Image Composite Editor

submitted by

Robert Simmon, NASA GSFC
Author Profile

The Image Composite Editor is designed to be an easy first step into the realm of Earth system science, image processing, data analysis, and satellite remote sensing via your Web browser. ICE is a java applet with several modes for analysing remote sensing data, including color image composites with multiple wavelengths, display of time series, mathematical functions between multiple datasets, and analysis tools such as scatterplots and histograms.
GSA Poster (Acrobat (PDF) PRIVATE FILE 4.5MB Oct31 03)

Learning Goals


Higher Order Thinking Skills:

Scientific analysis using remote sensing data.

Other Skills:

mastery of data analysis tool


Instructional Level:

level varies with content for each level--6th grade and up

Skills Needed:

basic computer use and web skills

Role of Activity in a Course:

we're developing the tool

Data, Tools and Logistics

Required Tools:

familiarity with the ICE program (we provide a teacher's guide, and will be developing more in the future)

Logistical Challenges:

the fewer students per computer, the better


Evaluation Goals:

We're interested in the ease of use of the tool (independent of the science concepts taught) do students understand how to use the tool? do they understand what each type of analysis is useful for (scatter plot vs. histogram) etc.

Evaluation Techniques:


The Image Composite Editor is a Web-based tool for viewing and analyzing spatial data. Hosted on NASA's Earth Observatory Web site, ICE data are presented along with a wealth of information about remote sensing and NASA's Earth science research. Individual lessons explore relationships between bands of multi-spectral data, geophysical parameters, and change over time. ICE's data-analysis tools include transects, histograms, scatter plots, multi-spectral image composites, math tools, and animation. ICE is an open-source JAVA application, allowing sophisticated users to tailor the tool to their own use.