Missoula, Montana, USA, 9 January 2008 – GCS Research, a prime vendor on the ASRC Management Services (ASRC MS) Prime Vendor Contract for the USDA, has recently been awarded a contract to provide GeoMarc digital watermarking technology to the USDA Foreign Agriculture Service (USDA FAS).
GeoMarc allows the USDA FAS to embed an imperceptible digital watermark into the pixels of satellite imagery. The watermark contains key pieces of metadata that is seared into the pixels of the imagery and will remain intact through the life of the image.
The USDA FAS will leverage GeoMarc technology to embed an acquisition date/time stamp, among other things, as part of the watermark payload. When multiple watermarked images are mosaicked together, the watermark can be read and thematically displayed based on each unique date/time stamp.
"GeoMarc is a valuable tool for the USDA, as it permits our analysts to understand the what, when and where for any pixel in the mosaic," says Robert Tetrault, USDA Satellite Imagery Archive Manger.
GeoMarc is the world’s first implementation of geospatial digital watermarking designed specifically for the geospatial industry. Available for server production environments and desktop exploitation applications, such as ESRI’s ArcGIS, GeoMarc provides a set of tools to embed mission critical information into image pixels for copyright protection, automated metadata connectivity, vector data linking, thematic display and layer creation, integrated web services, and persistent georeferencing of geospatial imagery.
"We are pleased that we can provide a mission critical solution to the USDA. GCS recognizes that the sheer volume of imagery and raster data products that are being consumed and used for crop yield estimates is overwhelming. GeoMarc will help the USDA by allowing key metadata to persist at the pixel level, regardless of the status of the imagery," states Alex Philp, President of GCS Research. "The most gratifying element is to see our software solve real world problems".
The GeoMarc purchase is executed through the USDA Prime Vendor Contract managed by ASRC Management Services (ASRC MS), Greenbelt, MD. The USDA FAS, Office of Global Analysis, International Production Assessment Division is responsible for global crop condition assessments and estimates of yield, and production for grains, oilseeds, and cotton. Their primary mission is to target, collect, analyze, and disseminate timely, objective, useful, and cost-effective global crop condition and agricultural production information. The division’s purpose is to provide unbiased commodity estimates and forecasts to create a marketing edge for U.S. producers in world markets. The Prime Vendor Contract vehicle allows them to obtain satellite imagery services quickly and cost effectively.
About GCS Research:
GCS Research is an award-winning, nationally-recognized leader in geospatial information technology. GCS Research works to connect people with the geospatial intelligence they require in a manner they can actually use. GCS delivers a select group of products and services that allow customers to organize, protect, visualize, analyze, and share their geospatial information across the enterprise.
Contact: Mike Beltz, Vice President, Sales and Marketing 406-532-3254 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
About USDA FAS:
USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) has the primary responsibility for USDA’s international activities—market development, trade agreements and negotiations, and the collection and analysis of statistics and market information. As such a primary mission of FAS is to target, collect, analyze, and disseminate timely, objective, useful, and cost-effective global crop condition and agricultural production information. The purpose is to provide unbiased commodity estimates and forecasts to create a marketing edge for U.S. producers in world markets. For more information contact Brad Doorn, Technical Remote Sensing Coordinator at Brad.Doorn@usda.gov or call 202-690-0131.
About ASRC MS:
Established in 1972 Arctic Slope Regional Corporation provides a wide range of capabilities in the commercial and government sectors with lines of business in: Aerospace, Base and Range Operations, Construction, Security, Engineering, Professional Services, Communications, Information Technology Services, Field Services and GIS and Geospatial Services. ASRC MS is responsible for the operation and development of the Crop Explorer site in coordination with the USDA FAS team.
ASRC Management Services, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, was formed in 2002 and certified as an Alaska Native Corporation (ANC), 8(a) with the Small Business Administration in January 2003.
The ASRC MS goal is to satisfy each and every customer through prompt delivery of products and services that exceed client expectations. The company provides its diverse range of clients with a full line of information management, information technology, administrative, technical and other professional services. The customer-oriented, quality-driven approach enables the company to provide clients with cost efficient solutions that address the many challenges prevalent in an ever-changing marketplace.