The rapid advancement of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) data in society and in programs at universities and even in some secondary schools has led to some amazing tools and data with which to analyze the world. Esri has a new UAV partner, the good people at Hangar, which operates a very innovative service to fly areas that people request them to. Hangar recently flew across Kilauea Hawaii and have compiled their 360-degree immersive UAV imagery into a story map. This makes for an incredibly engaging and rich tool for use in instruction, about human-environment interaction, impact of natural hazards, plate tectonics, current events, and much more. As an example, see the image I posted here: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DgI567QVMAI1bbW.jpg or below. I highly encourage you to take a look at this story map, paying particular attention to the house being engulfed in photo # 11.
But that's not all. Another recent advancement is the announcement of the new Sentinel-2 imagery in ArcGIS Online. Sentinel-2 is part of Copernicus, the world’s largest single Earth observation program directed by the European Commission in partnership with the European Space Agency. Esri makes the multi-spectral data quickly accessible using ArcGIS Image Server and publishes an image service through the ArcGIS Living Atlas of the World (Living Atlas), hosted on the Amazon Web Services Infrastructure. The service includes all Sentinel-2 imagery going back 14 months, enabling change to be easily reviewed, and is updated every 5 to 7 days. Incredible! Image analysis can be run directly on the service to create indexes displaying properties such as vegetation health or soil moisture as well as quantifying the changes over time, for better understanding of the environment.
Below, I added the Sentinel-2 data from ArcGIS Online, zoomed to Kilauea, and rendered the image as Geology with DRA (Dynamic Range Adjustment) which makes use of the SWIR (ShortWave Infrared) bands 1 and 2 – along with blue in the third band. This only took a few minutes and now I can measure the length of the new lava from that day (in yellow), and make use of the Imagery with Labels or Open Street Map basemaps to determine the homes that are affected. My students could investigate further to determine exactly which of the homes are shown in the UAV images in the above story map. For more information, see my video on the Hangar Esri UAV story map and my video on the Sentinel-2 data.
Sentinel-2 imagery rendered as Geology with DRA and filtered for 23 May 2018 in ArcGIS Online.