Cloud-Sourcing: Using an Online Labor Force to Detect Clouds and Cloud Shadows in Landsat Images
Received: 15 December 2014 / Revised: 19 January 2015 / Accepted: 10 February 2015 / Published: 26 February 2015
Abstract: We recruit an online labor force through Amazon.com’s Mechanical Turk platform to identify clouds and cloud shadows in Landsat satellite images. We find that a large group of workers can be mobilized quickly and relatively inexpensively. Our results indicate that workers’ accuracy is insensitive to wage, but deteriorates with the complexity of images and with time-on-task. In most instances, human interpretation of cloud impacted area using a majority rule was more accurate than an automated algorithm (Fmask) commonly used to identify clouds and cloud shadows. However, cirrus-impacted pixels were better identified by Fmask than by human interpreters. Crowd-sourced interpretation of cloud impacted pixels appears to be a promising means by which to augment or potentially validate fully automated algorithms.
Interactive Virginia Tech map offers customization, rich data layers, ease of use
BLACKSBURG, Va., Aug. 15, 2013 – A newly released interactive campus map offers a highly-customizable tool for finding specific buildings, discovering accessible routes, and exploring the Virginia Tech campus in new ways.
The map is the result of collaboration between Virginia Tech’s Enterprise Geographic Information Systems, University Relations, Facilities Services, and the Office of Equity and Access. The map was designed for use on mobile devices or in standard browsers, and includes a new high-resolution aerial photography layer in addition to the familiar color-coded Virginia Tech campus map. The mapping tool facilitates the location of campus points of interest, and provides rich new features that make it easier to get around by bus, bike, car, on foot, or using assistive devices.
Enterprise Geographic Information Systems provides community access to statewide aerial imagery
BLACKSBURG, Va., Aug. 13, 2013 – Through a partnership between Virginia Tech's Enterprise Geographic Information Systems and the Virginia Geographic Information Network (VGIN), the university and community now has access to a locally-hosted copy of the entire archive of the Virginia Base Mapping Program’s aerial imagery of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
The server is available at http://garden.gis.vt.edu, and is available to students, faculty, and the general public.
Virginia Tech is able to provide this resource through VGIN’s Geospatial Archive Resource and Data Exchange Network (GARDEN).
"Game Day" GIS Application Improves Stadium Security for Home Football Games
September 6th, 2011 - A new Geographic Information Systems (GIS) application for event management was tested at the first home football game in Lane Stadium on the Virginia Tech campus. This application, which allows police and emergency responders to digitally track and view security and safety activities using a web-enabled, spatial platform, was developed by Seth Peery, Sr. GIS Architect for Enterprise GIS; Mahesh Narayanamurthi, Industrial and Systems Engineering graduate student; Luke Ward, Technology Manager; and Richard Phipps, Systems Administrator, all working under the department of Converged Technologies for Security, Safety and Resilience reporting to the Vice President for Information Technology, Erv Blythe. The map displays GIS layers for incidents, rescue squad and police resources, stadium seating location references, and interior space floor plans overlaid on top of an aerial view of the stadium and surrounding areas.
The Enterprise GIS Group was created as a "Strategic Partnership Initiative" reporting to the Vice President for Information Technology at Virginia Tech. This strategic initiative serves the Virginia Tech research and administration, as well as a limited selection of external partners who are associated with the Commonwealth of Virginia and its localities. The group was formed in the Fall of 2008 to address the need for storage and hosting of GIS data, enable access, and provide training for GIS tools and other resources. The intent is to create efficiencies of scale and significant cost savings to university departments by leveraging the latest technologies in data hosting and storage as well as the expertise of the IT professionals in the IT organization who manage the university's computing and networking functions on a daily basis.
» Learn more about Enterprise GIS
GRA Opening: GIS Programmer/Analyst
For the academic year beginning in Fall 2017, the Enterprise GIS units of Virginia Tech's central IT organization seeks a highly-motivated graduate student with GIS programming, GIS analysis and/or web design skills to support a variety of projects as assigned in a technical team environment, using an evolving set of best-practice tools, libraries and techniques.
Enterprise GIS Software Training
Upon request, we will provide training to departments on the server-side GIS products that we manage (ArcGIS Server, ArcSDE, Google Maps, Google Earth Enterprise).
We are offering a number of short courses through the Virginia Tech Networked Learning Initiatives this Spring.
» NLI campus resource sessions