Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Summary of the December 13, 2010 ICCARS PLC Teleconference

Equipment Used: Audio—Phone Conference provided by Wayne RESA; Video—Adobe Connect, provided by Wayne RESA

You can listen and view the Videoconference by visiting:

4:15 – 4:30 – Login

4:30 – 6:00 – Teleconference

Attendees: John Bayerl, Lynn Bradley, Wanda Bryant, Russell Columbus, Erica Conley-Shannon, Greg Dombro, Jennifer Gorsline, Tom Green, Dan Neil, Kathleen O’Connor, Deena Parks, John Rama, Darcie Ruby, Bruce Szczechowski, and Yichun Xie.

Absent: Laura Amatulli and Caroline Chuby

Hosts: David Bydlowski and Andy Henry

Agenda and Notes:

1. Audio Test

2. Update on our participation in the Michigan Climate Coalition and Kathleen O’Connor’s participation in the Condition 1 project.

3. Update on iPad Update to 4.2.1 and the use of RSS Readers.

4. Review of Units that were turned in on December 10.

a. Theme, Time Span, Alignment to Standards, Identification of Key Knowledge and Skills

b. Units are posted at: http://geodata.acad.emich.edu/iccars/ in Resources and then Lesson Plans

5. Next Assignment – Write the Driving Questions for each unit. Due January 7.

6. Group Sharing

a. Kathleen spoke about her participation in Condition 1.

b. No major issues with the iPad Update or RSS Readers

c. Many groups commented on their units. A few questions were asked about Driving Questions. In particular—how many driving questions are appropriate within a unit.

7. Information about Climate Change based on the Yale Report-America’s Knowledge of Climate Change and the presentation given at the 2010 UN Climate Conference.

a. It was recommended that participants download the report and possibly use some of the questions with their students. It also provides a way of getting a better understanding of the misconceptions associated with climate change.

b. http://environment.yale.edu/climate/news/knowledge-of-climate-change

c. Yale presentation at the UN Climate Conference: http://environment.yale.edu/climate

d. Global Warming’s “Six Americans.” – What they think, why they think, and the questions they would ask.

8. Group Sharing—participants said the information was enlightening and informative.

9. Information about Remote Sensing

a. Remote Processing Process – Statement of the problem; Identification of In Situ and Remote Sensing Data Requirements; Remote Sensing Data Collection; Remote Sensing Data Analysis; Information Presentation

b. AEROKATS TwinCam Image Processing/Classification Steps – Acquire Imagery from Sensor; Preprocess Imagery; Process Imagery-Supervised Classification

c. John Rama spoke to the problems that he has had in the process to help others see what problems can arise.

d. MultiSpec Tutorials

e. Earth Observation Systems – NASA Global Climate Change Website and NASA/JPL Eyes on the Earth 3D

f. http://climate.nasa.gov/index.cfm

g. http://climate.nasa.gov/Eyes/eyes.html

h. Categories of EOS Missions—14 Satellites (8 atmosphere; 2 oceans; 4 land)

i. EOS Data Sources – NASA/GSFC Global Change Master Directory; CEOS Climate Diagnostics; USGS Earth Explorer; USGS GloVis and MODIS Web

j. http://gcmd.nasa.gov

k. http://idn.ceos.org

l. http://edcsns17.cr.usgs.gov/EarthExplorer

m. http://glovis.usgs.gov

n. http://modis.gsfc.nasa.gov

10. Group Sharing—Majority of the discussion centered around the difficulty of the process and that many had a general understanding but not a working understanding. It was also stated that there is a disconnect between remote sensing and climate change, in terms of understanding. Some participants suggested that we meet over the Holiday Break to work on Image Processing and related issues. Wednesday, December 22 from 9:00 – 3:00 was selected as the date to do this, at Wayne RESA.

