Feeds

NASA, Microsoft offer new 3D Mars maps

Red planet gigapixel HD probesat cam imagery distilled

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

NASA and Microsoft have teamed up to present huge amounts of 3-D Mars mapping data, gleaned by space probes in orbit about the red planet, in a form usable by anyone with a net connection.

The floor of a large impact crater in the Martian southern highlands, north of the giant Hellas impact basin. Credit: NASA/JPL/University of Arizona

What's not to like?

"These incredibly detailed maps will enable the public to better experience and explore Mars," says NASA's Michael Broxton, a boffin in the Intelligent Robotics Group at the space agency's Ames centre in Silicon Valley.

"The collaborative relationship between NASA and Microsoft Research was instrumental for creating the software that brings these new Mars images into people's hands, classrooms and living rooms."

The map data contains 74,000 images from the Mars Global Surveyor's Orbiter Camera and 13,000+ high-res pics snapped by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter's gigapixel High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera. The complete maps were crunched into mosaics containing more than half a billion smaller images.

The NASA Mars-probe pics are presented to the public using Redmond's WorldWide Telescope platform, which was jointly developed at Ames and at Microsoft Research.

"We are enabling a whole new audience to experience the thrill of space," says NASA's new CTO for IT, Chris C Kemp.

The new 3D Mars maps also include video walkthroughs by NASA boffins Carol Stoker and James Garvin.

Full details and download of Microsoft's WorldWide Telescope are available here: alternatively straight HiRISE imagery can be accessed here. NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter page is here. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
'This BITE MARK is a SMOKING GUN': Boffins probe ancient assault
Tooth embedded in thigh bone may tell who pulled the trigger
DOLPHINS SMELL MAGNETS – did we hear that right, boffins?
Xavier's School for Gifted Magnetotaceans
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge
CSIRO's 'missing bushwalker' found and watered
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.