Mapping Our World: Interactive Poster Showing Forty Years of NASA Data

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Forty years representing over a dozen of Earth observation missions by NASA has led to an invaluable archive of satellite imagery and remote sensing data.  These mission have gathered data about the Earth including its atmosphere, vegetation, ice, land surface, salinity levels, geology, and temperature.  The highlight the datasets developed by NASA, an interactive poster called Mapping Our World was developed.

The interactive poster was created in advance of next week’s Earth Science Week.  This year’s theme is “Mapping Our World” and will be held from October 13 to 19, 2013.  The focus of the week will be on teaching awareness about how GIS and other geospatial technologies are being used to understand the world and how maps are used to understand interactivity in the geosciences:

[Earth Science Week] engages young people and the public in learning how geoscientists, geographers, and other mapping professionals use maps to represent land formations, natural resource deposits, bodies of water, fault lines, volcanic activity, weather patterns, travel routes, parks, businesses, population distribution, our shared geologic heritage, and more. Maps help show how the Earth systems – geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere – interact.

Projected as a stereographic pair, the poster is a mosaic of two globes highlighting datasets.  Hovering the cursor over one of the tiles enables a pop-up window that displays the dataset name, the mission, and a short description of the data.  Click on the pop-up leads to a larger window with more detail.

Highlighted datasets include the Lights at Night dataset from the Suomi NPP mission and Sea Surface Salinity from the Aquarius mission.

There is also a static version of the Mapping Our World poster available for downloading from web site which contains a helpful legend to explain the different data tiles shown.  The download page also contains additional educational resources for Earth Science Week for teachers to use in the classroom.

Mapping Our World poster from NASA.
Mapping Our World poster from NASA.

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