TerraFly: General Questions TerraFly: General Questions
Do I need to register or pay anything to use TerraFly?

How do I look at an aerial view of my house from this site?

How do I enable Java on my internet browser?

I did exactly as you have shown to enable java. I still cannot access Terrafly. What else can I do?

Am I required to download any additional software on my computer to use TerraFly?

What do I do if nothing can be typed on the address bar and it remains gray at all time?

What is the problem if TerraFly is taking a long time to load?

How old are the USGS Aerial photographic Images?

How often are these images updated?

What am I doing wrong if I am trying to access the TerraFly page and all I see is “Page can not be displayed" on the screen?

Why does it say that I have exceeded my flying time?

What if I am running an Apple Mac with Netscape 4.7 and cannot get the fly window or some of the tutorials to work?

Is it possible to obtain images of certain areas outside of the US?

Do you have a list or map of the available regions?

I have the coordinates of an image that I want to fly over. I don’t see any place where I can put the coordinates. What do I do?

What is a pixel?

What is an image resolution?

What is an aerial photograph?

Tell me more about the use of TerraFly in K-12 science classrooms.

How can I get a non-compressed or higher resolution image?

How can I print an aerial image?

How can I change the resolution of the image I am viewing?

What is Landsat?

What is Space Imaging Data?

What is Kodak Data?

What is OrbImage?

What is DOQQ?

Question: Do I need to register or pay anything to use TerraFly?

Answer: Currently you don’t need to register or pay to “fly” over Aerial Photography. If you like the image that you are flying over and want to purchase it, then there is a nominal fee depending upon the size of the area and the resolution of the image.

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Question: How do I look at an aerial view of my house from this site?

Answer: At http://www.terrafly.com, there should be a yellow box in the center of the page where you may fill in the street address, city, state or zip code. This is a java applet that is automatically downloaded to your browser. If you see a gray box, you may not have java enabled on your browser. You may enable java by setting these options on your browser. You can see Aerial Photography over most areas of the United States by filling in the address, or the city and state, or the zip code of the area you would like to see, and clicking the "fly" button. We also have sparse data over other areas of the world. You can see those by clicking on "Recommended Starting Points.” If you are using a Mac or WebTV you might encounter problems in using TerraFly. We are constantly working to solve these problems. However, currently TerraFly works best on PCs running Windows operating system. For a complete Tutorial on using the website please visit TerraFly Help page.

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Question: How do I enable Java on my internet browser?

Answer: Since TerraFly works best with Internet Explorer, following is the step by step process to enable Java on your Internet Explorer, version 4 and higher: 6. Choose Tools from the Menu bar, then Internet options. 7. Select the Security tab then the Custom Level button 8. In the dialogue box scroll down to the Scripting section, Active Scripting sub-section and select Enable (click in the radio button) 9. Then in the dialogue box scroll down to the Microsoft VM section, Java Permissions and select either High security, Medium Security or Low Security 10. Select OK in each dialogue box.

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Question: I did exactly as you have shown to enable java. I still cannot access Terrafly. What else can I do?

Answer: If Terrafly still doesn’t work on your machine or you don’t see both the “control frame” and fly-frame windows, your Java plug-in might need to be updated. You can download an updated version of Java from the following website: http://www.sun.com/2002-0214/feature/. These instructions are to help you get the best experience of Terrafly. Terrafly, its developers or its affiliates cannot be held liable for any problems that downloading software from the Internet or changing the settings on your machine can cause.

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Question: Am I required to download any additional software on my computer to use TerraFly?

Answer: No. TerraFly is a totally web-based application which can be accessed and used via any standard Internet Browser running on a windows platform. TerraFly can’t be used in an offline mode. You have to be online to use TerraFly.

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Question: What do I do if nothing can be typed on the address bar and it remains gray at all time?

Answer: At http://www.terrafly.com/ there should be a yellow box in the center of the page where you may fill in the street address, city, state or zip code. This is a java applet that is automatically downloaded to your browser. If see a gray box, you may not have java enabled on your browser. You may enable java by setting these options on your browser.

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Question: What is the problem if TerraFly is taking a long time to load?

Answer: TerraFly has generated huge publicity in recent days, which has resulted in high load on our servers. That might be the reason for TerraFly to be slower than usual. Also, TerraFly is an image delivery tool. By the very nature of this application it is very graphic intensive. That is why it is sometimes slow to load. Even though you can experience TerraFly using a dial up modem, we would urge you to try TerraFly on a faster connection to get the best results.

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Question: How old are the USGS Aerial photographic Images?

