SharedGeo Helps Found the Great Lakes Alliance for Remote Sensing
Creating, collaborating and sharing geospatial data across the Great Lakes Basin is a challenge due to the fractured and limited remote sensing capabilities of the public and private entities operating in this international setting. To overcome this limitation, in 2016 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) began funding a collaboration between Michigan Tech Research Institute (MTRI), Polar Geospatial Center, Remote Sensing and Geospatial Analysis Lab at the University of Minnesota (RSGAL) and SharedGeo to develop and test the potential for creating imagery products which could be used to remotely monitor changes in the Great Lakes Basin ecosystem. Recently joining this effort have been several Canadian partners and other U.S. academic institutions. In April of this year, this group of organizations working together agreed to adopt the name of Great Lakes Alliance for Remote Sensing (GLARS) and make the research and products of their respective efforts available on a unified website at www.glars.org.
The near-term goal of the GLARS effort is to continue building an integrated, ongoing, remote sensing program for basin-wide mapping, monitoring, management and protection of Great Lakes coastal wetlands. Work to date has focused on developing accurate elevation measurement of coastal wetland features and water level changes across time using two main data sources with frequent collection dates: submeter optical satellite imagery from the NextView program and RADARSAT-2 satellite imagery.