May 2014


LACIE logo
May 22, 2014Remembering Robert B. MacDonald

Earlier this year on Jan. 7, 2014, a giant in the world of Landsat applied science— Robert B. MacDonald—passed away. MacDonald was largely responsible for first envisioning and formulating how to use early Landsat data to estimate global crop [...]

Screen Capture from 1977 video
May 22, 20141977 Video: Landsat—Satellite for all Seasons

This 1977 NASA video series, "Landsat—Satellite for All Seasons," provides examples of early Landsat applications. The concatenated videos include:   + Growing Concerns This video illustrates how Landsat data were used to aid agriculture [...]

Napa Valley Vineyard
Mar 11, 2014The Grapes of Landsat

[By Matt Davenport for the AGU GeoSpace blog] California’s persistent drought is forcing grape growers to keep a more-attentive-than-normal eye on their vines, as water shortages and elevated temperatures alter this year’s growing season. “This [...]

CropScape map
Feb 12, 2014NASS Releases 2013 Geospatial Data for U.S. Crops

[Source: USDA] The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) updated its online geospatial exploring tool, CropScape, adding Cropland Data Layers from crop year 2013. This tool gives public an easy [...]

Cropland
Feb 4, 2014NASA Maps Earth’s Croplands from Space

[Source: Kate Ramsayer, NASA Goddard] It takes a lot of land to grow food for the world's seven billion people. About a third of Earth's terrestrial surface is used for agriculture. And about a third of that, in turn, is used to grow crops. Now, [...]

Child looking at Landsat image
Sep 27, 2013Mapping the World with Landsat

Speeding around the Earth at 16,800 mph (27,000 kph), two Landsat satellites are quietly, expertly watching and recording changes in Earth’s lands from space. They are gathering data for people to make maps–all kinds of wonderful maps–of our [...]

Safflower
Sep 4, 2013Landsat Impedes Crop Insurance Fraud

With unbiased Landsat imagery as evidence, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit affirmed an earlier jury-conviction of a northern California farmer found guilty on 16 counts of filing false federal crop insurance claims—scheming the [...]

Burning fields in Indonesia
Jul 30, 2013Using Landsat 8 to Locate Fires in Indonesia

In June, air pollution over Singapore and Malaysia spiked as forests in neighboring Sumatra (Indonesia) burned. Using NASA's daily fire alerts and official national maps, the fires were located in the vicinity of oil palm and acacia tree [...]

May 9, 2013Landsat Images Provide the Gold Standard for New Earth Applications

Images from Landsat satellites provided free to the public by the Department of the Interior's U.S. Geological Survey were the starting points for “a new breakthrough” reported today by Time and announced on the Official Google Blog. Using its [...]

Estimated mean annual ratio of ET to P
Feb 19, 2013New Maps Provide Crucial Information for Water Managers

For the first time, U.S. Geological Survey scientists have mapped long-term average evapotranspiration rates across the continental United States—a crucial tool for water managers and planners because of the huge role evapotranspiration plays in [...]