The latest with Lens: June 2023

Learn what's happening with Lens this month, including the latest product updates!

Imagery credit: USDA NAIP 2021 via Lens
Jun 2, 2023
Table of contents

What's New

Dreaming up future Lens features

If you had five days to set aside day-to-day work and tackle a new creative project, what would you do? This is a question that us Upstreamers ask ourselves semi-annually during Hackweeks. They're opportunities to collaborate with different teammates, brainstorm new projects, and hack together creative ideas. Check out some of the ideas hatched during our spring Hackweek a couple of weeks ago. Some of these ideas could (maybe) end up in Lens someday!

Hackweek oooo's and aaaa's from our fully remote team

Beyond the specific ideas, Hackweek is one of our ways to keep our pencils sharp and our thinking hats on. Read on for updates in Lens inspired by our ongoing mission to bring you valuable features and powerful tools for conservation.

2021 NAIP imagery

Great news - 2021 NAIP imagery is loaded into Lens! NAIP imagery is public, 1m resolution imagery that covers the entire United States. While it isn't released in the current monitoring year, NAIP imagery is great for using as baseline images in compare mode.

The USDA Farm Service Agency administers the National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) in order to capture growing season imagery of each state. Unlike in past years, the 2021 capture included Hawaii and Puerto Rico. To read more about public truecolor imagery sources in Lens, see our article here.

Screenshot 2023-05-31 at 9.39.41 AM
Imagery Credit: USDA NAIP 2021

Draw properties with US tax parcels

Lens Plus and Enterprise Plans

In addition to uploading files or drawing properties from scratch, you can now create new properties in Lens by selecting US tax parcels. Whether you're quickly scouting out new properties or have limited in-house GIS capacity, creating properties from tax parcels makes new property additions easy and accurate. Read more about the various ways to add properties here.


2022 Impact Observatory Data

Impact Observatory has released 2022 data for their global Land Use Land Cover dataset, which is viewable in Lens. Each year is generated from Impact Observatory’s deep learning AI land classification model using a massive training dataset of billions of human-labeled image pixels. In addition to viewing and comparing these datasets in Lens, you can also use Analyze Area to see trends in land cover changes over time. Read more about our modeled datasets here. If you haven't added the layer to your account already, you can do so from the Lens Library.

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Schedule a training for your team in Lens

Could your team use a refresher on how to use Lens? Schedule a group training with me via the "Help" dropdown on the top toolbar in Lens. From here you can select a time that works well for your team, and we can walk through Lens together and address any questions you might have. If you have specific support questions, reach out to me at lens@upstream.tech.

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Call to action

Billing Update Reminder

Calling all Focus and Plus customers: we’ve just added a way to update your payment method directly in Lens. We’re streamlining billing processes to help save time for you and for our team as we support more customers. Upon your subscription renewal after June 30th, we will transition from quarterly to monthly auto-billing for imagery invoices. Please ensure that you have a credit card or bank account on file by June 30th.  To update your billing information, head over to your Billing and Contracts page, where you can now easily edit your billing information on file. As always, feel free to contact our team if you have questions.

New Blog Posts

A Primer on False-Color Imagery

Katie, our remote sensing expert, wrote a wonderful education piece on false-color imagery. Curious learn more about how false-color layers work and how you can use them for efficient monitoring? Check out her piece here.

Screenshot 2023-05-31 at 10.52.00 AM
Imagery Credit: USDA NAIP 2021 Near Infrared

Lens + HydroForecast to better understand an unpredictable climate

As you may know, Lens isn't Upstream Tech's only environmental software product. HydroForecast is an award-winning streamflow forecasting and water intelligence tool for water managers. For high moisture years in the American West, environmental data is particularly key for water management and planning. Check out our new blog post which combines the power of Lens and HydroForecast to understand the current state of snowpack across river basins in California.

New Lens in Action videos

🎬  Lights, Camera, Lens  🎬. See our new YouTube channel for some Lens in Action videos that cover a variety of case studies – from preserving the habitat of at-risk species, to monitoring changes in suburban environments.

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Request for feedback - Vegetation Alerts

We're in the midst of gathering feedback about our Vegetation Alerts tool (Plus and Enterprise Plans) and would love to hear your input. Check out our survey here!

Where on Earth?

Any idea what river is shown here in Alaska? The image below shows the point bars, cut banks, and oxbows formed from a very active river meandering through a flood plain in the Yukon River watershed. This tributary drains about 35,000 square miles of Alaska into the Yukon, which then flows to the Bering Sea. Take a guess - winner gets a shoutout in our next feature release.

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Imagery credit: USDA NAIP 2021 via Lens

Last month's winner, May Grzybowski with Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust, correctly guessed El Capitan in Yosemite as the geologic feature seen from above.

Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust has conserved more than 20,000 acres in Massachusetts and won LTA's 2022 National Land Trust Excellence Award.

Hot Tip

Want to export a shapefile of your properties from Lens? It's easy. Just select one or multiple properties, and then click the button on the top right of the toolbar with three grey dots. From here you can export the selected properties as a shapefile. With easy file downloads, Lens is a handy backup for your up-to-date property boundaries.

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Check out the rest of our knowledge base to learn more about working in Lens, and know that you can always reach us at lens@upstream.tech with any questions.

Happy Monitoring!

Miles & the Lens Team