Spatial Tech Lunch: Jeff Onsted & Nathaniel Roth

On Wednesday, November 28, from 12:00–1:00 pm please join us for the next Spatial Technology Lunch in the Center for Spatial Studies (Phelps Hall 3512). This semi-regular series, hosted by spatial@ucsb, aims to promote discussion and interaction within the university’s spatial technology community. Please RSVP here by Monday, November 26. Sandwiches and drinks will be provided.

 

Science and Spatial Technology at the California Department of Conservation

Jeffrey Onsted and Nathaniel Roth

 

Onsted Roth Tech Lunch

Abstract: The California Department of Conservation’s scientists and engineers are dedicated to
balancing today’s needs with tomorrow’s obligations by fostering the wise use and conservation
of energy, land, and mineral resources. Our spatial technologies support this work by enabling us
to collect, store, analyze, visualize, report, and share data on the state’s resources and serves as a
core ingredient to discharging our regulatory, advisory, and conservation responsibilities.
Whether mapping the state’s geology and geologic risks, identifying changes within the state’s
agricultural spaces, managing portions of the state’s carbon portfolio, or regulating the
California’s mineral and petroleum extraction industries, high quality spatial data is essential to
meeting our mandates. With very few exceptions, all of our spatial data is either available now or
will be in the very near future.

Nathaniel Roth, Geographic Information Officer, California Department of Conservation,
Ph.D. Geography, UC Davis,  2016; M.A. Geography, UC Davis 2012; B.S., Environmental
Biology & Management, UC Davis 2000

Jeff Onsted, Chief Science Adviser, California Department of Conservation, Ph.D.
Geography, UC Santa Barbara, 2007; M.A. Geography, UC Santa Barbara, 2002; B.A. Urban
Studies and Planning, UC San Diego, 1995.

Spatial Tech Lunch: Marthe Wens

On Wednesday, May 30, from 12:00–1:00 pm please join us for the next Spatial Technology Lunch in the Center for Spatial Studies (Phelps Hall 3512). This semi-regular series, hosted by spatial@ucsb, aims to promote discussion and interaction within the university’s spatial technology community. Please RSVP to Crystal Bae (cbae@spatial.ucsb.edu) by Monday, May 28. Pizza and drinks will be provided.

Integrating heterogeneous, dynamic adaptation behaviour in drought risk modelling

Marthe Wens


Abstract: Droughts are a prevalent and costly hazard impacting urban, agricultural, and natural systems. Increasing climate variability is expected to exacerbate drought conditions in many parts of the world while evolving socio-economic conditions and adaptation strategies influence both short and long term risk to ecosystems, economies, and human health. Since adaptation strategies evolve over time, explicitly modeling these dynamics is important for understanding future risk.

In this talk I will advocate extending the traditional drought-risk framework to better include the bilateral relationship between human and physical systems. The use of agent-based modeling technique to simulate the co-evolution of future drought hazard, exposure, vulnerability and heterogeneous, individual adaptation decisions, is showcased using a case study in Kitui, rural East Kenya.

Marthe Wens is currently a PhD Student in the Department of Water and Climate Risk Institute for Environmental Studies at the Instituut voor Milieuvraagstukken (IVM).

Spatial Tech Lunch: Jorge Chen

On Tuesday, May 22, from 12:00–1:00 pm please join us for the next Spatial Technology Lunch in the Center for Spatial Studies (Phelps Hall 3512). This semi-regular series, hosted by spatial@ucsb, aims to promote discussion and interaction within the university’s spatial technology community. Please RSVP to Crystal Bae (cbae@spatial.ucsb.edu) by Sunday, May 20. Pizza and drinks will be provided.

How well can a $750 DIY LiDAR scanner scan?

Jorge Chen

Chen Tech Lunch
Abstract: Laser scanners provide a fast, convenient, and accurate way to take distance measurements of the surrounding environment. They operate by calculating the time it takes for a light beam to travel to a distant object and back using a process called light detection and ranging, or LiDAR, that, when repeated numerous times, forms a “point cloud” of (x,y,z) coordinates. Until very recently, only large enterprise users with big budgets could afford this type of technology, with the cost of most LiDAR scanners running well over $100K. However, the trickling down of LiDAR to consumer products has resulted in a new class of relatively cheap sensors that can now be found in robotic vacuum cleaners, drones, autonomous vehicles, and maybe even in upcoming smartphones.

This presentation looks at the performance of the Scanse 3D panoramic LiDAR scanner, one of the first panoramic scanners designed for consumer use. At an incredible price of $750, this camera-sized do-it-yourself scanner uses a $150 LiDAR sensor attached to two orthogonally rotating servos that are controlled by open source software on a Raspberry Pi — all powered by an off-the-shelf cell phone charger. Performance assessment involved comparing measurements of a conference room taken with the Scanse 3D and a professional Trimble scanner. Results showed the Scanse consistently overestimated room dimensions by 15 cm, although at the local level of a flat surface it showed sub-centimeter accuracy, with high standard deviation and sub-centimeter precision. This latter result indicated systematic drift, which can be seen in a plot of the point cloud. Perhaps more interesting than the results, though, were the challenges faced in aligning the noisy and wavy Scanse data with the highly accurate and precise Trimble data. These were addressed using extended Gaussian image analysis, histogram analysis, and the iterative closest point process, all of which will be covered during the presentation.

