ArcNews Online

Winter 2001/2002
[an error occurred while processing this directive]

E-mail to a Friend

Satellite Image Processing and GIS Support Ducks Unlimited's Daily Decisions Worldwide

Ducks Unlimited (DU) is the world's largest private, nonprofit, waterfowl and wetland conservation organization and is considered one of the largest conservation/environmental groups in the world. With more than one million supporters in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, DU also has several affiliates located in Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe.

Since its inception in 1937, DU has conserved more than 9.4 million acres of waterfowl habitat throughout North America in more than 10,000 projects and raised more than $1.4 billion for conservation.

Knowing where, when, and how to apply its resources most effectively is vital to its success and longevity, and the information and feature-rich characteristics of geographic imagery provide the environmental intelligence it needs to sustain its work.

DU's program management began to make strides in the mid-1980s with the integration of approximately 70 Landsat Thematic Mapper satellite scenes, covering 350,000 square miles of waterfowl habitat, into its conservation program. The organization now uses ERDAS' geographic imaging software and Esri's ArcView, ArcView Spatial Analyst, ArcView Image Analysis, ArcPad, and ArcIMS almost exclusively to "help target and monitor our work and make us more efficient with program delivery," according to Dick Kempka, DU's director of GIS.

As a nonprofit organization, funding is critical and often limited, requiring DU to precisely target wetland initiative areas and accurately assess the outcome of its work.

"Integrating imagery with other data is vital to us making important decisions about restoration projects that benefit wildlife, flood buffering, and water quality," said Kempka. "Originally, we needed to customize software to develop products needed for wetland analysis; more recently we have come to rely on ERDAS software for our conservation work." Kempka added that the flow between ERDAS and Esri software made it very easy to combine imagery with other GIS data such as soils, digital elevation models, hydrology, waterfowl population surveys, and land use, which enables them to look at a composite of the landscape and determine their next program delivery.

For more information about geographic imaging solutions, contact ERDAS (toll-free: 1-877-GO-ERDAS [1-877-463-7327] or visit ERDAS at

Contact Us | Privacy | Legal | Site Map