ICEYE: ICEYE Shares Nearly 18,000 Satellite Image Catalog Under Creative Commons License. “Finnish New Space leader ICEYE today announced access to ICEYE’s Public Archive, containing nearly 18,000 images from ICEYE satellites. The ICEYE Public Archive includes radar imagery in various imaging modes taken with ICEYE’s SAR satellite constellation between mid-2019 and now. The ICEYE Public Archive consists of preview images from around the world, which are released under CC BY-NC 4.0 license, allowing for non-commercial use.”
Silicon Republic: NASA, ESA and JAXA’s new tool shows our climate changed by Covid-19. “NASA, ESA and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) have unveiled a new tool designed to give researchers and policymakers access to planet-wide changes in the environment and human society following the largest pandemic in a generation. The Covid-19 Earth Observation Dashboard integrates multiple satellite data records with analytical tools to allow user-friendly tracking of changes in air and water quality, climate change, economic activity, and agriculture.”
The Atlantic: Stock Picks From Space. “There is an old story about Sam Walton: In the early days of Walmart, its founder would monitor how stores were doing by counting the cars in the parking lot. After seeing the power of satellite imagery in his factory deal, Tom [Diamond] had a similar idea, but on a scale Walton could not have imagined. He asked his brother, ‘What if we could count the cars at every Walmart?'”
This is from December but it’s too good to miss. From Pierre Markuse: Satellite Image Guide for Journalists and Media. “So you would like to use a satellite image in your article and you would like to explain it to your viewers? Here is a short guide covering some of the most frequently asked questions and giving some general explanations on satellite images. It by no means covers all aspects, as there are far too many types of satellite images, but should give you a good start to find out more on your own and maybe motivate you to create your own images, which has become quite easy and quick even with no prior knowledge of it.”
Ars Technica: Satellites watch over the graves of ancient steppe nomads. “University of Sydney archaeologist Gino Caspari and his colleagues searched for Scythian burial mounds, or kurgans, in high-resolution satellite images of a 110 square kilometer (68.4 square mile) area of the Xinjiang province in northwestern China. They mapped their findings and noted how many of the burial mounds looked like they’d been disturbed by looters. When looters dig up the contents of the grave pit, the center of the mound usually collapses. Observers who know what they’re looking for can spot that from above; imagine looking at a sheet of bubble wrap to see which ones have been popped. Although the satellite images weren’t as precise as a detailed ground survey, they offered a pretty accurate estimate of the general situation on the ground—and the news wasn’t good.”
Bellingcat: How to Identify Burnt Villages by Satellite Imagery — Case-Studies from California, Nigeria and Myanmar. “As satellite imagery becomes more available and technology permits for more access, we are seeing overhead mapping play more of an integral role in media and human rights bodies to identify a chronological story of an area. For some areas, this may be through infrastructure expansions, military operations, or what new equipment has just landed on the tarmac. For other parts, satellite imagery can reveal signs of chemical attacks or villages that have been burnt to the ground.”
US News & World Report: Satellite Imagery Company Launches Wildfire Twitter Feed . “A new tool for visualizing and tracking wildfires from the sky was launched on twitter Wednesday by a New Mexico-based startup company, in an effort that combines super-computing capabilities with satellite imagery. Santa Fe-based Descartes Labs began distributing time-lapse video segments taken from satellite imagery of individual wildfires across the country. Hashtags that correspond to the name or location of fires are attached, allowing people to quickly find relevant imagery.”
PRNewswire: NASA Debuts Online Toolkit to Promote Commercial Use of Satellite Data (PRESS RELEASE). “While NASA’s policy of free and open remote-sensing data has long benefited the scientific community, other government agencies and nonprofit organizations, it has significant untapped potential for commercialization. NASA’s Technology Transfer program has created an online resource to promote commercial use of this data and the software tools needed to work with it. With the Remote Sensing Toolkit, users will now be able to find, analyze and utilize the most relevant data for their research, business projects or conservation efforts. The toolkit provides a simple system that quickly identifies relevant sources based on user input. The toolkit will help users search for data, as well as ready-to-use tools and code to build new tools.”
NASA: 20 Years of Earth Data Now at Your Fingertips. “Powerful Earth-observing instruments aboard NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites, launched in 1999 and 2002, respectively, have observed nearly two decades of planetary change. Now, for the first time, all that imagery — from the first operational image to imagery acquired today — is available for exploration in Worldview. Thanks to the efforts of several NASA teams, the public can now interactively browse all global imagery from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument quickly and easily from the comfort of a home computer. All global MODIS imagery dating back to the operational start of MODIS in 2000 is available through NASA’s Global Imagery Browse Services (GIBS) for viewing using NASA’s Worldview application. And there’s a lot to see.”
Forbes: The Amazing Ways Google Uses Artificial Intelligence And Satellite Data To Prevent Illegal Fishing. “Using the publicly broadcast Automatic Identification System for shipping, machine learning algorithms have been shown to be able to accurately identify illegal fishing activity in protected areas. This works in much the same way as the ‘cat or horse?’ example for image recogntion I gave above. By plotting a ship’s course and comparing it to patterns of movement where the ship’s purpose is known, computers are able to ‘recognize’ what a ship is doing.”
Satellite Observation: A database of observation satellites. “I have assembled a database of digital high to medium resolution (GSD<50m) Earth observation satellites. The data comes mostly from eoPortal, and the World’s Meteorological Organization’s OSCAR database (for civilian satellites), and Gunter’s Space page helped a lot to make sure it is almost complete. I also used Spaceflight101‘s detailed articles for some satellites." There are 437 entries so far.
New-to-me, and looks fairly recent. From Geoawesomeness: This web tool will let you find and analyze any satellite imagery in under 10 seconds. “The service is called Land Viewer and offers free, on-the-fly, real-time imagery processing and analytics packed with features. It’s cool and insanely fast. It gives you access to imagery from Landsat 8 and Sentinel 2 satellites with more to come soon.” I haven’t done too much with satellite images but this is pretty amazing.
Wow! From TechCrunch: Planet’s new Explorer Beta lets anyone time travel through geospatial images. “Planet, the global imaging company that recently acquired Google’s Terra Bella satellite imaging business, is introducing a new tool called Planet Explorer Beta that allows its users to view how its image captures of Earth from space change over time. It’s available to the public without a login, which means petty much anyone can check out what a particular spot on the planet looked like over a monthly or quarterly period.”
Google is officially selling off Terra Bella. “Google will sell its Terra Bella business, which includes a group of SkySat Earth imaging satellites, to Planet Labs, the companies confirmed on Friday after TechCrunch’s Ingrid Lunden first reported that a deal was going down on January 25. Google’s space-high view of the world in its mapping software isn’t going anywhere, however – Google will continue to license Earth imaging for its use from Planet in a multi-year contract that’s part of the sale arrangement.”
A new Web site aims for crowdsourced archaeology. “You can now be an archaeologist from the comfort of your own home and help preserve the world’s hidden heritage sites in the process. Sarah Parcak has released her GlobalXplorer software, described as ‘Indiana Jones meets Google Earth’. Professor Parcak hopes it will be used by amateur archaeologists to help unearth vital sites using high-resolution satellite images.” The GPS / mapping data for each site is NOT disclosed; the idea is to getting more eyes to look at potential sites, while protecting those sites from nogoodniks.