Category Archives: Remote Sensing

Brushy Creek: The Birth Of A Reservoir – #Time Lapse Tuesday

Today’s time lapse video is highlighting the damming of Brushy Creek and the creation of 690-acre Brushy Creek Lake, Iowa’s deepest artificial lake.

Watch the dam development begin around 1994 and then the lake begin to fill around 1998. The Brushy Creek State Recreation Area is a 6500-acre park located in north central Iowa. To read more about the park at the Iowa Department of the Natural Resources Brushy Creek page: https://www.iowadnr.gov/portals/idnr/uploads/parks/parkmaps/brushycreekmap.pdf

#TimeLapse Tuesday – Spot the Change – Urban Growth of Ankeny, Iowa

What changes do you notice in this Landsat time lapse video?

1) The areas of purple and white in the image are urban areas. Throughout the video they fill in the area from the bottom to the center. The pink areas are farm land.

2) Did you notice the increase in the number of retention ponds (dark blue specks in the urban areas) over time? Retention ponds are used to prevent flooding and provide for water storage in urban areas. As areas become urbanized there is often more surface covered in concrete, parking lots and buildings. There are fewer places for the water to flow directly into the ground.

3) Did you spot the golf course on the northern edge of the city?


This year we are celebrating 50 years of the Landsat earth observing satellite mission. Landsat data helps us observe changes in our communities and environment over time.


This video was created using Google Earth Engine. You can create your own time lapse videos by visiting: https://emaprlab.users.earthengine.app/view/lt-gee-time-series-animator.

#Landsat Throwback Thursday – 50 years of Growth in Dubai

Over the last 50 years, the city of Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, has transformed from a small fishing and pearl diving village into a luxurious, modern metropolis. The population has grown from just over 100,000 residents in 1972 to an estimated 2.9 million residents in 2022. While the beauty and distinction of this city is undeniable, some question the sustainability of this fast-growing city located in a land of desert and salt water. The images are shown in false color infrared.  Areas appearing red show healthy vegetation. Notice the dramatic change from first image in 1973 (very little vegetation and urbanization) to 2022 with many areas of red far from the water. 

To create these images, individual bands were downloaded from the United States Geological Survey’s Earth Explorer Website (https://earthexplorer.usgs.gov/) in April 2022. The composite false color infrared images were created in ArcGIS Pro using the composite imagery processing tool.

Greetings from Camp Landsat: Cities and Suburbs

Greetings from Camp Landsat!

Postcards From Camp: Cities & Suburbs
Are you exploring any cities this summer? Rain or shine, urban planners use Landsat to take stock of city growth and its environmental impact. The front of this postcard features a natural-color Landsat 8 image of Ocean Flower Island in Hainan, China acquired May 6, 2020.

This week’s camp theme is Cities and Suburbs and focuses on the growth of cities and urban areas as seen over time through Landsat images. Urban growth has impacts on the surrounding environment. Visit Camp Landsat to learn more and experience a time-laspse video of urban growth in Qatar, a storymap about urbanization of vacation towns, and learn about urban heat islands in Minnesota. This week’s camp crafts include Color by Number Image Classification and creating a bird house with a “green roof.” Thank you to our friends at NASA for making this fun summer camp possible!

Remembering the 2020 Midwest Derecho

A year ago today a derecho, a series of thunderstorms with hurricane-like winds and heavy rains, struck Iowa with very little warning. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) put together a multi-media story map to tell the tale of this eventful day. Hundreds of thousands of trees were lost or damaged. Homes and buildings were destroyed. Many people lost power for days or even weeks.

Have you visited the NASA’s Earth Observatory? It is a NASA website that helps make satellite imagery relevant to the general public and it is a great place to find images for presentations or use in the classroom. In August 2020, the Earth Observatory featured a comparison of satellite images from July 2020 and August 2020 to show the extent of the derecho damage on Iowa cropland.

Release of Cover Crop ID Toolbox and Handbook

IowaView staff have released the Cover Crop ID Toolbox and Handbook. This toolbox allows users to quickly identify possible cover crop fields using three Sentinel-2 images from the fall, early spring, and late spring downloaded from the Earth Explorer website based on field boundaries supplied by the user. On the project webpage you can download the toolbox which works with both ArcMap or ArcGIS Pro as well as the Cover Crop ID Toolbox Handbook that provides additional details about each step of the tool.

#ConnectedByEarth – Earth Day 2021!

This year NASA’s Earth Day theme is #ConnectedByEarth. Visit the NASA Earth Day Poster website to watch a short video about the inspiration for the poster and discover the gems hidden within the poster. Download your copy of the poster to learn more about bees and our natural world.

IowaView Staff Present at ISU Research Days

This year IowaView Staff are presenting their research at a virtual university research conference. Staff built a poster using a tool called iPoster. Click on the poster below to interact with the virtual poster (available for a limited time, through March 2021).

Exploring the Landscape of K-12 GIS and Remote Sensing Education in Iowa

IowaView staff have launched a study to understand the current use of GIS (Geographic Information Systems) software and technology in K-12 public school classrooms across the state as well as to gauge interest among non-users.  The study has two surveys: one for superintendents and one for K-12 teachers.  These surveys will provide a snapshot of GIS in K-12 education as well as identify barriers and opportunities for the use of GIS technology among non-users.

Here is the link to the teacher survey: tinyurl.com/IAK12GIS.

Please contact Amy Logan for any questions regarding the survey.