Alaska to produce statewide digital basemap

MAY 5--Research Systems Inc. (Boulder, CO; www.RSInc.com), a wholly owned subsidiary of Eastman Kodak Co., reports that the Alaska Department of Natural Resources is purchasing its ENVI-on-the Net technology to create a new statewide digital basemap for use in multiple mapping applications.

MAY 5--Research Systems Inc. (Boulder, CO; www.RSInc.com), a wholly owned subsidiary of Eastman Kodak Co., reports that the Alaska Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is purchasing its ENVI-on-the Net (EON) technology to create a new statewide digital basemap for use in multiple mapping applications. EON is a Web-based visualization and analysis tool that will allow the DNR to process a variety of satellite and aerial imagery, integrate the images with a geographic information system (GIS), and share important data with a variety of DNR divisions.

EON is based on RSI's ENVI software, a visualization and analysis program used in remote-sensing and GIS applications. Because EON is a Web-based application, government agencies can lower their costs while benefiting from the functionality of an image-processing package.

According to Bill Kiger, a natural resource specialist for the DNR Division of Outdoor Parks and Recreation, the Alaska DNR will use EON to process Landsat 7 satellite data for the creation of a new statewide digital basemap and will also use SPOT 5, DigitalGlobe, and IKONOS satellite image data for other Alaska projects. DNR will use the basemap for GIS applications including planning, change detection, resource assessments, mining claim locations, environmental reviews, fire management, insect infestation assessments, image analysis and classification, and public meeting presentations about land management issues. This basemap will also serve as a component of Alaska's I-Plan, a participatory venture to create a national map.

Kiger initiated the utilization of satellite imagery and an image-processing program to effectively represent the various natural assets in Wood-Tikchik, the largest state park in the entire United States. Covering 1.6 million acres of Alaskan land, Wood-Tikchik is sprinkled with interconnecting lakes, recreational areas, rivers, and private properties. After acquiring satellite imagery of the state, Kiger acquired the software tools needed to process and display the imagery, including ENVI. Eventually, Kiger recognized a need to share the tools and data with several state agencies involved in mapping and planning, and decided upon EON for its Web-based capability.

EON will initially be used to process and annotate 500 Landsat satellite image scenes, as well as overlay the images with other text and imagery that constitute the basemap. ENVI's vector capability and the recent availability of an ArcGIS plug-in to ENVI will enable EON users to incorporate a variety of file formats and easily edit vectors.

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