19 December 2006

Google + NASA = Awesome!

NASA has agreed to give LOTS of data to Google, including "weather forecasting information, three-dimensional maps of the moon and Mars, and real-time tracking of the international space station and space shuttle flights so the pictures and data are available to anyone with an Internet connection."

I'm unclear about what's new to this. Google already has a lot of Moon and Mars data, and if they have elevation info for Mars they should already be able to do 3-D virtual fly-bys, despite Griffin saying it as a new thing. Perhaps this is just much more high-res data? Besides, everything NASA produces is public domain - except images of astronauts, and some research data has a proprietary period, and some probably is classifed, but everything else is freely available - so I'm not clear how this is anything Google couldn't get otherwise. Maybe it's just that it's being handed over smoothly and easily that's the issue. Or maybe Google's just taking advantage of the public domain rights, and Yahoo or anyone else could do this as well.

But yeah, we'll see. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for awesomeness.

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