NASA's Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) released a new version of Worldview, its imagery and data visualization application offering the interactive browsing of nearly 1,000 global, full-resolution satellite imagery and data layers. The new version — Version 3.9.0 — debuted on March 2 and it aims to enhance the user experience with new features designed to improve the application’s search, data layer, and data download capabilities.
Among the most noteworthy is the new “Location Search” feature that lets users go directly to a specific location simply by entering a place name or geographical coordinates in the search bar at the top right of the application. Users can also add a marker on the Worldview map by clicking the “Add Marker” button to the right of the search bar. When a marker is placed on the map, Worldview will provide the name and coordinates of that location.
“These new features work like Google maps, where users can enter the name of a location in the search bar and then zoom to the area,” said Minnie Wong, an Earth Science Data and Information System (ESDIS) Systems Engineer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “We didn’t have this feature in earlier versions. This will work well with the new Harmonized Landsat Sentinel-2 (HLS), 30-meter resolution layers.”
HLS imagery is available through the EOSDIS Global Imagery Browse Services (GIBS) for interactive exploration in Worldview. The application’s new HLS data layers provide atmospherically corrected surface reflectance products with high spatial resolution, which allows users to get a closer look at the surface of the earth and the natural and anthropological forces that shape it. HLS data is available for download through Earthdata Search and NASA’s Land Processes Distributed Active Archive Center (LP DAAC). There is also a Worldview HLS Tour Story that provides an introduction to the HLS project and its imagery and highlights specific examples for working with the imagery in Worldview.
Another significant addition to Worldview 3.9.0 is its seamless connection with data to Earthdata Search, NASA’s web-based application for discovering and downloading Earth science data from EOSDIS.
“In the past, when users wanted to download the data products associated with the layer they were viewing on the map, they sometimes came up empty-handed, as only about one-third of the Worldview’s layers had data download products associated with them,” said Wong. “The new version of Worldview is much more comprehensive in terms of the products users can download.”
For example, if users are viewing the Aerosol Optical Depth layer and want to download the data, they would click on the “Data Download” button in the Layer List. Then Worldview will inform them that the download is taking place in Earthdata Search and provide them with information on what dataset they have downloaded, what imagery layer it relates to, and the selected date of the data. Then, users will be brought into Earthdata Search and shown a list of all the available granules. In addition, there is a “Set Area of Interest” feature that allows users to select a specific geographic area, see how many granules are available for it, and then download those specific granules.
Other features of Worldview 3.9.0 include a new “Group Similar Layers” option, which is on by default in the Layer List. In the past, if users had several related layers (from measurements such as Aerosol Optical Depth, Carbon Monoxide, and Population Density) open, they would have to manipulate (i.e., turn on/off, move, collapse, and so on) each one separately. Now, by checking this box, related data layers are grouped together making it easier to view related layers in the Layer List.
In addition, Worldview 3.9.0 also includes a new “Filter Events by Type” feature that allows users to sort a catalog of recent meteorological and terrestrial events by event type (e.g., severe storms, sea and lake ice, volcanic eruptions, and wildfires) pulled from NASA’s Earth Observatory Natural Event Tracker application. Once sorted, users can then click on a specific event to see where it took place and access links to supplemental information.
Taken together, these new features make Worldview an even more robust tool for users to view the Earth as it looks "right now." Most of Worldview’s imagery layers are updated daily, with new imagery typically available within three hours of satellite observation. Best of all, it’ll keep getting better. Even though this new version was just released, engineers and developers are already planning more updates and new features. Among them are overhauled OpenStreetMap-based layers (e.g., labels and borders) with enhanced zoom levels to match the detail of the recently added HLS products, additional improvements to the Layer Selector, and a new capability to visualize individual granules for certain layers, which will be particularly useful at higher latitudes where satellite passes overlap. Stay tuned!
For more information:
Explore global near real-time data imagery using NASA’s Worldview.
To learn more about the significance of the new Harmonized Landsat Sentinel-2 (HLS) data and the HLS layers available in Worldview, see “A Harmonious New Data Set” on the Earthdata website.