Quick start & practice
Using Remote Desktop
Navigating the jCube window

There are three ways to use jCube

  • Try jCube on sample LANDSAT image data
  • Downloading more image data directly from the USGS image archive to jCube. (Available soon)
  • Uploading data sets from your computer to the jCube server. (Available soon)


What's so special about LANDSAT ...

jCube is not only for LANDSAT. Eventually most satellite and aerial imagery will be handled, especially imagery that comes in geotiff format. But.... doing multi-temporal imagery analysis can be pricey. Maybe too pricey for most users. For example, consider a project requiring a 10 image series for 250 square km area. With QuickBird the cost is $5000 per image, or $50,000 for the 10 images if purchased out of the QuickBird image archive. Actually, you can not usually find 10 images in the QuickBird image archive. The 10 images will require a special satellite tasking, which is even more expensive. Imagery from other satellites with less resolution and less dynamic range is cheaper. But nothing beats LANDSAT 7. Until recently a LANDSAT image of 200 km x 200 km cost ~$300. But charges ended in late 2008. All LANDSAT images are now provided free-of-charge with ftp downloads.

LANDAT became operational in 1999. There are now 10 years or about 120 images of every location. About half may be rejected because of clouds and haze. That still leaves approximately 60 images over a 10 year span. This and the no-cost factor open up opportunities for multi-temporal image analysis as never before.


Among the current constellation of civilian and commercial satellites LANDSAT imaging capabilities are modest but respectable. The resolution is 15 meters in panchromatic, 30 meters in multi-spectral bands. The dynamic range is 8 bits. By comparison, QuickBird and IKONOS offer 11-bit radiance and 0.5 meter resolution panchromatic, 2 meters multispectral.

In addition to the usual visible bands, near IR, and panchromatic,LANDSAT also has a MWIR and TIR (thermal IR) images. Several applications require these bands. QuickBird and IKONOS do not have MW and TIR.

LANDSAT 7 completes a sweep of Earth about once per month. NASA figure.


Contact for more information about jCube.
© 2008 jOmegak