Explore two decades of Earth data with NASA’s Worldview tool

Washington, June 6 (IANS) Want to explore the Earth as it appears right now, or how it looked nearly 20 years ago? Browse NASA’s Worldview app for all the global imagery.

Users can also create data animations at the touch of a button and easily share imagery, NASA said in a statement.

The Worldview app shares the planetary change observed from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument aboard NASA’s Terra and Aqua Earth observing satellites.

Terra launched on December 18, 1999, and was followed by Aqua in 2002. Between them, the two satellites have spent more than 12,000 days in orbit and have amassed a tremendous archive of imagery and data, which is available for viewing through NASA’s Global Imagery Browse Services (GIBS) using the Worldview app, the statement said.

“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,” said Santiago Gasso, an associate research scientist with NASA’s Goddard Earth Sciences Technology And Research programme and Morgan State University in Maryland, US.

“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!” Gasso said.

GIBS provides access to more than 600 satellite imagery products covering every part of the world. Worldview pulls imagery from GIBS and allows users to interactively overlay all of these data products on top of a MODIS global base map from Terra or Aqua.

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