Publication Summary
Issue ID: GBCR2006-01-23
Title: ASTER Imagery for B.C. - An Online Exploration Resource
Author(s): Kilby, W.E., Kilby, C.E.
Series Name: Geoscience BC Report
Publication Year: 2006
Other Citation Details: Geoscience BC Report 2006-1
Larger Work Citation: in Geological Fieldwork 2005, Geoscience BC Report 2006-01, pages 287 to 294
NTS Map Sheet(s): 082;083;092;093;094;102;103;104;114
Place Keyword(s): British Columbia
Lat/Long (NSWE): 60, 48, -139, -114
Theme Keyword(s): Geoscience BC Fieldwork, ASTER, anaglyph, virtual reality, digital elevation model
The ASTER Imagery for British Columbia project, sponsored by Geoscience BC, increases the quantity and quality of Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) imagery available through the BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources' MapPlace website ( One hundred new images have been added to the collection, all available for analysis through the MapPlaceís Image Analysis Tool box (IAT) (Kilby et al., 2004; Kilby, 2005). A number of new derivative products have been generated from the imagery and made available for online viewing at the MapPlace website using the Google Earth viewer (Google, 2005). The products can also be downloaded for offline viewing. ASTER is an imaging instrument flying on the Terra satellite, launched in late 1999. ASTER is a cooperative project between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Japanís Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and Japanís Earth Remote Sensing Data Analysis Center. The instrument has three sub systems that capture readings from different portions of the electromagnetic spectrum at different resolutions. The three sub systems are referred to as VNIR (Visible and Near Infrared), SWIR (Shortwave Infrared) and TIR (Thermal Infrared). Reflectance values in the SWIR range are particularly useful in differentiating rock and soil mineralogy related to alteration zones. An ASTER image contains 14 bands of information, 4 bands in the VNIR with 15 m resolution, 6 bands in the SWIR with 30 m resolution and 5 bands in the TIR with 90 m resolution. Two of the VNIR bands sample the same wavelength range but one is back-looking providing the ability to generate a stereo view of the scene. A single ASTER scene covers an area of approximately 60 by 60 km. The ASTER website ( is an excellent source of information on the instrument, its mission, available imagery, usage examples and analysis tools.