I'm currently abroad but wanted to share the good news that Landsat 8 Satellite Successfully Launches Into Orbit.
The Slashdot summary: ""The Landsat Data Continuity Mission is now in orbit, after launching Monday from Vandenberg Air Force Base in Calif. After about three months of testing, the U.S. Geological Survey will take control and the mission, renamed Landsat 8, will extend more than 40 years of global land observations critical to energy and water management, forest monitoring, human and environmental health, urban planning, disaster recovery, and agriculture." We still need more new observation satellites to avoid losing Earth observing capabilities as the work horses of the NASA/USGS fleet die of old age."
That's the name of a recent DM article, Everything You Need to Know about Landsat 8. From the article: "It is anticipated that over 400 images per day will be collected, the most ever by any previous Landsat satellite."
From the NASA press release: ""LDCM will be the best Landsat satellite yet launched in terms of the quality and quantity of the data collected by the LDCM sensors," said Jim Irons, LDCM project scientist at Goddard. "OLI and TIRS both employ technological advances that will make the observations more sensitive to the variation across the landscape and to changes in the land surface over time." OLI will continue observations currently made by Landsat 7 in the visible, near infrared, and shortwave infrared portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. It also will take measurements in two new bands, one to observe high altitude cirrus clouds and one to observe water quality in lakes and shallow coastal oceans as well as aerosols. [...] TIRS will collect data on heat emitted from Earth's surface in two thermal bands, as opposed to the single thermal band on previous Landsat satellites. Observations in the thermal bands are vital to monitoring water consumption, especially in the arid western United States."
Here's the NASA Landsat Data Continuity Mission website.
Slowly starting to catch up mid-August geonews, here's the associated recent Google ones.
From official sources:
From other sources:
The AGISRS list made me aware of Geo-Wiki.org, a crowdsourcing effort aimed at validating global land cover.
From their main page: "The Geo-Wiki Project is a global network of volunteers who wish to help improve the quality of global land cover maps. Since large differences occur between existing global land cover maps, current ecosystem and land-use science lacks crucial accurate data (e.g. to determine the potential of additional agricultural land available to grow crops in Africa). Volunteers are asked to review hotspot maps of global land cover disagreement and determine, based on what they actually see in Google Earth and their local knowledge, if the land cover maps are correct or incorrect. Their input is recorded in a database, along with uploaded photos, to be used in the future for the creation of a new and improved global land cover map."
Via email, in the lastest Global Land Cover Network bulletin #19 [pdf], published this week, we learn about the ECO-NET Earth Cover Observation Network.
From the introduction: "ECO-NET Earth Cover Observation Network is a programme that aims to create a consistent and scalable information system on land cover and its dynamics. It is designed to improve the access to data and information and improve assessment of land cover status and dynamics, based on standards and good practices. This programme responds to the need for consistent and reliable information that serves multiple applications, interoperable, scalable and compliant with reporting needs.
The primary focus is to develop a sampling framework for detailed land cover assessment at half degree intervals. The GLCN methodology and tools will enable active participation of a wide range of users by implementation of crowd sourcing technology. The database will be made available for public access and it will be part of the contribution to the pavilion of the Milan expo in 2015."
We mentioned the GLCN a few times in the past.
The ESA just announced the release of the global land cover dataset GlobCover 2009.
From the official source: "The GlobCover project has developed a service capable of delivering global composites and land cover maps using as input observations from the 300m MERIS sensor on board the ENVISAT satellite mission. Currently, ESA makes available a set of products covering 2 periods: December 2004 - June 2006 and January - December 2009. [...] The GlobCover composites are derived from the pre-processing module of GlobCover, which includes a set of corrections as cloud detection, atmospheric correction, geolocalisation and re-mapping. The GlobCover Land Cover map is compatible with the UN Land Cover Classification System (LCCS)."
We mentioned the GlobCover dataset quite a few times in the past.
While we mentioned the GlobCover dataset quite a few times, we never mentioned the CORINE european dataset. And now the ESA announced the availability of a new european land use land cover dataset: GlobCorine 2009.
From the article: "The map, based on ESA’s Envisat MERIS data from 1 January to 31 December 2009, is the first of its kind to be produced in such a short time – nine months as opposed to years. [...] The map, providing a resolution of 300 m, was delivered to the European Environmental Agency (EEA), the project’s main user, in October. [...] "GlobCorine is much more than a project aiming to deliver a European land cover map. It is the scientific and technical demonstration that a description of the state of land surface on a continental scale can be provided within a year.""