With graduation behind me and my projects for the last six years coming to a close, I’m embarking some new projects, one of which involves satellite images, Landsat in particular. I’ve been working with aerial photography from balloons, kites, and airplanes for the last six years, so I need to get myself caught up on the world of space imagery.
After finding information in table format for the operational dates of each Landsat satellite, I found myself wanting a visual reference. My first thought was to make my own, but then it occurred to me that one might already exist. The image below is courtesy of Wikimedia and NASA and is very helpful. I could do without the cartoony satellites and the numbers on the axis are quite large in comparison to the rest of the text, but I do like that the actual years are listed next to the arrows given that it is difficult to tell a precise year from the location of the arrows.
I would really like to encourage more scientists to represent information in visual form. This is an excellent example of how a simple diagram can clarify temporal relationships.