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Photo by NASA.

If you want to track changes in the Amazon rainforest, see the full expanse of a hurricane or figure out where people need help after a disaster, it’s much easier to do with the view from a satellite orbiting a few hundred miles above the earth.

Access to satellite data has traditionally been limited to researchers and professionals with expertise in remote sensing and image processing. However, the increasing availability of open-access data from government satellites such as Landsat and Sentinel, and free cloud computing resources such as Amazon Web Services, Google Earth Engine and Microsoft Planetary Computer, have made it possible for just about anyone to gain insight into environmental changes.

Quisheng Wu

Quisheng Wu, assistant professor of geography and sustainability, works with geospatial big data. He provides a quick tour of places online that host satellite images, plus some fairly simple free tools that anyone can use to create time-lapse animations. Read the full article on The Conversation. The article was translated into Indonesian.

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Lindsey Owen McBee (865-974-6375,