Landsat in Action - Tracking Water Changes with John Schott

Video Transcript
Download Video
Right-click and save to download

Detailed Description

John Schott with the Rochester Institute of Technology discusses using Landsat Data over the years, and how its Thermal data tracks temperature changes in water bodies.


Date Taken:

Length: 00:02:31

Location Taken: Sioux Falls, SD, US

Video Credits

Producer: Steve Young


I'm John Schott, Rochester
Institute of Technology.

When I first started working
Landsat, you got film

transparencies. A graduate
student's career was often

one Landsat image. They
spent their whole career

on that one Landsat image.
We couldn't do anything

big because landsat data
cost money. And so clearly

opening the archive was
one of, if not the biggest

change in the whole
evolution of the Landsat

program. We can now
look at the world.

Before we said we could
look at the world, but the

reality was it was locked
away in an archive, and

we didn't have access to it,
so I think that clearly is

a huge change.

What we haven't been
able to do until we could

have a good body of Landsat
thermal data is look at

lakes, fresh water lakes
for instance, the kind of

water that we interact with,
and what we're seeing is 

very consistent data, lake
temperatures rising by a

degree a decade. A tenth of
a degree a year, that's really

really hard to see, really hard
to measure, if you can only

look at one year's worth of
data, but with Landsat we

can look at many decades of
data, and we're starting to

see these clear trends of
the planet changing.

the planet we interact with
changing, not the middle

of the ocean that we don't
interact with, but 30 years

that's a lot of change.

Almost incomprehensible
how much data is in

the archive that we haven't
tapped, and don't know how

to tap yet. When that
knowledge becomes more

common, and the ease of
interacting with the data,

there's still a lot of
programming, a lot of

work that has to be dome
to develop those current

algorithms. As we make those
algorithmms and tools more

availabe, people are going to
look more at these data for

thier problem, for their
study site and say, wow,

I can now look at 30, 40,

and the fact that we can put
these tools in those people's

hands for their problems
the way they want to address

those problems, that's a
revolution. and we've got

this data of every field, of
every country... the archive

is jsut goign to continue to
yield good information, good

science, better management,
reduce costs, it's incredible.

The biggest contribution of
Landsat will be that archive.