Learn How NASA Uses Google Earth For Space Missions

Developer & Design

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Google has shown that it has an interest in space what with its founders funding space missions, and the company sending Bugdroid to space. Beyond that, though, the folks at Google create tools that are invaluable to mission strategists at NASA.

In the latest Google Tech Talk, Matt Deans of NASA's Intelligent Robotics Group, discusses how the U.S. space agency uses a variety of Web tools and Google Earth to create the Exploration Ground Data System, or xGDS. Here's more:

Did you know that NASA uses Google Earth for mission planning and real-time mission operations? Are you curious about the software NASA is developing to carry out future human and robot missions? Would you like to know how modern Web frameworks can be used for data-driven field science?

The Exploration Ground Data System (xGDS) is a suite of reusable software tools for human and robotic missions. xGDS supports mission planning, ingesting and managing geo-referenced and time-series data, and visualization/analysis. xGDS is highly modular, Web-based and makes extensive use of Apache, Django, the Google Earth plug-in, JQuery, and

In this talk, I will discuss the use cases that xGDS was designed to support and describe how it is implemented. I will show how the Intelligent Robotics Group has used xGDS for exploration missions involving astronauts (Arizona), planetary rovers (Canada and Hawaii), and personal submarines (British Columbia and Florida). And, I'll briefly talk about how xGDS can be used for other applications, such as crisis and disaster response.