Ecometrica Platform to help share NASA Earth data

February 28, 2020  - By
This image shows the Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation Lidar (GEDI) being assembled NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. (Photo: NASA)

This image shows the Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation Lidar (GEDI) being assembled NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. (Photo: NASA)

Under a contract with the University of Maryland, Ecometrica, a sustainability and space data company, will be helping disseminate data from NASA’s latest “Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation” (GEDI) lidar instrument.

According to Ecometrica, the Ecometrica Platform will make processed maps more widely available to end users and reduce the need for additional processing of highly technical remote sensing lidar data.

GEDI is led by the University of Maryland, in collaboration with NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center, and deploys a multibeam lidar instrument onboard the International Space Station to measure the forest vertical structure and biomass. Carried from Earth to the International Space Station atop a reusable SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, it is already providing valuable raw data, which will be crucial in better understanding climate change and the Earth’s ecosystems, Ecometrica said.

“The value of downstream satellite data in managing climate and environmental risks is significant and it is important that this is available and easily accessible to users all over the world,” said Richard Tipper, executive chairman at Ecometrica. “Projects such as Forests 2020, the global forest monitoring initiative that is part of the U.K. Space Agency’s international program, and managed by Ecometrica, are already proving very successful in using data from space to protect ecosystems on Earth. Importantly, this has also helped create an international skills-base and infrastructure across tropical forest countries, which can now benefit from the results of the very latest Earth observation instruments from NASA.”

The lidar instrument is operated by the university, which is working with Ecometrica to make data available globally in a format that is easy to use for environmental monitoring and protection purposes. According to Ecometrica, its platform will display key findings on rapidly updating maps, allowing conservation organizations and government agencies around the world to tap into the findings and use the real-time data to monitor forest canopies and cover.

The partnership is set to continue as part of the latest three-year contract.

About the Author: Allison Kral

Allison Kral is the former digital media manager for North Coast Media (NCM). She completed her undergraduate degree at Ohio University where she received a Bachelor of Science in magazine journalism from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She works across a number of digital platforms, which include creating e-newsletters, writing articles and posting across social media sites. She also creates content for NCM's Pit & Quarry magazine, Portable Plants magazine and Geospatial Solutions. Her understanding of the ever-changing digital media world allows her to quickly grasp what a target audience desires and create content that is appealing and relevant for any client across any platform.