Satellite Imagery and Interactive Maps to Communicate Global Environmental Change

Thursday, February 11, 2016: 2:00 PM-3:30 PM
Marshall Ballroom North (Marriott Wardman Park)
Matt Hansen, University of Maryland, College Park, College Park, MD
Pictures taken from satellites looking back at Earth enable the mapping and monitoring of important natural resources and their change over time.  Not all earth observation satellites are equal, as some do not image the entire Earth’s land surface, while others are of poor image quality or too costly for global monitoring.  NASA and the USGS operate the series of Landsat satellites that meet the requirements for global land monitoring:  the images are systematically acquired at the global scale, they are made freely available and easily accessible, and are of high image quality.  Landsat data have been used to document global forest cover extent and change, starting in 2000 through the present.  There are significant challenges to communicating the results, which consist of time-series 30m spatial resolution maps of the entire land surface of Earth.  To facilitate this communication, a visualization of the results has been created in collaboration with Google Earth Engine.  Dynamic map visualizations of forest extent and change from global to local scales enable a comprehensive understanding of this important global environmental change dynamic.  This presentation will provide a narrative tour of the of this Landsat-derived map product to demonstrate the value of such interactive map visualizations using the following website: