SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/AP) — A coalition of the world’s top space agencies have launched a unique dashboard to show the impact of COVID-19 from images captured by their satellites including views of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Using data from 17 satellites, three space agencies have created a website that serves as a global dashboard for temporary changes observed from orbit. The European Space Agency, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and NASA Thursday unveiled the Earth Observing Dashboard.
How To Use Dashboard
The data, which will be expanded in the future, monitors 30 environmental indicators, 17 economic signals and three agricultural indices.
The dashboard reflects some signs of a return to normal in parts of the world.
For example, with nitrogen dioxide — an indicator of pollution from cars and industry — “we see an immediate reaction of the lockdown” with levels dropping around 50% in parts of Europe in April, said Josef Aschbacher, ESA’s director of Earth observations. Similar drops were seen at different times in the United States and China.
But now those pollution levels are rising again because cars are back on the road and industry has started up in Europe, Aschbacher said.
Pollution levels are going down in South America and may be heading down again with a virus rebound in China, said NASA scientist Ken Jucks.
Other data, such as airplanes on the tarmac, don’t show as quick a return. You can zoom in on a map and even see the University of California San Francisco Medical Center’s night time lights brighten from January to April.
You can also check on changes is air and water quality.
“This is the beauty of the dashboard,” Aschbacher said. “You can see which ones react immediately.”