11. Next PLC Teleconference will take place at 4:30 (EST) on January 10, 2011.

Editors Note: The PLC teleconference went pretty smooth. The major problem was that it went 30 minutes too long. As hosts, we have to work on working within the time constraints. But special thanks go out to all of the participants who not only stayed on, but actively participated. It is also very impressive that the group wanted to meet on their own time, to improve their skills and understanding.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Image Processing Question

John Rama had a question about the image processing exercise that I thought might be valuable for sharing with the group.

"The attached word file has the MultiSpec Image and what I think is the Statistical Analysis that goes with this image. I would like to have a discussion about what it all means. It may be so poorly done that it is not worth discussing. I would like to see something more than just pretty colors but need help understanding what information can be pulled from the analysis - even if it is information that says this image is not useable. Thoughts.
John R."

Hi John, I agree, thank you for your effort here. It is definitely worth discussing.

The information on the left refers to the statistical probability that each pixel in the category is classified correctly. In a supervised classification model (where you "train" the classification by selecting representative samples first) you determine the classification scheme. In a unsupervised classification, the program automatically classifies the image into a predetermined number of categories based on a sampling method and no training samples.

It looks like you ran your classification process properly. The issue I see here is that the visible and NIR images were not registered (spatially aligned) to each other. If you look carefully you will see that the house appears twice in the image, with a considerable offset. Once you see this you will probably recognize that all of the features maintain this offset. This means that any given pixel in the composite image will contain information from two different features (e.g., house/field, road/trees, etc.). Any statistical analysis of the pixels will therefor not be a valid representation of the site on the ground.

Also don't forget that when properly registered, the part of the image that extends beyond the overlap must be trimmed off in your image processing software. Pixels that contain information from only one image will distort the calculations from the overall image.

As for the statistics:

Classification of Training Fields provides information about the likelihood that a pixel in your selection was actually representative of the overall selection (a patch of dirt in a selection of grass will read as incorrect because it is not representative of the rest of the selection).

If you look at the column 1 "Grass", you will see that there are 19776 pixels in the training selection that are identified as Class Number 1, 0 are identified as Class Number 2, 65 are identified as Class Number 3, 8 are identified as Class Number 4, 8 are identified as Class Number 5, and 74 are identified as Class Number 6. This means that your training selection for "Grass" also contained what the system identified as 65 pixels of "Road", 8 pixels of "Car", 8 pixels of "Trees", and 74 pixels of "Field".

Training Class Performance tells you how the pixels in the image ended up being classified based on the training selections. Note that the Total and Reliability Accuracy rows at the bottom of the table are not properly aligned with the columns above. They need to shift left.

Class Distribution for Selected Area displays the actual results of the entire image classification. You can see here how many pixels of each class were identified, and the percentage of the total image that they comprise.

Again, because your images were not aligned, the classes do not represent the real classes on the ground because the pixels are mixed. If you go back and align and crop the images you should get much more accurate results.

Classification of images is very important because it allows us to quantify the data and make it available for analysis. It is only one of many things we can do with the images. We will post another tutorial next week on producing a vegetation index, which can tell you how much photosynthetic vegetation is in the image, as well as the status of photosynthetic plants.

I hope this is helpful, and not too confusing. Thoughts or questions?

Monday, November 29, 2010

How To Set Up Free Find Your iPhone/iPad

This article is taken from MacLife Magazine

Happy iOS 4.2 Day! In case you haven’t heard, Apple has generously made one of the formerly subscription-only MobileMe services, Find My iPhone, now free for all owners of current-generation iOS devices. Here’s how to get it up and running -- even on an older device.

Find My iPhone always made an odd match with MobileMe, which requires a $99 annual subscription to use. Doesn’t Apple want every iOS mobile device user to be able to find their lost or stolen unit? Apparently they do, because Find My iPhone is now a free service, complete with an update to the existing universal iOS app and the ability to log in to Me.com using your Apple ID.

Unfortunately, the free edition of Find My iPhone requires a current generation iOS device -- which means, an iPhone 4, fourth-gen iPod touch or iPad. But fear not, MacLife.com is here to make the magic happen on any device you happen to own.

