Training EcoSat Vegetation Classifications: User tips

What is EcoSat?
EcoSat delivers a one-of-it’s-kind semi-automated cloud processing of very high resolution satellite imagery to map nearshore vegetation and coastal benthic habitats.  EcoSat uses the latest multi-spectral imagery from reputable providers such as Digital Globe (World View 2,3 and 4), Airbus Defence and Space (Pleiades), and ESA’s Sentinel program and industry standard image processing techniques.  Sophisticated Amazon Web Service cloud infrastructure rapidly processes imagery, creates reports and imagery tiles, and delivers detailed habitat maps to user’s BioBase dashboard where it can be analyzed and shared.  Average turnaround time from imagery tasking order to delivery of results is 90 days.  The rapid and standard processing methods are allowing entities like the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to establish regular monitoring programs for emergent vegetation.  The extremely long and expensive one-off nature of conventional remote sensing mapping projects using non-repeatable tailored techniques has prevented natural resource entities from assessing the degree that habitats are changing as a result of environmental stressors such as invasive species invasions and climate change.

Continue reading “Training EcoSat Vegetation Classifications: User tips”


June 22nd 2017

Emanuela Ferina
Global Marketing Manager, C-MAP

Ray Valley
Aquatic Biologist & Biobase Product Expert 

Building on the Power of the BioBase Cloud Mapping Platform, New Product Generates Full Inventories of Shallow Water Habitats

C-MAP®, a leading supplier of digital navigation products to the maritime market, in partnership with a global leader in remote sensing services, EOMAP GmbH & Co KG, announced today the launch of EcoSat.
A new semi-automated wetland and coastal habitat mapping product that is part of the BioBase Cloud Mapping Platform, EcoSat uses the unique reflectance properties of vegetation and sea bottoms from high resolution satellite imagery and creates distinct polygon objects with spatial properties like area and perimeter. EcoSat’s power is doubled when combined with its sister product EcoSound which uses sonar and GPS data files to map depth and submerged vegetation. EcoSat complements BioBase’s core functionality of submerged habitat mapping with sonar with new capabilities to inventory habitats in vast nearshore areas of aquatic environments. Aquatic habitat managers across the globe can use EcoSat to quickly assess and monitor changes in wetland complexes, shallow lakes, tidal estuaries and marshes, and benthic habitats. EcoSat will also be an invaluable tool for the assessment and monitoring of invasive aquatic plants. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute (FWRI) is currently using EcoSat and EcoSound to generate full aquatic vegetation inventories in high profile Florida lakes.
“The combination of the latest habitat image classification procedures and the high-performance of the BioBase Cloud environment brings significant benefits to all users that don’t have access to large data processing capacities,” said Marcus Bindel, EOMAP data analyst.
Leveraging the expertise of a team of remote sensing experts at EOMAP, EcoSat rapidly processes raw satellite imagery and creates unique habitat classifications (e.g., polygons in a shapefile). Shapefiles and raw imagery – that are often hundreds of megabytes – are uploaded and processed by BioBase’s powerful cloud-based servers. Shapefiles and imagery are stored in a user’s or organization’s private online account for easy access and sharing. BioBase customers can interact with these detailed EcoSat files simply with any internet-enabled device. Users can also export custom charts of the EcoSat classifications to their Lowrance or Simrad chartplotter and navigate directly to a habitat of interest.
“BioBase is a first-of-its-kind, off-the-shelf cloud solution for organizations and businesses that need full aquatic habitat inventories quickly,” said Greg Konig, head of product development, C-MAP. “Prior to BioBase automated mapping technologies, aquatic managers and researchers would spend countless hours at high costs just to produce a map. But not anymore.”
For more information on C-MAP Light Marine and Commercial products, visit For more information about EcoSat and the BioBase Cloud Mapping Platform, visit
About C-MAP:
C-MAP is a world-leading provider of marine information with products ranging from electronic navigational charts to fleet management, vessel and voyage optimization. C-MAP offers the world’s largest marine navigation digital chart database, helping customers to address the complexity of maritime operations through integrated, intelligent information systems. For more information, visit
Processed polygons of emergent vegetation beds in Lake Tohopekaliga, FLfrom high resolution satellite imagery combined with submerged vegetation mapped with BioBase – EcoSound

Download automatically created Lowrance or Simrad Chart files from EcoSat and verify classifications directly from your watercraft  

Export Customized Imagery

The team at Contour Innovations released a great new feature this evening!  Fully customizable imagery of your collected data can now be exported from the CI BioBase system.  This great new feature gives dynamic control over the layout, size and included data to ensure that you have the ultimate flexibility to create output for every unique use case.  It is completely up to you on how and what you export in each on-the-fly generated image.

