Saturday, September 29, 2018

Extreme Heat = Less Greenery

There have been a number of maps which have attempted to visualize the extreme weather that much of the world has experienced in 2018. In Mapping One Hot Summer Maps Mania explored weather visualizations from the Berliner Morgenpost, the BBC and the Washington Post. Another stark effect of the extreme heat in Europe this summer is the sharp drop in the continent's green vegetation.

The EU NDVI 2018 interactive map is a very effective visualization of how this summer's extreme heat has affected Europe's vegetation. The map includes two map views showing the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index for 2017 and 2018 side-by-side. This side-by-side visualization allows users to easily compare the amount of green vegetation in Europe this August with the amount of green vegetation measured in August of last year.

The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NVDI) is a simple graphical indicator that uses remote sensing measurements, typically from satellite imagery, to assess the levels of live green vegetation. The EU NDVI 2018 map uses Google's Earth Engine application to simply compare the NVDI measurement for Europe from August 2018 with the NVDI measurement for the same month in 2017.

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