Install (or Update) Find My iPhone

The first step toward feeling secure that you can find a lost device is to head to iTunes (either on your computer or from the device itself) and download Find My iPhone 1.1, which was released on Monday alongside iOS 4.2. Apple notes that “this update is required for users of the previous version of Find My iPhone app (v1.0 and v1.0.1), so no sense delaying the inevitable.

Of course, you’ll also have to be running iOS 4.2 in order to take advantage of Apple’s generosity, so if you haven’t done so, plug your device into iTunes and get updated. (Jailbreakers beware: You’ll be restored to a stock iOS 4.2 install, so approach with caution.) Seriously -- go do it right now. We’ll wait.

MobileMe login

Sign In with Your Apple ID

Okay, everyone on iOS 4.2 (which is actually iOS 4.2.1 if you want to be nitpicky about it) and have Find My iPhone 1.1 installed? Good, let’s move on.

Launch the Settings app and head into “Mail, Contacts, Calendars,” then add a MobileMe account. You’ll be greeted with a request to enter either your Apple ID or MobileMe e-mail address. In this case we want to enter our Apple ID, which is the same as the one we use to shop at the iTunes Store (you remember it, don’t you?). Type it in and move to the Password field, enter that and tap on Next. Apple will verify your credentials and you’ll be ready for the main event -- flip the switch to turn on Find My iPhone (or iPad, or iPod touch), tap Allow at the prompt and then Save to activate.

Find My iPad allow prompt

If you don’t have an Apple ID yet, prepare to run the gauntlet to get one: Tap on “Create Free Apple ID,” enter your Location and date of birth (Month, Day and Year), tap Next and then complete your e-mail address, first and last name, password and security question. Apple has beefed up security with iTunes passwords, now requiring at least eight characters, which must include a number and both an uppercase and lowercase letter. (Yikes!) You’ll also be presented with the first of 14 pages (?!) of Apple’s “MobileMe Free Account” terms of service. Accept that and the final hurdle remains -- verifying your new account from an e-mail you’ll receive and then logging into the new account online. Whew!

Find My iPhone app

Launch Find My iPhone App

Now that iOS 4.2 recognizes you as a free user, you can launch the Find My iPhone app, where you’ll be greeted by the same request for Apple ID and Password.

This request was initially a conundrum for us, since our Apple ID and password happen to be the same as our MobileMe account -- when we entered our Apple ID and password, Find My iPhone threw back an error, even with the correct info. The solution is to turn off your paid MobileMe service, or login using your full MobileMe e-mail address (for instance, “ilovemaclife@me.com” instead of just “ilovemaclife”) to use Find My iPhone as part of your subscription.

In either event, once you log in, you’ll be presented with a list of devices, which at this point should only contain the device being held in your hand. You can add additional devices by repeating the instructions above on each one.

Find My iPad on Me.com

What About My Older Devices?

Ah, you were clearly paying attention earlier when we mentioned a trick to get your older iOS devices working with the free Find My iPhone service. For whatever reason, Apple has limited the free offering to the iPhone 4, fourth-gen iPod touch and iPad, but what if you have an iPhone 3G or 3GS that’s capable of running iOS 4.2 but can’t be activated?

The solution is amazingly simple -- although you’ll need access to one of the newer devices in order to make the magic happen. As it turns out, you can use a friend’s current-generation device to sign in using your Apple ID and password as outlined above. If they happen to be a MobileMe subscriber, you’ll need to turn off their existing account to take advantage of this tip.

With Find My iPhone activated on your friend’s device, repeat the process on your older handset -- you can confirm that things are working as expected by using the same credentials to log in at Me.com, where you’ll now see both your friend’s device as well as your own.

