Recording Earth’s Changes

Looking Forward

What could you do if the entire world was remapped every 12 days? How would that impact your sector of the geospatial world? I pose the question because it is in the process of being answered, though not necessarily from the geospatial professionals’ point of view.

So, it is important that we all chime in. What might your company derive from three years of continual remapping of the earth?

In California, the combination of earthquakes and oil extraction can change the landscape noticeably over a three-year period. Coastal erosion is also a major contributor to the change in land mass. But that’s true for all coastlines around the world. And it’s not just exterior coastlines. Some shorelines of the Great Lakes have eroded more than a foot per year over the last 15 years, forcing many homeowners and cottage owners to move their structures.

Your survey company probably doesn’t concern itself much with glaciers or volcanoes, but many around the world do. Glacial retreat and land changes from eruptions will become much more evident with images that will record changes on ever square meter on Earth every 12 days for three years.

The satellite called NISAR, a joint project between NASA and the Indian Space Research Organization, is scheduled to launch in early 2024. It will give scientist and geospatial professionals the opportunity to observe and analyze the changing surface of Earth.

That makes your input critical. How can we as a geospatial community capitalize on the massive amount of data NISAR will provide? In NASA’s early adopter program for NISAR, the entire geospatial community is welcome to study the NISAR documentation and apply to become part of an elite group of scientists and other professionals determining the best use for the data NISAR will collect. Feedback from the geospatial community is critical.

Juan Plaza’s fascinating story “Space Mapping” begins on page 15 of our December 2022 issue.

Enjoy it and the rest of our magazine.

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