Jorge Chen is currently a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Geography at UCSB.

Spatial Tech Lunch: Sinan Yuan

On Monday, April 30, from 12:00–1:00 pm please join us for the next Spatial Technology Lunch in the Center for Spatial Studies (Phelps Hall 3512). This semi-regular series, hosted by spatial@ucsb, aims to promote discussion and interaction within the university’s spatial technology community.

Please RSVP to Crystal Bae (cbae@spatial.ucsb.edu) by Saturday, April 28. Pizza and drinks will be provided.

Experimental VR Research on Spatial Cognition in Chinese Traditional Villages

Sinan Yuan
Associate Prof. Department of Architecture
Tianjin University, Tianjin, China


Abstract: By using VR technology, the researcher establishes an experiment platform to analyze the spatial cognition process of people when they are wandering in the traditional Chinese villages. Xiamei and Chengcun, two traditional villages in northern Fujian province, were chosen as the samples in the experiment. The data of movements, head directions of the subjects in the experiment were collected as well as the corresponding subjective feedbacks during the experiment. Through data visualization and analysis, the research reveals the characteristics of the cognition and behavior of the participants when experiencing a complex space such as the traditional villages.

Sinan Yuan is currently a visiting scholar at UCSB from Tianjin University in China.

Spatial Tech Lunch: Erin Wetherley

On Tuesday, December 5, from 12:00–1:00 pm please join us for the next Spatial Technology Lunch in the Center for Spatial Studies (Phelps Hall 3512). This semi-regular series, hosted by spatial@ucsb, aims to promote discussion and interaction within the university’s spatial technology community. Please RSVP to Crystal Bae (cbae@spatial.ucsb.edu) by Sunday, December 3. Pizza and drinks will be provided.

Evaluating vegetation type effects on land surface temperature at the city scale

Erin Wetherley

Wetherley Tech Lunch
Abstract: The growing concentration of the global human population into cities has coincided with the rise of increasingly rich remote sensing data. Near-future hyperspectral/thermal satellites could revolutionize our understanding of urban environments by allowing us to discriminate urban materials and examine their thermal properties. With this wealth of information, we will be able to disentangle the links between land cover, management, and climate at the city scale for the very first time, with significant consequences for improved modeling of urban climate, energy, and water use, as well as targeted urban planning and public health initiatives.

I will present new results in which we sampled the material and thermal heterogeneity of the Los Angeles, CA, metropolitan area (4,283 km2) to quantify, analyze, and model surface drivers of urban heat. We used airborne hyperspectral imagery (AVIRIS: 36 m resolution, 224 bands, 0.35 – 2.5 μm) to produce robust estimates of fine-scale (sub-pixel) urban patches, defined as mixtures of key urban surface classes. We then used airborne MASTER thermal imagery to quantify and model surface temperature changes as patch mixtures transitioned from low to high proportions of vegetation. Significant differences were observed between tree, turfgrass, senesced vegetation, and impervious mixtures. Finally, we used our modeled and measured temperatures to observe and quantify additional urban microclimate drivers beyond urban patch type, including income levels, building fraction, and irrigation.

Erin Wetherley is a Ph.D. student at UCSB.

Spatial Tech Lunch: Alexandru Nichersu

On Tuesday, November 7, from 12:00–1:00 pm please join us for the next Spatial Technology Lunch in the Center for Spatial Studies (Phelps Hall 3512). This semi-regular series, hosted by spatial@ucsb, aims to promote discussion and interaction within the university’s spatial technology community. Please RSVP to Crystal Bae (cbae@spatial.ucsb.edu) by Sunday, November 5. Pizza and drinks will be provided.

Spatio-temporal data integration for an integrated approach in the modelling of the city wide energy chain

Alexandru Nichersu

Abstract: With energy simulations of different complexity levels for smart cities and the concurrent IoT revolution we have observed an increase in the demand of spatial awareness for data coming from the energy sector. The measured or simulated data requires interoperability with semantical city models which allows for the quantification of environmental influences by using different spatial algorithms. In the presentation we describe our proposed approach to the integration of this data with both spatial and temporal variation.

Alexandru Nichersu works in Energy Planning and Geosimulation at EIFER, the European Institute for Energy Research.

Spatial Tech Lunch: Aaron Bagnell

On Friday, October 20, from 12:00–1:00 pm please join us for the next Spatial Technology Lunch in the Center for Spatial Studies (Phelps Hall 3512). This semi-regular series, hosted by spatial@ucsb, aims to promote discussion and interaction within the university’s spatial technology community. Please RSVP to Crystal Bae (cbae@spatial.ucsb.edu) by Wednesday, October 18. Pizza and drinks will be provided.

