Category Archives: Imagery

Happy GIS Day 2020! #GISDay

As a way to celebrate GIS Day and OpenStreetMap, we are encouraging everyone to go online either during this week or on GIS Day and contribute to the OpenStreetMap basemap. You may consider improving the basemap in your own community. Here are several projects to consider:

Public Lab Mongolia – https://tasks.hotosm.org/projects/9560/
Public Lab Mongolia (PLM), a local non-governmental organization in Mongolia, is leading the Mongolian chapter for volunteer mappers through the HOTmicrogrant COVID-19 project, as part of their mission to promote open data and disaster preparedness. This mapping will also help with COVID-19 response efforts. This project is to map Ulaanbaatar capital city of Mongolia, is organized by PLM in collaboration with the Mongolian Geo-spatial Association and local universities.

Hurricane Eta – Nicaragua – https://tasks.hotosm.org/projects/9765
Hurricane Eta brought wind, rain and storm surge to the coast of Nicaragua. This project is to finish the basemap of Bilwi (Puerto Cabezas) by digitizing buildings from MAXAR imagery. Available to beginners, there may be tricky tasks in this project as some areas have been partially mapped with older imagery and vegetation can often hide parts of structures. Make sure to review the instructions for tips on how to overcome these challenges and provide high quality data.

Explore your own project: https://tasks.hotosm.org/explore

And now for something weird: Joseph Kerski’s Weird Earth

Today we will be joining Joseph Kerski, a Geographer and GIS education enthusiast, exploring Weird Earth: Exploring the Earth with Interesting, Bizarre, and Odd Imagery. Joseph provides a narrated video on Youtube (primarily targeted at educators) but you can also explore these fascinating places on your own using this ArcGIS Online map. Thank you, Joseph, for taking us to new places and uncover hidden gems on our planet!

New Video Tutorials Available from VirginiaView

VirginiaView, in partnership with Virginia Tech and other partners, recently published a new video tutorial series called “Working with Lidar Using ArcGIS Pro”.   This resource is appropriate for 2-year and 4-year college faculty who would like to integrate additional online (and self-paced) educational resources with their courses.

Previous tutorial topics have also been popular with geospatial professionals who are seeking a cost effective and self-paced opportunity to sharpen their geospatial skills.  The new tutorial series (and other topics listed below) might be appropriate for professionals working with local/regional/state/federal governments, as well as in the private sector.

The following geospatial video tutorials are available at no cost, and can be accessed via http://www.virginiaview.net/videos

New!  Working with Lidar Using ArcGIS Pro (14 videos)

Remote Sensing with ArcGIS Pro (28 videos)

Remote Sensing with ArcMap (30 videos)

Using Lidar in ArcGIS Desktop (13 videos)

Drones: Mastering the Aeronautical Charts (6 videos)

Oh how the years go by: 40 years – Mount St. Helens

This week marks 40 years since the Mount St. Helens eruption. The image above is from the USGS Earthshots trading card series. The images are displayed in color infrared which is useful for showing living vegetation in red. The mountains surrounding Mount St. Helens are primarily forest. Notice the extreme change in the landscape from the 1973 image to the post eruption image in 1983. The damage was extensive and ash covered much of the surrounding forest land.

Additional Resource

Earthshots: Satellite Images of Environmental Change – Mount St. Helens: https://earthshots.usgs.gov/earthshots/Mount-St-Helens#ad-image-0-0
Scroll through the images to watch the forest begin to return as the years go by!

Mother Earth As Art – Virtual Art Exhibit

Dr. Chandana Mitra of AlabamaView along with other member of her team are hosting “Mother Earth as Art”, which features USGS Earth as Art images as well as other inspired images, at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at Auburn University during Spring 2020. The exhibit is also available online. Here is the link to explore the exhibit: http://jcsm.auburn.edu/exhibitions/mother-earth-as-art/.

Dr. Mitra, two of her graduates students,along with the art museum curator, Christy Barlow discuss the exhibit in an online gallery talk which was presented live on Earth Day, April, 22, 2020. Here is a link to view the gallery talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPtBDZF0DRM&feature=youtu.be

Below is a preview of the some of the images.

Experience the beauty of our planet on #EarthDay. We're hosting Earth Day Live: "Mother Earth as Art" at 1 p.m. CT with the Auburn University College of Sciences and Mathematics and the Auburn University Geosciences Department. Explore how this #STEAM exhibition came together and have an online conversation.

Posted by Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art on Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Are you up for a challenge?

AmericaView has a series of over 70 Earth image puzzles to encourage people of all ages to engage with satellite imagery and learn more about remote sensing by offering a fun challenge. The puzzles can be made to match ability or time available by choosing the number of pieces from 12 to 110 pieces. There are also options that allow the pieces to be shuffled or the border to be completed.

Any way you choose, check out these puzzles.

Canyonland – 25 piece puzzle

Google Earth Engine Tutorials

Google Earth Engine is a platform for exploring and analyzing satellite imagery. It is available for academic, non-profit, business and government users.

Several members of the AmericaView community have created tutorials to provide a foundation to quickly begin learning and using Google Earth Engine (GEE). If you are new to GEE, you will want to start with this Google Earth Outreach tutorial. You may need to sign-up for a GEE account with an existing Gmail email address.

For a list of additional tutorials visit the AmericaView GEE Tutorial page: https://americaview.org/program-areas/education/google-earth-engine-tutorials/.

USGS Earthshots: Satellite Images of Environmental Change

The USGS has produced an amazing collection of images (also available as trading cards!) that show Earth’s change over time. The Earthshot collection has a wide variety of examples of change over time including:
– natural phenomena changes (glaciers, deserts,)
– social change (city growth,)
– human interaction with the natural world (mining, deforestation, agriculture,)
– natural disasters (hurricanes, tornado damage, flooding.)

Below are two examples of the trading cards, Mount St. Helens pre/post volcanic explosion and Las Vegas, Nevada population growth over time.

If you view a location on through the browser you will get about 5 images you can review as well as context about the images.

Other Resources: Tracking Change Over Time (teacher guide): https://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/133/pdf/tracking-packet_web.pdf
Lesson Plan – Investigating Deforestation Throught An Earth Systems View Using Landsat: https://mynasadata.larc.nasa.gov/lesson-plans/investigating-deforestation-through-earth-systems-view-using-landsat

IowaView has trading cards available. Please contact Amy Logan for more information.

What does social distancing look like? – A View from Space

A couple weeks ago Bloomberg News posted an interesting article (click here to read the article) showing how the stay at home orders are effecting areas around the world using high resolution satellite imagery. Below is an example showing Venice, Italy on October 20, 2019 compared to March 18, 2020 after the residents were asked to stay at home. It is interesting to compare the water clarity and traffic.

Venice, Italy: Notice the change in water traffic and water clarity after the Italy began ordering residents to stay at home. Source: Bloomberg.com

The article highlights numerous sites around the globe including: Wuhan, China (before shutdown / after shutdown); Mecca in Saudia Arabia; Venice, Italy; Epcot Center in Florida, USA; Tianjin, China; and Miami Beach, Florida, USA.

Resource: What It Looks Like From Space When Everything Stops, Eric Roston, March 24, 2020, Bloomberg.com