Your chance to develop an app using NASA data
March 15, 2012 by Terence LEE
The International Space Apps Challenge will be held in Jakerta, Indonesia from 21st to 22nd April to attract developers to collaborate together and create app using thousands of publicly available data sets.
The aim of the hackathon is to “accelerate the development of solutions focused on building innovative solutions to solve critical issues on our planet.”
The Challange will be held on all seven continents, and even in space. It is platform agnostic, meaning, the final product can be a mobile, desktop, or web app.
Indonesia tech blog DailySocial and the US Embassy Jakarta are the co-organizers along with NASA.
The following challenges will be presented this year:
Open Data Challenge — Kepler
The challenge is to help NASA either a) make Kepler data more accessible or b) create something amazing with it. It could be an app that better visualizes the data, an interface that presents the data in a new way, an infographic that helps understand the data in a new way, or more.
Handheld Hardware for Citizen Science
The challenge is to develop plug-in hardware that can be used for any one of NASA’s citizen science missions, such as the creation of a spectrometer, photometer, or other instrumentation. A solution could include an open source framework to allow a variety of external sensors to interface with common smartphones. Sensors could measure atmospheric conditions, the radioactive environment over time, electromagnetic interference, or a variety of other conditions.
Size of the Earth App
Develop an app that facilitates a set of cooperative observations from which the app can determine the size of the Earth. An ingenious Greek astronomer named Eratosthenes, living about 2500 years ago, not only knew that the Earth was round, but was able to accurately determine its size! You and a new friend can do the same, with the assistance of this app!
NASA Planetary Data System Interface
Develop a tool for citizen scientists, educators, and students to access NASA’s Planetary Data System data sets, which is available here.
HTML5 App to access NASA Earth Observations website
Develop a stand-alone HTLM5 tablet app that would reach a large number of citizen scientists using Earth Science Data from the NASA Earth Observations (NEO) website. The website currently provides access to a wide array of missions and instrument data, and the ability to statistically analyze the information. It is focused on Earth Science, but will be extended to include planetary systems datasets in the future.
Preliminary Design for Open Data API
Scope out and design the hooks and actions necessary for application developers to interface with NASA datasets through an API. NASA has thousands of publicly available datasets, ranging from deep-space radiation readings to geospatial imaging of the earth’s surface. While an API exists at data.nasa.gov to read these datasets’ metadata, there is no standard way to access the data itself.
Create Semantic Data Descriptor File
The challenge is the creation of a semantic XML/RDF method for describing the contents of NASA datasets. NASA has thousands of publicly available datasets, ranging from deep-space radiation readings to geospatial imaging of the earth’s surface. Currently, there is no standard way to semantically describe the contents of a dataset in a way that is both easy to understand and machine readable.
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About The Author
Terence LEE - Editor
Terence writes mainly about technology trends and startups in Asia. He believes in crafting smart content: Not just a regurgitation of text, but well thought-out pieces that serve the reader using a combination of data, design, narratives, analysis, and visual impact. His articles have been published on Venturebeat, Yahoo!, Straits Times, Today, and The Online Citizen. He also co-founded NewNation.sg, a satirical news site covering Singapore affairs. Engage him on LinkedIn and Twitter.Read other posts by Terence LEE