1985 EDC Walk Through

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Detailed Description

A walk through of the USGS EROS Center from 1985.


Date Taken:

Length: 00:05:46

Location Taken: Sioux Falls, SD, US


A series of land observation satellites first launched in 1972 send electronic image signals to ground receiving stations.
The EROS Data Center was built in the early 1970s to receive, process, and distribute data from the
United States Landsat satellite sensors and from airborne mapping cameras.
Hence, the name – Earth Resources Observation Systems Data Center. Landsat data, in the form of
photographic prints or as computer-generated images of the Earth’s surface, are used along with aerial photos by Earth scientists and resource managers in a wide variety of practical applications.
Mineral and petroleum exploration. Timber inventories. Wildlife habitat monitoring. Land use information. Urban studies. Map making. Crop inventories. Water resource measurements. And flood monitoring.
Today, the center is a national collection, processing and research facility for many forms of geographic data. The United States Department of the Interior is responsible for enormous amounts of public land. As part of the U.S. Geological Survey’s national mapping program, the center develops advanced land information systems.
As more and more information about our national resources becomes available, it becomes much more difficult to use it all in a timely, manageable way. The center uses advanced technology to ensure that wise decisions are made in managing our lands and resources.
After all, they're not ours to keep. Let’s look at how the EROS Data Center carries out its mission. The center staff is committed to respond quickly to data inquiries from the public. Some 10,000 inquiries and orders for Earth imagery come in from all over the world each month.
Over half a million photographs and computer data products are processed and distributed each year. The data center’s holdings include over 2 million worldwide Landsat images and nearly 6 million aerial photographs of U.S. sites. All incoming orders are computer-processed to assure production efficiency and easy order tracking.
The center’s 24,000-square-foot photo lab, with 24 darkrooms, operates under strict production standards. To support the center’s complex data archive, production, and research mission, it houses a large computer network.
Over 100 remote terminals across the country can make direct data inquiries. The center is also home to
a research team specializing in Earth science and computer technology. Early center research focused on practical uses of Landsat and aerial photographic data.
Today, while this research continues, the center’s mission is much broader. As part of the U.S. Geological Survey’s national mapping program, the data center carries out extensive development work on maps of tomorrow created on computers.
This panel illustrates the use of a geographic information system. It addresses a project we’ve been working on at the data center for a couple of years – the Federal Mineral Land Information System project.
This panel shows data for an area in southwest Oregon. We’re showing three – or, four different kinds of data. Minerals information – in fact, this shows chromite potential – and occurrence. The second kind – federal surface ownership – which federal agencies own land in the area, and where are they? Federal subsurface mineral rights – which federal agencies own the minerals in the area? 
And finally, the fourth layer – federal restrictions to mineral development. Where can you mine legally, and where can't you mine? These four layers can be merged to answer questions that might be of interest to national mineral policymakers. For example, where is the occurrence of chromite on federal land, where there's no restrictions, and where the federal government has the mineral rights? That question was asked.
This map here shows the answer. The answer to that question is in the gold areas. Many concepts for tomorrow’s maps are yet to come from the U.S. Geological Survey National Mapping Division’s EROS Data Center.