Posted on November 6th, 2018

Our Changing Landscape – Fall Colors in Eastern Pennsylvania

In this monthly feature, we span the globe to examine Our Changing Landscape with a time series of medium resolution RapidEye satellite imagery. The RapidEye archive dates back to late 2008 and already contains more than 14 billion square kilometers of data. Last month we looked at violent volcanic eruptions in the Ring of Fire, and for this November edition of Our Changing Landscape we take a look at a colorful fall in eastern Pennsylvania, USA.


Click on the image above to see an animation of 5-meter natural color RapidEye imagery collected over eastern Pennsylvania, USA on August 19, October 10, October 13 and October 23, 2010. In this set of four images, you can see the seasonal progression from green forests to orange and yellow and finally to red and purple – how sweet! Oh and apologies for the partial coverage with the October 10th scene. (Images Courtesy: © Planet 2018)

The RapidEye Constellation

RapidEye is a constellation of five 5-meter medium resolution satellites each offering five spectral bands of information. The RapidEye constellation offers daily revisits to every location on the planet with a huge footprint that is 77-km wide. The data is priced competitively with a starting cost of $1.28 per square kilometer for all five spectral bands – academics do receive discounts. RapidEye adds a fifth band, the red edge, to the ‘traditional’ multispectral set of blue, green, red and near-infrared (NIR). The additional spectral data in the red edge band allows users to extract more useful land ‘information’ than can be from traditional 4-band imagery sources. When RapidEye imagery is ordered as a Level 3A Orthorectified product, images from multiple dates are extremely well registered, making it the ideal data source for Our Changing Landscape.

The Fall Colors of Eastern Pennsylvania

Here in the United States, the Northeast is one of the best regions to view the brilliant colors of fall. An enjoyable perusing of the archive for colorful, cloud-free RapidEye images over the Northeast (not an easy task in this cloudier corner of the States) found a set of four fall images in eastern Pennsylvania. Located around Parker Dam State Park, this region is part of the Mixed Mesophytic Forests that are common in Appalachia. The centerpiece of Parker Dam State Park is a human-made lake surrounded by rolling hills of mature trees. In Pennsylvania, oaks, maples and beech trees are common as are a wide variety of deciduous trees listed here. According to a variety of sources, mid-October is the peak season for fall colors in this region of eastern Pennsylvania so this set of four RapidEye images should be an ideal dataset. Now it is time to check out the animated image here to see what we found!

If you would like to find out more about using RapidEye for your academic studies, engineering projects or any landscape analysis, let us know at sales@apollomapping.com or (303) 993-3863.

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