Answer: The Aerial Photography that you see over the United States was acquired within the last 5-7 years, and varies depending on what state you are flying over. To get more recent data, you may order other bands of aerial photography and/or satellite imagery. If you are interested, please contact us with your area of interest.

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Question: How often are these images updated?

Answer: The USGS began to produce DOQ's in 1991. Complete DOQ coverage of the conterminous United States under this program is expected by the year 2004. Thereafter, the DOQ's will be updated on a 10-year cycle for most areas and on a 5-year cycle in areas where land use change is more rapid.

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Question: What am I doing wrong if I am trying to access the TerraFly page and all I see is “Page can not be displayed" on the screen?

Answer: You may have experienced TerraFly during a time of peak usage and this may have caused some of the problems that you encountered.

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Question: Why does it say that I have exceeded my flying time?

Answer: You experienced TerraFly during a time of peak usage and we had to temporarily limit the flying time of each user to accommodate the increased demand. The flight time allowed is gradually being extended.

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Question: What if I am running an Apple Mac with Netscape 4.7 and cannot get the fly window or some of the tutorials to work?

Answer: TerraFly currently works best on PC and not that well on Mac. We are continuously working towards a Mac compatible version. You also need to have java enabled on your browser to effectively use the tool. The yellow address box will be grayed out if Java is not enabled.

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Question: Is it possible to obtain images of certain areas outside of the US?

Answer: Yes. You may order high resolution worldwide satellite imagery. Color satellite data can be collected for you by tasking the satellite to your area of interest. If you are interested, please contact us with your area of interest.

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Question: Do you have a list or map of the available regions?

Answer: TerraFly currently hosts almost 95% of the United States. We can also acquire aerial photography/satellite imagery of most of the populated world for custom orders. Color satellite data can be collected for you by tasking the satellite to your area of interest. If you are interested, please contact us with your area of interest.

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Question: I have the coordinates of an image that I want to fly over. I don’t see any place where I can put the coordinates. What do I do?

Answer: TerraFly gives you the opportunity to use coordinates to fly over the aerial photography. In the “Control frame” window, you can enter your coordinates in the fields marked “Lat” and “Long”. After filling in the coordinates, click on apply coordinates. That will generate the associated aerial image into the “Fly frame” window.

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Question: What is a pixel?

Answer: A pixel is the smallest logical unit of visual information that can be used to build an image. Pixels are the little squares that can be seen when a graphics image is enlarged. The more pixels there are in an image, the better is its resolution.

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Question: What is an image resolution?

Answer: Resolution is the number of pixels (individual points of color) contained on a display monitor, expressed in terms of the number of pixels on the horizontal axis and the number on the vertical axis. The sharpness of the image on a display depends on the resolution and the size of the monitor. The same pixel resolution will be sharper on a smaller monitor and gradually lose sharpness on larger monitors because the same numbers of pixels are being spread out over a larger number of inches. A given computer display system will have a maximum resolution that depends on its physical ability to focus light (in which case the physical dot size - the dot pitch - matches the pixel size) and usually several lesser resolutions. For example, a display system that supports a maximum resolution of 1280 by 1023 pixels may also support 1024 by 768, 800 by 600, and 640 by 480 resolutions. Note that on a given size monitor, the maximum resolution may offer a sharper image but be spread across a space too small to read well.

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Question: What is an aerial photograph?

Answer: An aerial photo is just a black and white (b & w) or color "picture" of an area on the Earth's surface (plus clouds, often), either on print or on transparency. A film camera shoots the picture from a free-flying platform (airplane, helicopter or balloon) some preplanned distance above the surface. Two types depend on the angle of view relative to the surface. The first, oblique photography snaps images from an angle, low to high relative to vertical. The second type of aerial photos is oriented vertically, that is, it results from pointing the camera straight down (to the nadir, at the photo center point) to show the surface directly from above. The size of the photo and the sizes of the features represented within the photos can vary depending on the following: the camera's optical parameters, the surface area of the exposed film (frame size), the subsequent printing sizes (e.g., enlargement), and the altitude of the camera platform. (Source: NASA)

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Question: Tell me more about the use of TerraFly in K-12 science classrooms.

Answer: TerraFly's technology can be used in K-12 classrooms to promote the use of interactive programs that teach students about their world and its environment. TerraFly can be customized to show relevant geographic areas of interest. Teachers can tailor the experience to their needs by choosing various overlays or homework assignments that can be used in conjunction with TerraFly. ? TerraFly can be accessed via the web or via customized CD-ROM versions. ? It is an innovative, informative, and interesting way to learn. ? You can use almost any geographic data; for example, you can "fly" over your neighborhood or an ancient ruin in Greece. ? Create an educational and interactive game that students will want to use. You can request more information at tf-bizdev@cs.fiu.edu.

