Qiusheng Wu University of Tennessee
If you want to track changes in the Amazon rainforest, see the full expanse of a hurricane or figure out where people need help after a disaster, it’s much easier to do with the view from a satellite orbiting a few hundred miles above Earth.
Today, more than 8,000 satellites orbit Earth, taking images such as this one of the Louisiana coast.
NASA Earth Observatory
Satellite data access has historically been restricted to experts in image processing, remote sensing, and remote sensing. It is now possible for anyone to access the data available from satellites of government such as Landsat, Sentinel and Google Earth Engine.
As a professor, I am involved in geospatial big-data. Here’s a quick tour of where you can find satellite images, plus some free, fairly simple tools that anyone can use to create time-lapse animations from satellite images.
For example, state and urban planners – or people considering a new home – can watch over time how rivers have moved,…