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Idaho State University GIS Training and Research Center to host Landsat satellite launch party on Feb. 11

Posted February 7, 2013

The Idaho State University GIS (Geographic Information Systems) Training and Research Center will celebrate the launching of the eighth Landsat Data Continuity Mission LDCM) satellite on Feb. 11.

Presentations on the importance of the Landsat satellites will begin at 9:45 a.m. and then be followed by a viewing of the launch on NASA TV at 11 a.m. in the ISU GIS Center located in the basement of Graveley Hall, Room B-19.

"This is a big deal here at the GIS Center because we use Landsat data in many of our projects including the NASA RECOVER project," said Keith Weber, director of the ISU GIS Center. "“Right now we are without new Landsat data and are waiting for this new satellite to launch. Its success will be critical to our research."

Since 1972, Landsat satellites have been observing and measuring Earth's continental and coastal landscapes at a scale where human impacts and natural changes can be monitored and characterized over time.

Presentations beginning at 9:45 a.m. include:

• "History of Landsat,”" by Scott van Hoff, United States Geological Survey Northwest geospatial liaison;

• "Landsat and Geothermal Exploration," by Carrie Bottenberg, ISU assistant lecturer, geosciences; and

• "Landsat Research Applications at ISU," by Weber.

Landsat data has a myriad of uses, according to Weber. For instance, LDCM data will be used to determine the amount of food that will be available to markets and consumers every year at the local, national and international level.

LDCM data will allows scientists and technicians to locate and determine the extent of cultivated fields planted in major crops across the globe, to monitor crop development throughout the growing season, and to assess the condition and state of pastures and rangelands. This information will be used to predict food production, make commodity forecasts, help farmers decide on planting and field management, and anticipate famine and plan relief.

More information on the event and the ISU GIS Center is available at, or by calling 208-282-3606.