NASA’s Aura Satellite Mission

Although Landsat is NASA’s most well-known satellite program, other missions are providing a wealth of information about our Earth. Aura, a satellite which was launched July 15, 2004, collects data that are used for studying the composition, chemistry and dynamics of Earth’s atmosphere, including ozone levels, air quality, and climate. At the recent American Geophysical Union conference, maps based on Aura data were presented showing the levels of Nitrogen Oxide (a precursor to ozone formation) in the eastern US.

NASA’s Aura mission website and Earth Observing System website

Via Chemical & Engineering News

GAW Day 1: Physical Geography

As I have mentioned before, I see Geography as a series of relationships and as we look back through the history of Geography we see three main areas that we can use as umbrellas for the broad aspects of Geography: cartography, human geography and physical geography. Physical Geography covers the relationships within the environment around us, a broad area to be sure, but an important one in our daily lives.
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Geography and GIS in Land Use/Land Cover research

Dr. Richard Aspinall discusses the role of Geography and GIS in an interdisciplinary approach to studying Land Use and Land Cover Change in an editorial in this week’s Directions Magazine. He argues that GIS and Geography are and will continue to be central to the study of land use and human interactions with the environment. He also discusses a new international program that will focus on these issues called the Global Land Project

European Space Agengy’s Forest Mapping project

The European Space Agency (ESA) has developed a mapping service called Kyoto-Inventory which utilizes satelllite imagery to assist in annual reporting on afforestation, refforestation, and deforestation as part of the Kyoto Protocol, which is an initiative to reduce greenhouse gases. Kyoto-Inventory was a 3-year demonstration project, and will now continue as part of a larger project called GSE-Forest monitoring. The mapping service uses satellite imagery from ERS, Landsat and SPOT to generate forest maps and monitor land cover change.

You can read about the Kyoto-Inventory forest mapping project on the ESA website