Humans have been observing Earth for a very long time simply because the conditions of the Earth are basic to our survival and our prosperity. Even the most ancient written records are filled with accounts of great floods, famines, and earthquakes. When to plant and when to harvest, how to use precious water resources most effectively, and ways to avoid natural disasters are all age-old challenges that have encouraged Earth observation from the beginning of civilization. But now we observe from afar.
The Landsat 8 satellite is helping researchers spot aquatic algae from space, gathering information that could direct beachgoers away from contaminated bays and beaches. With improved sensors and technology on the latest Landsat satellite, researchers can now distinguish slight variations in the color of coastal water due to algae or sediments to identify potential problem areas.
When rescue and recovery crews make their way through communities devastated by hurricanes, tornados and wildfires, what they need are maps to help them get around safely. U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ writer Dr. JoAnne Castagna is looking forward to an uneventful hurricane season, but in case it’s not, USACE is prepared!
The Landsat fleet of satellites can tell responders what damage disasters have done, providing timely insight into flood extents, fire boundaries, lava flow directions, road conditions, and oil slick movements. The images from these birds support response to earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, fires, landslides, oil spills, and hurricanes worldwide.
Today, September 23, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS, a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Interior) released a collection of higher-resolution (more detailed) elevation datasets for Africa. The datasets were released following the President’s commitment at the United Nations to provide assistance for global efforts to combat climate change....