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NASA Photo Archive Joins Google's Orbit
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GOVERNMENT AGENCY W/ TERABYTES OF UNINDEXED DATA, ISO DYNAMIC SEARCH ENGINE COMPANY TO HELP RECAPTURE MY YOUTH. ENJOY VISITING NEW PLACES, LONG WALKS, REMINISCING. PHOTOS A MUST.


by WC NYC blogger and Worldchanging book contributor, Patrick DiJusto

In a public/private partnership straight out of Neal Stephenson's 'Snowcrash', NASA is teaming up with Google to search, sort, and index the olympus of information NASA has collected in its first 48 years of existence.

The program will start with every photo taken by NASA being added to Google Images. Real-time weather visualization and forecasting, high-resolution 3-D maps of the moon and Mars, real-time tracking of the International Space Station and the space shuttle will be explored in the future.

NASA's data has always been public domain, but public domain doesn't mean much if the data are so scattered that users can't find what they're looking for. Google's search algorithms will pull all that information together and index it in useful ways. Early on, NASA information will be incorporated into Google Earth in data sets covering everything from land use to temperature data, going back to the 1970s. Eventually, we might be able to access data sources as diverse as the helmet cam of a spacewalking astronaut or the moisture sensor on a Mars lander. (Astronauts practice their spacewalks in virtual reality -- one day, you might be able to as well!)

The first pictures of the Earth from space (most notably "Earthrise", taken by the Apollo 8 astronauts) jumpstarted the environmental movement in the early 1970s. Who knows what will happen when people are able to access and use realtime surface, atmospheric, and oceanic data?

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Comments

On the other hand... Nasa already has a very capable public domain, open source geobrowser in World Wind: http://worldwind.arc.nasa.gov/

As much as I love Google Earth (and I do), there's an element to this that seems uncomfortably like a hadover of public assets to a private corporation that will undoubtedly kill the open source alternative. Ah well... life in the new millennium; it certainly won't stop me from using Google Earth, one of the most important pieces of software ever created (yes! it's true...most people don't realize it yet, but it's true!).


Posted by: gregory on 21 Dec 06

I wonder what this means for microsofts earth viewer

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UAVDEV - Home of the CUAV open source flight controller


Posted by: UAVDEV - the custom uav on 28 Dec 06

I wonder what this means for microsofts earth viewer

-----------------------------------------------------
UAVDEV - Home of the CUAV open source flight controller


Posted by: UAVDEV - the custom uav on 28 Dec 06



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