with other datasets ( IKONOS, QB, Landsat )
  • Integrate algorithms to “on-the-fly” processing

New Science



  • Task 2
  • Integrate ENVI engine to EarthWhere for direct
  • support of HDF raw data – no conversion
  • Advance support for other types of data
  • Algorithm manipulation via IDL



Searchable datasets

Add support for Modis

using ENVI backend

13 data


EarthWhere System


Roadmap 4.0 - Distributed Provisioning

Dataset 3

Dataset 2

Dataset 1

  • EarthWhere™ has been proven to optimize data management and dissemination processes (provisioning) primarily in the “ortho-imagery” world
  • SANZ has identified a growing remote sensing end user community which has unique requirements but similar issues
  • SANZ and RSI have begun to collaborate on the integration of ENVI/IDL and EarthWhere
  • The EPA has agreed to become a pilot test bed for this new technology sponsored by John Iiames and Dorsey Worthy – kick the ball into play
  • Project results will be made available to EPA upon conclusion of the project – Dec 2004
  • for more information