Trucking along

TRUCKING ALONG

To prevent international humanitarian aid from entering the country, Venezuelan authorities had barricaded the Tienditas bridge with concrete barriers and fencing, according to satellite images. However, two shipping containers and a tanker truck apparently arrived recently, appearing in images from Feb. 11.
 

WELCOME TO THE WATCH

A surge in the number of Earth-observing satellites, along with improvements in algorithms that can interpret the deluge of data they provide, are putting modern slavery under a spotlight. “You can’t see slavery directly, but you can infer it.” Boyd estimates that one-third of all slavery is visible from space, whether in the scars of kilns or illegal mines or the outlines of transient fish processing camps.
 

IS IT A BIRD? IS IT A SATELLITE?

The co-creator of Google Maps and current Salesforce president Bret Taylor decided that Feb. 23, 2019 was a perfectly good time to blow all our damn minds. He related the story of how Google Maps' Satellite was almost called 'Bird Mode.' Also, the pictures aren't all from satellites.
 

BURN, BABY, BURN

“You’re looking at a map showing where things are being burned,” says Laura Mazzaro. The data mapped comes from the Sentinel 5P satellite — an ESA satellite that monitors the atmosphere. Combined with the nitrogen dioxide shining over the cities, those traces along otherwise dark portions of the map offer a clear picture of the ways humans affect the air everywhere on the globe.
 

JOURNEY TO SPACE EXHIBIT AT THE WATERLOO REGION MUSEUM

Experience what it is like to be on board the International Space Station and try your hand at some of the feats of engineering that support the astronauts who live there. Journey to Space will give you a glimpse of the challenges and triumphs of space exploration. Discover what is possible and what awaits in orbit and beyond. 

This exhibit is an incredible and unforgettable hands-on and climb-aboard adventure for all ages. The Journey to Space exhibit was produced by the Science Museum of Minnesota and the California Science Center with support from NASA.

Head to their website for more information.

Journey to Space - Waterloo Region Museum.JPG

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Crossing the streams

CROSSING THE STREAMS

On 23 July 2018, a dam in southernmost Laos collapsed, and the resultant flood left more than 6,000 people homeless. The fractures in the dam that led to the disaster were discovered 2 days earlier. Yet the residents who lived downstream—many across the border in Cambodia—didn’t have access to real-time information about the increased risk of flooding. But when floods cross borders, satellite data can help.
 

GHOST TOWNS BUSTERS

The brutal conflict in the Middle East between Islamic fighters and the Egyptian military has left parts of the country in ruin. In hard-to-reach areas, satellite images show communities torn up and completely bulldozed, providing journalists with a clear picture of the destruction.
 

ICONIC ROCKS

Scientists have recently discovered a large number of previously unknown monuments across Ireland. Using satellite imagery they have found large rock art, bronze-age cemeteries and ring forts up to an astounding 100m wide! The country has since added 71 new monuments, reported solely through a span of three months.
 

STAYING IN POWER

Satellite images have been used to help uncover areas with and without electricity in developing areas of India. Surprisingly, all Indian states get brighter before elections, suggesting that politicians work to minimize blackouts especially while defending slight majorities. “Night-time satellite imagery can measure electricity provision”.
 

A FEZZY PICTURE

Fes el Bali is the oldest walled part in the city of Fez, Morocco. With a total population of 156,000, the area is believed to be the biggest car-free urban neighborhood in the world due its narrow streets that are only two feet wide in some sections.

This image was shared by Daily Overview.

Fez Morocco high resolution urban imagery

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Fire alarm

FIRE ALARM 

Wildfires can cause devastation and are also to blame for more than a quarter of greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere. Satellites play a key role in mapping landscape scarred by fire – but the Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission has revealed that there are more fires than previously thought.


COAL DEALER 

Methane emissions from coal mining in China have risen despite stricter government regulations that aimed to curb the greenhouse gas, satellite data shows. China’s methane emissions rose by 1.1m tonnes a year between 2010 and 2015. This could account for up to a quarter of the rise in methane emissions seen globally over that period, the study finds.


TESTING THE WATERS 

Scientists from ANU have used new space technology to predict droughts and increased bushfire risk up to five months in advance.They used data from multiple satellites to measure water below the Earth's surface with unprecedented precision, and were able to relate this to drought impacts on the vegetation several months later.


R-CHITECURE 

The language R was first created by statisticians in the early 1990s, and gets its name from the first letter of their first names – Ross Ihaka and Robert Gentleman – but also as a play on the S programming language, on which R is based. Diana Sinto wrote a comprehensive article on linking spatial analysis across disciplines with R.


CHICAGO SNO'HARE 

With the weather in Chicago finally warming up a bit, we are looking back at some of the imagery we captured of the snow last week. Here's Chicago's O'Hare International Airport - you can just make out the planes on the runway!

This image was shared last week by @AirbusSpace.

Chicago snow polar vortex high resolution satellite

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Counting ships

COUNTING SHIPS

Michal Maj had previously posted about simple Convolutional Neural Networks (ConvNet) for satellite imagery classification using Keras. ConvNets are not the only cool thing you can do in Keras, they are actually just the tip of an iceberg. Recently, he shared a new model: how to detect ships in satellite imagery using Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs).
 

FALSE NEWS

"More and more satellite images find their way into media publications, which means more information for the audience, including more false information." This is why newsrooms need people with expertise in remote sensing.
 

THE GREEN MARBLE

Climate change is turning the planet into something alien. As a striking case in point, a new study predicts that the surface color of at least half of the world’s oceans will change by the end of the 21st century. The researchers’ new model takes into account an array of factors, from phytoplankton food sources to their growth rates, while also considering ocean circulation patterns.
 

COMPUTER GENERATED ICE

There’s a picture going around social media people claim shows Antarctica from space. But it’s not; at least not really. It’s actually a visualization of data, a composite of several datasets mapped onto a computer-generated globe of the Earth showing the extent of sea ice around Antarctica on Sept. 21, 2005.
 

I'LL BE DAM-ED

Flooding analytics of Brumadinho, Brazil after the recent tragic dam collapse, caused when a tailings dam at an iron ore mine suffered a catastrophic failure. At least 134 people died as a result of the collapse.

This image was shared by @AirbusAerial.

Brumadinho Brazil high resolution satellite image

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