GEON Newsletter || December 2005
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GEON LiDAR / ALSM Processing Workflow

LiDAR (Light Distance And Ranging, a.k.a. ALSM (Airborne Laser Swath Mapping)) data are quickly becoming one of the hottest tools in the Geosciences for studying the earth's surface. Capable of generating digital elevation models (DEMs) more than an order of magnitude more accurate than those currently available, LiDAR data offers geologists the opportunity to study the processes that shape the earth's surface at resolutions not previously possible.

This GEON tool for distribution, interpolation and analysis of LiDAR data is now available via the GEON Portal. Currently, GEON is hosting LiDAR data from the Northern San Andreas Fault in California and the Western Rainier Seismic Zone in Washington. Additional data sets will come on line in the near future.

Fort Ross DEM Fort Ross DEM

The images above show the results of an analysis, conducted using tools developed by the GEON project, for an ALSM dataset of the Northern San Andreas Fault near Fort Ross, California. (click on images for larger versions)

The left image shows a full feature DEM (complete point cloud interpolated at about 2 meters/pixel) for the area. Canopy height is colored in shades of green with darker colors denoting taller trees. The right image shows the "bare earth" created by interpolating points returned only from the ground surface. The red lines show the discontinuous traces of the San Andreas fault which broke in the 1906 earthquake.

Credit: Christopher J. Crosby, J Ramon Arrowsmith, Jeff Conner (ASU/GEON) and Efrat Frank, Ashraf Memon, Viswanath Nandigam (SDSC/GEON)

For more information see the GEON LiDAR page.


Geoinformatics 2006 Meeting

Geoinformatics 2006 Information regarding the Geoinformatics 2006 Meeting, to be held May 10-12, 2006 at the USGS National Center in Reston, VA is now available online at This meeting is being co-hosted by the USGS and GEON (NSF), and sponsored by the Geological Society of America and NASA. It will provide a national forum for researchers and educators from geoscience and information technology/computer science to present new data, data analysis or modeling techniques, visualization schemes, or technologies as they relate to developing the cyberinfrastructure for the Geosciences.

Online Registration and Abstract Submission forms can also be accessed at the above URL. Registration is limited, abstract submissions must be received by March 24, 2006. The registration fee of $50 may be waived for eligible Post Docs and Graduate Students. Any questions regarding this meeting that are not found on the above web site may be directed to Margaret Banton (Chair, Organizing Committee) at


GEON Outreach


Several GEON PIs and team members attended and presented at the American Geophysics Union meeting, held December 5-9, in San Francisco. A full list of GEON-related presentations given at this meeting can be found at: The project again hosted a booth in the Exhibit Hall at this meeting, where a number of team members were on-hand throughout the week, talking with community members and providing demonstrations of some of the tools that have been developed in GEON. Approximately 900 middle school students from local (San Francisco) schools visited the Exhibit Hall on the last day of the conference. Students came prepared with a list of questions they needed to answer and items to collect, during their visit. Overall, traffic through the booth during the entire week was "brisk", based on a very informal (but dependable) tally. That is to say that more than 7,000 GEON pens were distributed from the booth over the course of the five days, and few visitors take more than one pen at a time (one benefit of having such "chunky" pens to give away!).

GEON also teamed up with other geoinformatics projects (including SESAR, EarthChem, and others) to host an informal open forum on "Building a Global Geoscience Cyberinfrastructure: International Collaboration in Geoinformatics". The evening discussion attracted approximately 50 attendees.

Chuck Meertens, GEON PI (UNAVCO) to Give Plenary Talk at ESIP Meeting

Chuck Meetens will be giving a plenary talk entitled "Integrating Educational Content into the Earth Information Exchange" at the 2006 Winter Federation of Earth Science Information Partners Meeting. This meeting is being called "The Earth Information Exchange: Delivering Data to Decision Makers", and will be held January 4-6, 2006 in Washington D.C. The purpose of the talk is to encourage technical developers and scientists to participate in the challenges of education resource development.


NSF This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 0225673 (GEON). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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