Antarctica gets its closeup


Now this is the sort of public domain science resource I’ll gladly pay taxes for. From

A new satellite image of the Antarctic continent is now ready for all to see and use. The IPY Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica (LIMA) project has been completed and its stunning result is freely available for the first time today. Compiled from over 1000 Landsat scenes, the result is a 15-metre resolution, near seamless and cloudless image mosaic of the continent.

A team from NASA, the U.S. Geological Survey, the National science Foundation and the British Antarctic Survey have worked together for more than a year to produce this uniformly and rigorously processed surface reflectance dataset. In addition to providing scientists with a new tool for discovery and planning, LIMA also provides everyone with a previously unseen and realistic view of the continent.

You can browse the imagery in a web-based viewer today at the mirror sites or Unfotunately, these sites break on Mac browsers and only work well on Windows. Not to fear, the imagery is in the public domain, which means it is only a matter of weeks not months before we can expect to have this crop up in the base layer of Google Earth and NASA World Wind. (Full disclosure: I posted the above to on behalf of the LIMA team.)

2 thoughts on “Antarctica gets its closeup”

  1. Stefan, I seem to be having significant issues in viewing the set as well — so it may not just be a Mac related issue.

  2. The LIMA site is experiencing the consequences of a successful media launch on Tuesday. They’ve been adding extra capacity at USGS, but in terms of load it’s “worse than Katrina”. So keep trying, it’s worth the wait.

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