iEarth From Google, Nasa... Snow Crash?
iEarth is Google's answer to NASA's problem regarding weather data. Every day, NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS) transmits terabytes of data back to ground stations. A terabyte is 1024 gigabytes, or about one trillion bytes, of information.
NASA's EOS consists of a dozen satellites, plus weather balloons and assorted ground-based sensors. Air temperature, water-vapor density, concentrations of selected aerosols across wide swaths of the plate pour in. How can you possibly organize this much information?
(Google Earth - from space)
Enter Google, whose Google Earth application already provides easy access to worldwide maps. iEarth is an application that superimposes this data on top of 3D maps provided by Google Earth.
Picking a spot on the Earth will prompt the application to look through EOS and convert that data into a file viewable from Google Earth.
"This is the first time we've been able to do multi-instrument atmospheric science," says Brian Wilson of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, who demonstrated a prototype of iEarth at this week's meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. "You can pick a specific spot on the planet and, starting with the surface, move up in altitude through the troposphere and stratosphere," he says.
(NASA climate data)
In Neal Stephenson's excellent 1992 novel Snow Crash, Hiro Protagonist is given an amazing service - ordinarily available only to the wealthy - for free.
There is something new: A globe about the size of a grapefruit, a perfectly detailed rendition of Planet Earth, hanging in space at arm's length in front of his eyes. Hiro has heard about this but never seen it. It is a piece of CIC software called, simply, Earth. It is the user interface that CIC uses to keep track of every bit of spatial information that it owns - all the maps, weather data, architectural plans, and satellite surveillance stuff.
Hiro has been thinking that in a few years, if he does really well in the intel biz, maybe he will make enough money to subscribe to Earth and get this thing in his office. Now it is suddenly here, free of charge...
(Read more about CIC Virtual Earth)
Ordinary mortals (as opposed to just NASA staff) will be able to use Google and NASA's iEarth application by next spring.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/20/2006)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 4 )
Related News Stories -
String Art Courtesy Of Robot Artist
The number of different ways to span a thread between a larger number of hooks is astronomical.
Tetraplegics Dominate Avatar Races
Well, just speaking brain-to-computer...
IBM's Grain Of Sand Computer
'Our ancestors... thought to make the very sand beneath their feet intelligent...' - Stanislaw Lem, 1965.
Can An Entire Brain Be Simulated In A Computer?
'The miles of relays and photocells had given way to the spongy globe of platinum iridium about the size of the human brain.' - Isaac Asimov, 1941.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
North Focals Smart Glasses Provide Augmented Reality In Style
'The world ... is drenched in unfamiliar information all the way to the horizon.'
Tesla Driver Caught Napping Behind The Wheel
'Mary Risling settled back for a little nap...'
Hayabusa 2 To Begin Asteroid Mining
'We must dig down, and then doubtless we shall find the metal.'
Ionocraft Drone Powered By Electrohydrodynamic Thrust
'He saw one hiss by him as he rounded the corner, trailing a short whip antenna...'
Purdue Pharma Ready To Profit From OxyContin Use Or Addiction Recovery
'It may be organic damage. It may be permanent. Time'll tell, and only after you are off Substance D for a long while.'
BloxVox Mutes Cellphone Convos
It's the polite thing to do, and has been the polite thing to do for about four generations.
Superfast Replicator: Volumetric Additive Manufacturing
I can't wait. Bring it on.
DNA May Contain Malware
'You were told to embed the logical pathogen.'
I Can't Resist Worm Robots
'Seen close it was not completely flexible...'
Rplate Digital License Plates Now Legal In Michigan
'Gragg's digital ink license plates ...'
Can Musk Starship Astronauts Use Magnetic Boots?
'Walking awkwardly in the magnetic boots that held him to the black mass of meteoric iron...'
Giant Dolphin Spotted On Jupiter!
'Now at last he could appreciate its real size and complexity...'
Musk's Starship An SF Fan's Dream Come True
Perfect for testing, perfect for fans!
TinyMobileRobots Are Sewer Sentinels
Every movie monster gets its start someplace.
Fishy Facial Recognition Now Possible
'Palenkis can identify random line patterns better than any other species in the universe.'
Spicy Tomatoes Created With Genetic Engineering
How about mashed potatoes and brown gravy?
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories