November 2015


Great Plains photo
Nov 9, 2015Picture This: Newly Released Photo Catalog Puts U.S. Landscapes On Exhibit

The U.S. Geological Survey announced today that it has made part of a huge national repository of geographically referenced USGS field photographs publicly available. USGS geographers developed a simple, easy-to-use mapping portal called the [...]

Milan skyline
Nov 1, 2015Urbanization Affects Air and Water in Italy’s Po Plain

In a recent Eos Project Update, a group of researchers from Italy and NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab shared the results of their large Po Plain Experiment (POPLEX).

14 Landsat Images Provided to the International Charter in October 2015
Oct 31, 201514 Landsat Images Provided to the International Charter in October 2015

The International Charter is a system that supplies free satellite imagery to emergency responders anywhere in the world.

Alyssa Whitcraft
Oct 29, 2015GEOGLAM & the Landsat Connection—Earthzine Takes a Look

There is a global effort afoot to fight hunger and reduce poverty by allowing anyone with an internet connection to see agricultural projections.

2M Landsat 7 scene
Oct 28, 2015Landsat 7 Captures Two-Millionth Scene

Landsat 7, which launched on April 15, 1999, has been continuing to acquire land images worldwide for 16 years. Landsat 5 may hold the Guinness World Record for longest Earth-observing satellite at 28+ years, but Landsat 7 also has an impressive [...]

forest fall colors
Oct 28, 2015Forest Disturbance History from Landsat Released, 1986-2010

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory DAAC, has just release a Landsat-based forest disturbance history covering the years between 1986 and 2010.

close-up of study area land-terminating glacier
Oct 28, 2015Despite Warming, Landsat Reveals Decadal Slowdowns on Greenland Ice Sheet

Ice sheets are in perpetual motion, making their way downslope like a river. If the amount of snow that an ice sheet accumulates does not keep pace with its loss to the sea, sea level will rise. As temperatures have climbed, positive feedback [...]

Amsterdam Island
Oct 22, 2015The Loneliest Volcano on Earth

WIRED Magazine's Eric Klemetti wrote a blog post titled "The Loneliest Volcano on Earth" about Amsterdam Island in the Indian Ocean. In his post, Klemetti used a Landsat 8 image to show the lonesome volcano.

Matt Hansen
Oct 21, 2015Visualizing Data—Landsat at the World Economic Forum

The World Economic Forum has published a talk given by Illah Nourbakhsh, professor of robotics from Carnegie Mellon and Matthew Hansen, a remote sensing specialist at the University of Maryland, that demonstrates how visualizing big data can [...]

Comparison of idle fields from 2011 to 2015
Oct 21, 2015Federal Agencies Release Data Showing California Central Valley Idle Farmland Doubling During Drought

NASA, in collaboration with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), United States Geological Survey (USGS), and the California Department of Water Resources, released data today showing the effect the current drought has had on [...]

signing of agreement
Oct 19, 2015United States and European Union Sign Cooperation Arrangement on Copernicus Earth Observation Data

The European Commission and the United States signed the “Copernicus Cooperation Arrangement” which will facilitate data sharing from the Copernicus constellation of Sentinel Earth Observation satellites among a broad spectrum of users on both [...]

Mike Taylor
Oct 16, 2015The Chesapeake Bay in 661 Million Pixels

Imagine you're flying 438 miles above the Earth taking pictures and collecting information of everything below. What do you see? Now imagine you’ve been doing this non-stop for over 40 years. Do you notice any change?

Ayse Kilic (University of Nebraska)
Oct 14, 2015Tracking Agricultural Water Use on a Smartphone

This fall scientists at the University of Nebraska, with partners at Google Inc., the University of Idaho and the Desert Research Institute, introduced the latest evolution of METRIC technology—an application called EEFLUX, which will allow [...]

Horn Island Lagoon Mississippi
Oct 13, 2015Barrier Island Shorelines Extracted From Landsat Imagery

Landsat enables coastal geomorphologists to observe changes to barrier islands on annual and decadal time scales—providing information about island size, shape and position, as well as erosion, land loss and island breakup.

LCLUC meeting participants
Oct 10, 2015NASA LCLUC Spring 2015 Science Team Meeting Summary

The NASA Land-Cover/Land-Use Change (LCLUC) Program held its annual spring Science Team Meeting (STM) on April 22-23, 2015, in College Park, MD.

ridge-top bristlecone pine forest
Oct 5, 2015A forest by any other name?
Semantics, carbon implications, and solutions


Using the world’s first global, Landsat-based 30-meter resolution map of tree cover, researchers found that ambiguity of the term “forest” has the potential to create 13 percent discrepancies in forest area maps. While ecologists have long [...]

Over 150 Landsat Images Provided to the International Charter in September 2015
Sep 30, 2015Over 150 Landsat Images Provided to the International Charter in September 2015

This month, 166 Landsat scenes were ingested by the USGS Hazard Data Distribution System to provide data for Charter activations.

Gombe ecosystem
Sep 29, 2015Landsat Images Advance Watershed Restoration in Western Tanzania

For those who live along its shores, Lake Tanganyika in east Africa is the backbone of local transportation and serves as an essential source of household water and protein. Every night, fishers lure nocturnal, sardine-like fish called dagaa [...]

Lake Fire
Sep 28, 2015Landsat Enables Seasonal Fuel Dynamic Estimations for Southwest U.S.

By incorporating seasonal variability of herbaceous cover and biomass in the Southwest U.S., fine fuel loading can be measured. The measurements are then used to capture changes to fire behavior fuel models based on the current fire season.

fire approaching King River
Sep 28, 2015LANDFIRE Innovation for Landsat Image Compositing

The LANDFIRE program produces annual fire disturbance maps for the conterminous U.S. Recently, the program developed an image tiling and compositing process to aid in vegetation change mapping.

visitors look at Landsat image cubes
Sep 28, 2015Landsat at Explore@Goddard

On Saturday, September 26, over 20,000 people attended an all-day public open house at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.

shorebirds
Sep 24, 2015Landsat Helps Feed the Birds

The BirdReturns program, created by The Nature Conservancy of California, is an effort to provide "pop-up habitats" for some of the millions of shorebirds, such as sandpipers and plovers, that migrate each year from their summer breeding grounds [...]

Typical American suburban community with model homes.
Sep 15, 2015USGS Maps Anthropogenic Land Use Trends, 1974–2012

More and more we hear the term "anthropocene" used to describe the current epoch of our planet when humankind has had a profound impact on Earth. This month, the U.S. Geological Survey has released a Landsat-based report and dataset on [...]

water hyacinth in bloom
Sep 2, 2015A Beautiful Menace: Tracking Water Hyacinth with Landsat

Delivering maps and tabular summaries of live water hyacinth coverage in waterways of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta from the latest cloud-free Landsat satellite imagery.

New Global Data Finds Tropical Forests Declining in Overlooked Hotspots
Sep 2, 2015New Global Data Finds Tropical Forests Declining in Overlooked Hotspots

The world lost more than 18 million hectares (45 million acres) of tree cover in 2014, an area twice the size of Portugal, according to new data from the University of Maryland (UMD) and Google released by Global Forest Watch. The data find that [...]

Landsat Images Provided to the International Charter in August 2015
Aug 31, 2015Landsat Images Provided to the International Charter in August 2015

The Charter concept is this: a single phone number is made available to authorized parties providing 24/7 contact to a person who can activate the charter. Once activated, a project manager takes charge. The project manager knows what satellite [...]

Landsat Benefited U.S. Economy by $1.8 Billion in 2011
Aug 30, 2015Landsat Benefited U.S. Economy by $1.8 Billion in 2011

The 2.38 million Landsat images freely downloaded in 2011, benefited the U.S. economy by $1.8 billion found a new study published this month by a team of economists from Colorado State University and the USGS Fort Collins Science Center.

urban heat island
Aug 25, 2015Vegetation Essential for Limiting City Warming Effects

Cities are well known hot spots – literally. The urban heat island effect has long been observed to raise the temperature of big cities by 1 to 3°C (1.8 to 5.4°F), a rise that is due to the presence of asphalt, concrete, buildings, and other [...]

Forester showing pine beetle damage
Aug 19, 2015Improved Forest Disturbance Monitoring via an Algorithm Ensemble

Forest resource managers, natural resource policy makers, and global change scientists need comprehensive, consistent, and up-to-date information on trends in forest cover and condition. This information is essential for understanding carbon [...]

cropland in PA
Aug 18, 2015How Landsat Helps: New Agricultural Case Studies from USGS

The Social and Economic Analysis team at the Fort Collins Science Center recently added five new agriculture focused case studies to their "Landsat Imagery: A Unique Resource" website.

Superglacial lakes in Greenland. Photo credit: Washington University.
Aug 17, 2015Lakes On A Glacier

How deep is that icy blue water on Greenland's ice sheet? Dr. Allen Pope, of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, is using data from the NASA/USGS Landsat 8 satellite to find out. In this video, Dr. Pope shares what he sees when he looks at a [...]

Benign algae bloom in New York Bight
Aug 12, 2015The Good, the Bad, and the Algae

Algae are complicated. The little plants can be both good and bad.

ISU team in the field
Aug 7, 2015A Landsat-based Tool to Track Cheatgrass, Monitor Potential Wildfire Hazard

Landsat 8 imagery is being used to identify increased wildfire susceptibility due to the invasion of cheatgrass on rangelands.

Landsat Images Provided to the International Charter in July 2015
Jul 31, 2015Landsat Images Provided to the International Charter in July 2015

The International Charter is a system that supplies free satellite imagery to emergency responders anywhere in the world.

