New interactive map uses satellite data to show how Covid-19 has changed the world

Three of the world’s space agencies have teamed up to create an interactive dashboard map showing the changes across the planet caused by the current Covid-19 pandemic.

the Earth observation panel COVID-19 was created by NASA, ESA (European Space Agency) and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) to analyze recent changes in air quality, water quality, measures of climate change, economic activity and the Agriculture. Using a large amount of data collected from their combined satellite fleets, the dashboard is designed to explore how the Covid-19 pandemic has profoundly affected the environment and human life, looking at everything from air quality in Los Angeles to asparagus harvest in Germany.

“Together, NASA, ESA and JAXA represent a great human asset: advanced Earth observation instruments in space that are used every day to benefit society and advance knowledge of our planet,” said Thomas Zurbuchen , NASA Associate Science Administrator. statement.

“When we began to see from space how the changing patterns of human activity caused by the pandemic were having a visible impact on the planet, we knew that if we combined resources, we could bring a powerful new analytical tool to influence this rapid movement crisis.”

Improvements in air quality worldwide were among the most notable changes instantly brought by the introduction of closure measures earlier this year. An air pollutant that is released by burning fossil fuels, nitrogen dioxide (NOtwo), lasts for a few hours, so it is often used to analyze short-term changesit is in air quality. If you look at the map and see how air quality changed in Europe, you will see that cities like Paris, Madrid, Rome and Milan experienced a significant drop (around 50 percent) in NOtwo concentrations around April compared to the same months in previous years.

It is also possible to obtain information in the decline of global economic activity of the pandemic. Satellite observations that record agricultural production, activity in ports, the number of cars parked in shopping malls, etc., can be used as indicators of how certain industries have been damaged by the closure. For example, if you click on the point within China, the dash map shows how output from a car factory in Beijing experienced a dramatic drop in January, February, and March, before slowing the increase again.

If you need some advice on how to get the most out of the dash, it can be a bit tricky at first, then check out the tutorial provided by NASA below. You can find the board at