Remote sensing in the media has become ubiquitous, with satellite imagery appearing in everything from the news to sitcoms to blockbuster movies, and even commercials. Given the varying levels of quality and interpretability, there is much to think about and discuss!
With the weather getting cold,
We'd all like to live on this mold.
But not all is as nice as you'd think,
Let's hope it doesn't continue to sink!
Analysis: The dark area with intermittent areas of lighter blue is likely water, implying that this is a type of island. The precise nature of the shapes involved in this landmass make it seem like it is certainly man-made and unnatural. If it is water, the colors on the fringe of where the water becomes land (a very light blue) are not typical of dirt nor rock, so it appears to be sand. The sandy beach of the land makes it seem like the geographic location will be a relatively warm temperature, while the numerous marinas, hotels, and resorts surrounding the perimeter beach imply that it is probably a major tourist location.
Info: This is an image of the Palm Jumeirah, a man-made archipelago in the United Arab Emirates. While many people have likely seen this image or even visited, I have always loved the crazy stuff the UAE has done with reclaimed land and I've always thought of this one as one of the coolest.
This image was taken on September 13th by the VIIRS instrument on one of NOAA's satellites. It senses thermal radiation to show variations in temperature across Earth's surface. In this photo of the northeast coast of the US, blue tones signify cooler surface temperatures and yellow tones signify warmer temperatures. It is interesting to see the temperature change between ocean currents, the difference in temperature between ocean and land, and the pockets of heat in densely populated areas. You can also detect lots of relief detail, with valleys being slightly warmer than mountains. Whatever processing was done to assign temperature ranges to different colors really helped create a striking and easily comprehensible image.
The ability to sense thermal radiation is really useful because it helps us visualize phenomena otherwise invisible to us. We can use it to track pollution plumes, land cover change, seasonal changes in a landscape, effects of urbanization, etc.
This is a satellite image of a section of new deforestation in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest, captured on August 28, 2013. This imagery may be important for a couple of reasons: 1) This may be an illegal logging operation, and this imagery helps inform people what is happening and where. 2) The imagery helps us know how much deforestation is going on in various forests, which is important to know because deforestation is a cause of global warming.
This is an image of an animal feed yard operation in Texas. The image was composed of many high-resolution satellite images stitched together by the artist Mishka Henner (http://www.mishkahenner.com/filter/20102015/2013-3) . The scale of the operation, geometric patterns, aesthetic (image orientation), and contrast between the browns of the earth and greens of manure residue is particularly interesting. The picture really communicates the scale of how animal agriculture has transformed the land and removed the production of food from what we consider as "natural" processes. The aerial image reinforces that disjunct feeling of removal, the cows are indistinguishable.
The Grand Canal in Venice, Italy serves as a transportation service to many of the residents of the city. It's a little under 2.5 miles long, and has an average depth of about 15 feet. The first known settlers of the area came before the Roman age. The city is sinking at around 2-4 mm per year based on the part of the city (the north is sinking slower than the south).