ASPRS and MAPPS applaud National Land Imaging Program

ASPRS and MAPPS applaud National Land Imaging Program


Reston, USA, August 17, 2007: MAPPS and ASPRS appreciates the Bush Administration for its commitment to land remote sensing with the release of the National Land Imaging Program (NLIP) strategy by the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP).

This program is designed to meet U.S. civilian moderate resolution land imaging needs to monitor the changes in land surface, Polar Regions, and coastal zones due to the changes in population growth, development and climate changes. It establishes a program office in the Department of the Interior, reporting at the Secretary and Assistant Secretary level, to provide focused leadership and management for the nation’s land imaging efforts. NLIP will focus on maintaining a core, operational government commitment and capability to collect moderate-resolution land imagery through the procurement and launch of a series of U.S. owned satellites thereby ensuring the continuity of U.S. collected and managed Landsat-like data, well into future decades.

The program is a product of several months of intense research and analysis conducted by the Future of Land Imaging (FLI) Interagency Working Group which was composed of individuals from fifteen federal agencies including, among others, NASA, NOAA, USDA, and the Department of Defense. Both MAPPS and ASPRS contributed significantly to the effort, providing testimony to the commercial uses and public value of moderate resolution images. The findings of ASPRS’s Survey on the Future of Land Imaging are cited repeatedly in the plan and the survey results are included as an exhibit. ASPRS and MAPPS pledged to work with Congress and the Administration on implementation of the NLIP recommendations.

In addition to establishing and maintaining a U.S. core operational moderate resolution land imaging capability, NLIP responsibilities will include, among others,

  • Acting as the lead organization for coordinating and planning future U.S. civil operational moderate resolution imaging
  • Ensuring that all U.S. needs for civil moderate-resolution land imagery data are met;
    working closely with other federal agencies to assess U.S. moderate resolution imagery needs by convening a multi-agency Federal Land Imaging Council
  • Maintaining ongoing assessments of user needs and advanced technologies in remote sensing;
    negotiating international agreements to augment U.S. civil operational moderate resolution land imaging capabilities
  • Will ensure that, consistent with the 1992 Land Remote Sensing Policy Act (15 USC 5601), development of the remote sensing market and the provision of commercial value-added services based on remote sensing data should remain exclusively the function of the private sector.

    The plan also calls for the creation of a Federal Advisory Committee on Land Imaging composed of individuals from commercial, state, local government, academic, and other non-profit organizations to guide these activities.