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New TIME feature tracks Earth’s changing landscape

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TIME Magazine has rolled out a new feature that allows users to view time-lapse images of Earth’s landscape. The Timelapse project compiles free images from Landsat satellites provided by the Department of the Interior’s U.S. Geological Survey. The feature shows how image and map technology can be used for several purposes, such as to monitor climate change, track the expansion of the city of Las Vegas and observe deforestation in the Amazon.

Timelapse joins Esri’s ChangeMatters Viewer in providing Landsat data that help GIS professionals in their public- and private-sector endeavors.

Click on image to watch a video about the Timelapse project.

“The 40-year archive of Landsat images of every spot on earth is a treasure trove of scientific information that can form the basis for a myriad of useful applications by commercial enterprises, government scientists and managers, the academic community, and the public at large,” said Anne Castle, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science.

ChangeMatters allows users to see how the Earth’s landscape changed between 1975 and 2010. The viewer lets users search for points of interest around the world and zoom in and out to get a better look at key features. The viewer also offers multiple display modes such as “natural color,” “infrared” and “vegetation analysis” to provide users with options as to how to view the data.

Click on image to access Esri’s ChangeMatters Viewer

“By combining Landsat imagery with a mashup of multiple data sources available through ArcGIS Online, such as bathymetric, world elevation services, and DeLorme datasets, as well as user-defined content, users can better understand the spatial relationship and interaction of ecosystems and urban development,” said Lawrie Jordan, Esri’s director of imagery. “ArcGIS allows people to analyze and use imagery for more than just an image backdrop to their GIS. It has become an integral part of their analysis of GIS data.”

The Landsat satellite program is a collaboration between the USGS and NASA. NASA develops remote-sensing instruments and spacecraft, launches satellites, and validates their performance. The USGS then assumes ownership and operation.

Derby Cox contributed to this article.