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 -
The Largest Virtual Universe!
'...a machine able literally to contain the Universe Itself .' - Stanislaw Lem, 1965.
ARM Wants To Build Brain Chips
'Slivers of microsoft, angular fragments of colored silicon...' - William Gibson, 1984.
Robot Swarms Controlled With Augmented Reality
'You're not thinking in enough dimensions...' - Daniel Suarez, 2009.
Eterni.me - To Skype With The Dead
'Nothing... left of Jeserac but a galaxy of electrons frozen in the heart of a crystal.'- Arthur C. Clarke, 1956.
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.
RFID Chipped Employees Of Three Square Market
'About a third of the people in Manhattan have replaced their Freedom Card with a radio-frequency chip...'
JAXA's Int-Ball Drone To Follow Astronauts In Space Station
'I want you to build me some of those.'
Amazon Patents Annoying Robot That Follows You
'The... machine, being homotropic, headed toward them, still bleating...'
Hand Gestures And Body Poses Control Devices
'He waved his hand... the circuit switched...'
Rovable Robots Crawl Across Your Body
'Most of the crew have the tiny imp ride on their shoulder...'
Sansar Social Virtual Reality Platform In 2017?
'And just as a daydreamer forgets his actual surroundings, and sees other realities...'
Cellphone Harvests Power From Ambient Radio Signals And Light
A battery-free phone.
Desktopography Makes Virtual Desktops Real
'Ender doodled on his desk, drawing contour maps of mountainous islands and then telling his desk to display them in three dimensions...'
LaWS Laser Can Take Out Rogue Drones
Looks like a weapon for the Runaway squad!
Moon Express Lunar Robot Mining: Shine On, Harvest Moon
'The bulldozer moved through the lunar strip mine... '
Liquid Body Armor For TALOS Exoskeleton
'... instantly became rigid all over when something struck it...'
Hyperloop One Video Shows It Works!
'Complete evacuation of the interior of the tubes [and] a wave that provides the new propulsive energy for the cars...'
Chairless Chair Exoskeleton By Sapetti
'Earth's scientists... devised rigid metallic clothing...'
Publishing Technologies In Science Fiction
Well, this should be enough references to start...
Russia Working On Military Exoskeletons
'Вы похожи на большую стальную гориллу...'
3D Printed Bionic Chinese Skin
Your skin is ready!
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories