Blue Marble Next Generation

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The Blue Marble Next Generation is not just an 'improved version' of the old Blue Marble. Apart from better resolution (500m/px) and better colors, BMNG is 3 different views, with a different set for each month, making 36 new image sets total. All the imagery was acquired in 2004.


[edit] Introduction

Blue Marble: Next Generation offers greater spatial detail of the surface and spans a longer data collection period than the original. The original Blue Marble was a composite of four months of MODIS observations with a spatial resolution (level of detail) of 1 square kilometer per pixel. Blue Marble: Next Generation offers a year's worth of monthly composites at a spatial resolution of 500 meters. These monthly images reveal seasonal changes to the land surface: the green-up and dying-back of vegetation in temperate regions such as North America and Europe; dry and wet seasons in the tropics, and advancing and retreating Northern Hemisphere snow cover.

Blue Marble: Next Generation improves the techniques for turning satellite data into digital images. Among the key improvements is greater detail in areas that usually appear very dark to the satellite (because a large amount of sunlight is being absorbed), for example in dense tropical forests. The ability to create a digital image that provides great detail in darker regions without 'washing out' brighter regions, like glaciers, snow-covered areas, and deserts is one of the great challenges of visualizing satellite data. The new version also improves image clarity, and gives highly reflective bodies of water, such as salt lakes, a more realistic appearance.

[edit] Blue Marble layers

Blue Marble Next Generation comes in several layers - this causes it to be a much more significant and complex component of World Wind than its predecessor.

[edit] Blue Marble Base

This is the layer which lives below all other visible layers...

[edit] Blue Marble Shaded

A nice, topographically shaded month-to-month record of the Earth in 2004

[edit] Blue Marble Shaded + Bathy

Same as above, but with the addition (merging) of NOAA bathymetry data

[edit] Blue Marble in World Wind

BMNG Shaded + Bathy is enabled by default and the layer month is matched with current month. As such what you see in World Wind will be fairly similar to the way that the world looks right now.

To view the other layers, you can use the NASA Blue Marble toolbar icon or select them in Layer Manager.

[edit] External Links

[edit] Data Sources and Credit

  • Blue Marble: Next Generation was produced by Reto Stockli, NASA Earth Observatory (NASA Goddard Space Flight Center).
  • NASA’s Earth Observatory.
  • Data processed for NASA World Wind by Chris Maxwell at NASA Ames Research Center.
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