Image-ine Earth Yesterday and Today

2014 Challenge

  • Hashtags:

    #earth, #imagineearth


    [email protected]


    Data Visualization, Model

    What would you build if you had instantaneous imagery data of the Earth from the past decade? Using openly accessible access to Earth imagery from the past and present create new ways to interact with NASA’s Earth imagery.

    This challenge asks you to: (1) explore the capabilities of the current Global Imagery Browse Service (GIBS) and Worldview resources, (2) brainstorm and design ways to use those resources, (3) create prototypes, and (4) suggest how this data could be made easier for others to use..

    Here are some potential ways to use NASA Earth imagery to get your creative juices flowing.

    Informing adventure sports: You want to go backcountry snowshoeing and there are no weather reports for the area. To help you decide whether or not this particular day might have snow based on historical data and trends this time of year; you could look at recent and historical imagery on that day for the last 10 years. Enabling consumer choice: Changing local environments might influence a variety of consumer decisions, such as where to buy a home. How might commercial companies trying to facilitate purchasing decisions that are highly influenced by historical and future environmental conditions leverage Earth imagery? Documenting land cover change: Applications could include documenting large-scale landscape changes through time such as urban growth, riverbed course changes, the extent of flood zones, mountaintop removal mining, and wetlands reconstruction.

    NASA maintains and contributes to a collection of hundreds of terabytes of Earth observation imagery from our numerous satellites. NASA makes that imagery available to scientists and the public to help to improve our understanding of Earth systems and climate. The types of imagery provided supports applications in air quality, volcanic ash and smoke plumes, drought, dust storms, fires, floods, severe storms, shipping, and vegetation, among others. Some of this imagery is currently made available in its full, native resolution through NASA’s Global Imagery Browse Service’s (GIBS) public API. GIBS provides daily, global images covering mid-2012 through present for 100+ visualized data parameters, with ongoing activities to expand throughout the entire historical record of each product. Many imagery products are continually updated throughout the current day with the latest imagery (often available within four hours of acquisition from the satellites), providing the capability to address problems that are time-sensitive. The NASA Worldview browsing tool provides an interface to interactively pan and zoom the entire set of imagery available in GIBS. In addition, GIBS and Worldview can view imagery from Arctic and Antarctic perspectives to provide “full Earth” coverage. Here are some current ways these images are being used.Visualizing the changing world: Timelapses are a powerful way to show how change happens visually. Creating a cloud-free digital atlas of the Earth: You can use imagery from GIBS and other satellite resources to find the best-available imagery for every point on the Earth, and then stitch together that imagery to make a beautiful, seamless map. Building a mobile app to explore the Earth: An independent developer built an app to browse NASA satellite imagery from GIBS. Capturing the Earth’s natural beauty: Some online journals have found stunning imagery as captured by NASA satellites and viewable through Worldview. Interactively exploring clouds and severe storms: PBS NOVA Labs has created a citizen science and educational site dedicated to learning about clouds and severe storms, such as “Reconstruct a Storm” and “Open Investigation,” to see how they encourage users to interactively explore storm properties using GIBS.


    GIBS is an image API. NASA does not currently offer data-as-a-service at a single point of access like GIBS (a data API) but will insights generated from this event and other user consultations in the development of the data API in the future. This challenge focuses on innovative uses for imagery, not the underlying data. Imagery available through GIBS and Worldview are historical, not predictions or modeling products. The maximum spatial resolution (detail) currently available in GIBS is 250 meters per pixel from the MODIS instrument. See here for an example of the best detail available for the San Francisco Bay area and California’s Central Valley. Move the map a little to the east to see the Yosemite Rim Fire. Other products will eventually be added to GIBS including those that have a spatial resolution around 30 meters per pixel (e.g., ASTER). Most of NASA’s Earth observing satellites are in apolar orbit. This means that imagery is often only captured once per day (see here for an illustration and here for a movie). There is a tradeoff between the spatial resolution of a satellite instrument and how much it covers the Earth on a given day. It is akin to flying in orbit with a handheld camera: you can either use the zoom lens and get good detail for a small area or a wide angle lens for more coverage - but you can’t have them both. So a satellite product with coarser resolution (e.g., 250m/pixel) will see most of the Earth every day, while a product with a finer resolution (e.g., 30m/pixel) will only see a small portion and only revisit the same place every 16 days.

