Animate Your World

2014 Challenge

  • Hashtags:

    #earth, #animateyourworld


    [email protected]


    Data Visualization, Imagery, Model

    Challenge Description

    Unlock the power of NASA’s Earth imagery and build something spectacular! NASA maintains and contributes to a collection of hundreds of terabytes of Earth observation imagery from our numerous satellites, which is available to scientists and the public. The imagery supports applications in air quality, volcanic ash and smoke plumes, drought, dust storms, fires, floods, severe storms, shipping, vegetation, and more. Images from 2012 through today are currently available using NASA’s Global Imagery Browse Service (GIBS) and Worldview browsing tool.

    Build a Cloud-Free Animation: Clouds are one of the biggest challenges in dealing with optical satellite imagery. Satellite imagery allows us to observe changes on Earth’s surface over time, but clouds prevent us from detecting boundaries. This sub-challenge asks you to build cloud-free animations of any location on Earth. You will need a few clear days for the region and time range you select. You can also specify spatial extent and time range interactively through a map interface.

    Share a Satellite Story: Satellite imagery when viewed over time is powerful, such as NASA’s Earth Observatory “View Image Comparison” option. This sub-challenge asks you to develop a user interface to select an arbitrary geographic region, a set of satellite products, and a set of time steps, which illustrate a change (think tracking hurricanes across the ocean, wildfires spreading, snow melting, deforestation in the tropics). After the user makes their selections, the imagery can be animated on-screen, bringing the story to life. That’s only a preview, though - once the user is happy with their story, they can click a button to upload it to a video sharing site and share it with the world.

    Knock Our Socks Off: Using the GIBS API build something that hasn't been done yet.


    GIBS is continually updated throughout the day with the latest imagery (often available within four hours of acquisition from the satellites), providing the capability to address time-sensitive problems as well as ones which span many months. Think of GIBS as themap API and Worldview as a map display application. GIBS serves full-resolution NASA imagery to any client that requests it; Worldview is a client that provides an interface to interactively pan and zoom the imagery requested from GIBS. In addition, GIBS/Worldview can view imagery from Arctic and Antarctic perspectives to provide “full Earth” coverage.

    Solution Ideas

    Here are some ways for you to frame this solution:

    Build a Cloud-Free Animation

    · Use the daily MODIS Corrected Reflectance or Surface Reflectance (Terra or Aqua) imagery products served by GIBS.

    · Provide the ability for the user to select arbitrary spatial bounds and a time range.

    · The output is a series of dates that meet the user’s input criteria.

    · Selection of spatial bounds and time range with an interactive mapping client.

    · Cloud-free imagery output is played back onscreen as an animation.

    · Select the maximum percentage of cloud cover allowable for a given day.

    You may be able apply image processing techniques directly to GIBS imagery using the various spectral bands measured by MODIS. See “What do the different band combinations mean” in the Rapid Response FAQ (e.g., the MODIS 3-6-7 bands show clouds as white and peach).

    Share a Satellite Story

    User must be able to interactively select an arbitrary geographic region, set of satellite products (Terra and Aqua/MODIS Corrected Reflectance are good starting points), and set of time steps. The user must be able to select non-consecutive time steps which will allow them to pick the imagery that best tells their story.

    Once the user makes their selections, the resulting set of time steps can be animated onscreen as a preview. Basic animation controls such as playback speed and looping should be included.

    A “Publish” button should be included which publishes the video to a video sharing site. This sub-challenge is inspired by the capabilities pioneered by There are websites that provide advanced movie generation capabilities by being able to pan, zoom, loop, and more.

    Knock Our Socks Off

    Use the GIBS API to build something awesome! If you’re feeling particularly adventurous and want to modify the GIBS server or API itself, the source code is available.

    Sample Resources


    Sample client 1 using NASA GIBS:

    Sample client 2 using NASA GIBS:

    NASA Worldview app:

    NASA ECHO (metadata API):

    OpenLayers Mapping library: and

    Global Imagery Browse Services (GIBS)

    GIBS available products (e.g., MODIS Land Surface Temperature):

    GIBS access methods (e.g., WMTS, KML):

    GIBS supported clients:

    GIBS metadata is scattered across many sites including

    h ttp://

    Worldview: GIBS client:

  • The following projects are solving this challenge:

    • Animate your world

      Allow user to choose region of interest by click on the map view, choose the prefer layer base on supported from GIBS, adjust time frame to collect images. Composite images to a video using AVFoundation or OpenCV and then upload to Youtube and share via socials services: Facebook, Twitter, G+ ... Visit Project

    • The world in animation

      Allow user to choose region of interest by click on the map view, choose the prefer layer base on supported from GIBS, adjust time frame to collect images. Composite images to a video using AVFoundation or OpenCV and then upload to Youtube and share via socials services: Facebook, Twitter, G+ ..... Visit Project

    • Live Your World by Tally

      Website to generate animations of any region without clouds. Visit Project

    • Time Earth

      The project, allow users to choose a region of interest by creating a polygon on the map view, choose a range of dates to collect images. Composite images to a video using ffmpeg and then share via Facebook, Twitter, G+. We create a process to manipulate images using OpenCV to check the dif... Visit Project

    • cloudfree

      NASA supplies sattelite photos ([like this one](,!MODIS_Aqua_CorrectedReflectance_TrueColor,MODIS_Terra_CorrectedReflectance_TrueColor~overlays,sedac_bound&time=2014-04-02&map=-84.581963,-47.23021,114.964912,47.83229)... Visit Project

    • Solar System Animation

      Solar System Animation helps the users to learn and understand the structure, orientation and rotation of our Solar System. Visit Project

    • Aniworld

      We belive that this project has great future. Visit Project

    • Magellan

      Magellan is the mobile service for actualization of global events, tied to a certain location on the planet, with the function of social communication. Users can find or create locations. For each location downloaded pictures from the satellite + pictures from social networks (by hashtag). User... Visit Project

    • Mars Space

      Mars Space is an application that integrates you years of space travel in an orderly gallery for dates and coordinates.It helps in precise spatial positioning.Science, friends and comments in one place, to communicate with a passion for exploration in seconds .. Visit Project

    • My Earth Observer

      Value Proposition: As a product, My Earth Observer serves as a decision support tool for Agriculturists, City Planners and Aerospace Engineers. Functionality: My Earth Observer works by overlaying NASA images of different geography-based parameters on Google Maps, and allowing the user to ma... Visit Project

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