Comprehensive Land Surface Imagery now available via GEOSS
In an exciting advance for the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS), ten leading space-related agencies collaborating through the Committee on Earth Observation Satellites (CEOS), its Land Surface Imaging Constellation Study Team, and its Working Group on Information System and Services (WGISS) have developed a portal that collects and distributes satellite imagery of the Earth’s land surface.
Users can now access images from all ten partners via a single web portal. This new portal is a gateway to the world’s largest collection of Land Surface Imagery and data (LSI) taken from space. The LSI portal is intended to serve as an invaluable tool for predicting and managing natural disasters, monitoring climate change, studying ecosystems and biodiversity, and addressing many other scientific and policy challenges.
Detail of satellite image of Beijing [Source CBERS/INPE]
The LSI Constellation concept emerged as a priority constellation for implementing the CEOS Space-Based Observations for GEOSS. While recognizing the independence of each agency, the aim of the portal is to ensure user access to the best possible coverage of the Earth’s surface with multi-spectral, space-based imagery and data as a major component of GEOSS.
The LSI Constellation provides many images free-of-charge or, in a few instances, for a small handling fee; from some providers only free sample data are available. The portal features active direct links to agency-based imagery and to data-search and order tools for the remote-sensing systems with open access. It also includes fundamental technical and contextual information about the available data and the host systems.
The LSI Constellation started in 2007 by focusing on mid-resolution (10 to 100m) optical images. It is now expanding coverage to short-wave infrared and thermal images. In addition to making existing images more easily available, CEOS is defining standards and practices for guiding the development of future imaging capabilities. It is also promoting cooperation on the operation of the space and ground systems needed for gathering land-surface imagery and data.
The agencies participating in the LSI portal are the Argentina Space Agency (CONAE), Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE), the China Academy of Space Technology (CAST), the French Space Agency (CNES), the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), Thailand’s Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA), the US Geological Survey (USGS) and the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).