Watching Rocks Fall
Earth observing satellites do much more than monitor temperatures and atmospheric changes or try to forecast weather. Many are able to take measurements you wouldn't even think you could take from space, like NASA's GRACE satellite, which can measure groundwater quantities by the subtle changes in Earth's gravity. Above is a graphic of ground displacement in the Swiss Alps -- yup, the satellite, ESA's Envisat, monitors landslides in the mountains. The data can help engineers build and protect existing infrastructure.
Image: ESA / Gamma Remote Sensing