Astronaut Photography from ISS: Unique Observations of the Earth
Part 2: Images of Earth that compliment satellite data. Read more >>
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Paris, France:

The colors of the agricultural fields surrounding Paris are striking in the springtime, even when viewed from a 400 km orbital altitude. Further study of this image and ground survey information revealed that the bright yellow color was from Canola plants blooming in fields around the city.

This image was used in a study of the use of photographic images from the International Space Station for vegetation analysis on the urban fringe. The digital photograph was combined with ground information and ASTER satellite imagery acquired at nearly the same time to evaluate the potential of digital cameras and off-the-shelf multispectral cameras on the Space Station for understanding land patterns and urban growth.

Why is this image unique?: In another urban study using information from human spaceflights, astronaut photography from Apollo, Gemini, and Skylab was combined with images from more recent missions to measure long-term changes in built-up area of various cities in north America. The images were able to produce quantitative estimates of the degree of urban sprawl.

ISS004-E-10414, 24 April 2002, 185 mm
The Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth,

Scientific References:
Stefanov, W. L., J. A. Robinson, and S. A. Spraggins. 2003. Vegetation measurements from digital Astronaut photography. International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing, and Spatial Information Sciences 34(7/W9):185-189.
2. Robinson, J. A., B. McRay, and K. P. Lulla. 2000. Twenty-eight years of urban growth in North America quantified by analysis of photographs from Apollo, Skylab and Shuttle-Mir. In Dynamic Earth Environments: Remote Sensing Observations from Shuttle-Mir Missions. John Wiley & Sons, New York, pp. 25-42.