Newest Don’t Stand in the Road: The Precautionary Principle and Overcoming Uncertainty

by Tuesday, October 14, 2014 @ .

If I were to say you had a 100 percent chance of being hit by a car if you stood in the road for 5 minutes, would you consider it? How about a 50 percent chance? A 10 percent chance? Even a 1 percent chance? What if there was some sort of incentive, like a new car? Although this scenario may seem a bit ridiculous, it is not so different from coastal management decisions. Residents place themselves at risk to enjoy the many resources coastal areas provide. When it comes to the environment no one can ever provide 100 percent certainty, but how much information is really needed to make practi



Things to Consider Before You Acquire New Imagery

by Thursday, October 9, 2014 @

Have you ever wanted to purchase new imagery (or download free imagery from a government website) of your county or municipality? Here are just a few requirements you may want to think about before writing that big check for new data. Digital orthoimagery is the foundation for most public and private Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Orthoimagery refers to aerial and satellite imagery that has



Digital Coast Lead Agency Changes Name and Gets Bigger – What’s Up?

by Wednesday, October 1, 2014 @

To maximize the nation’s coastal management efforts, NOAA has combined two of its primary coastal offices: the Coastal Services Center and the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management. The basic missions remain intact, but the new structure and operational approach will increase efficiency and effectiveness. By operating more collaboratively, the new Office for Coastal Management and our

Land Cover



by Thursday, September 4, 2014 @

We’ve all heard stats about coastal populations increasing over time. As someone who reviews land cover imagery, I’m able to see how this plays out on the landscape. More people usually means more houses, roads, and shopping centers to accommodate the increasing numbers that either move to the coast or are born there. How are these two things related (i.e. does a certain amount of population g

General, Land Cover

Aerial view of coastal waterway, Bald Head Island, North Carolina

Watershed or County Boundaries?

by Friday, August 15, 2014 @

Life and geophysical scientists like me know that natural systems rarely follow geopolitical boundaries, such as states and counties. Knowing how many square miles of wetlands or forest are present and have been lost in a particular county, for example, does not help us readily manage for the sustainability of the entire, connected wetland or forest system. And how we manage a connected system can


The volcanic "log" city of Nan Madol. Photographer: Lieutenant Commander Matthew Wingate, NOAA Corps

It’s Not Me, It’s You; Breaking up with Traditional Gray Infrastructure

by Monday, August 4, 2014 @

Does this sound familiar? Them (let’s call s/he Gray): “I will always be there for you, I promise.” You: “I just don’t completely trust you anymore, this isn’t working out.” Gray: “But together, we can withstand anything!” You: “Yes, I know you defend me in most situations, but at what cost? I need something different.” Gray: “But who will take care of me when I’m

Elevation, General

Fall foliage gracing a wooded path. Taken by NOAA/OAR/Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab.

First Return Lidar in Digital Coast

by Wednesday, July 23, 2014 @

Someone sent me a question about a month ago asking how they could get a first-return lidar DEM out of the Digital Coast Data Access Viewer (DAV). I thought that should have been pretty obvious, but I'd make some screen shots and show them how to do it. It turned out that it wasn't as obvious as I'd thought and was perhaps worth a GeoZone post. In case you're wondering why you'd want only the firs

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