Part 6—Analyze Relationships Between Datasets

Step 1 Select the First Map for Analysis

NEO allows users to select up to three map images to compare and analyze with the Image composite explorer (ICE) tools. To begin the analysis process, select the April 2011 Vegetation Index [NDVI] Map for Analysis.
  1. Go to the NASA Earth Observations (NEO) website . Click on the Life tab under the map to display the Life Datasets. Then select the Vegetation Index [NDVI] dataset, and then the image for April 1, 2011 to May 1, 2011.
  2. In the Search Results section, select the April 1, 2011 to May 1, 2011 image for analysis by clicking the appropriate (+) button to expand its field. Click View to display the image.
  3. Box 1 Click Analyze this image to add it to the Analysis box.

  4. You should now see one image listed in the Analysis box to the right.
  5. If you wish to change one or more of your selections for analysis, click remove just below the item you want to deselect, and then go back to the Search Results section to find the map you want to add.

Step 2 Select the April 2011 Active Fires Map and Land Surface Temperature Maps for Analysis

Adding additional maps to the analysis box is easy. You simply need to select other images to analyze and then repeat the steps from above. When you are done you should see three images listed in the analysis box.
  1. To select another image for analysis, click on the Land tab under the map to display the Land Datasets. Then select the Active Fires (MODIS) dataset.
  2. Box 2 In the Search Results section, select the April 1, 2011 to May 1, 2011 image for analysis by clicking the appropriate (+) button to expand its field. Click View to display the image.
  3. Click Analyze this image to add it to the Analysis box.

  4. You should now have two images in the Analysis box.
  5. To select a third image for analysis, click on the Land tab under the map to display the Land Datasets. Then select the Land Surface Temperature (Day) (MODIS) dataset for the same date range, April 1, 2011 - May 1, 2011. Click Analyze this image to add it to the Analysis box.
  6. There should now be three images listed in the Analysis box.
    1. Box 3 In the Search Results section, select the April 1 to May 1, 2011 image for analysis by clicking the appropriate (+) button to expand its field. Click View to display the image.
    2. Click Analyze this image to add it to the Analysis box.


Step 3 Launch and Configure Analysis

Once the three images of Vegetation Index [NDVI], Active Fires, and Land Surface Temperature are in the Analysis box, it becomes possible to analyze the relationship between these variables.
  1. From the Analysis box where the three images are listed, click configure/launch analysis. A new Analysis window will open.
  2. Click the Select Area tab. Use the Pointer tool (in the upper left-hand corner) to click and drag a box in the map around an area of interest such as North and Central America. Click Select to save your region of interest.
    1. Click the Select Area tab.

    2. Click and Drag to select the area. Then click the blue Select button, located below the map. You will get a message that your selection has been saved.


Step 4 Animate the Maps or Step Through Them

  1. Click the Mode tab. In this window, select animation. Then click Launch analysis at the bottom of this window. A new window will open. The new window is the Image Composite Explorer or ICE tool.
    Mode box
  2. In the new window, the three images that were selected appear as thumbnails across the top. Click the Step button to the right of the large map to move through the animation, frame by frame. Observe the relationships between the three images.
    The following link contains more information on the ICE tool: About ICE

Step 5 Plot a Transect

How do Vegetation Index [NDVI], Active Fires, and Land Surface Temperature change as one moves across a continent? The Plot transect button in NEO allows you to simultaneously explore this relationship in a visual and graphical manner.

  1. While still in the Analysis window, prepare the images for analysis. In order to be able to see familiar landmarks, use the Step button to move through the images so that the Land Surface Temperature image is the one that is in view.
  2. Click the Plot transect button.
  3. Click and drag from West to East on the map. Experiment with different areas. Notice that as you move the cursor, a graph is generated.
  4. Click and drag the cursor from California to the Georgia.
    This is the transect line.


    The graph of this transect is pictured below.

  5. Observe the relationship between the three variables in the plotted graph. Summarize these relationships.
    As Vegetation Index [NDVI] increases, so do Active Fires. Recall that fires need fuel, (plants) to burn. As they burn plant material, they release stored carbon back into the atmosphere. Land Surface Temperature decreases midway across the transect, but does not seem to have a strong relationship to these other two datasets. Can you think of a better dataset to choose?

Step 6 Choose Another Relationship to Explore with NEO

Now that you have learned how to use the NEO ICE tools, choose another carbon pathway to explore with NEO data. Select one or more datasets from the collection and use the probe and transect tools to see where the carbon is stored and released. There are many combinations of data that are interesting to explore.

NEO Carbon related datasets

Ocean
  • Chlorophyll Concentration

Atmosphere
  • Aerosol Optical Depth
  • Carbon Monoxide
  • Total Rainfall

Land
  • Active Fires (1 month - Terra/MODIS)
  • Leaf Area Index (1 month - Terra/MODIS)
  • Net Primary Productivity
  • Permafrost
  • Vegetation Index [NDVI]
  • Water Equivalent Anomaly (an indicator of drought)

Life
  • Chlorophyll Concentration
  • Leaf Area Index
  • Net Primary Productivity
  • Vegetation Index [NDVI]

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