Mapping land cover from space. Animation showing how land cover is mapped and monitored from space. Satellites can be used to map land cover types, and track land cover changes across the globe. Infrared wavelengths are used to measure the vigour of plant growth through the year. The temporal evolution of the spectral information can be used to classify the cover type at each grid point on the Earth's land surface. The European Space Agency's Climate Change Initiative is using satellite data to produce the most detailed worldwide land cover maps, and updating them on an annual basis. This allows us to monitor changes such as deforestation, urbanisation and shrinking water bodies. Examples of land cover change are shown in close ups of Amazonia, the Congo Basin, eastern China and Argentina. For this clip with captions, see K008/6538.
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