Once you’ve confirmed that things are working on your elder device, simply delete your friend’s device from your account on the same Me.com page (you can’t delete devices from the Find My iPhone app itself) and lo and behold, your aging device will continue to work absolutely free forevermore.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Multitasking, Wireless Printing Come to iPad

This posting comes from the eSchool News-Technology News for Today's K-20 Educator (http://www.eschools.com)

Apple Inc. released new software on Nov. 22 that lets users of its iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad devices print wirelessly over Wi-Fi networks. The software addresses what has been a key complaint about the iPad to date—that users can’t print their documents from the tablet—and ed-tech observers say it could help spur more widespread use of the device in schools.

Apple first described some of the new features in iOS 4.2, the latest operating system for the Apple gadgets, at a media event in September.

The iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad don’t have ports for hooking up with printers, which makes the AirPrint feature one of the biggest advances for all of Apple’s gadgets. With the new software, the gadgets can find printers on home or school networks, then send text, photos, or graphics directly to the printer over Wi-Fi. To start, iPads, iPhones, or iPods with AirPrint will only work directly with certain Hewlett-Packard Co. printers.

The software update also includes AirPlay, which lets iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch users send video, music, and photos directly from the gadgets to the TV screen through the company’s Apple TV set-top box. Someone who is watching a movie on the go on an iPad could walk into his or her living room or dorm room and switch to the TV with a few taps. Apple also said special AirPlay-enabled speakers for streaming music will be on sale in the coming months.

In addition, Apple said it is making its Find My iPhone application available without charge for owners of the iPhone 4, the iPad, and the latest iPod Touch model. The app helps people find their missing device on a map; users also can remotely lock or delete data from a lost device, which could help with data security on campus.

The update brings many features already available for iPhones and the iPod Touch to the iPad, including a form of multitasking, or the ability to keep some programs running in the background while doing other things. For example, users will be able to start up the Pandora music program and keep listening while switching to another application. The update also makes switching between programs faster.

With the new software, iPad users also can consolidate multiple eMail accounts into one inbox, play games against other Apple gadget owners, and rent TV episodes from the iTunes app.

This is the iPad’s first holiday season on the market, and Apple is positioning the software update as another reason to buy.

“iOS 4.2 makes the iPad a completely new product, just in time for the holiday season,” said CEO Steve Jobs in a statement.

Users can download the new software by syncing their devices with iTunes.

Ed-tech observers said the new software is a significant upgrade that could help further position the iPhone and iPad as instructional tools.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Don't Forget Why NASA is Funding This Project

NASA conducts its work in four principal organizations, called mission directorates:
  • Aeronautics: pioneers and proves new flight technologies that improve our ability to explore and which have practical applications on Earth.
  • Exploration Systems: creates capabilities for sustainable human and robotic exploration.
  • Science: explores the Earth, solar system and universe beyond; charts the best route of discovery; and reaps the benefits of Earth and space exploration for society.
  • Space Operations: provides critical enabling technologies for much of the rest of NASA through the space shuttle, the International Space Station and flight support.