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Question: How can I get a non-compressed or higher resolution image?

Answer: All options for a given area of interest marked via TerraFly will be shown on the “Order page”.

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Question: How can I print an aerial image?

Answer: We offer a complete suite of printing services where you can order the prints of the images that you have purchased. The prints can be ordered in as little as 3.5x5 Inches size up to as big as 18 x 24 inches. What’s more, most of the prints will be backed by TerraFly’s 100% satisfaction guarantee. Any print up to 18x24 inches in size can be returned for a full refund within 30 days of purchase less shipping costs.

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Question: How can I change the resolution of the image I am viewing?

Answer: You may change the resolution of the image you are viewing by Clicking on the “Zoom bar”. To change to a different resolution, click on the number and wait a few seconds for the image to load.

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Question: What is Landsat?

Answer: The Landsat program, first known as the Earth Resources Technology Satellite (ERTS) Program, is a development of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in association with NOAA, USGS, and the Space Imaging. The activities of these combined groups led to the concept of dedicated Earth-orbiting satellites, the defining of spectral and spatial requirements for their instruments, and the fostering of research to determine the best means of extracting and using information from the data. The first satellite, ERTS 1, was launched on 7/23/72. The second satellite was launched on 1/22/75. Concurrently the name of the satellites and program was changed to emphasize its prime area of interest (land resources). The first two satellites were designated as Landsats 1 and 2. Landsat 3 was launched on 3/5/78. Landsat 4 was launched on 7/16/82. Landsat 5 (launched 3/1/84) is currently in service providing selected data to worldwide researchers. (Source: USGS)

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Question: What is Space Imaging Data?

Answer: Space Imaging collects and distributes a wide variety of satellite- and aerially-derived digital Earth information products from a variety of sources. These include a constellation of satellites lead by the flagship Landsat and Indian Remote Sensing satellites. In the last quarter of 1999, Space Imaging launched the first ever commercial one-meter resolution satellite IKONOS. The one-meter resolution panchromatic (black-and-white) images, collected by the IKONOS satellite, have clarity that is the first of its kind in the commercial market. The four-meter resolution multispectral (color) digital images can be displayed to include the near-infrared band to allow quantitative analysis of crop vigor, which is not visible to the naked eye. IKONOS images show detailed features such as trees, buildings and trucks, and can even help pinpoint precise problem growing areas in a field. The revisit time of the IKONOS satellite is 5 days.

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Question: What is Kodak Data?

Answer: Kodak's Commercial & Government Systems unit provides innovative image information solutions for business and government market needs. This includes aerial imaging, digital imaging systems for commercial imaging satellites, earth images, optical systems for land and space telescopes, and custom image information solutions. Kodak Earth Imaging Products which include CITIPIX aerial imagery and other worldwide imagery, under the Kodak Earth Imaging Products brand. The database for CITIPIX aerial imagery will consist of 95 major metropolitan areas in North America, including some 7,000 cities and towns and 600 counties in the U.S. and Canada. Space Imaging will sell the ready-to-use, orthorectified imagery in six-inch (15 cm), one-foot (30 cm), two-foot (60 cm) and one-meter spatial resolutions. The 24-bit color images exceed NMAS accuracy requirements at 1:1,200 (+/- 3 feet).

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Question: What is OrbImage?

Answer: OrbImage, an affiliate of Orbital Sciences Corporation, is developing a fully-integrated global system of advanced imaging satellites and is a leading global provider of satellite-delivered Earth imagery services with a planned constellation of five digital remote sensing satellites. It currently operates the OrbView-1 atmospheric imaging satellite (launched in 1995), the OrbView-2 ocean and land multispectral imaging satellite (launched in 1997), and an integrated image receiving, processing and distribution system with over 20 current and planned regional ground stations around the world. OrbImage is building OrbView-3 and OrbView-4, some of the world's first high-resolution optical imaging satellites. Both satellites will provide imagery with one-meter panchromatic and four-meter multispectral resolution. OrbView-4 will also include a hyperspectral imagery capability.

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Question: What is DOQQ?

Answer: A DOQ is a computer generated image of an aerial photograph in which displacements caused by camera orientation and terrain have been removed. These products combine the image characteristics of a photograph with the geometric qualities of a map and can be used in numerous geographic information system (GIS) applications either alone or in combination with other digital data, such as Digital Line Graphs (DLG) or Digital Raster Graphics (DRG). For more information on USGS’s DOQQ program please visit: http://edcwww.cr.usgs.gov/Webglis/glisbin/guide.pl/glis/hyper/guide/usgs_doq

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