Thursday, March 31, 2011

Earth Observation Day - April 8th, 2011

Last year I posted about AmericaView's 2010 Earth Observation Day, an education and outreach event designed to support K-12 and undergraduate teachers in their use of geospatial science and technology in interdisciplinary STEM education. Building on our success in 2010, AmericaView is hosting Earth Observation Day 2011 on April 8th. The focus again this year is on freely available Landsat data and the many interesting and exciting applications that teachers and their students can use to better understand the world around them. A Very Spatial podcast describing the project provides more detail.

To support Earth Observation Day (EOD) 2011, AmericaView has developed a web site that hosts educational resources and statewide Landsat posters of all 50 states. The educational resources span K-12 from kindergarten to high school, and can be adapted for use at the undergraduate level as well. Lesson plans are provided that feature the use of puzzle games of matching Landsat images, and lesson plans that use Google Earth to explore the land use patterns around schools, including a lesson that introduces land cover mapping. For an excellent introduction to the field of geospatial science and technology, the Geospatial Revolution Project at Penn State Public Broadcasting recently created a series of on-line episodes that teachers can use as background.

We hope that teachers and students find these resources to be both exciting and powerful as a way to introduce geospatial science and technology into the classroom.

Enjoy the event, and let us know what you think.

The AmericaView EOD Team

Monday, March 7, 2011

Accessing Landsat Data and Using it in ArcGIS

With a continuous record of global imagery extending back the 1972, the USGS Landsat archives are a real treasure trove of information.  For a long time Landsat imagery was the domain of remote sensing experts, but with USGS making most Landsat images available online through their Global Visualization Viewer (GLOVIS) the data are now accessible to all.  One of the most common questions I get when discussing image processing to GIS professionals is "How do I do that in ArcGIS?"  Well, if you are looking to download some Landsat imagery and manipulate it in ArcGIS, this video is for you.  It will walk you through the entire process, from downloading the imagery from GLOVIS to generating a Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) layer in ArcGIS.