More than 200 flight paths at 50,000 feet were used to measure surface reflectance covering over 70% the country. The results were then analyzed to determine which minerals, among other surface materials, were represented. The various levels (across 800 million pixels of data) were plotted for each flight in a data layer over Landsat satellite imagery.
Because the accuracy of the process can be adversely affected by the occurrence of airborne dust, cloud cover and surface moisture, in some areas the map is cross hatched, for example, to indicate possible discrepancies in the data. These inaccuracies do not affect the viability of the process however, given the huge surface areas that can be covered much more practically than with any other process. The results also show the locations of vegetation, water, ice and snow cover.
No news on when a new version of Google maps is due out with ‘mineral deposits view’ as a switchable layer.
- Afghanistan minerals fully mapped (bbc.co.uk)
- Next Landsat Spacecraft Is Now a Fully-Fledged Observatory (news.softpedia.com)
- USGS Keeps Landsat 5 Satellite Alive (geodatapolicy.wordpress.com)