Point of Beginning

NOS Pacific Services Center Helps Pacific Islands Update GIS 10.11.2002

October 11, 2002
With IMAGINE Professional, IMAGINE Vector and IMAGINE VirtualGIS, coastal zone management program offices will take existing IKONOS imagery and outline and store features in a GIS-compatible data layer.

The National Ocean Service (NOS) Pacific Services Center (Honolulu, Hawaii, USA) has purchased ERDAS IMAGINE to help the Pacific Islands of Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) update their Geographic Information Systems (GIS) databases, including road networks, coral reef mapping, and building locations.

With IMAGINE Professional, IMAGINE Vector and IMAGINE VirtualGIS, coastal zone management program offices will take existing IKONOS imagery and outline features such as building footprints, then store the features in a GIS-compatible data layer. A combination of supervised and unsupervised classifications will be performed to determine vegetation and land use around the islands. Finally, the classifications with field surveys and additional aerial photographs will be refined.

In partnership with local coastal resource management communities of Guam, American Samoa, and the CNMI, the NOS Pacific Services Center determines and carries out needed assistance in the areas of hazard mitigation, information resources, and safe navigation. The remoteness of the islands has made it difficult for these organizations to participate in the national movement toward the use of GIS in managing coastal resources. The Pacific Services Center is using ERDAS IMAGINE to remedy this situation and provide the islands with accurate GIS and imagery data while reducing project time and costs.

Once all islands update GIS layers, the data will be used for various purposes including managing and documenting land use, conducting an application and approval analysis on local land permit acquisition processes, and managing forestlands. This data will aid the islands as they monitor, manage and protect the health of coral reefs, and monitor and control shoreline change and development.

Coastal zone management program offices currently are mapping coral reefs. ERDAS IMAGINE training is scheduled to begin January 2003, with the GIS updating and classification projects to begin soon after. Once the projects are completed, they will continue to use ERDAS IMAGINE software to maintain and continually update the GIS data.