Cloud-free imagery of the State of Wyoming is available from the NASA programs; ERTS (complete coverage at 560 mi), Skylab (50% ± coverage at 265 mi), and aircraft (60% ± coverage at altitudes ranging from 15,000 to 60,000 ft). Standard data products available to the public include images or photographs of scenes recorded in different bands of the spectrum and in infrared and color. Many potential users (for example, consultants, small companies, and independent geologists) are limited to visual methods of analyses of these products. Wyoming studies have employed these standard data products for a variety of geologic and economic applications: regional geologic mapping for updating and correcting existing maps and as an educational tool; illustrations of the value of seasonal images in geologic mapping; specialized mapping of such features as sand dunes, playa lakes, lineaments, glacial features, regional fades changes, and their possible economic value; and multilevel sensing as an aid in mineral exploration. Cooperative studies between botanists, plant scientists, and geologists for the preparation of maps of surface resources can be used by planners and for environmental impact studies. These maps are especially useful in areas, such as the Powder River basin of Wyoming, facing critical environmental problems that will result from the development of energy resources.

The various studies illustrate that certain user requirements can be met satisfactorily with ERTS and Skylab alone, but that others require higher cost (to the user) aircraft and ground data or special data-enhancement techniques. Perhaps the key point, however, is that the NASA system has given us both complete and sequential regional coverage at a critical time in our effort to assess the effects of resource development.

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