NASA opens earth science data, cloud computing to the public as part of new contest

Gigaom

NASA launched a new contest Tuesday for imagining and then building new uses for the space agency’s trove of earth sciences data. The challenge — actually two of them, broken down into the imagination and building stages — kicks off on July 1 and runs through Nov. 15, and utilizes the NASA Open Earth Exchange platform. The exchange’s datasets and informational material, as well as the computing resources for the challenge, are hosted on Amazon Web Services.

This is not the first time NASA has opened its data to the public as part of a challenge. It had previously partnered with TopCoder, a platform for crowdsourced challenges, on a number of competitions. The OpenNEX challenge is in partnership with Innocentive.

Although agencies like NASA, other research institutions and universities still maintain some of the smartest people and best tools in their respective fields, there’s a growing acceptance of what’s…

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