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Fairy Circles in South Africa

by Timothy Whitehead on Jun.23, 2017, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

We recently took a trip from Cape Town to the Northern Cape province in South Africa and on the way noticed what looked like patches of bare ground or nearly bare ground:

The above are photos we took, but you can also explore the region in Street View.

This reminded us of Fairy Circles a phenomenon in Namibia. Last time we looked at Fairy Circles we also noted a similar phenomena in Australia. We have also seen similar patterns around the world created by ants and termites. And in South America we looked at patterns that are apparently created by worm poo.

At the time, we did not think to try and find one near the road and see if we could see any ant activity. Once we got back from the trip we had a look in Google Earth and found the patches are even more visible from above and cover a vast region:

We believe these circles are created by ant or termite colonies. They can even be seen in cultivated fields which suggests the soil is permanently changed. The Namibian and Australian fairy circles are found mostly on very flat land and scientists believe water plays a role in their formation. However, these ones can be seen on hillsides and slopes and seem to be stopped only by extremely rocky ground.

In most cases, the spots consist of areas of reduced vegetation, but in some places the pattern seems to be reversed with more vegetation in the spots:

In some cases there are are bare rings:

For the locations of some of the screenshots above see this KML file. But be sure to explore more as they cover a vast region.

The post Fairy Circles in South Africa appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

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Landslide and Tsunami in Greenland

by Timothy Whitehead on Jun.22, 2017, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

Last Saturday, on 17th June, a landslide in Greenland caused a tidal wave, killing four people and injuring nine in the community of Nuugaatsiaq. Two other communities, Igdlorssuit and Viaqornat, were apparently affected. Read more about it on the Landslide Blog.

We thought it would be interesting to see the area in Google Earth using Sentinel-2 imagery. We downloaded the Sentinel-2 image from 19th June, 2017 and imported it into Google Earth:


The relative positions of the landslide and Nuugaatsiaq.Copernicus Sentinel data, 2017.

The distance between the landslide and the village of Nuugaatsiaq is about 30 km. Igdlorssuit is about 60km from the landslide site and Viaqornat just over 100 km.


The region as seen in Google Earth imagery.


The village of Nuugaatsiaq as seen in a DigitalGlobe image from 2012.

Here is a YouTube video showing the Tsunami arriving at Nuugaatsiaq:

To see the relevant section of the Sentinel-2 image in Google Earth, download this KML file
.

The post Landslide and Tsunami in Greenland appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

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When you see the Google car…

by StreetViewFun.com on Jun.22, 2017, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA, Uncategorized

Click “Next” to see what this guy did when he noticed the Google Maps Street View car. When you see the Google Car…
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A Landslide in California with Planet Imagery

by Timothy Whitehead on Jun.22, 2017, under 3D Models, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, California, Denmark, England, Germany, Google Earth News, Google Earth Tips, Google Sky, Google maps, Hawaii, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Natural Landmarks, Netherlands, Sightseeing, Street Views, USA

We love Landsat and Sentinel-2 imagery for their easy accessibility and global coverage, but they are rather low resolution at 10 m per pixel for Sentinel-2 and 15 m per pixel for Landsat. Commercial satellite imaging company Planet, now covers the globe with greater regularity and higher resolution (typically about 3 m per pixel) and for the US state of California, releases the imagery under creative commons licence within a couple of weeks of capture. We recently came across a large landslide that occurred along the Californian coast in an area known as Big Sur.

We were able to find it in Planet’s tool ‘Planet Explorer’ for browsing their imagery. You need to sign up to view daily imagery, but signup is easy and free.


The Big Sur Landslide as seen in Planet imagery.

Once you have signed up you can try going here to see the location in Planet Explorer. Try comparing before and after images with the built in ‘compare’ feature.

The post A Landslide in California with Planet Imagery appeared first on Google Earth Blog.

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