EarthViews Vision

EarthViews vision is to connect people to critically important aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. EarthViews works with land, water managers and others to help achieve this mission. To accomplish EarthViews vision we developed technology to bring waterways to your desktop, mobile or VR device via easy-to-use, publicly available, 360 interactive virtual tours. These reality based maps have many uses for waterway safety, recreation, science and conservation.

  • See it before you get there to enhance waterway emergency management and navigation.
  • Scope areas for recreation activities.
  • Educate with virtual field trips.
  • Visualize waterway data in context.
  • Locate points of interest.
  • Collect data.
  • Digitally preserve the waterway, creating a historical baseline of conditions.

A Puget Sound Virtual Map of Habitat & Shorelines

Puget Sound is a critical economic engine for North America. It is the second largest estuary in the United States. The boundaries of the basin include dozens of state parks, eight national parks, wildlife refuges, forests and other critical public lands. It is the largest oyster producer in North America and contributes to a wide variety of seafood products. Puget Sound is also home to some of the largest  ports and military bases in the nation.

Puget Sound’s beauty and economic activity make the waterway a focal point of the region, however the ecosystem decline is a serious concern that is often overlooked. Approximately 70 percent of the Puget Sound’s original estuaries and wetlands have disappeared due to urban and agricultural development, and dangerous contamination has closed swimming beaches and shellfish beds. Fish and marine life struggle to survive in oxygen-starved dead zones in the South Sound and Hood Canal. Keystone species like salmon and orcas are listed as endangered or threatened.

Where the waters of Puget Sound meet the land is a primary source for the decline of Puget Sound health. Here shoreline modification and source and non-source point pollution take a toll on functioning habitat. Washington’s Shoreline Management Act requires plans from stakeholders to protect the habitat. Well managed shorelines are critical for orcas, salmon, eelgrass and forage fish, that need clean water.

HELP CREATE A PUGET SOUND VIRTUAL MAP

What Your Helping Create 

Contact us at Earthviews.com/contact if you would like to help create a publicly available, 360 degree VR tour of the 1300 miles of Puget Sound shoreline.  Your efforts to help map will result in the processing, publishing and hosting online of nearly 2 million photos stitched into over 350,000 panoramic images.  As an Esri partner EarthViews will make the  image map available online via customized interactive software accessible via EarthViews Atlas. To insure longevity of this first ever baseline virtual reality map of the entire Puget Sound shore a copy of all the panoramic images will be archived with the Washington State Historical Society. You will be creating history and an online place for everyone to explore:

  • Puget Sound shores.
  • See the progress of conservation.
  • Access data.
  • Collect data
  • Learn about history and habitat, and engage and collaborate as advocates for Puget Sound.

Follow the mapping adventure and progress at the EarthViews Blog

Example of EarthView along Puget Sound Shore.

Mapping the Elwha River after Dam Removal

On August 29th 2014 we made our way down the Elwha scraping the bottom of our raft and beating our oars against the gravel and cobble, barely submerged by the shallow low flowing water of a sleeping giant, the Elwha.

A little over three months later the flows in the river would peak at almost 10 times what we experienced during our arduous day of river mapping. A series of Pacific storms would sweep through the region giving the river the water it needs to remember the places it has run before. Natural river flows fluctuate according to the season, often with large spring flows corresponding to spring rains or snowmelt, and low summer flows corresponding to warm, dry summer weather.

Dams dramatically alter a river’s flow regime by blocking a river’s passage, storing water in artificial reservoirs. The Dams that blocked the Elwha river for 100 years are now completely gone. The dynamic nature of the Elwha has returned. The channel will be different in 2015. Insight into these differences can be gained by overlaying EarthViews data and imagery from one year to the next. How did the habitat change? Is there more or less wood? Is it in different locations? How did the sediment and shifting substrate alter the direction of the rivers main flow? Answering these questions using reality indexing from location based imagery will help establish a baseline and trend, recording the evolution of a rivers natural restoration process. Capturing this process is exactly what our mapping technology was designed to do.

*This blog is a re-post from the archives to celebrate the new EarthViews Blog.