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Satellite data is everywhere. It’s in the swirling clouds of the nightly news weather forecasts and the land surface maps beneath them. It’s in our pockets, showing up as base layers in smartphone mapping applications.


Color graphic for "Eyes on Earth," a podcast of the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center.
Graphic for "Eyes on Earth," a podcast of the U.S. Geological Survey Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center.

It flies by us as we scroll through our social media feeds, through images or animations that highlight fires in the Amazon, through the paths or impacts of hurricanes, and through the explosive growth of our largest cities.

But how well does the public—even its most well-educated members—truly understand what it takes to collect, archive, and analyze the satellite and other remotely-sensed data we’ve come to rely upon in our daily lives?  

A new podcast from the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center called “Eyes on Earth” aims to help improve the public’s understanding of remote sensing through lively and educational interviews with the Center staff, as well with visitors from the Landsat Science Team, International Cooperators, and others who move through the Center or otherwise work with EROS scientists and engineers.

“Eyes on Earth” will serve as a window into the workings of Landsat, the Center that serves as its ground station, and the science it contributes to the world.

The podcast launched today with the release of three episodes, all available on the EROS Center homepage:

- EROS, its role and its history, with Dr. Tom Loveland,

- The Chernobyl disaster and Landsat’s role in tracking it, with John Dwyer, and

- The National Land Cover Database, with Collin Homer.

Find them all here.

Subsequent episodes will be released on a biweekly basis. Look for conversations in the coming weeks on the use of declassified data to study land change in the Eastern bloc, the rapid growth of the satellite industry, explainer podcasts on the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and Cropland Data Layer, as well as shows about EROS-based projects such as land cover and water quality modeling.

EROS is a building filled with fascinating stories and insights, accumulated over its nearly 50-year history and growing each day. If you have an EROS story or remote sensing question you’d like to hear explored on the podcast, don’t hesitate to email, or call Communications and Outreach Director Janice Nelson.

In the meantime, watch the USGS EROS Twitter and Facebook feeds for announcements on each new release.

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