EarthObserver – global exploration via iphone


Apparently I am on an iPhone roll here… Another rich set of GIS data from the Center of International Earth Science Information Network and others is available on your iphone from an app built by the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University. This one will require a network connection to browse through over 30 global layers of geology, geologic history (eg. ocean floor crustal age, etc), land cover and surface (eg. primary productivity of SE Asia, etc), human impact (eg. population density, human footprint index, etc) and more. As far as I can tell, it’s the same research grade collection as available on the main CIESIN website, so a fun way to preview on your mobile device what you can access in your GIS. Seems like a worthwhile $3!


Google Earth Engine

Earth, Mapping Data

Google Earth Engine. Unveiled in Cancun, Mexico, at the International Climate Change Conference, Google announced its latest planetary visualizations. From Google’s blog: ” Google Earth Engine is a new technology platform that puts an unprecedented amount of satellite imagery and data—current and historical—online for the first time. It enables global-scale monitoring and measurement of changes in the earth’s environment. The platform will enable scientists to use our extensive computing infrastructure—the Google “cloud”—to analyze this imagery.”

You can browse through different layers in the Data Catalog tab then press Open in Workspace, an adjacent tab for a Google Maps interface. The Gallery tab embeds the 3D Google Earth to view and interact with Featured Data.

I was struck by the forest cover loss in the last decade in the Congo– the product of over 8000 Landsat images!

This is necessarily collaborative, to make accessible these kinds of data, the breadth of historic remote sensing data and products from remote sensing data, and more importantly invites collaboration across many disciplines. So I am looking forward to see what happens here. Congratulations to Rebecca Moore!