The Latest with Lens: March 2024

Mar 21, 2024
Table of contents

What's New

The Lens team is welcoming signs of spring with open arms! Some of our team has been shoveling feet of snow while others are enjoying summer-like weather. We're eager to share some new improvements to Lens that will help your reports and notes shine.

But first, we're thrilled to introduce you to Alison O'Neill, the newest member of the Lens team! Alison is our new Customer Success Manager and will be carrying the torch as Miles transitions to the Lens Growth & Partnerships team. You can read more about her background on our staff page.

Smart Summaries in Lens reports

Smart Summaries are a new beta feature in Lens built to make your monitoring workflow even easier. These AI-generated summaries help you quickly craft a summary based on the notes included in the report. The smart summary is meant to be a starting point for you to make further edits or revisions because we believe that AI is most useful when applied to specific tasks with oversight from humans. In this case, that task is writing a summary based on all notes in a report, and the output is meant to be a starting point for further refinement from the user. Please note that this is for Lens Plus and Enterprise plans only.

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This beta feature can be found on the first page of a report created in Lens. As with most AI tools, context is key, and the outputs tend to be better when there are several notes and note text is descriptive. Admin users can disable Smart Summaries across their org in their Settings page. To learn more, see our help article here.

Display note locations in a report

On the second page of a Lens report, you're welcomed by an overview map of the entire property. You can now display note locations so that you can see where notes are distributed across a property at a glance. Don't forget that you can also change the date of the truecolor image displayed in this overview map.

Mar-21-2024 11-01-05

Updates to note cards

We've given our note cards a bit of a refresh! Now, simply clicking on a note card will bring you to the scene and location on your property map. Also, the scene and location info is tucked away neatly into the location icon in the top right corner of the note. Just hover over the icon to show more information about the attached layers.


New Overlays

Natural Gas Pipelines Overlay

This new system overlay allows you to see natural gas pipelines on your properties, and is  available in your Lens Overlay Library. This dataset includes the major natural gas transmission pipelines in the United States including interstate, intrastate, and gathering pipelines. Data was obtained by the U.S. Energy Information Administration and last updated in June of 2019. It is made available by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Geospatial Management Office's Homeland Infrastructure Foundation-Level Data portal.

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US Protected Areas Overlay

This overlay includes protected conservation areas at the national, state, and local level, as well as easements, as of June 2023. It is derived from the USGS Protected Areas Database of the U.S. (PAD-US) and includes public lands and parks, Wilderness Areas, National Wildlife Refuges, reserves, conservation easements, Marine Protected Areas, and more. This data is provided by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Geospatial Management Office's Homeland Infrastructure Foundation-Level Data portal.

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Massachusetts Wetlands Inventory

The Wetlands Data Layer is the product of over 45 years of work by the National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) and its collaborators and currently contains more than 35 million wetland and deepwater features. Massachusetts wetland areas have been updated between 1975 and 2013, depending on the part of the state. Hovering over a wetland area will show the wetland type (ex: Riverine, Estuarine, Lake, Freshwater Pond).

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Resource: Remote Monitoring for Legal Defense

Have you ever wondered how to manage a boundary encroachment or other unexpected change on a property? The Land Trust Alliance recently shared an excellent new practical pointer for remote monitoring, which walks you through the use of remote data for everything from risk mitigation to managing landowner and neighbor relationships.

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New Blog Post: Remote monitoring for forest management

Today is The International Day of Forests! We're excited to share more about Lens for forest monitoring in a new article. The story dives into:

  • Using remote sensing to understand baseline and historical forest conditions
  • Utilizing datasets such as the Normalized Burn Ratio (NBR) to evaluate wildfire and burn impact
  • How to survey damage caused by pest and invasive species outbreaks, and more

We're hiring!

Like what you're reading and want to be more involved? Know someone else who might be? We're hiring for several positions and also have an Open Call for applications if you have something in mind.

Where on Earth?

On the theme of it being The International Day of Forests, let's take an interactive dive into the property mentioned in the blog post above. This 5,500 acre property experienced a wildfire in August of 2018, which was actually captured by Sentinel-2 imagery. Check it out in Lens here. While much can't be seen with truecolor imagery, the SWIR, NIR layer makes it possible to identify which areas have burned and even areas that are currently on fire (the red blotches). Also, we encourage you to try 3D mode via the right toolbar, as that helps contextualize where the fire has spread.

To learn more about infrared imagery and how it can be used, check out our support article. And to generate share links like the one you just viewed, see our sharing options.

Imagery credit: ESA Sentinel-2, 2018

Hot Tip

With the introduction of Note tags, you can use this new feature for sorting. It's a great way to keep reports organized with notes categorized into sections (ex: all the violation risks first, then ecological changes).

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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!

Alison, Miles, & the Lens Team