Curtis Woodcock
Jul 30, 2015Landsat Science Team Meeting Held

The U.S. Geological Survey hosted the most recent Landsat Science Team Meeting at the Earth Resources Observation and Science Data Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota from July 7–9. On the first day presentations on the project status were [...]

NOAA Ship Fairweather
Jul 23, 2015Avoiding Rock Bottom: How Landsat Aids Nautical Charting

On the most recent nautical chart of the Beaufort Sea where the long narrow Tapkaluk Islands of Alaska’s North Slope separate the sea from the shallow Elson Lagoon (Nautical Chart 16081) a massive shoal is immediately noticeable just west of the [...]

Landsat 8 image of coast of Indonesia
Jul 17, 2015Seeing Clearly—A Peek into the World of Atmospheric Correction

On Tuesday, Mapbox announced that it is at work incorporating atmospherically corrected Landsat 8 data into its constantly refreshed Landsat-live map. After ironing out a few remaining kinks, data processed through this automatic atmospheric [...]

North American river widths derived from Landsat
Jul 9, 2015A Satellite View of River Width

Hydrologists from the University of North Carolina have come up with an innovative way to estimate the size of rivers via satellite images. Combing through data acquired by Landsat satellites, George Allen and Tamlin Pavelsky have compiled a new [...]

Percent loss of Turkey's glaciers
Jul 2, 2015Turkish Glaciers Shrink By Half

Researchers and citizens have known for some time that Turkey’s glaciers are shrinking. Now scientists have calculated the losses and found that more than half of the ice cover in this mountainous country has vanished since the 1970s.

Landsat Images Provided to the International Charter in June 2015
Jun 30, 2015Landsat Images Provided to the International Charter in June 2015

This month, 31 Landsat scenes were ingested by the USGS Hazard Data Distribution System to provide data for International Charter activations.

first image from Sentinel-2A covers the Po Valley, framed by the Alps in the north and the coastal mountains of France and Italy in the south
Jun 30, 2015Sentinel-2 Delivers First Images

Just four days after being lofted into orbit, Europe’s Sentinel-2A satellite delivered its first images of Earth, offering a glimpse of the ‘color vision’ that it will provide for the Copernicus environmental monitoring program.

Sentinel-2A
Jun 26, 2015USGS Welcomes European Space Agency’s New Land Observing Satellite

[Source: Jon Campbell, USGS] The U.S. Geological Survey salutes the European Space Agency (ESA) on the successful June 23 launch of its Sentinel-2A satellite, the second satellite to be launched in Europe’s Copernicus environment monitoring [...]

graphic from the L8 data users handbook
Jun 25, 2015Landsat 8 Data Users Handbook Now Available

Landsat 8 data users will be glad to hear that the new Landsat 8 Data Users Handbook is now available online in PDF format from USGS.

Landsat & Sentinel-2 band comparison
Jun 23, 2015Sentinel-2A Launches—Our Compliments & Our Complements

The European Space Agency’s Sentinel-2A successfully launched into orbit last night from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana aboard a Vega rocket (10:52 p.m. local time; 01:52 GMT).

ESA Earth from Space screenshot
Jun 19, 2015ESA’s Earth From Space Features a Landsat 8 Image of San Francisco Bay

The European Space Agency's Earth from Space, presented by Kelsea Brennan-Wessels from the ESA Web-TV virtual studios, recently featured a Landsat 8 image of the San Francisco Bay in this edition: + Visit ESA YouTube page Read more [...]

flooding of Nicholson River in 2009
Jun 18, 2015A New Era of Space Collaboration between Australia and U.S.

On June 18, 2015 in Canberra, Australia, the U.S. Geological Survey and Geoscience Australia signed a comprehensive new partnership to maximize land remote sensing operations and data that can help to address issues of national and international [...]

Coral reef with fish courtesy of Jeremy Cohen, Penn State University
Jun 17, 2015Satellites Enable Coral Reef Science Leap from Darwin to Online

With Earth-observing satellite data, scientists can now monitor the health of coral reefs, even in the most remote regions scattered around the globe where it is otherwise difficult to see changes.

ProPublica Landsat Las Vegas
Jun 4, 2015ProPublica Welcomes Readers to Las Vegas with Landsat

ProPublica has put together an interactive graphic called Welcome to Las Vegas*" that uses 40 years worth of Landsat data, together with a graphic representation of the city's changing skyline and its water use statistics.

Satellite-located landslides
Jun 4, 2015Scientist-Volunteers Map Landslides from Nepal Quakes

As millions of people regroup from earthquakes in Nepal, a team of international volunteers is combing through satellite imagery of the region to identify additional hazards: earthquake-induced landslides. “Landslides are a common secondary [...]

fall foliage from Landsat 8
Jun 2, 2015Technical Announcement: USGS Ups Ease of Use for Landsat Data

The USGS has begun production of higher-level (more highly processed) Landsat data products to help advance land surface change studies. One such product is Landsat surface reflectance data.