SDView program created

Paul Schwader

Paul Schwader

You don’t have to be a scientist to benefit from South Dakota View’s archive of satellite images.

“It’s for everybody,” says Mary O’Neill, the lead researcher for SDView. The program is part of the larger AmericaView Consortium. SDView wants to promote the use of satellite data without the cost involved with using satellite imagery.

Students researching the changes in the Missouri River, farmers examining yield rates in different sections of their fields and city councilors examining property boundaries are potential uses of SDView.

Satellite images are expensive; however, once they are bought, they can be redistributed an unlimited amount of times. SDView first finds people or organizations that have purchased satellite imagery, then asks these groups if they are willing to put their data into the SDView archives. The images can then be downloaded from the SDView Website, The archive currently has 299 images.

Since 2001, SDView has applied for grants from AmericaView this year it received almost $90,000, a relatively stable figure since the start of the program. The money is divided between the Engineering Resource Center, the Plant Science Deptartment, and the Computer Science Department.

O’Neill attended a meeting at the EROS data Center on AmericaView, then brought the program back to SDSU. However, she stresses that the program isn’t just for the university. Anybody who has a need for, or is curious about the data, can download it.

SDView is currently working on educating K-12 teachers on uses for the images in their classrooms. It sponsors a weeklong workshop, Earth Science Tools for Educators, for teachers and requires lesson plans involving the use of the data.