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Research and Projects


Geospatial Data Discovery

The Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA), which supports collaborative efforts among Big Ten member universities, funded the BTAA Geospatial Data Discovery Project to enhance geospatial data discoverability and access among member institutions. Nine of the fifteen Big Ten institutions have come together to develop and populate a geoportal for use by all member institutions. GeoBlacklight was identified as the best architecture option for the geoportal due to its open-source platform, strong development community and documentation, intuitive interface, and easy metadata integration. Institutions have developed workflows for identifying candidate geospatial datasets and harvesting and converting associated metadata records.


Fire maps created by Jacques Descloitres. Fire detection algorithm developed by Louis Giglio. Blue Marble background image created by Reto Stokli.

VIIRS and MODIS are two different satellites that have active fire detection capabilities. MODIS was the first of the two to have this capability, then VIIRS was developed with some improvements. This research project is developed to determine if VIIRS is better suited to detecting active burning fires in high latitude ecosystems. 

Blackwater map

NASA Earth Observatory images by Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon, using Landsat data from the USGS Global Visualization Viewer. 

Satellite data of Maryland’s eastern shore is being gathered and analyzed to determine the effects of land use on tidal marshes over time.