The Science Mission Directorate (SMD) engages the Nation’s science community, sponsors scientific research, and develops and deploys satellites and probes in collaboration with NASA’s partners around the world to answer fundamental questions requiring the view from and into space. SMD seeks to understand the origins, evolution, and destiny of the universe and to understand the nature of the strange phenomena that shape it. SMD also seeks to understand:
  • the nature of life in the universe and what kinds of life may exist beyond Earth;
  • the solar system, both scientifically and in preparation for human exploration; and
  • the Sun and Earth, changes in the Earth-Sun system, and the consequences of the Earth-Sun relationship for life on Earth.
The Science Mission Directorate sponsors research that both enables, and is enabled by, NASA's exploration activities. The SMD portfolio is contributing to NASA’s achievement of the Vision for Space Exploration by striving to:
  • Understand the history of Mars and the formation of the solar system. By understanding the formation of diverse terrestrial planets (with atmospheres) in the solar system, researchers learn more about Earth’s future and the most promising opportunities for habitation beyond our planet. For example, differences in the impacts of collisional processes on Earth, the Moon, and Mars can provide clues about differences in origin and evolution of each of these bodies.
  • Search for Earth-like planets and habitable environments around other stars. SMD pursues multiple research strategies with the goal of developing effective astronomically-detectable signatures of biological processes. The study of the Earth-Sun system may help researchers identify atmospheric biosignatures that distinguish Earth-like (and potentially habitable) planets around nearby stars. An understanding of the origin of life and the time evolution of the atmosphere on Earth may reveal likely signatures of life on extrasolar planets.
  • Explore the solar system for scientific purposes while supporting safe robotic and human exploration of space. For example, large-scale coronal mass ejections from the Sun can cause potentially lethal consequences for improperly shielded human flight systems, as well as some types of robotic systems. SMD’s pursuit of interdisciplinary scientific research focus areas will help predict potentially harmful conditions in space and protect NASA’s robotic and human explorers.
NASA has defined a set of space and Earth Science questions that can best be addressed using the Agency’s unique capabilities.  NASA works with the broader scientific community, considers national initiatives, and the results of decade-long surveys by the National Research Council in defining these questions.
See also the Science Strategy section for more information about how NASA Science is pursuing these questions.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Notes on knots and other kite related miscellany

John asked that I repost this information from the Facebook page, and it seemed like a good opportunity to start a conversation about kites and equipment. I'll start thing off with the basic knots we use to attach the lines, hoops and kites and we can go from there. If you have picked up the Knots app, you will find many of the knots we use there.

Line to hoop attachment: we recommend an Arbor knot for this job. The Knots app shows how to tie one, or you can follow this link:
An Animation showing how to tie the Arbor Knot
Arbor Knot | How to tie the Arbor Knot | Fishing Knots

Additional note on the Arbor knot: it is a good idea to wrap your line around the spool three times before tying the knot. Those wraps will help the line grip the spool better. Also, when you tie the little stopper knot at the end, we prefer a Double Overhand knot.
An Animation showing how to tie the Double Overhand Stopper Knot
Stopper Knots | How to tie the Double Overhand Stopper Knot | Climbing Knots

Line to a Swivel: a good knot is a variation on a Lark's Head knot, called a Cat's Paw. http://www.geospectra.net/kite/knots/knot11.jpg. I don't have a good animation of this one, but I am looking. A common alternate used in kite flying is fishing knot called the Improved Clinch knot. This one is in the knot app, or follow this link: http://www.animatedknots.com/improvedclinch/index.php/
IMPORTANT: leave a couple inches on the tag end and tie a stopper knot like you did with the Arbor knot.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Remote Sensing and Image Processing thoughts

Hi all,

One of the challenges facing this project on every level is the amount we have to learn and the time we have available for courses. Last weeks image processing intro was no exception. We needed an opportunity to introduce the process so you would have a chance to become familiar with what is involved. Don't fret if you didn't finish in class or had some difficulty, this will take a little time and we will be working together as we go.

We will be using this forum to discuss how remote sensing and image processing can actually be used in your projects, how to work with different scales of imagery (including AEROKATS, Landsat, MODIS and others), and what types of products are available to help you and your students in their climate investigations. Many of these products will be in a preprocessed format, and will not require all the steps we use with the AEROKATS imagery. That being said, there is value in understanding the process required to collect, preprocess, process and analyze raw data in order to convert it into real information.

Dr. Xie has provided revised versions of last weeks files with some modifications. We will hand those out tonight. We will also be talking about how we will be providing additional PD.

I am looking forward to collaborating with all of you on how we turn this process into something that can be assimilated into a classroom environment. We have lots of different areas of expertise in this group and we will be drawing on everyone to make this happen.

