Make Your Own Big Blue Marble

October 9th, 2014 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.
NASA Terra MODIS imagery from Oct. 8, 2014 mapped into Google Earth.

NASA Terra MODIS imagery from Oct. 8, 2014 mapped into Google Earth (click for large version).

Since you folks paid for it, you might as well know how to use it….

You can access the latest (or any previous day’s) MODIS data from either the Aqua or Terra polar-orbiting satellites, import it into Google Earth, and make your own Big Blue Marble.

I didn’t know how to do this until recently. I had to ask in a NASA meeting we were having, and even the knowledgeable people present had to ask someone else.

1) go to the MODIS Worldview website
2) choose the month and day (along the bottom)
3) choose either the Terra or Aqua satellite (upper left)..they sample 3 hours apart, nominally 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
4) click on the camera icon (upper right) for downloading data,
5) choose a resolution (I chose 5 km for a quasi-global image, 250 meters would be for a smaller region…there is a filesize limit involved here)
6) resize the “camera window” to get the area you want
7) choose KMZ for the Google Earth file format, and click “Download”

After the file downloads to your computer, you should get a prompt to open the file in Google Earth (downloadable here). Then, you can use all of the other Google Earth functionalities to cruise around the world.

The highest resolution available is 250 meters, so don’t expect to see streets and trees like the high-resolution aircraft imagery in Google. At best, you can pick out some interstate highways. But what you get is daily data, with today’s data only a few hours after it is collected.

18 Responses to “Make Your Own Big Blue Marble”

Toggle Trackbacks

  1. Wonderful website. A lot of helpful info here. I am sending it to a few friends ans also sharing
    in delicious. And obviously, thanks to your effort!

  2. Ksznm a kedvez_ rst. Az igazat megvallva ez egy
    szrakoztat beszmol volt. Bonyolultnak vagy messze szlltottnak
    t_nik kellemesen t_led! Egybknt hogyan tudnnk levelezst

  3. Głwnym profilem działalności są akcesoria motoryzacyjne.

  4. 치어리더 says:

    Your style is very unique compared to other people I’ve read stuff from.
    Thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I
    will just book mark this blog.

    Here is my blog 치어리더

  5. Asking questions are really pleasant thing if you are not understanding something entirely, but this piece
    of writing offers fastidious understanding even.

    My page :: 아나운서노출

  6. Nicee blog! Is your theme custom mafe or did you download
    it from somewhere? A design like yours with a few simple tweeks would really make my
    blog stand out. Pleasse let me know where yoou got your design.

    Viait mmy blog – Chaturbate _ Live Sex Cams fr Alle

  7. This is a great tip especially to those new to tthe blogosphere.

    Brief but very accurate info_ Many thanks for sharing this one.
    A must rwad article!

    Here is my web-site: Chaturbate – Live Sex Cams fr Alle