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NASA interactive reveals new Earth perspectives

25 September 2013

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Before weather radar maps, Google Earth, or handheld GPS devices, many people thought the ink on maps was dry. Today, however, the integration of location technologies, visualisation techniques and numerous data points show the world in new ways, and more importantly, reveal that the Earth is always changing.

Environmental changes, both small and monumental, are transforming familiar locations and shifting people's mental images of certain places, reminders of the connection between locations thousands of miles apart.

Through the use of space-, air- and ground-based observations, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is helping keep track of what is going on. Maps are key tools in this effort, allowing scientists to visualise the changes and explore them over time and across dimensions in a way that enthralls even those individuals working in the field of Earth observations.

A new NASA interactive tool brings together 25 different views of our planet to allow people to examine maps. In a simple interface, the Mapping Our World interactive offers a sample of some of the information the space agency collects with its 16 Earth observation satellites - from true-colour views captured by the flagship Earth-observation mission Terra (launched nearly 15 years ago), to a global map showing rainfall as collected by a 1997-launched U.S.-Japanese satellite called the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM).

Source: Live Science

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