    For your information, here are some future capabilities of GIBS: GIBS is expanding the time range of MODIS products to begin in the year 2000 and continue through the present; and

    GIBS is expanding the number of products available including a full resolution, global Landsat WELD product.

    Solution Ideas

    Here are some ways for you to frame this solution

    1) Create an overview of the use case to answer the following questions. What is the solution (tool or application) leveraging GIBS or Worldview seeking to do? Who is the user? Why is this use case important? What important existing problem might this use case address?

    2) Create a preliminary solution design with a storyboard and wireframe user interface to describe the solution based on GIBS current or planned, future capabilities. See the last section for a list of planned, future capabilities.

    3) Suggestions for ways to improve GIBS and/or Worldview. Teams can list specific recommendations for improving usefulness or outline specific hurdles they encountered when trying to build their prototype. Teams can provide a description of the technical requirements that would be needed for the use case to work if it doesn’t already. For instance, how would the imagery need to be made available? How often? In what format? What imagery specifically?

    Solutions can contain the following:

    A working prototype of the solution; identification of open source tools the prototype builds upon or uses; and a list of other data/ imagery sources.

    Sample Resources :

  • The following projects are solving this challenge:

    • Earth Observe Citizen

      CHALLENGE What would you build if you had instantaneous imagery data of the Earth from the past decade? Using openly accessible access to Earth imagery from the past and present create new ways to interact with NASA’s Earth imagery. SOLUTION IDEA [Earth Observe Citizen](http://www.ea... Visit Project

    • ieyt

      see what is the world. how its looks like. find the earth map according to COSMOS and COSMIC calendar. identify where we are in and find what is the universe. Visit Project

    • Environmental observer

      - Recall memory about a place that - See what has been change for time - Remind user the current situation environment to protect it Visit Project

    • know your earth

      This application is made purely for the informative purpose to the user .The app gives the information on different climatic and non climatic information of a certain location such as temperature, population, geography description etc. The information available from the app are historic and prese... Visit Project

    • Gamifying CrowdSource Garbage Collection

      We aim to make garbage collection a fun thing. Human are competitive being so exploiting this fact to solve the global problem is what we are trying to do. We are building an android application through which the user would be able to either post about gar Visit Project

    • Space Debris - Source of Energy

      Space debris are around 600 000 objects with size around 1 sm³ and more approximately 16 000 objects with size more than 10sm³. Attracted to the Earth they can be used as a power source. For example, the Swedish energetic policy is for buying garbage from different countries and transform it int... Visit Project

    • Exploring SpaceTime

      Our team aims to develop a mobile app to enable users to get a view of the changing trend of the earth interactively, by using the timeline and navigation bar. By imaging the earth yesterday and today, users could see or predict the trend of the local or global variables (e.g. climate, snow, temp... Visit Project

    • ImagesEarth

      The app is about the climate change and global warming through the last ten years. Also, it discusses about how to avoid global warming and gives some ideas to prevent pollution. Visit Project

    • Extreme Sports

      Our project is a biplataforma application, especially for extreme sports such as surfing and skiing..., in the last one for example has a very interesting use ,because we can obtain NASA's datas to find the GPS location, temperature, weather, wind among others. With this app , we will t... Visit Project

    • Earth in the future

      We want to improve the knowledge of our past and our future. Visit Project

    • Vics World

      Still to come Visit Project

    • LeadMe!

      LeadMe is a technology that speaks to disaster victims by using recent imagery from a satellite before and after a disastrous event. It's assumed that most people will escape the disaster zone, but this is not always the case and is not always feasible for all people or able to completed in time.... Visit Project

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