European Space Agency Releases First High-Res Land Cover Map of Africa

Land Cover CCI, ESA
Land Cover CCI, ESA

This isn’t just any image of Africa. It represents the first of its kind: a high-resolution map of the different types of land cover that are found on the continent, released by The European Space Agency, as Travel + Leisure reports.

Land cover maps depict the different physical materials that cover the Earth, whether that material is vegetation, wetlands, concrete, or sand. They can be used to track the growth of cities, assess flooding, keep tabs on environmental issues like deforestation or desertification, and more.

The newly released land cover map of Africa shows the continent at an extremely detailed resolution. Each pixel represents just 65.6 feet (20 meters) on the ground. It’s designed to help researchers model the extent of climate change across Africa, study biodiversity and natural resources, and see how land use is changing, among other applications.

Developed as part of the Climate Change Initiative (CCI) Land Cover project, the space agency gathered a full year’s worth of data from its Sentinel-2A satellite to create the map. In total, the image is made from 90 terabytes of data—180,000 images—taken between December 2015 and December 2016.

The map is so large and detailed that the space agency created its own online viewer for it. You can dive further into the image here.

And keep watch: A better map might be close at hand. In March, the ESA launched the Sentinal-2B satellite, which it says will make a global map at a 32.8 feet-per-pixel (10 meters) resolution possible.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

The Most Popular Scary Netflix Series in Each State

It’s October, which means you have a full month to cram as many spooky movies and TV series into your schedule as humanly possible. Of course, you can watch a horror flick year-round, but there’s something about watching it in the lead-up to Halloween that makes it that much more fun.

In celebration of the shows that make us scream and tense up in terror, Reviews.org has created a map revealing each state’s favorite scary series on Netflix. The site started with a list of the most beloved and best-rated scary series on Netflix, then used Google Trends to analyze how popular they were in each state.

By the numbers, British sci-fi series Black Mirror is America’s favorite small-screen fright. It’s the most popular series in six East Coast states, as well as California. Most of the show’s self-contained dystopian plots are entirely plausible, which makes it all the more unsettling. It could get a lot scarier, too. Showrunners recently announced that the fifth season will have an interactive, choose-your-own-adventure episode.

Reviews.org observed some other regional trends, too. Supernatural thrillers featuring vampires, werewolves, and demons apparently do better down south. Bitten, Hemlock Grove, The Originals, and Vampire Diaries are particularly popular in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and Florida.

In a blast to the past, Goosebumps (circa 1998) also did well in five states. Some series that made the list—like Dexter, Twin Peaks, and Santa Clarita Diet—blend several genres and don’t strictly fall into the horror category. Still, they certainly have their creepy moments. Our friends from Washington have probably had a nightmare or two about Bob.

The Most Googled Health Symptoms in Each State

iStock.com/PeopleImages
iStock.com/PeopleImages

It’s no secret that the internet has radically changed our approach to health care. Symptoms that once had us going to the doctor can now be assessed online with varying degrees of accuracy, reassuring us that it’s either benign or that death is imminent.

According to Medicare review site MedicareHealthPlans.com, the medical conditions we worry about can vary widely by region. The site recently examined Google Trends for the most widely-searched symptoms and then looked to see which states had the highest volume of searches for each.

The takeaway: People are worried about some very strange conditions.

A map of the most-Googled health symptoms in each state
MedicareHealthPlans

The West Coast seems preoccupied with more conventional maladies—stomach issues, including food poisoning and morning sickness. Creeping closer to the East Coast, things get very specific.

Wisconsin and South Carolina residents seem to be curious about the color of their poop and whether light or green-colored stool is indicative of anything. (Maybe: clay-colored stool could indicate problems with your bile duct, while green stool might mean food is moving through the large intestine too quickly. That, or you’re eating a lot of vegetables.)

Utah’s investigation of morning sickness checks out: It holds the second-place position among states for the number of babies born annually. Nebraskans might be getting a surplus of Viagra commercials; Ohio is doing its due diligence on the problems of being uncircumcised.

The most searched condition in a fifth of states? Stress. Googling “sweaty palms” probably isn’t helping.

[h/t MedicareHealthPlans.com]

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