Category Archives: USGS

Ladies of Landsat – Many Pathways to becoming Remote Sensing Scientists

The Ladies of Landsat have shared some great USGS case study videos showcasing the paths women and girls can take to become remote sensing scientists. Three scientists stories are highlighted: Jill Deines, Africa Ixmucane Flores-Anderson, and Nikki Tulley. Read more and enjoy their stories below:

Africa Ixmucane Flores-Anderson: Using Landsat to Connect Pace to Village – Africa was inspired to help her local community in Guatemala by mapping water quality with Landsat and is now at monitoring deforestation.

Jill Deines: Using Landsat to Map Agriculture Yields and Irrigation Use – Dr. Jill Deines was was drawn to the bird’s eye view of agriculture plots growing up in the Midwest. Now she uses Landsat to monitor water resources and crop yield.

Nikki Tulley: Speaking a New Language of Landsat – Nikki grew up in the Navajo Nation without running water in her household. As PhD student at University of Arizona and Indigenous scientist, she uses Landsat to track drought conditions in her home community.

Presenting Iowa’s first Landsat 9 Image!

Yesterday the United State Geological Survey (USGS) released the first 38,000 scenes collected from the recently launch Landsat 9 (September 2021). After much calibration and quality assurance here are some of the first clear images of Iowa. For more images visit USGS Earth Explorer: https://earthexplorer.usgs.gov/.

Ames, Iowa

New Data Products from the ISU GIS Facility: 24K Topo Maps 1949-1986


The ISU GIS Facility Manager, Robin McNeely, recently gave a presentation for the Iowa Geographic Information Council Lunch and Learn series about new data products that the GIS Facility has been producing. Here is a link to watch Robin’s presentation, which begins around (29:20): https://iastate.webex.com/iastate/ldr.php?RCID=64ed815f6c8eaa323fa5c88cc36d7d60.

She highlighted the completion of the Historic United States Geological Survey (USGS) 24,000 Topographic Map series ArcGIS service. The 24k historic topo maps were downloaded from the USGS TopoViewer as georeferenced .tif files, inventoried and put into an ArcGIS mosaic dataset. The dates for those maps for Iowa are 1949-1986. They are currently in a published map service on ortho.gis.iastate.edu and as a layer in the Iowa Geographic Map Server (see map below.)

Landsat: Launching into A New Year

USGS just released a Story Map summary wrapping up 2021 and the exciting developments with the Landsat mission including a newly launched satellite and 10 million scenes in the archive mark two high points.

Here’s the link to explore it yourself: https://geonarrative.usgs.gov/launching-into-a-new-year/

Are you looking forward to the Landsat 9 Launch?

Rocket Launch from Vandenberg Space Force Base, Lompoc, California

Photo Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ian Dudley
Photo Credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Ian Dudley

Landsat 9 is scheduled to be launched on September 16, 2021. This will mark almost 50 years of earth observation by US satellites. In preparation for this historic launch, we will be sharing several interactive documents about the history of the Landsat mission as well as the information about the Landsat 9 mission.

Today we would like to share with you, A History of the Landsat Program, developed by Ellie McGinty at UtahView. It’s an interactive Google Earth Tour, which documents major moments in earth observation history through a combination of maps, text, and curated images starting with the founding of the United States Geological Survey in 1879 through the birth of NASA in 1958 to the conception of Landsat in 1970 and all the way to the present day launching of Landsat 9.

IowaView Rendezvous at Spirits in the Gardens

On November 1st, IowaView staff participated the “meet-a-scientist” at the annual Reiman Gardens Spirits in the Gardens event featuring a self guided pathway with hundreds of carved pumpkins as well as scientists to meet along the way. During our shift, there were over 250 visitors of all ages. We were able to share posters featuring remote sensing and GIS, which included aerial imagery of Ames and Reiman Gardens dating from the 1930s to 2019. Participants enjoyed seeing change over time as Ames has urbanize over the last ninety years. Staff gave out goodie bags with AmericaView poster, USGS trading cards, and Earth as Art bookmarks and booklets.

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!

Start Your Future Here – Part II

This post will describe the second workshop the ISU GIS Facility and IowaView hosted as part of the 2017 Iowa 4-H State Conference, “Start Your Future Here.”  The second workshop, “Start Your Open Street Map Adventure Here,” gave students a brief introduction to GIS and remote sensing as well as a short discussion of open street map and its interface. Then 4-Hers were asked to practice using the mapping interface through the TeachOSM application.  The group started by mapping a small northwest Iowa town, George.  As you will see from the screen shots, the 4-Hers made significant progress for this community, mapping over 400 buildings.  Comparing the before and after pictures, notice the large number of buildings added in the central and northeast parts of town.

George, Iowa – Before 4-H Workshop

George, Iowa – After 4-H workshop 6/29/2017

For the second activity, students worked on a project sponsored by the United States Geological Survey (USGS)’s Volcano Disaster Assistance Program (VDAP) to help map communities near active volcanoes.  the 4-Hers mapped roads, buildings, and rivers in several small communities near Mt. Galeras in Columbia as part of their emergency preparedness. According to project description, “Galeras is an active Andean stratovolcano that is located in the Narino department, near Pasto (population: 450,000 Colombians). Galeras is the most active volcano in Colombia and is known for regular eruptions, the most recent occurring in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007, and 2010.” The students did a great job mapping with both projects. Between the two projects over 500 nodes were created and over 3,000 nodes were created. Hopefully these activities will lead to future mapping interest.

Earth as Art Exhibit opens!

The opening reception for the Earth as Art exhibit is on February, 2, 5-8pm. Several younger visitors were in attendance.  They created model satellites, color wheels, and searched the gallery to complete the scavenger hunt.  There was gallery talk at 6:30 pm by Brent Yantis, the LouisianaView director and the exhibit collection curator, he explained how the images were selected and shared some of his favorite images with us. 

There was a reception of crudites and cheese as well as a King Cake that was brought from Louisiana. The King Cake tasted like a cross between a glazed doughnut and a cinnamon roll, filled with chocolate and cream filling. LouisianaView and IowaView are part of the larger AmericaView, nationwide consortium for remote sensing education, research, and geospatial applications.

Save the date: Earth as Art Exhibit – February 2017

 

LouisianaView is loaning us their Earth as Art art exhibit for the month of February.  We are working to create a fun and educational art exhibit for all.  You will not want to miss this exciting event.  For a preview, visit Earth as Art online: http://eros.usgs.gov/imagegallery/earth-art-4.

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