NASA needs your help photographing your local landscape through the new Land Cover tool in GLOBE Observer (GO). Why? One reason is to fill in details of the landscape that are too small for global land-mapping satellites to see. Land cover is critical to many different processes on Earth and contributes to a community’s vulnerability to disasters like fire, floods or landslides. Read more at

GO Land Cover kicked off with a challenge to map as much land as possible between Sept. 22, Public Lands Day, and Oct. 1, NASA’s 60th anniversary.

Could you help by using the app to photograph the landscape around your library? We want to fill in as much as possible in this initial blitz with your observations, and hope that you will help by “adopting a pixel” around your library. We would also love to hear from library staff about their experience trying out the app.

And if you’re one of the 10 citizen scientists who map the most land in this period (Sept. 22-Oct. 1), you will get a special NASA shout-out on social media and will receive a certificate of appreciation from GLOBE Observer. All participants will receive a Land Cover badge in the app.

Here’s what you need to do:

GO App Home Screen

Select the Land Cover tool in the app

  • Download the GLOBE Observer app to your smart phone or tablet
    at, open, and create a free account. It just takes a minute – you’ll receive an email immediately with your password.
  • Login and open the Land Cover feature.
  • Go outside and use the app to photograph the landscape of an area near your library.
  • Everything you need is in the app, which walks you through how to make and submit photographs and observations. You can stop after photographing the landscape and sending your photos, or go further and analyze the land cover and compare to the satellite image.
  • When you’re done, be sure to submit your observations!


Questions? Join the GLOBE Observer Land Cover team for an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit, this Friday, Sept. 28 from 12-2 EDT/11-1 CDT/ 10-12 MDT/9-11 PDT at

One of the people you’ll meet is Peder Nelson, GO Land Cover scientist. Read more about him at

We love to hear from librarians – use the comments or email me at

And coming soon – the team is fine-tuning hands-on activities and other resources for out-of-school programs that you will be able to use in your STEM programs. STAR net libraries will be among the first to know when these are available on