The National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) proudly serves as the statistical arm of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. What some may not realize is that NASS provides statistical information in a variety of formats beyond the traditional paper report, which dates back more than a century.
Just yesterday, NASS launched a new geospatial data service called CropScape. Operated by my team in NASS’s Research and Development Division, CropScape significantly eases users’ access to agricultural geospatial satellite products. By applying the best practices in science and technology, this service links space and agriculture.
Created in coordination with the Center for Spatial Information Science and Systems at George Mason University, CropScape provides a plethora of tools, such as interactive data visualization, geospatial queries and even automated data delivery to services such as Google Earth. In striving to make NASS data as accessible as possible, CropScape is helping us achieve this like never before.
CropScape delivers data visualization tools directly into the hands of the agricultural community – without the need for specialized training, software or equipment. These resources can be used by researchers, policymakers and farmers alike to evaluate vital issues facing American agriculture, such as agricultural sustainability, land cover monitoring, biodiversity, weather disasters and more.
This service provides the most current information available, including the complete 2010 cropland data layer (CDL) set. These images were produced using satellite image observation at 30-meters (0.22 acres per pixel) resolution and were collected from the Resourcesat-1 Advanced Wide Field Sensor and Landsat Thematic Mapper.
The data is not limited to just 2010, however. All of the past CDL data, going back to 1997, when NASS’s cropland monitoring program first started, can also be accessed online through CropScape.