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Data from NASA's Missions, Research, and Activities
02.04.10
NASA has a long history of placing large amounts of data online for members of the public to use. Recently, on January 22, 2010, we provided three new datasets and 18 other tools, widgets and catalogs to Data.gov. Of the 18 new widgets and catalogs, three of which stand out as chosen descriptive tools indicative of NASA's products:

  • NASA World Wind is a web service and open source project with nightly builds which allows people to zoom from satellite altitude into any place on Earth, leveraging satellite imagery and mission data, and thus experience Earth terrain in visually rich 3D. NASA World Wind Java is also a plug in to allow third party users to customize their own information through the World Wind Java widget;
  • Global Change Master Directory is an integrated platform with continuously updated information about the planet's vital signs, including the rising global temperature, size of the ozone hole, the rising sea level, and the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere;
  • The Planetary Data System is an archive of data products from NASA planetary missions, and it has become a basic resource for scientists around the world.
The three new datasets provided to the "raw" data catalog are available in a machine readable format and updated as new data is received from NASA's spacecraft:

  • On Earth is the most current, near-global image of the earth available, updated each day in a KML format. Taken from the MODIS instrument on the Terra and Aqua spacecraft, this data will improve our understanding of global dynamics and processes occurring on the land, in the oceans, and in the lower atmosphere. MODIS is playing a vital role in the development of validated, global, interactive Earth system models able to predict global change accurately enough to assist policy makers in making sound decisions concerning the protection of our environment;
  • Tropical Surface Current Velocity is a dataset of estimates of the horizontal near-surface currents of the Tropical Pacific ocean. The near-surface velocity is directly derived from sea surface height, wind velocity and sea surface temperature. This data provides an unfiltered velocity field, on a 1deg X 1deg grid with a 5day resolution;
  • Land Surface Temperature at Night is a global map which shows the temperature of Earth's lands during the nighttime. Taken with the MODIS instrument on the Terra and Aqua satellites and aggregated into monthly datasets in a KML format, this temperature dataset is a measure of how warm or cold Earth's lands are at night. This dataset is useful for understanding where it is too hot or too cold for food crops to prosper, and general influences on weather or climate patters.
NASA has provided public insight into its operations for many years, from publishing its employee directory online to providing human capital information query-able in many ways. Since NASA's inception, we have publicly archived all of its data received from spacecraft projects, including over 4TB of new Earth Science data each day. There are tools and geodata catalogs available to allow scientists and the public to access NASA's raw data. When accessed through these Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs), tools and catalogs, the user gets more value out of the aggregated data than it would alone. NASA is committed to receiving public and employee ideas for additional high-value datasets, particularly datasets from the institutional and procedural realms of NASA activities and providing new datasets to the raw data catalog on data.gov giving greater insight into the inner workings of the U.S. space program.

Additional sources of NASA data include:

NASA on Data.gov

› Tool Catalog→
› GeoData Catalog→
› Raw Data Catalog→

Earth Science Data

› Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS)→
› Goddard Earth Sciences Data and Information Services Center→
› NASA's HEASARC Web-based Tools→
› Global Change Master Directory→
› Goddard Institute for Space Studies Earth/Climate Change Data→
› CEOS International Directory Network→
› USGS/NASA Landsat Data on New Earth Explorer
› Ocean Color →
› On Earth→
› Gateway to Astronaut Photography→
› NASA Earth Observations→
› Visible Earth→
› NASA Earth Observatory→
› LandSat 7 Datasets for MultiSpec→
› Earth Plus→
›  International Space Station EarthKam →
› Physical Oceanography DAAC→

Space Science Data

› National Space Science Data Center (NSSDC)→
› National Space Science Data Center (NSSDC) Master Catalog→
› Planetary Data System (PDS)→
› FERMI Mission Data→
› HelioViewer (beta)→
› Virtual Solar Observatory→
› Sun Grazing Comets from SOHO/STEREO→
› Space Weather Action Center→
› Multiwavelength Milky Way →
› Observable Comets →
› Solar System Dynamics→

Data for Educators

› My NASA Data→
› NASA Quest QNA Database→
› NASA on the National Science Digital Library→

Desktop Data Tools

› Multispec Data Viewer→
› High Energy Astrophysics HERA Tool→
› NASA World Wind→

Miscellaneous Data

› NASA Human Capital Information→
› NASA Employee Directory→