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Space agencies’ online dashboard shows lockdown effects on Earth

A new online dashboard shows in impressive detail the kind of changes taking place on Earth as a result of lockdowns prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Earth Observing Dashboard, unveiled on Thursday, June 25, is the result of a joint effort by three of the world’s major space agencies, namely NASA, ESA (Europe), and JAXA (Japan).

The data for the online tool comes from 17 of the agencies’ satellites, with human activity affected to such an extent by coronavirus-related lockdowns that the effect can be seen from space.

For example, the regularly updated dashboard data shows how air quality and water clarity have both improved in recent months, in part due to a reduction in global transportation, which is also shown on the dashboard.

You can sort the data by country, or by indicator type, such as transportation activity, nightlight levels, population density, and air quality. More indicators will be added over time.

When you select an indicator, locations with available data show as points on the map. The points show in either green, blue, red, or gray, according to whether the information is better than, the same as, or worse than the average baseline, or still being processed and uploaded.

Check out the video below for a concise explanation of how to get the most from the dashboard.

Online dashboards have proved popular during the coronavirus pandemic, with many people turning to them for detailed information on the state of the virus and how it’s affecting their communities.

A dashboard created by Johns Hopkins University is updated regularly to show the number of confirmed and suspected coronavirus cases, as well as the number of deaths and those who have recovered, in countries around the world. Another one breaks down the data by U.S. county to offer incredibly detailed information for anyone seeking regular updates for specific locations.

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Trevor Mogg
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