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Branner Blog » Imagery
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Wildfire imagery

October 24th, 2007

NASA Fire image, October 24, 2007

Satellite imagery and digital mapping has changed the way we interact with and know about large-scale disasters. A case in point are the Southern California wildfires.

The San Diego Office Of Emergency Services is releasing maps each day of the burn areas, the perimeters of the fires, and the evacuation areas.

NASA has a series of satellite images showing the spread of the fires over the past few days over all of Southern California, one taken from the Space Shuttle Discovery as it rose into orbit on Tuesday.

Google is offering content from KPBS, which can be loaded into Google Earth.

The US Forest Service has released infrared imagery showing the locations and intensity of the fires in San Diego. I have yet to be able to access this imagery. My guess is the traffic has been so heavy that the site is down. Keep trying to get in over the next few days.

Richât Structure, Mauritania

The University of Michigan’s Global Land Cover Facility has spent years building up an impressive collection of remotely sensed satellite data including ASTER, MODIS, and Landsat. The collection now tops out at over 15 terabytes of imagery, all of which can be downloaded for free. A list of data and derivative products is also included. Check here first for historical worldwide satellite coverage.

Imaggeo

October 11th, 2007

image_1184068519.JPG

Cloud Stratification, Baikal Lake Shore; PARIS Jean-Daniel, LSCE/IPSL

The image above comes from Imaggeo, the online open access geosciences image repository of the European Geosciences Union. The archive is searchable by topic, geographic region, and keywords. If you’d like to share geo-related imagery with others, go ahead and submit some photos to this repository. The images are distributed by EGU under a Creative Commons license–they can be used by other scientists and the press, but you retain full rights to your images. To learn more, visit Imaggeo, or Creative Commons.

Burma

Satellite imagery has been released showing evidence of population relocations, refugee camps, and burned villages in the country of Myanmar. Private funding has allowed the AAAS Geospatial Technologies and Human Rights project to capture imagery of the country and compare it to older images of the same areas. The imagery is being used to verify field reports of human rights abuses across the country. Discussions of the reports are available from Reuters and MSNBC. The MSNBC article includes the imagery side by side for comparison.

Image downloaded from the Perry-Castenada Library Map Collection.

Look to the skies

September 6th, 2007

shasta fire

Wondering about why the air is so thick? Yesterday we speculated that the smoke and haze were coming from the wildfire down in Henry Coe State Park, but the image above tells the true tale. You can see the smoke emanating from the northeastern part of the state in Plumas National Forest. To really appreciate why a fire so far away is making our eyes itch in Palo Alto, check out the movement of the smoke in the 1km animation for the Western US [via NOAA].

More information from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection here. Another site called Inciweb describes the situation as follows:

The Moonlight Fire has grown to 18,500 acres. The fire is located in the Northeastern Sierra Nevada, along the boundary between Plumas and Lassen counties, predominately on the Plumas National Forest. Containment is 5%.

Fueled by winds from the north, the fire moved south today triggering mandatory and voluntary evacuations.

You can subscribe to feeds from either of the sites above to get the latest news about this fire and California wildfires in general.

Landsat data from USGS

June 6th, 2007

As of June 4, 2007, the USGS released selected Landsat 7 image data of the United States through the Web (glovis.usgs.gov or earthexplorer.usgs.gov), high quality data with limited cloud cover.

From the USGS news release:

“This Web-enabled distribution of new and recently acquired data is a pilot project for the Landsat Data Continuity Mission (LDCM), currently projected for launch in 2011. The project will allow the Landsat data user community to help refine the distribution system planned for the upcoming LDCM. Each scene will be registered to the terrain, or ortho-rectified, prior to being placed on the Web. Copies of these data will also be available on CD or DVD at the cost of reproduction.”

Street view

May 31st, 2007

Street view, the latest feature on google maps, is, in a word, phenomenal. To check it out, put in an address, click on the new “street view” button, and if the street is highlighted in blue, you’ll be able to see a street-level view. You can use the “man on the street” to navigate around, or the arrows and zoom options within the image itself.

The view from our very own Palm Drive is quite nice as always.

Edited to include one of my critiques of the new feature, this one from NYT. I’ll let you do your own research if you care to follow the buzz regarding the more provocative views from the Farm.

delicate_arch.jpg

The USGS has created a neat Web site that allows you to look at the geology of the National Parks in 3-D. Yes, you have to wear the funky glasses with the red and green filters. There is a link on the bottom of the page that tells you where to get the glasses if you didn’t save a pair from your youth. The site also includes the same photos in standard format. This works surprisingly well over the Web.

to scale

May 15th, 2007

Fakeisthenewreal has a nice comparison of subway maps of the world presented at the same scale. It really makes you think about geography and transportation, infrastructure and development, or if you’re in the mood, just the abstract beauty of a line.

Compare our own BART

bart4.gif

to Beijing’s system, for example:
beijing_4.gif

Geological Google Earth

May 4th, 2007

Mount St. Helens in Google Earth

The ability to add your own data to Google Earth has meant a proliferation of geologically related sites and applications. Here are a couple of sites that will give you a sense of what’s possible. I’ll note more on this blog in subsequent weeks.

San Diego State University’s Department of Geological Sciences has a whole web page devoted to Google Earth and geology. They’ve layered 30′x60′ geologic quad maps, the geologic map of California, a map from a local field trip guide, and worldwide imagery showing the age of the sea floor, and volcanoes of the earth.

The Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College has created a spiffy Website based upon an impromptu talk given by Peter Selkin at the University of Washington, Tacoma. It’s choc-a-block full of useful geologic datasets, guides to navigation, and case studies of how it’s used in geologic education. Beware broken links - useful nonetheless.