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Tech journalist since the dark ages. Windows Secrets, LangaList newsletter, Windows Magazine (NetGuide, Home PC), Byte, Popular Computing, yadda yadda yadda. Google me, if it matters.

This feed is mostly personal interest; it's NOT my professional writing. There's tech here, yes, but also lots of general science and some politics and weird humor thrown in.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

NASA seeks volunteers for "ground truth" observations

NASA wants to improve its satellite cloud observations by having volunteers take picture from below clouds--- showing conditions as actually experienced, or ground truth --- at the same time that satellites are recording the image from up top.

NASA says: "With such simultaneous satellite and ground observations, scientists can compare the two perspectives to determine if satellites are missing any important details. The combination offers a more complete picture, and it provides a better basis for global records of clouds."

There are two versions of the project.

The first is open to anyone:
"Rover – The Rover project was designed for the citizen scientist community... and allows the observers to make observations from permanent and non-permanent locations. Roving observers report their observations with a unique Rover nickname so that they can track their observations and temporal satellite matches."
There's also a version of the program specifically designed for students:
"S’COOL – The Students’ Cloud Observations On-Line (S'COOL) project was designed for the traditional school setting. When your class registers to be a SCOOL observer, your teacher will be registered under a specific latitude and longitude for which you will submit observations as a class. With the teacher's user name and password, the teacher can log in and review the class's observations and temporal satellite matches. These cloud observations are stored in the S’COOL database so your class can track their progress and compare their observations to those of other classrooms."

More info and sign-up data: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=84662&src=eoa-iotd