Landsat GeoCover at the Global Land Cover Facility

GLCF Letter

Global Land Cover Facility
University of Maryland
2138 Lefrak Hall
College Park, MD 20742
USA

January 30, 2004

Dear Minister:

Please accept the enclosed hard drive and accompanying satellite data with the compliments of the Global Land Cover Facility, the United Nations Environmental Program and the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration. Along with our commercial partner, EarthSat, Inc., we have worked hard to provide this satellite imagery for your country. We hope that you will find it a useful tool in attaining the environmental goals of your country.

Please allow me to explain the precise nature of the imagery we are providing. First, the imagery is part of a global collection of Landsat imagery which has been acquired and verified by NASA. If you are unfamiliar with the program, the Landsat satellite provides thematic data corresponding to events on our Earth's surface. The data can easily be used to extract information relating to forest extent, urban areas and agriculture.

Our mission in providing this data to you is to ensure that all the countries of the world have access to satellite technology. The data is being provided in two phases as some of it is still being delivered to our facility. In the end you will have conterminous high resolution multi-temporal satellite data, circa 1980, 1990 and 2000. Please note that this is merely the first delivery of data for your country, the second delivery will complete the data set. With the proper methods, you will be able to study precisely how the aforementioned aspects of your environment have changed with time. It is, for example, possible to study the extent of aforestation, reforestation and deforestation (ARD, per IPCC 2000).[1]

Finally, the Global Land Cover Facility welcomes the opportunity to serve your government. Our web site is a rich source of satellite data and information which you can download for free and use to supplement the data on this hard drive. By accessing this web site, you will be able to download data from the latest NASA Earth Observing System satellites. You will also be able to access higher-level, derived data sets on global data on land and forest cover.

Again, our mission is to provide this data to you and the members of your government and to do so in the most expeditious manner possible. Feel free to contact us with questions and suggestions. Please let us know how we can best serve the environmental needs of your government, that we may all be equal partners in the management of that one resource we can never replace, the Earth.

Sincerely yours,

The Staff of the Global Land Cover Facility

[1] IPCC, 2000. Land Use, Land-Use Change, and Forestry, 2000. Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Robert T. Watson, Ian R. Noble, Bert Bolin, N. H. Ravindranath, David J. Verardo and David J. Dokken (Eds.). Cambridge University Press, UK

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