Scientists have faced a significant challenge in observing the Earth from space throughout the 20th century. Obtaining reliable, accurate, and high-quality data through top-notch observation programs is crucial in comprehending the environment and enhancing its conservation and management.
In recent years, there has been a rapid increase in the development of satellite technologies. As a result, we now have many providers of free satellite imagery and numerous valuable information sources.
Earth observation data helps to analyze the state of roads and buildings, which aids in monitoring construction sites and urban development planning. It is also the most reliable tool for monitoring the impacts of climate change (wildfires, floods, droughts) and land use tracking.
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Satellite Imagery Types
Visible satellite imagery is a full-color, detailed, wide-angle view of the Earth. It is the most intuitive view because it demonstrates what we see with the naked eye from space. Such data can only be obtained during daylight hours because it uses reflected sunlight to produce the image.
Even though the application of this type of imagery is limited to clear days and times, it provides the most complete information about the actual situation on the ground and often serves as a basis for analysis. Visible satellite imagery can provide valuable information on topography, the presence of water bodies and other physical characteristics of the terrain.
Infrared satellite detection catches thermal differences on the Earth’s surface, making obtaining data outside daylight possible. This type of imagery provides data around the clock, even when clouds obscure the Earth’s surface. It is suitable for determining cloud cover and temperature differences between water and land.
This tool is crucial for meteorologists to track storms, monitor sea surface temperature, and track vegetation. The information from infrared sensors is critical for monitoring natural disasters and mitigating their effects on human life and ecosystems.
Water vapor satellite imagery is based on specific wavelengths sensitive to the atmosphere’s water vapor content. It is also a valuable tool for meteorologists to forecast precipitation and track large-scale weather events.
Gaining a better understanding of the three types of satellite imagery can provide us with valuable insights into our planet’s surface, weather patterns and environmental changes. By combining visible, infrared and water vapor imagery, it’s possible to obtain a more comprehensive and accurate depiction of the constantly evolving Earth.
Satellite Images Application
Highest resolution satellite imagery free has numerous applications, including cartography, navigation, city planning, weather forecasting, ecological analysis, and military surveillance. We will discuss three of the most commonly used satellite imaging applications.
Detailed maps of the Earth’s surface can be created using satellite images. These maps have various applications, such as navigation, urban planning, and environmental management.
The most well-known example of satellite imaging is Google Earth. With this tool, you can effortlessly view your own home. Numerous other institutions have created satellite image databases compiled into practical maps. It enables zooming in to a specific level of detail at any global spot.
High resolution satellite imagery free and aerial photography images at different altitudes for each location make it possible to create maps. Sophisticated software is used to “match” heights when the map is zoomed in.
The imagery enables track changes in the Earth’s surface over time. It enables monitoring deforestation, tracking the growth of urban areas, and tracking the extent of destruction after natural disasters.
It also helps to track changes in a precise area of our planet’s surface. The polar regions are a good example. Satellites can track the ice present at any given time by reflecting visible and infrared light. In addition, it is possible to generate topological maps of the region to follow the fluctuations in the elevation of the polar ice.
Weather prediction is also possible thanks to the satellites equipped with sensors capable of picking up specific wavelengths of infrared radiation and obtaining information on heat levels. This data, combined with visible light imagery, enables almost the entire depiction of the weather system. Visible light offers exclusive details that cannot be obtained through infrared imaging, such as identifying fog with a temperature comparable to the ground it blankets.
Satellite Imagery Free Sources
EOSDA LandViewer, created by EOS Data Analytics, is an online GIS assistant that provides access to different types of satellite imagery from various sources. The quick search, processing, and download of images are available to users. Thus they can extract valuable information from remote sensing data to solve their business tasks.
The platform contains many features, including raster and clustering tools for specific data types, frame-by-frame animation to create videos, and more than ten spectral indices to process images. EOSDA LandViewer is also compatible with third-party software.
With NASA EarthData, you can access high-quality images worldwide and receive rainfall measurements from global missions. The data gathered through this platform has numerous applications and can be helpful in various fields, such as forest fire management and air quality monitoring. Exploring and interacting with data is made easy by using this platform on your computer or tablet.
It’s hard to find the best free real-time satellite images, but Maxar can provide users with high quality data. Maxar’s Open Data Program gives an access to the data related to recent natural disaster events. It can be found in the public domain under a Creative Commons license.
The information on natural disasters such as fires, floods, hurricanes, typhoons, and earthquakes obtained from the imagery can help to assess, assist victims, and deal with the aftermath of such events.