See you tonight!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Reflections from Week 5 Training (11-1-10)

Reflections from Week 5
Well, we have completed five weeks of the training for the ICCARS project, but it feels like we could use 5-10 more weeksJ  But there is only so much time, so we hope things are starting to come together.  At our last meeting we primarily focused in on aerokats imaging.  I know it was difficult and somewhat confusing, but we wanted you to start understanding the process and we will have more PD for you during the year.  By the time we bring new teachers into the project, we will have a manual that will be easy to follow.  We are glad we were able to work with some of you after the meeting on the iPad.  I hope that the iPad is becoming a useful tool to you.  Have you checked out the new Apps:  Project Noah and WildObs?  These will give you an idea of what our App will eventually do with data.  Here are some thoughts before our next meeting on Monday, November 8:
  • Matt Shackleford from DTE will be joining us to present a Biologists perspective of the project.
  • We would encourage you to participate in the GLOBE/NSTA Web Seminar Earth Climate Course to be held on November 16, 2010.  The topic is “What factors have the greatest influence on the temperature of a planet?”  It is online and will be held from 6:30 – 8:00 and it is free.  To register, please visit: http://learningcenter.nsta.org/products/symposia_seminars/NES/webseminar2.aspx
  • We know we have done a little GLOBE work with GPS and atmosphere, but we hope you are getting a better feel of GLOBE.  We have activated your GLOBE ID’s so that you can get the GLOBE emails, resources and join the GLOBE Student Climate Research Campaign.  We will have your login ID’s ready for you on Monday.  You can join by visiting: http://globe.gov/scrc  Try and join in as soon as you can.
  • We will have a new kite for each school on Monday, a nine-foot Levitation.  You will also get your Kestrel on Monday.  Check it out at: http://www.kestrelmeters.com/Kestrel-4500-Weather-Meter.pro?gclid=CLLm986TiqUCFQgKKgodxEC3NQ
  • Don’t forget to schedule our PLC meetings from December-June.  They will be on the second Monday of the month from 4:30-5:30.  You can access them via phone and a computer would be helpful.  Our first PLC meeting is December 13.
  • Many of you have said you can use additional training.  Andy and I will be producing tutorials and that should help.  But what do you need additional training on?  Let us know the topics and we can build a schedule of optional trainings.  We could meet at your schools, meet at RESA, do phone trainings, whatever you like.  So let us know how we can help you!
  • By Monday, there will be lots of new resources in the eCollaboratory.  Xiaoliang is working on adding all of the things we want.  RSS feeds have been added.  These are great ways to view the most current information on climate change and remote sensing.  You can also put the URL’s in your iPad using an RSS reader like Early Edition.  It makes the news easier and more fun to read.
  • Don’t forget that we will be talking about your project ideas on Monday.  Also, bring any assessments that you have on climate change.

We look forward to your comments.  Let us know what you think.  See you on Monday,
Andy and Dave

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Beginning with Apps for the iPad

An important tool for everyone in the ICCARS Project is an iPad.  It serves many purposes:
1.  Field Data Collector
2.  Anytime/Anyplace Interface to the eCollaboratory.
3.  Reference Library
4.  Toolkit

In order to use the iPad, most effectively, it requires a set of apps (applications).  As of October 21, 2010, we are recommending the following apps:

Climate Change News
Clinometer HD
Emerald Observatory
Gaia GPS
GIS Roam
Global Warming
Go Green
Google Earth
Knots Guide
Motion X GPS HD
NFB Films for iPad
NPR for iPad
PDF Reader Pro
Science Friday
Science Glossary
Web Albums for iPad

The first purchases should include:  Gaia GPS; Keynote; Knots Guide; Pages; PDF Reader Pro; Soundnote; and Web Albums.  All free apps should be downloaded for use.

What Apps do you think are the most valuable?  What Apps do you recommend? Please add your review and comments on Apps.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Welcome to the ICCARS Project Blog

On behalf of Andy Henry and myself (David Bydlowski), welcome to the ICCARS Project Blog.  A blog allows users to reflect, share opionions, and discuss various topics in the form on an online journal, while readers may comment on posts.  Welcome to the community!