Thousands of festival participants interacted with an 8 ft. by 10 ft. Landsat mosaic of New York, which was printed on durable fabric they could stand and sit on for lengthy exploration. Coached by Landsat public engagement staff, festival participants identified familiar features of New York landscapes and investigated features that were new to them. They saw their neighborhoods, parks, highways, rivers, harbors, islands, and beaches in a new way. They learned that Landsat satellites capture light reflected from Earth’s surface, that Landsat has been recording changes on the Earth since 1972 and that all Landsat data are freely available. Many families came to explore the mosaic, and parents used it to teach science and geography to their children. Everyone young and old wanted to know, “Where’s my house?”
The Landsat mosaic of New York was installed in Gould Plaza at New York University next to NASA’s Orbit Pavilion, an art piece featuring the sounds of 19 NASA satellites that monitor the pulse of our planet from the extraordinary vantage point of space.
The World Science Festival has been an annual event since 2008. For more information, visit: http://www.worldsciencefestival.com
+ Geographia Feature: New York City, 1860
Safeguarding freshwater resources is crucial, and while scientists use a variety of ground-based techniques to gauge water quality, the Landsat program has provided water quality data from orbit for decades.