recommended reading

Interior to offer new mashup capability for its extensive satellite data library

Interior Department contractor Esri, a map software developer, is expected Tuesday to launch a commercial tool that will enable programmers and non-techies alike to manipulate Interior's library of Earth surface images and data captured by satellite over the past four decades, federal and company officials said.

On the new, free website, users can generate mashups showing, for example, how regional property values or Southern crop production have changed throughout the years.

Google Maps offers similar applications for making mashups, or graphics created by combining layers of pictures and statistics from multiple sources. Esri officials have said the company's offerings are unique in that they draw on geographic information databases rather than just visuals.

Esri, which supplies nearly every federal agency with mapping applications, collaborated closely with Interior on the so-called Landsat image services, government officials said.

"The Esri Landsat services suite will enable users to access satellite images of the Earth and see through time what's happened to our globe," Interior Deputy Secretary David Hayes said in a statement. "Whether you're a fourth grader or in the midst of writing your Ph.D. thesis, having the ability to go back 30 years and visualize multitemporal Earth imagery can be tremendously helpful in answering questions about how we should manage the planet and address real-world problems."

Landsat, funded by Interior's U.S. Geological Survey and NASA, is a collection of land data obtained by satellites and sensors over nearly 40 years. The program serves as a resource for regional planning staff, agriculture professionals, climate scientists, first responders, and others.

All USGS Landsat data acquired since the program's inception in 1972 also is available at no charge through the federal site Earth Explorer.

"These Landsat image services expand the ability to monitor landscape change to Internet users worldwide," Esri President Jack Dangermond said in a statement.

According to, a government site that tracks federal awards, since 2003 Interior has granted Esri contracts worth more than $29 million to support initiatives such as, an online access point for downloading the government's trove of geospatial information.

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.