Rivers through time, as seen in Landsat images. "Thanks to the Landsat program and Google Earth Engine, it is possible now to explore how the surface of the Earth has been changing through the last thirty years or so. Besides the obvious issues of interest, like changes in vegetation, the spread of cities, and the melting of glaciers, it is also possible to look at how rivers change their courses through time."
According to Wired, "Paired with AI and VR, Google Earth will change the world". But just after its tenth birthday, Google Earth is already changing the world even without AI or VR, simply by giving scientists tools to map the world's problems (NYT). Google Earth Engine has become an emerging tool in environmental monitoring, conservation, water resources, regional planning, epidemiology, forestry, agriculture, climate science, and many other fields:
In 2007, not long after taking the job at Google, Askay flew to Brazil, helping an indigenous tribe, the Surui, map deforestation in their area of the Amazon, and this gave rise to a wider project called Google Earth Engine. With Earth Engine, outside developers and companies [and scientists] can use Google’s enormous network of data centers to run sweeping calculations on the company’s satellite imagery and other environmental data, a digital catalog that dates back more than 40 years.[more inside]
The Long Swath is a satellite image by NASA's Landsat Data Continuity Mission that captures, in a single continuous image, a strip of land 120 by 6,000 miles stretching from South Africa to Russia. The image can be explored in Gigapan, Google Earth, and fly-over videos and high resolution images.
Explore different views into this global timelapse built from global, annual composites of Landsat satellite images. Watch change across the planet's surface beginning as early as 1984. See Vegas grow! Rainforests Shrink! Coastlines expand, and lakes vanish!
This week, the first images of Earth from the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM) were released by NASA. The images show the meeting of the Great Plains with the Front Ranges of the Rocky Mountains in Wyoming and Colorado. [more inside]
The EF3 tornado on June 1st cut a 39 mile path through heavily forested Massachusetts. The path is clearly visible in this Landsat image from NASA.
Landsat Image Mosaic Of Antarctica UK and US researchers peice together the most detailed map of Antarctica yet, searching through years of data to find cloud free images.
Step above it all for a moment, and take a look at stunning images of the planet as seen through the eyes of the Landsat-7 satellite. Select an area of the globe, or view an index of the images.
Planet Earth as abstract art Hot on the heels of Geology from Space and Earth Erotica comes this exhibit honoring the 30th anniversary of the Landsat satellite progam. 41 images from space - chosen for "artistic appeal" over scientific significance - include glaciers, deserts and Karman vortices. Some are even poignant.