Columns » Hiking Bob

NASA needs your help making better maps, and County releases trail etiquette video


Calling all citizen scientists: NASA needs your help. - SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
  • Calling all citizen scientists: NASA needs your help.
Despite having some of the most technologically advanced satellite imagery known to man, NASA acknowledges that there are limitations to what they can see from outer space. Clouds, trees, buildings, etc. can obscure what they can see, making maps or scientific data less accurate than it could be if they had ground level information.

To help get better data, NASA is enlisting "citizen scientists" to use the free Globe Observer app and the camera on their smartphones to take photos that are then sync'd with NASA satellite images. The app has three different tools: Clouds, Mosquito Habitat Mapper and Land Cover.

As a hiker, the Land Cover tool is the most appealing to me. By taking panoramic photos and then using the app to upload the images to NASA, I can help make their maps and 3D satellite images more accurate and detailed. 

There's much more to the Globe Observer program and the app than can be covered here, but if you're interested, see more at the website.

After fielding complaints about encounters between different types of trail users that didn't always go very well, the El Paso County Parks Department and the county Public Information Office created a video on trail etiquette. Encompassing hikers, runners, equestrians, cyclists and dogs, the seven-minute video gives tips on how to safely and enjoyably interact with other trail users.

Happy Trails!

Bob Falcone is a retired firefighter, photographer, hiker, business owner and author of Hiking Bob's Tips, Tricks and Trails, available via his website. He has lived in Colorado Springs for more than 26 years. Follow him on Twitter (@hikingbob), Facebook (Hiking Bob), Instagram (@HikingBob_CO) or visit his website ( E-mail questions, comments, suggestions, etc to Bob:

Add a comment

Clicky Quantcast