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NASA has released a new footage with Earth images, a headline of “Two Decades of Earth Data 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”.
And now, for the first time, all that Earth images are available for survey in Worldview.
NASA’s team has worked hard to realize this global Earth images from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument. 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 watching using NASA’s Worldview application.
“In the ’80s and ’90s, if you wanted to look at, say, clouds off the coast of California, you had to figure out the time of year when it was best to look at these clouds, then place a data request for a specific window of days when you thought the satellite overflew the area,” says Santiago Gassó, an associate research scientist with NASA’s Goddard Earth Sciences Technology and Research program at Morgan State University, Baltimore. “You would get a physical tape with these images and have to put this into the processing system. Only then would you know if the image was usable. This process used to take from days to weeks. Now, you can look at images for days, weeks and even years in a matter of minutes in Worldview, immediately find the images you need, and download them for use. It’s fantastic!”
Daily MODIS global images have been formed since the public debut of Worldview in 2012. But data users wanted more. Users always said to NASA, “We know you have the source data available, and we’d like to see it as imagery in Worldview,” says Ryan Boller, the EOSDIS data visualization lead and Worldview Project owner.
The achievement of this effort gives NASA’s worldwide audience the ability to view the world the way and interactively explore almost 20 years of planetary change. As Boller observes, “To be able to go from the very start, from the very first image, to the present and move forward provides not only a sense of completeness, but also the potential for new discoveries.”