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PE and RS PUBLIC October 2011 : Page-970

Photo of AmericaView mem-bers taken during the 2010 Fall Technical Meeting in Madison, Wisconsin. continued from page 969 Origins and History of AmericaView AmericaView’s origins began with OhioView, a pilot project initiated in the late 1990s. At that time, access to public domain Landsat imagery was challenging, and as a result the federal investment in Landsat was not being utilized as effectively as possible. New ac-quisitions were not available to researchers in suffi cient time to use the data for time-sensitive events, such as responding to disasters or studying timely vegetation phenology and health. The OhioView pilot project directly addressed the challenge by providing a free archive of statewide Landsat data, and by partnering with organizations that could effectively use the data. Championed by Ohio’s 16 th District Congressman Ralph Regula, and guided by Dr. Richard Beck, a Uni-versity of Cincinnati faculty member and remote sensing scientist, the OhioView pilot project was funded through a combination of USGS and NASA-appropriated funds. Given the initial success in Ohio, Congress, at the behest of Con-gressman Regula, directed the USGS in 2000 and 2001 to expand the pilot project into a prototype national program called “Gateway to Earth.” Congress appropriated funding in 2002 for the USGS to develop the program to: (1) increase the number of StateViews through com-petitive grants; (2) compensate an Executive Committee to oversee the organization; and (3) provide administrative funding to support new state partners. In 2002, the USGS and several “charter members” convened to design and implement the concept. Representatives from the USGS Land Remote Sensing Program, the USGS EROS Data Center, the Ohio Aerospace Institute (OAI), a 501(c)3 non-profi t that supports Ohio’s aerospace industry, and representatives of eight states -Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Mississippi, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas, and West Virginia -developed the fi rst AmericaView charter and mission statement. Given the growing desire for easy access to data and increasing need for applied remote sensing research, the network grew rapidly during the years 2003 through 2007 to reach approximately 300 partners, including academic institutions, local, state, and federal agencies, non-profi t organizations, and private sector members. The new consortium was guided by a joint, cooperative AV – USGS Land Remote Sensing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Negotiated by USGS and AV and signed in 2002, the MOU outlined the responsibilities of both parties. The early emphasis on data provision is shown clearly in the fi rst three fundamental AV responsibilities: 1. 2. Defi ne, consolidate, and maintain the data and information requirements of the AmericaView user community. Implement, operate, and maintain adequate facilities for ar-chiving and distributing satellite data, data products and other geospatial data received from the USGS. 3. Place in the public domain for free inspection and access, whenever feasible, all imagery and other sensor system or geo-spatial data purchased using public funds as the data become available. Clearly, access and distribution of remotely sensed data were the core elements of the MOU. Development of strategic educational and research partnerships, joint workshops, meetings, applied research and technology transfer projects were the remaining requirements of the agreement. AmericaView in Operation Much was learned during the fi rst several years, but the AV mission remains much the same albeit with a current emphasis on education and applied research. Now operating under a competitive fi ve year grant, AV maintains two core operational objectives. First and fore-most, AV collaborates with its partners to support and strengthen non-commercial remote sensing needs within each state , particularly where their needs require the use of public domain data (e.g., Land-sat). This emphasis underscores the underlying philosophy that has guided the AV program from the beginning: each state has specifi c needs, and these are best met by a network of remote sensing inter-ests within each state. Second, StateViews, both with internal state partners and cooperatively among themselves, advance the use of remotely sensed imagery by strengthening and advancing projects that address a specifi c issue or challenge . In both cases, consortium members are one of several players, helping to accomplish important objectives that might otherwise be less effective or unmet. The key Photogrammetric engineering & remote SenSing 970 Oct Jul y ober 2011 2011

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