Monitoring Ocean Acidification on Your Mobile Device

Aaron Bagnell

Bagnell - Tech Lunch
Abstract: A large percentage of the anthropogenic carbon emitted each year finds its way into the world’s oceans. Following the current trajectory, it is anticipated that the resulting ocean acidification will dramatically alter ocean chemistry later this century. But the effects of this change are expected to be non-uniform in time and space, and certain ecosystems and human communities will likely be more susceptible. This poses a challenge for those monitoring the situation when determining where to utilize finite resources, as data on ocean acidification has been historically sparse. Combining high resolution satellite observations with an artificial neural network allows for a generalized method to address the scarcity of this data by providing global estimates of ocean parameters that are of scientific and public value. With this approach, a database has been assembled that provides daily updates to users via a smartphone app, giving them direct access to ocean acidification parameters at tens of thousands of coastal locations.

Aaron Bagnell is a student in the Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Marine Science and the Department of Geography at UCSB.

Spatial Tech Lunch: Mike Johnson

On Monday, May 22, from 12:00–1:00 pm please join us for the next Spatial Technology Lunch in Phelps Hall room 3512. This semi-regular series, hosted by spatial@ucsb, aims to promote discussion and interaction within the university’s spatial technology community. Please RSVP to Kitty Currier (kcurrier@spatial.ucsb.edu) by Sunday, May 21. Pizza and drinks will be provided.

Accessing the National Water Model

Mike JohnsonMap of US

Abstract: This talk will briefly introduce the National Water Model (NWM): a joint effort between NOAA, NCAR and the academic community to produce real-time and forecast streamflow predictions for all 2.7 million stream reaches across the continental US. It will cover methods for delineating local watersheds and exploring output via Hydro Share and if time permits will look at how this model is being used to forecast floods at the national scale.

Mike Johnson is a graduate student at UCSB under Dr. Keith Clarke. His research focuses on water security and supply issues in California. Last summer he was a student participant at the National Water Center’s Summer Institute and will be returning this summer as a course coordinator.

Spatial Tech Lunch: James Allen

On Monday, May 15, from 12:00–1:00 pm please join us for the next Spatial Technology Lunch in Phelps Hall room 3512. This semi-regular series, hosted by spatial@ucsb, aims to promote discussion and interaction within the university’s spatial technology community. Please RSVP to Kitty Currier (kcurrier@spatial.ucsb.edu) by Sunday, May 14. Pizza and drinks will be provided.

 

Ocean Color in the North Atlantic and Beyond

James Allen

Photo of James Allen
Abstract: Plankton ecosystems of the global ocean profoundly affect climate and life on Earth. The North Atlantic Aerosols and Marine Ecosystems Study (NAAMES) is a four-part interdisciplinary field campaign focusing on processes that control marine ecosystems and aerosols in the Western North Atlantic. Here, I will present results from the ocean optics portion of the first two cruises and how they relate to the annual plankton bloom cycle for the region. I will also show how this data will be used to help develop a global bio-optical algorithm that characterizes the global particle and phytoplankton size distribution using satellite remote sensing.

James Allen is a graduate student in the Interdepartmental Graduate Program in Marine Science and is also housed in the Geography Department here at UCSB. He got his B.S. in Meteorology at the University of Tennessee at Martin, but now studies Ocean Optics and how to apply it as a tool to characterize global biogeochemical cycles. Currently, his research is focused on the NAAMES field campaign and building a satellite algorithm to determine the global particle and phytoplankton size distribution from space.

Spatial Tech Lunch: Sara Lafia

On Tuesday, April 25, from 12:00–1:00 pm please join us for the next Spatial Technology Lunch in Phelps Hall room 3512. This semi-regular series, hosted by spatial@ucsb, aims to promote discussion and interaction within the university’s spatial technology community. Please RSVP to Kitty Currier (kcurrier@spatial.ucsb.edu) by Monday, April 24. Pizza and drinks will be provided.

 

Discovering and Sharing Campus Scholarship Spatially with UCSB Open Data

Sara Lafia

UCSB Open Data webpageGraduate student Sara Lafia will give an overview of UCSB’s Open Data site, a developing campus-focused effort, built with contributions from the university library and researchers. Sara will discuss how the site makes research spatially discoverable and how students, administrators, researchers, and community members play important roles in the site’s future development. Selected contents currently discoverable through the site include: imagery from archaeologist Dr. Anabel Ford’s Maya Forest GIS; volunteered geographic information from biologist Dr. Douglas Macaulay’s lab; publications hosted across various repositories, like eScholarship; and layers of campus-specific information, ranging from bike path networks to the Cheadle Center for Biodiversity’s active work sites. Location integrates information; learn what you could discover and contribute to this new and exciting campus resource!

Sara Lafia is a graduate student in the Geography Department at UCSB. She works with the UCSB Library and the Center for Spatial Studies on improving the spatial discovery of research data and documents. Her research addresses the question of how to spatially enable discovery of connected data and publications in a setting that allows for mapping and analysis using a Geographic Information System. She is also interested in the application of spatialization frameworks to non-spatial data, such as text, to gain new insights about themes of contents across data formats.