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Not major news but still interesting, two weeks ago Vector One ran a short entry named remote sensing of Afghanistan more complete than of U.S.. The introduction: “Yesterday the State geologist’s met in Texas for their mid-year meeting. The point was made that national security has funded a complete hyperspectral analysis of Afghanistan, while a similar domestic set of data does not exist. I suspect this is true for other countries, as well.”
See also the very related previous stories below.