AmericaView is a nationwide partnership of remote sensing scientists who support the use of Landsat and other public domain remotely sensed data through applied remote sensing research, K-12 and higher STEM education, workforce development, and technology transfer. For a thorough description of our program, see the 2011 Feature Article in Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing, a publication of the American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing.
Funded primarily by a grant from the U.S. Geological Survey, the AmericaView consortium is comprised of university-led, state-based consortia working together to sustain a network of state and local remote sensing scientists, educators, analysts, and technicians. Remote sensing, the process of detecting or monitoring the properties of an object without physical contact, is a ubiquitous part of 21st Century society and is used in a wide range of applications from business to the natural sciences. AmericaView’s networks, facilities, and capabilities are highly leveraged and used for sharing and applying Landsat and other public domain remotely sensed satellite data in a wide range of civilian applications, from formal and informal education, to ecosystem analysis and natural resources management, to disaster response. AmericaView’s primary goal is to support the many beneficial uses of remote sensing in service to society.
An 8-page brochure including a membership map with lead institutions, highlights of AV’s programs, and contact information is available for viewing/downloading:
AmericaView is the outgrowth of a 1998 research and education pilot project, OhioView, initiated by the USGS and several Ohio universities to overcome Landsat data access challenges. OhioView’s objective was to create a prototype system for rapid delivery of Landsat data of Ohio, and to support the use of the data and derived products such as land cover maps in a range of civilian, non-profit research and educational applications.
The OhioView partners, working closely with the USGS EROS Data Center, established an infrastructure to support routine acquisition, processing, and delivery of Landsat and other remotely sensed satellite data to Ohio. In 2000, impressed with the success of OhioView in leveraging the federal investment in moderate resolution data, Congress instructed the USGS to implement the vision nationwide, and AmericaView was born. Incorporated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 2003, 41 ‘StateViews‘ currently participate in the AmericaView network.
The need for AmericaView has been building for more than 30 years. Since the early 1970s, the federal government and private sector have spent billions of dollars on satellite-based earth observing systems and have worked with the research community to identify, develop, and distribute real-world applications for mapping, monitoring, and managing natural and environmental resources. Unfortunately, while the potential uses of the technology have been widely recognized, development and distribution of real-world applications have persistently been tough issues for both the federal government and the academic research community.
Satellite data is expensive, and using the data requires significant investments in software, hardware, and training. It has often been hard for university researchers to use or even access the data, particularly at smaller schools or research facilities. For three decades this has hindered applied research and made it difficult to train the workforce, both current and future. This has also meant that many state and local agencies that work with applied research programs have not been able to effectively integrate remote sensing technology into their management or decision-support programs.
The AmericaView Consortium is charged with helping each state overcome these difficulties and helps the university, secondary-education, and public sectors in each state identify, develop, and distribute the kinds of applications each state needs most. In light of our nation’s current focus on achieving a secure and stable digital infrastructure, never has this task been more relevant.