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Great NASA Mapping Stories of 2013

Whether through the lush Amazon rainforest, above the clouds, or under the Saharan desert, Earth scientists are studying the planet to answer the most puzzling Earth mysteries. Mapping tools play an invaluable role in helping them track and understand the changes taking place in the Earth system.

Get inspired as we look back at these fascinating first-hand accounts from Earth explorers using mapping technologies to view the planet like never before:

The Mystery of the Disappearing Forests – Why do people clear tropical rainforests? Biospheric scientist Doug Morton uses satellite data to find out.

New World Meets Old - Go behind the scenes of the NASA ESW poster with its designer Ginger Butcher.

The Mystery of the Sliding Land – Where and when do landslides occur? Can we predict them?  Physical scientist Dalia Kirschbaum wants to find out.

The Mystery of the Rivers in the Desert – Discover hidden lakes and river beds in the desert using radar data with geologist Tom Farr.

Seeing Green: Mapping Vegetation from Space – Explore the latest global vegetation maps with visualization expert Dan Pisut.

Mapping Ice Clouds with Infrared Energy – Atmospheric scientist Brian Kahn explains how scientists map ice clouds and why this is so important!

Interview with Ian Muehlenhaus: Mapmaker  - In this interview, the mapmaker and professor shares insights about about maps, satellites and the basics of good mapmaking!

Will Earth’s Lungs Collapse Under Climate Change? – Climate scientist Josh Fisher describes how NASA studies the impact of climate change on Earth’s lungs: the world’s tropical forests.

Mapping and DISCOVER-AQ – Learn about how mapping the variables influencing air quality near the surface helped scientists determine the flight plan of a recent research airborne campaign with scientist Jim Crawford.

The Mystery of El Niño Diversity - Oceanographer Michelle Gierach explains how NASA maps the different versions of El Niño to understand the diversity of this important phenomenon.

Climate Change and the Coastal Oceans – Oceanographer Jorge Vazquez’ explains how satellite data of the ocean can help to better understand the impact of climate change along critical regions of the ocean.

On How to Read a (Good) Map  – Mapmaker and professor Ian Muehlenhaus explains how to approach a map you encounter for the first time and how to read the signs of good mapmaking.

Bill Patzert’s Love of Maps: A Voyage of Discovery – Learn about how oceanographer Bill Patzert discovered the magic of maps and of the role they play in his own exploration of the ocean.

With more exciting news and discoveries, and the launch of four NASA Earth observation missions in 2014, the new year will be an exciting one for NASA Earth science so stay tuned!

Above: Still from an animation of the Global Precipitation Measurement Mission (GPM) Core satellite over a hurricane. GPM, a NASA-Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) satellite mission to map precipitation worldwide, will be launched from Japan in early 2014. Credit: NASA Scientific Visualization Studio/Goddard Space flight Center.

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