NASA Earth Observations (NEO) – Updated Web Site for GIS Data

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NASA Earth Observations (NEO) has overhauled the look of its web site: “NASA Earth Observations (NEO), has a new look and we invite you to try it out! Over 50 different global datasets are represented with daily, weekly, and monthly snapshots, and images are available in a variety of formats including JPEG, PNG, Google Earth, and GeoTIFF.”

The mission of NEO is to  “help you picture climate and environmental changes as they occur on our home planet. Here you can browse and download imagery of satellite data from NASA’s constellation of Earth Observing System satellites.”

Global geospatial data is available in a range of image and CSV files.  Users can select the available time ranges (which can vary from a monthly, weekly, and daily options)  A slider below the image of the dataset allows the user to pick the year and the month to view.  On the right are the download options.  The About the Dataset section allows users to select from three different types of descriptions: basic, intermediate, and advanced.  The basic options provides a short and introductory overview of the dataset whereas the intermediate and advanced provide increasingly more complex explanations about the dataset as well as information about the satellite instruments used to collect the data.  The legend is downloadable as a Adobe Color Table file which provides a look up table to be used within Adobe Photoshop.

Data can be browsed by category: atmosphere, energy, land, life, and ocean.  Datasets available include the July 2013 release of Sea Surface Salinity.  The dataset, available monthly, visualizes differences in salinity around the world.  The data is collected by the Aquarius instrument onboard the AQUARIUS/SAC-D satellite.

World Salinity levels for July of 2013.
World Salinity levels for July of 2013.

Monthly and daily fire data is available from MODIS (or Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) which is an instrument aboard the Terra (EOS AM)and Aqua (EOS PM) satellites.  The data shows actively burning fires from around the world.  Over a one month period in July, the widespread activity of fires makes it easy to see the outline of the continents even without any other GIS data overlays.

The colors represent a count of the number of fires observed within a 1,000-square-kilometer area. White pixels show the high end of the count — as many as 100 fires in a 1,000-square-kilometer area per day. Yellow pixels show as many as 10 fires, orange shows as many as 5 fires, and red areas as few as 1 fire in a 1,000-square-kilometer area per day.
The colors represent a count of the number of fires observed within a 1,000-square-kilometer area. White pixels show the high end of the count — as many as 100 fires in a 1,000-square-kilometer area per day. Yellow pixels show as many as 10 fires, orange shows as many as 5 fires, and red areas as few as 1 fire in a 1,000-square-kilometer area per day. July 2013.

Looking more like a painting, rainfall amounts measured by the Precipitation Radar, an instrument aboard the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (or TRMM), show color shading from pale green to turquoise to show increasing amounts of rainfall.  TRMM provides a daily, nearly global sampling of precipitation between 35 degrees North and South Latitude.

Rainfall amounts for the month of June 2013 between 35 degrees North and South Latitude.
Rainfall amounts for the month of June 2013 between 35 degrees North and South Latitude.


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