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The USGS Earthshots website, managed by the Communication & Outreach department at the USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center, shows the value of observing the Earth with satellites at a level that (we hope) non-scientists can understand.

color logo for Earthshots website
Logo for USGS Earthshots

USGS EROS has just released a redesign of the site. Easy-to-navigate categories like Agriculture, Cities, Mining, and much more put stories on these topics of land change at your fingertips. Besides that, the site now features an interactive spinnable globe so you can browse the world for stories of environmental change.

Currently featuring 105 stories of land change, each Earthshots page spotlights a different location and explains the changes that the images reveal. Watch the drying of the Aral Sea and expansion of Lake Thompson, SD. See the incredible island-building in Persian Gulf countries. Witness glaciers shrink and cities around the world grow.

The imagery used focuses on the Landsat series of satellites, which is managed and distributed by USGS EROS. In addition, the site features other imagery housed in the massive USGS EROS archive.

Declassified satellite imagery, Europe’s Copernicus Sentinel-2 satellite, historical aerial photos, and modern aerial photos from the USGS National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) are all part of these stories of land change.

This living, frequently updated website is perfect for teachers or, really, anyone who just wants to know what the Landsat series of satellites is used for. They will see the importance of Landsat and remote sensing to studying our changing world.

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