Thanks for visiting Earth Science Outreach
Emporia State University

Explorations in Earth Science
Utilizing Instructional Technologies
A 2001
Eisenhower-Funded Workshop

Remote Sensing Treasure Hunt
created by Susie Ward Aber

Search for Imagery    Layering and Creating

Search for Imagery

This cartographic treasure hunt involves searching the internet to locate and describe the imagery or map of selected features. For each feature you should include the WWW URL and brief description of what is visible in the scene. Specific URLs are given, although you could customize the search using any number of resources. Although there are many answers possible, at least one provided with the exercise.

The Assignment

1. Locate images of a flood.

Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri from 1990 before the flood is here,, and after the 1993 flood is here,

2. Find a volcano erupting from the Pacific ring of fire.

This image of Mt. St. Helens, is 36 minutes after the first eruption and seven hours later,

Another volcano is the Rabaul Caldera, Papua New Guinea,, with text here. More information on this space shuttle composite image,, is found at Michigan Tech University has an interesting volcano page,

Mt. Pinatubo Volcano, post eruption, Luzon, Philippines can be seen at, with a text explanation at

3. Locate center pivot irrigation agriculture.

This example of center pivot irrigation,, is from Saudi Arabia.

4. Find a hurricane.

This poster,, is the 1989 Hurricane Hugo. Emily hit the east coast in 1993, Other images of this hurricane include, a Multi-Spectral False Color Image, August 31, 1993 or A hurricane tracking image may be found at

5. Find a major city such as New York, Chicago, Houston, or Los Angeles.

A Space Shuttle Houston image,, with text.


Chicago from the 1973 Skylab 3,, with text.

6. Locate the aurora austrialis.

The aurora australis,, was taken with a Nikon 35 mm handheld camera from Skylab space station, August 1, 1973. The space station was moving into the sunlight when this view appeared; the earth's surface is in the foreground, with "a permanent aurora" in the background, and the aurora visible in the center of the scene (Additional text explanation).

7. Find an iceberg.

This typical tabular iceberg,, measuring 35-69 km, was found in the South Atlantic broken away from the Antarctic Ice Sheet. The text for this image may be found here.

8. Find an unusual view of the sky, such as this patriotic one!
This high oblique view shows the horizon of Earth, with space at the top and nighttime at the bottom. The shuttle was just northeast of the Hawaiian Islands. The blue atmosphere is due to molecular scattering of the solar rays; the white-gray layer is a thin, statified layer of suspened scattering material; and the red bands are residue of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption in June 1991 or a combination of ash and sulfuric acid particles at an altitude of 20-27 km above the Earth. The lower atmosphere appears dark red because of the scattering by dust, water vapor, and smoke. This image was recorded August 8, 1992, more than a year after the eruption. Information taken from

Sites to Visit

return to the top

GIS Layering and Creating

These directions would need to be printed out in order to follow the directions below and simultaneously visit the site

2. Select "zoom to state" and use Kansas (left frame).
3. In the right top frame, page down until the "Sand and Gravel Operations" category is found. Check the box. Redraw map.
4. Add "Railroads." Redraw. Are most of the sand and gravel operations along railroad lines? (yes!)
5. Add "Streams and Waterbodies." Redraw. Are any sand and gravel operations not fall along a stream? (yes!) If yes, how many do not fall on a waterway? (two)
6. Print this first page.
7. How many sand and gravel operations fall in counties with no black population in the 1990 census (maybe one-half, along NE/KS line)? To find this, go to Ethnic Population - 1990, and check "black." Redraw. Legend (will identify which color goes with the differing population counts).
8. Clear all the checks from the first exercise (off ethnic pop, waterways, railroads, sand and gravel).
9. Check off "Night Lights" under the "People" category. Redraw. Which cities are the two brightest areas? Can you find Emporia? Can you locate your city?
10. Remove this checked item (night lights) and layer on what is of interest to you within the state of Kansas. Print out the first page of your custom map.

Return to the assignments or return .

Created July, 2001; last update March 1, 2006. Thanks for visiting! This page originates from the Earth Science department at Emporia State University. For more information contact S. W. Aber, e-mail:

copyright 2001-2006 © Susan Ward Aber. All rights reserved.