Use NASA's real-time satellite imagery as your basemaps in CartoDB

February 3, 2017 – 12:30 am


About the data

The data by the GIBS service has a latency period of 5 to 9 hours from satellite image acquisition to public access and consumption, and there are two images available for you to use right now on CartoDB: one for the day and one for the night.

That’s right: You can select any data recorded during the last 2 years. Do you want to create a map from a storm which happened a month ago in China? Just select the basemap for that day. A fire which happened last summer in Europe? Got it. The evolution of persistent ice in Lake Superior as spring comes? Check.

Amazing possibilities lie ahead

The possibilities of combining this imagery with your data are endless and amazing. This makes it perfect for visual storytelling and Earth analysis: scientists, journalists, and storytellers around the world can add a layer of extremely valuable data to their visualizations, and mix it with their own data or any other available open data to create insightful maps.

We have pleasure in announcing about

With other great startups working on providing a full image of the earth at higher resolutions, we could not be more excited about how this will expand the visualizations you will be able to make with CartoDB and these datasets.

imageHow to use it in CartoDB

Using NASA imagery as your basemap is as simple as any other feature on CartoDB. It will take you just seconds to be up and running. In Map View, click on the basemap selector, select “Add yours”, and there you’ll see a NASA tab. In this tab you will have a date selector, where you will be able to choose the day you want to use, as well as a day/night option. It is as simple as this:

Check out the big difference between Google Maps and NASA Terra.

Discover how satellite imagery can enhance your data-driven visualizations.

Learn more

There are many more image products available through the NASA GIBS service that can be used on CartoDB, like sea temperature, ice, etc. You can use them by setting up the Z/X/Y basemap, following their instructions here. What about deciding where to go to the beach depending on the temperature of the water? In the next weeks we will keep integrating more and more layers for easy access.


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