This project is designed to incorporate the software done to import NASA data in the rest of the Challenge into an Open Source map server as native importers. That way the software will be preserved and made accessible and provides a way to continue the work. I started with an Open Source MapQuest server. Thanks to other people working on this challenge I found the Geoserver Open Source map server. It supports the MapQuest format data in the Challenge spec but many more. It is so popular you can buy any one of several books written on how to use it. The goal is to make NASA more accessible and the tools being incorporated in this popular map server will do that well. Another barrier to accessibility the data is scattered in many places. The server can have these locations available linked to the importer needed. I have worked on Open Source projects and plan to start one to get this to grow into something that can access most if not all NASA data. I am in school now and just finished Final Exams but I have over 20 years of software development, including designing large systems and project managing their development for General Motors and the Air Force.

This project is solving the EarthTiles challenge.


The project is designed to make NASA data more accessible and make the ways to access it simple and easy to use by baking the ability to access NASA data into a popular GIS and Map server.. By making it a fork of a very successful map server it would have all the benefit of wide exposure and several books written on the Geoserver I chose making the need to provide documentation is lessened or even eliminated if we make regular importers in the standard format the server uses for NASA data. I am negotiating whether this will be a fork of the software or incorporated into this popular server. You can go to the link I provided to find out more about the Geoserver.

It quickly became evident that NASA has massive amounts of data so success would mean failure using the current Relational Databases, The project is also designed to provide a common NoSQL database for NASA scale data to be held. This will be usable with standard Machine Learning and other tools developed to work with huge amounts of data of Terabyte and Petabyte sizes.

The Cassandra database server was chosen for its performance, scalability and dead simple setup. The setup requirement definitely affects accessibility and I went to great efforts in the design to make it simple to use. Cassandra has no "Master' it is a true Peer to Peer system. All you have do do is get the software, add the IP addresses of other servers if you want to Import their data and the data is imported and kept updated. The server is designed to function as a caching server so you don't need massive data stored to use it. You could choose the importer and location of many NASA data sets as layers and then choose layers and box out an area to have the data for that location to display it. It will also be in a database that is used to process massive amounts of data if you wish to import all the data and there is a lot of software to do data mining on this database and it is growing. This is where the action is in processing "Web Scale" terabyte and petabyte data. So moving this into a Geoserver that both displays and provides a way to do analysis of the data seems to be what you would want to provide - a way to display the data and do analysis. I have worked on Open Source projects and given the number of space enthusiast with a little help from NASA it think this could be a success.

Project Information

License: MIT License
Source Code/Project URL:


Test Server -
Cassandra Database -
Geoserver -