LIMA – Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica

I’m not sure when this actually was actually first made available, but today I saw the press release about the USGS’ Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica (LIMA), which was generated from over 1000 Landsat scenes of the continent. In addition, if you head to the LIMA website, you will also find links to other mapping and remote sensing data resources for Antarctica, including the Interactive Atlas of Antarctica, a web mapping platform that displays available GIS layers for Antarctica, including satellite and orthoimagery.

Halifax to map coastline to predict global warming impact

As the evidence of the impact of global warming continues to mount, some places are taking the initiative to better understand local impacts and try to mitigate them. One example is Halifax, Nova Scotia, will is beginning a program to use LIDAR to map the coastline around Halifax Harbour, its drainage basin and the East Petpeswick peninsula. They hope that the results of the new survey will help local officials better predict what areas may be affected by the rise in sea level and other weather-related impacts of global warming in the coming decades.

Via CBCNews

U.S. National Research Council releases report on remote sensing

The National Research Council has released its report on the state of US Earth Observation satellite operations, which discusses the 29 current missions, including Landsat, and offers recommendations for continuing US earth monitoring capabilities into the next decade at least. I have only read the executive summary so far, but it paints a disturbing picture:

“As documented in this report, the United States’ extraordinary foundation of global observations is at great risk. Between 2006 and the end of the decade, the number of operating missions will decrease dramatically and the number of operating sensors and instruments on NASA spacecraft, most of which are well past their normal lifetimes, will decrease by some 40 percent. Furthermore, the replacement sensors to be flown on the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS), are generally less capable than their Earth Observing System (EOS) counterparts. Among the many measurements expected to cease over the next few years,…include total solar irradiance and Earth radiation, vector sea surface winds, limb sounding of ozone profiles, and temperature and water vapor soundings from geostationary and polar orbits.”

You can read the full report, entitled Earth Science and Applications from Space: National Imperatives for the Next Decade and Beyond, online at the National Academies Press website



A commerical for NCIS showed a low res image from Google Maps satellite view. One person said the area they were looking at was “Off the map” the other called it the boondocks. That’s right, if you live in an area with low res imagery…you live in the middle of no where 🙂

Indian Space Research Organisation will launch 4 satellites tomorrow

Yes, I am posting about a non-CES or Macworld event, the planned launch of the ISRO’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV C-7). The vehicle will be carrying 4 satellites, including CARTOSAT-2, the latest IRS sensor, and satellites for Indonesia and Argentina. ISRO’s previous mission, the launch of another vehicle, GSLV-F02 ended in failure back in July, so hopefully they can get everything safely into orbit and deployed.

Via The Hindu

Update: The launch was a success, and the satellites have been deployed!

Google wants to show us the universe

It seems that Google Maps and Google Earth just aren’t enough for Google – they want to show us the universe! So, to accomplish that lofty goal, Google has joined the 19 organizations partnering to build a huge sky-scanning telescope, called the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope. The project is already underway, with universities, national laboratories, and a number of other partners, and Google seems to be adding their support to the project mainly for the imagery. The goal is to provide public access to digital imagery of features in space, such as stars, galaxies, nebulae, supernovas… name it. There are few specifics as of yet, other than the telescope will be installed at a facility in a mountainous region of Chile, and will hopefully be online in 2013.

Via and

GITA’s Location for Education – a great program for teachers

I was glancing through my issue of GITA’s Conference News that came today and I noticed a little writeup about the expansion of GITA’s “Location for Education” program, which allows middle and high school teachers to include GPS and location based exercises in their classes. Kits are available for 2-week periods, and include 12 GPS units, a video, a geo-caching book, and instructions. The teacher only has to pay the shipping costs to get the kit to them and back to GITA. There isn’t a lot of information up on the GITA website yet, just a landing page basically, but hopefully there will be more soon, and maybe even some supplementary materials to go along with the physical kits. Right now, you can call email for more info at or phone GITA at 303-337-0513. I know I am going to be forwarding the info to some teachers in the area that we have done outreach with before.

I think this is a great program, especially for schools who would like to include more geography and geospatial technologies in their curricula, but can’t afford to purchase specialized equipment like GPS receivers. I’d really like to see other organizations partner with GITA to really expand a program like this, and maybe start others.

New Smithsonian Exhibition on Earth from Space

The National Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian is debuting a new exhibit starting today entitled Earth from Space. The exhibit features a gallery of remotely-sensed images of the Earth, as well as showing how remote sensing data is gathered and some of the applications it is utilized for. The exhibit has been getting some news coverage this week ahead of the opening, and some of the previewed images are really amazing. I always love visiting the Air and Space Museum, but it doesn’t look like I’ll get there in the near future. But, if you’re in the Washington, DC area, definitely head over to the museum and check out the exhibit.