Antarctica Gets High-Def Map

Interactive satellite imagery is available free online
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 28, 2007 1:21 PM CST
A bird flies over a glacier in Antarctica on Nov. 9, 2007. The Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica was unveiled Tuesday.   (Getty Images )
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(Newser) – A new high-definition, real-color interactive map of Antarctica unveiled yesterday will give a bird's-eye view of the frozen continent, MSNBC reports. But the virtual tour isn't just for pointy-headed scientists—it's also available free online to anyone. Satellite imagery was collected into a 100-billion-pixel database that is zoomable and searchable.

One NASA scientist likens the technology to "watching high-definition TV in living color versus watching the picture on a grainy black-and-white television," as the new imagery is 10 times more detailed than any previous pictures. The increased resolution will allow scientists to more effectively track the effects of climate change on Antartica.