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GEOGRAPHY EDUCATION

Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.

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remote sensing

The history of space exploration mapped

“Humans have dreamed about spaceflights forever but only in the second half of the 20th century were developed rockets that were powerful enough to overcome the force of gravity to reach orbital velocities that could open space to human exploration. The awesome poster called Chart of Cosmic Exploration documents every major space mission starting from the Luna 2 in 1959 to the DSCOVR in 2015. The map traces the trajectories of every orbiter, lander, rover, flyby, and impactor which ever left the Earth’s orbit and successfully completed its mission.”

 

Tags: space, remote sensing, scale

Source: geoawesomeness.com

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27 stunning satellite images that will change how you see our world – Geoawesomeness

“The images come from the amazing book called “Overview: A New Perspective of Earth”. that just hit the stores around the world. The book is a stunning and unique collection of satellite images of Earth that offer an unexpected look at humanity, derived from the wildly popular Daily Overview Instagram account followed by almost 0.5 million people.”

 

Hagadera, seen here on the right, is the largest section of the Dadaab Refugee Camp in Northern Kenya and is home to 100,000 refugees. To cope with the growing number of displaced Somalis arriving at Dadaab, the UN has begun moving people into a new area called the LFO extension, seen here on the left. Dadaab is the largest refugee camp in the world with an estimated total population of 400,000.

Source: geoawesomeness.com

The most detailed 3D world model

“How to create a detailed 3D topographic model of the entire Earth? As you could suspect the only feasible way to do it is using satellites. But a regular satellite scan will not be detailed enough to give you a meter-level accuracy. Instead of using a single satellite they’ve launched to an orbit two satellites orbiting next to each other capturing stereoscopic scans of the surface of the Earth (that scan the same areas from slightly different angles). Now this data has been processed into a seamless 3-dimensional world map of unprecedented accuracy of 1 meter. The data and the press release are publicly available.”

 

Tags: geospatial, images, remote sensing.

Source: geoawesomeness.com

Historic Aerial Mapper

“This application was developed by The Providence Plan utilizing photos from the Rhode Island Geographic Information System.”

Source: mapper.provplan.org

This map is a great archive of historic satellite imagery of the Ocean State, with a special nod to Providence.  This is a great tool that can be used to show how and particular place in Rhode Island has changed over the years at the neighborhood scale.  At the metropolitan scale, it is easy to see the population grown, development expansion, and urban sprawl.  The years of data coverage are 1939, 1952, 1962, 1972, 1981, 1985, 2003, 2008, 2011, and 2014.    

 

Tags: mapping, Rhode IslandESRIStoryMap, GIS, remote sensing.

Drones and Geospatial Data

Without sophisticated sensor packages, drones would just be expensive RC airplanes. In this video, Avweb looks at some of the things they can carry.

Source: www.youtube.com

This video gets deep into the specs of sensor packages and the commercial side of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), but it shows how emerging technologies are using and creating geographic data.  This is also a reminder that geography can be incredibly useful in a diverse range of economic sectors and has far-reaching applications in the real world–geography can be incredibly cutting edge.      

 

Tags: geospatial, video, technology.

Aerial Photos Show how Apartheid Still Shapes South African Cities

An American used drones to capture the color lines still stark in South African cities.

Source: www.citylab.com

In some respects this isn’t surprising, but it is still striking to see how stark the differences are.  One generation of political change does not reverse generations of systemic racism that have had economic, cultural, and political impacts.  Many of the urban planning decisions were based on apartheid, and that historical legacy is still embedded landscape.

 

Tags: South Africa, images, Africarace, ethnicityneighborhood, urban, planning, images, remote sensing.

Petra, Jordan: Huge monument found ‘hiding in plain sight’

“Two archaeologists, who recently published their findings in the American Schools of Oriental Research, used Google Earth satellite images and drone photography to identify the outline of an enormous monument buried beneath sand and time at the UNESCO World Heritage site in Jordan.”  —Motherboard

Source: www.bbc.com

When in the Mexican state of Veracruz as a grad student, I saw a startling mountain covered by the dense tropical rain forest; this mountain had a consistent slope with hard angles.  I was awestruck to realize that it was an uncovered (but not undiscovered) pyramid and I wondered just how many archeological sites are waiting to be unearthed. 

 

Why is a geographer an important member of an interdisciplinary team? This discovery shows that spatial thinking, geographic tools, and a keen eye for usually patterns in unexpected places are critical for many disciplines and fields of research.

 

Tags: spatial, remote sensing, geospatial, MiddleEast, Jordan, googleunit 1 GeoPrinciples.  

How Geospatial Analytics Are Changing Habitat Conservation

“The BirdReturns program is an effort to provide ‘pop-up habitats’ for some of the millions of shorebirds, such as sandpipers and plovers that migrate along the Pacific Flyway, a route that spans from Alaska to South America. Birds flying on this journey seek out the increasingly rare wetlands teeming with tasty insects to fuel their long-distance flights.  Over the last century, California’s Central Valley has lost 95% of the wetlands habitat to development, agriculture, and other land use changes. As a solution, scientists use big data, binoculars, and rice paddies.”

Source: www.youtube.com

This project combines data from satellite imagery to map surface water in California’s Central Valley, and individual bird observations to select locations that can be temporarily converted into wetlands to aid the migratory birds (for more information than the video provides about this project, read this article). 

 

This is a great example of using both ‘big’ geospatial data as represented by the satellite imagery and combining it with field data and actual observations to make the world a better place.  We need more decision makers that can think spatially and use geographic skills.  

 

Tags: physicalCalifornia, water, environmentbiogeography, remote sensing.

Satellites Are Now Cleared to Take Photos at Mailbox-Level Detail

The Department of Commerce just lifted a ban on satellite images that showed features smaller than 20 inches. The nation’s largest satellite imaging firm, Digital Globe, asked the government to lift the restrictions and can now sell images showing details as small as a foot. A few inches may seem slight, but this is actually a big deal.

Source: gizmodo.com

As reported by the BBC, this change in the legal use of geospatial information could have a huge impact on many industries.  Some are fearful that it could represent an invasion of privacy, and others see this as a way to harness new satellite technology to provide higher resolution data and improved data quality for researchers. 

Tagsmappingimages, remote sensing, geospatial.

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