NASA SBIR 2003 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER:03-E3.04-8927 (For NASA Use Only - Chron: 034078)
SUBTOPIC TITLE:Geospatial Data Analysis Processing and Visualization Technologies
PROPOSAL TITLE:Visualizing Meta-Information in Remotely Sensed Earth Science Data

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Charles River Analytics Inc.
625 Mount Auburn Street
Cambridge ,MA 02138 - 4555
(617) 491 - 3474

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Jonathan D. Pfautz
625 Mount Auburn Street
Cambridge ,MA  02138 -4555
(617) 491 - 3474
U.S. Citizen or Legal Resident: Yes

Remotely sensed Earth Science datasets are characterized by their complexity and size, which results in difficulty in effectively disseminating this information to decision-makers. Part of this complexity is due to meta-information, or, characteristics of information such as uncertainty, staleness, etc. that add to the decision-making burden. Knowledge regarding this meta-information, and methods for effectively portraying it, have the potential of relieving the decision-maker?s workload and encouraging more situationally aware decisions. To support the decision-maker, we propose to develop visual representations of meta-information in remotely sensed geospatial data. Three core components characterize the proposed approach. First, we will perform a cognitive task analysis of a selected set of case studies to develop a principled categorization of the key types and sources of information and meta-information required by the decision-maker in existing NASA display systems. Second, we will design and prototype a toolkit for augmenting incoming data with the identified meta-information types and for rapidly creating new meta-information visualization methods. This toolkit will support integration of prototype visualization methods with existing NASA display systems. Third, we will develop an evaluation methodology, including metrics of the utility of each meta-information visualization technique. We will demonstrate feasibility of our approach for Phase II development.

We expect the full-scope toolkit to have immediate and tangible benefit for the enhancement of a variety of data visualization systems in NASA?s Earth Science Enterprise, including displays for resource management, for disaster management, for community growth and infrastructure, and for environmental assessment, where the inclusion of specific meta-information representations will improve user understanding and awareness.

We see considerable promise in the commercial application of meta-information visualization techniques, specifically in the financial industry, where investment decision-making is fraught with uncertainty, and risk management is critical to investment strategy. We also see applications in state and local government emergency response systems in various homeland security scenarios, where meta-information is critical to decision-making. In addition, we plan to transition the meta-information visualization techniques developed with the proposed toolkit into the next version of our Military Analysis Visualization Environment (MAVEN).