Earth  ID: 13286

Why Observe?: Land Cover

Nearly every aspect of our lives is fundamentally tied to the land on which we live. The homes that shelter us are resting on the land. Cities offer locations that bring people together; farms feed us; forests help to keep us cool, provide us with oxygen, building materials, and the joys of recreation; rivers and lakes yield fresh water to drink; and different kinds of land cover provide habitats for a diversity of wildlife. When land covers change, our health and well-being, economies, and environments are all affected.

Citizens using GLOBE Observer can observe land cover in much greater detail and more frequently than scientists can using satellite data alone. Furthermore, some types of land cover such as crops or some kinds of urban areas can be difficult to define based on satellite data alone, and citizen scientists’ observations can help.

GLOBE Observer data isn't just for scientists. Everyone can have access to this data to understand land cover change. Furthermore, since GLOBE Observer is a global community with ties in education, citizens who make observations help to strengthen education in Earth science around the world.

But why do scientists use land cover observations from satellites, and why do they need help from citizen scientists? And what do they hope to use the data for? Find out the answer to these questions in Why Observe? Land Cover and learn what is land cover and about the questions scientists need help answering.

Interested in learning how to become a GLOBE Observer and to take land cover observations? Watch the GLOBE Observer Land Cover: Getting Started video to find out more.

Learn more about GLOBE Observer app and what other observations you can take at GLOBE Observer website.


For More Information


Lead Producer:
Liz Wilk (USRA)

Eric C. Brown De Colstoun (NASA/GSFC)
Peder Nelson (Oregon State University)
Amita Mehta (UMBC)

Project Support:
Heather Mortimer (SSAI)
Holli Riebeek Kohl (SSAI)

Liz Wilk (USRA)

Technical Support:
Aaron E. Lepsch (ADNET Systems, Inc.)

Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center
Additional footage provided by Artbeats and Pond5

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This item is part of this series:
GLOBE Observer

SVS >> Globe
DLESE >> Physical geography
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Land Surface >> Land Use/Land Cover >> Land Cover
SVS >> Education
NASA Science >> Earth
SVS >> Citizen Science

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version