NASA ‘Earth Now’ iOS App Shows Earth’s Resplendent Climate DataBy: Drew Bowling - March 20, 2012
Morbidly curious to see a global map of carbon monoxide around the earth? Just in time to satisfy that curiosity, NASA has released a new iOS app, Earth Now, that provides visualizations of such types of global climate data. Essentially, the app provides information about some key vital signs that are constantly tracked by NASA satellites. Other climate data available via Earth Now include location-specific information about current surface air temperatures, gravity anomalies around the earth, water vapor, and ozone.
The regularly updated data maps show up as 3D globe containing false color maps and come with a color-coded key to indicate the intensity of an environmental condition. Users can zoom in or out using the traditional iOS gesture of pinching or separating fingers together on the touchscreen.
“Earth Now is a great resource for students, teachers and anyone interested in Earth’s changing climate,” said Michael Greene, manager for public engagement formulation and strategic alliances at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. “Since its debut last month, it’s already been downloaded nearly 170,000 times. Plans are in place for development of an Android version and for the addition of new NASA Earth science data sets over time.”
Earth Now is closely integrated with NASA’s Webby Award-winning Global Climate Change website, http://climate.nasa.gov, which is devoted to educating the public about Earth’s changing climate, providing easy-to-understand information about the causes and effects of climate change and how NASA studies it. The app was developed by the Earth Science Communications, Visualization Technology Applications and Development Teams at JPL, with support from NASA Headquarters.
While this app is fun for all nature science junkies and ecologists alike, there is one caveat, though: the app does require iOS 5 to install on your iPhone.