USGS - Science for a changing world

Your Vote Counts: The Best of Earth as Art

This Science Feature can be found at: http://www.usgs.gov/blogs/features/usgs_top_story/your-vote-counts-the-best-of-earth-as-art/
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Ice Waves. Along the southeastern coast of Greenland, an intricate network of fjords funnels glacial ice to the Atlantic Ocean. Landsat 7 Image.

During a span of 40 years, since 1972, the Landsat series of Earth observation satellites has become a vital reference worldwide for understanding scientific issues related to changes on the Earth’s surface.

To celebrate the 40th Anniversary of Landsat, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) would like your help in selecting the top five “Earth as Art” images from the more than 120 images in the collection.

The poll is now open and will close on July 6.

Learn more and get details on how to cast your vote.

The top five “Earth as Art” images will be announced on July 23 in Washington, D.C. at a special event commemorating the launch of the first Landsat satellite.

Information as Art

Built by NASA and operated by the USGS, Landsat satellites supply Earth scientists, land-resource managers, and policy makers with objective data about changes across the global landscape. Some changes, like major floods or volcanic eruptions, come quickly; others, like urban sprawl or regrowth from forest fires, appear gradually. Landsat impartially records these and many other changes to the land that are induced by people or nature.

Beyond the scientific information they confer, some Landsat images are simply striking to look at — presenting spectacular views of mountains, valleys, and islands; forests, grasslands, and agricultural patterns. By selecting certain features and coloring them from a digital palate, the USGS has created a series of “Earth as Art” perspectives that demonstrate an artistic resonance in land imagery and provide a special avenue of insight about the geography of each scene.

NASA is preparing to launch the next Landsat satellite in 2013, which will be turned over to USGS for operations and data distribution.

The Lena River, some 2,800 miles (4,500km) long, is one of the largest rivers in the world. The Lena Delta Reserve is the most extensive protected wilderness area in Russia. It is an important refuge and breeding grounds for many species of Siberian wildlife. Landsat 7 Image.

More Information

Earth as Art Image Gallery

Earth as Art at the Library of Congress (exhibit extended through August 31, 2012)

USGS Landsat

NASA Landsat

Contest URL:  http://eros.usgs.gov/eaa_voting/

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This stretch of Iceland's northern coast resembles a tiger's head complete with stripes of orange, black, and white. The tiger's mouth is the great Eyjafjorour, a deep fjord that juts into the mainland between steep mountains. The name means "island fjord," derived from the tiny, tear-shaped Hrisey Island near its mouth. The ice-free port city of Akureyri lies near the fjord's narrow tip, and is Iceland's second largest population center after the capital, Reykjavik. Landsat 7 Image.