New EROS Lobby Display Puts Decades of Change at your Fingertips

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The USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center hosts more than 6,000 visitors every year, and there’s plenty to see.

Color photo of Land Change interactive display at USGS EROS

Viewers look through several years of change in an interactive display at the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science Center.

(Public domain.)

In the lobby alone, visitors can see a scaled-down replica of Landsat 8, a large-screen animation of urban growth, a land cover mural, a near-real time recording of imagery captured by Landsat satellites, and a visual touchscreen catalog of USGS’s International Cooperator locations.

The newest interactive lobby display will help visitors visualize the work of the innovative USGS Land Change Monitoring, Assessment and Projection (LCMAP) initiative.

The Determining Land Change display was installed on Aug. 2. Its 40-inch monitor highlights more than three decades of agricultural expansion, forest change and urban growth in Washington state though the lens of both natural color Landsat imagery and the LCMAP products created by researchers at EROS.

The science behind the visualization is built on decades of unbroken Landsat satellite data collections and advancements in data analysis. Researchers at EROS harness sophisticated computer algorithms to sift through the satellite record for change, then sort the results into color-coded digital maps that tell the story of the nation’s landscape over time.

The display also includes two static images of Maple Valley, WA, captured 10 years apart, with an explanation of how EROS scientists can use these new tools to fill in the details on how and when long-term land change occurs over time.

The display will be updated with new visuals over time, adding more locations and types of change as EROS scientists refine their data products and results.

The display is the second major addition to the lobby this year, following the installation of the International Cooperators display in June.

To learn more about visiting EROS, click here.

To learn more about LCMAP, read our latest Land Change story about the impact of hurricanes on Florida’s Everglades.

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