Leica Geosystems Geospatial Imaging teams with the Wildlife Conservation Society at ESRI UC

Leica Geosystems Geospatial Imaging teams with the Wildlife Conservation Society to showcase Image Analysis for ArcGIS at ESRI User Conference

Norcross, GA – Leica Geosystems Geospatial Imaging teamed with renowned conservationist, ecologist and Congo explorer J. Michael Fay to present the paper, “Remote Sensing: The Next Best Thing to Being There – US Support of the Gabonese National Park System” at the 2005 ESRI User Conference in San Diego, California on July 28th. The presentation demonstrated how remote sensing is playing a critical role in the preservation of the Congo Basin and the development of a National Park System in Gabon. In addition, special guest Eric W. Sanderson, Associate Director of the Living Landscapes Program provided an overview of how ERDAS IMAGINE was used to create the Human Footprint Map.

Image Analysisä for ArcGIS is being used in the efforts of the United States Forest Service (USFS) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) to assist with the establishment of the National Park System in the nation of Gabon. Showcasing imagery processed with Image Analysis for ArcGIS, ERDAS IMAGINE and the Leica Photogrammetry Suite, the presentation illustrated the valuable role digital imagery is playing in planning and natural resource management for the development of the Gabonese National Park System and through the WCS Living Landscapes Program conservation efforts worldwide. With Image Analysis for ArcGIS, GIS specialists in the United States are able to mentor natural resource managers in the Congo and throughout Africa enabling use of remote sensing and image processing software for classification of vegetation and management zones.

In 2002, the Gabonese government established the National Park System, enabling the protection of an unprecedented 10,000 square miles of vital habitat and natural resources. Following a visit to the region, former US Secretary of State Colin Powell encouraged US agencies to contribute technical support for Gabon’s efforts. Working with the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Central Africa Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE), USFS planning experts provide guidance in creating park management plans. 

J. Michael Fay, a vocal champion of the African natural resources, recounted his journey through the Congo Basin and demonstrated how Image Analysis for ArcGIS is an integral part of the support effort to develop the National Park System in Gabon.

“As a conservationist, I have explored the Congo area on foot for over 22 years. Through the use of remote sensing and Image Analysis for ArcGIS in particular, we are able to gain valuable information and expand our perspective of the area,” said Fay. “The ability to analyze aerial and satellite data that can support our efforts on the ground is a great benefit in our efforts to preserve the biodiversity, wildlife and wild places of the Congo and ultimately establish protected areas where habitat can be preserved.”

Leica Geosystems became involved in the project as part of its commitment to corporate responsibility. “Building on our strong relationships with nonprofit organizations and the United States Forest Service, we are happy to be involved in this important project,” said Richard McKay, Vice President of Geospatial Services and Commercial Sales for Leica Geosystems Geospatial Imaging. “It is very rewarding for us to provide our technology to assist our long time customer USFS in their efforts to enhance the capabilities of the Gabonese.”   

Image Analysis for ArcGIS is the GIS professional’s all-in-one solution for creating and preparing GIS-ready imagery, extracting relevant information, and analyzing that information to draw spatial and non-spatial conclusions.

Leica Geosystems – when it has to be right
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