Grant Receipient Case Studies

DigitalGlobe Foundation grants are being used for many interesting and worthwhile projects around the globe. Since the DigitalGlobe Foundation was established, thousands-of-square-kilometers of imagery have been granted to universities in the United States and overseas. These imagery grants support research in a wide range of fields. The following list is a sampling of projects supported by the DigitalGlobe Foundation.

  • Disaster Response and Recovery
  • Archaeology
  • Climate Change
  • Environmental Studies
  • Fishery Management
  • Water and Natural Resource Management
  • Coastal Studies
  • Homeland Defense and Security
  • Urban Planning
  • Forestry

Case Study Examples

Below are a few case studies by researchers, scientists and geospatial experts regarding their use of geospatial imagery, the impact it's having on their studies and the unique solutions they've discovered.

ANALYZING LANDSLIDE SUSCEPTIBILITY USING CO-KRIGING AND LOGISTIC REGRESSION

Landslides around the world cause human fatalities and significant economic losses for governments and private citizens. Therefore, there is great value in being able to predict future landslides. We use logistic regression to model factors causing landslides on the island of Saint Vincent in the eastern Caribbean. We found that slope explained 18.7 percent of the variation in our model, while aspect was insignificant. We also use co-kriging to spatially show the areas on Saint Vincent where hazard is greatest for future landslides. Our analyses should serve as a preliminary landslide susceptibility assessment for managers on Saint Vincent.



Grand Valley State University
Researcher name: E. Nordman
Research location: St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Research subject: Disaster Response & Recovery

USING SATELLITE IMAGERY TO MAP LANDUSE CONDITIONS AFTER KELUD VOLCANO ERUPTION

Kelud erupted in February 13, 2014 had a huge impact for the environment. The ash-fall spread out around the island of Java and made several airports need to close their flight schedule for a week. It became an obstruction for the movement of the economics, the people, and also goods. On the other side, about 4 days after the eruption event, Lahar came down in the northern flank of volcano and then destruct a paddy field and settlement, killing many victims. Until now, the debris of pyroclastic materials still covered the areas surrounding Kelud and it needs to be mapping out to help the inventory of damage and losses assessment done well. We will test very high resolution satellite data to do this work.



Gadjah Mada University
Researcher name: S. S. Rijal
Research location: Indonesia
Research subject: Environmental Studies

ARCHAEOLOGICAL SURVEYING FROM THE MOLDAVIAN ENEOLITHIC

Romania, and more particularly Romanian Moldova, forms the object of a study initiated in 2005 on the dynamics of Neo/Eneolithic settlement patterns and the exploitation of salt. A GIS-based study of the spatial relationship between salt exploitation and settlement pattern is used to support a key assumption: that the handling of salt, together with that of copper and gold, contributed to the emergence of developed Eneolithic societies (c. 5000-3500 BC).



Université Paris Ouest Nanterre la Défense
Researcher name: R. Brigand
Research location: Romania
Research subject: Archaeology

CLIMATE AND ENVIRONMENTAL FLUCTUATIONS IN THE PERMAFROST ZONE

We received an imagery grant from the DigitalGlobe Foundation in 2014 to investigate the colored organic matter concentration (CDOM) in thermokarst lakes of Central Yamal (Western Siberia), as well as the vegetation properties of the catchments and the activity of cryogenic processes in the shoreline of thermokarst lakes. Results of combining field and satellite optical data to investigate “thermokarst lake – catchment” system interactions as well as the activation of cryogenic processes (case study: Yamal Peninsula). This research is a part of the POLYAR research project (Process of Organic matter transport to the Lakes of YAmal Region).



Tyumen State Oil and Gas University
Researcher name: M. Mikhaylova
Research location: Russia
Research subject: Climate Change

MULTISENSORAL TOPSOIL MAPPING IN THE SEMIARID LAKE MANYARA REGION, NORTHERN TANZANIA

This study pursues the mapping of the distribution of topsoils and surface substrates of the Lake Manyara area of northern Tanzania. The nine soil and lithological target classes were selected through fieldwork and laboratory analysis of soil samples. High-resolution WorldView-2 data, TerraSAR-X intensity data, medium-resolution ASTER spectral bands and indices, as well as ENVISAT ASAR intensity and SRTM-X-derived topographic parameters served as input features.



University of Tuebingen
Researcher name: F. Bachofer
Research location: Tanzania
Research subject: Urban Planning

CHANGE DETECTION FROM VERY HIGH RESOLUTION SATELLITE TIME SERIES WITH VARIABLE OFF-NADIR ANGLE

Change detection can be intended as the process of finding the variations occurred over time from a satellite time series. Given a multi-temporal image sequence made up of n images acquired at different epochs, change detection exploits the images by comparing spatial and radiometric information of elements captured at different periods. The growing availability of digital images captured by aircraft or satellites has led to the development of several procedures for change detection, depending on the characteristics of sensors (number of bands, ground resolution, etc.) and the phenomena under investigation (long/short-term, large/small-scale, etc.). Due to the incredible number of applications of remotely sensed data, there is no method or technique for change detection that can be assumed as the best.



Polytechnic University of Milan
Research location: Italy
Research subject: L. Barazzetti

MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE: SITES, SAMPLING AND STATISTICS IN REMOTELY SENSED DATA

When people think of archaeological sites, they tend to think of large temples in the rain forests or pyramids in the deserts. In reality, most archaeological sites are little more than scatters of pottery or stone on the ground, identified by archaeologists during field surveys. When archaeological materials are found they are recorded using GPS; however, these sites are far more complex than single dots on a map or a computer screen. This study explores how different sampling and image processing techniques, alongside spatial statistics can be utilized to better understand site chemistry and morphology of archaeological sites in Worldview-2 imagery. It explores the size and shape of archaeological sites in two remote and different regions, and which bands best capture relevant information about archaeological site types.



UCD School of Archaeology
Researcher name: W. Megarry
Research location: Shetland Islands, UK
Research subject: GIS / Archaeology

INVESTIGATING THE EFFECTS OF BIOTIC AND ABIOTIC FACTORS ON HABITAT PREFERENCES OF A PRIDE OF LIONS

The lion is regarded as a critical component of Africa’s biodiversity and conservation efforts have been on-going in order to reduce further population decline. The continuing increase in human encroachment is causing significant pressure on lion habitats and loss of prey resulting in increased human-lion conflict.



University of Derby
Researcher name: L. Butkovic
Research location: Kenya
Research subject: Environmental Studies

NEW TOOLS AND METHODS FOR COST EFFECTIVE MAPPING OF SHALLOW SUBTIDAL HABITATS

Previous subtidal habitat mapping efforts in NZ have employed a mixture of techniques including diver surveys, manual photo-interpretation, video-tows, camera drops, and sonar. Automated classification of multispectral satellite satellite imagery can be a cost effective means of generating habitat maps over large areas with less field work.



University of Auckland
Researcher name: J. Kibele
Research location: New Zealand
Research subject: Coastal Studies

MAPPING DYNAMICS OF DEFORESTATION AND FOREST DEGRADATION IN TROPICAL FORESTS USING SATELLITE DATA

There is wide international agreement on the critical role of forests in mitigating climate change. Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, with conservation, sustainable management and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries, has been under intense negotiation since 2007.



University of Copenhagen
Researcher name: N. Joshi
Research location: Peru
Research subject: Land Cover

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