Want to try it?  Test it at

In the rest of this post, we will cover how to use this new feature and highlight some of the most useful tidbits to help you create the best imagery possible!  To get started, from your home page, simply click on the arrow for the trip you want to export.  Once it loads, select the “Export Data” tab.  This will take you to the Export Data or Imagery page like the image below.

Once at the “Export Data” tab, select the Imagery checkbox (as shown above) and click Next.  This will take you to the Options page, where you can get into the detailed options of your soon-to-be-generated image.

Let’s breakdown each one of the options, while keeping in mind, we may be adding to this list to continue to give you more intimate control over your imagery.

1.  Include track – This will do just what it says.  If you want to include your track (the red line on your maps) then select this checkbox.

2.  Include contours – If you want to put bathymetry lines on your image then select this checkbox.  Once selected, it will request that you specify the contour interval that you desire.  The value that you specify will vary based on your requirements and the “look” you are shooting for.  On deep, small waterbodies, you may want to enter a larger number (i.e. 5 or so) and vice versa for shallow waterbodies.  Personally, we like to see the details of the waterbody, so we tend to keep the contour interval relatively small to ensure that we see those little humps or points.

3.  Include vegetation or Include vegetation standard deviation – If you want to include either the vegetation heat map or the standard deviation error heat map, go ahead and select one or the other.  The tool will not allow you select both, since we’re not really sure how layering two heat maps on top of one another would look…  That said, you can select both vegetation and contours.  The contours will be placed behind a reduced opaque vegetation heat map, so you will be able to see both.

4.  Size – Currently we support 4″x6″, 5″x7″, 5″x8″ and 6″x8″ sizes.  These sizes act as the general ratio of height to width.  The pixels that these sizes equate to are covered in the Estimated Size section.
5.  Resolution – The resolution is depicted in Pixels Per Inch (ppi).  For higher resolution images select 300 ppi, for lower resolution (but still good quality) images, select 100 ppi.
6.  Orientation – You can choose either Portrait (height is greater than width) or Landscape (width is greater than height) for the orientation of your image.  All sizes are initially specified in Portrait orientation.  If you are sampling a waterbody that has a general east to west layout or printing a transect that runs closer to east and west than north and sound then Landscape will produce a much better output!

7.  Map Key Position – Like any good map, our custom imagery needs to have a map key associated with it.  We intentionally left the key simple to ensure that you can customize your image with additional information after saving the base image from CI BioBase.  If there is an upper corner that is less intrusive on your map then select that corner from the position drop down list.

8.  Zoom to Surveyed Area – This is a really slick feature that allows you to focus your imagery directly on the area of the waterbody that was traveled upon or on the waterbody in its entirety.  This has multiple uses, such as separate images for a localized look and a global look at the same assessment that was done or, perhaps, only a small bay was done on an enormous waterbody.  In any scenario, there are usually good reasons to stay zoomed in on the key area of concern, so we generally recommend keeping this checked.

9.  Estimated Size – This will point you in the general direction of the height and width (in pixels) and the overall size in megabytes.  This will also give you an indication of A) how long it might take to download  the image if you are on a slow Internet connection and/or B) if it will fit in a document that you are creating.

… and with that, you are ready to generate your image for download.  To do so, simply click either Next or the Export tab on the left hand side of the control.  This will take you to the final step.  To finish up and generate your image, click the Export button as shown in #1 below.

Depending on the size of your image, this might take a couple minutes.  This is also dependent upon your connection speed, especially if the image is one of the larger formats.  Once the image generation completes, you will be prompted to save the newly created image.  Click the Save File button as shown by #2 in the above image, select the location you wish to save it to and you’re done!  That’s it.

This post turned out much longer than it needs to be, but we wanted to be sure you can fully utilize the new, just-in-time vegetation and bathymetry imagery generation!  Its as simple as four clicks of the mouse and you have an unbelievable image ready for reports, presentations or documentation!

Lastly, here are a couple sample outputs with the associated settings:

4×6 100 ppi with Vegetation and Contours (Portrait) Upper Left Map Key

5×7 100 ppi with Contours (Landscape) Upper Right Map Key

5×7 200 ppi with Vegetation and Contours (Landscape) Upper Right Map Key – Zoomed In

5×7 200 ppi with Vegetation and Contours (Landscape) Upper Right Map Key – No Zoom

We will continually enhancing this feature, along with many others!  Any comments, questions or issues, shoot us an email at!!