Mapping Natural Events

Global Nominee

Mapping Natural Events received a Global Nomination.


Develop a web tool, mobile device app or add-on for existing apps or websites that leverages NASA imagery and climate data to illustrate the impacts of our changing Earth in areas of interest to you. Some ideas to explore include:

  • Use NASA Earth observations data, social media, smart phones, and Short Message Service (SMS) text phones to collect Earth observations and connect public in local, regional, and national networks to communicate about our changing planet.
  • Examine current natural events curated by NASA’s EONET (Earth Observatory Natural Event Tracker) by browsing global historical and near real-time imagery from space.
  • Upload images or other data points demonstrating visible observations and how they compare to satellite data. For example, generating early-warning alerts or validating precipitation rates reported from NASA’s Global Precipitation Measurement Mission.
  • Integrate NASA imagery with a mobile assistant to allow for dynamic image generation based on a basic request structure.

How do natural events affect the environment? How does the environment predict natural events?

This application allows users to search for natural event information curated by NASA's Earth Observer Natural Event Tracker (EONET) and generate clickable web-based maps. The user can select a base layer, e.g., a satellite photo (as shown in the feature image), carbon monoxide, precipitation, etc, or can choose not to display a base layer at all. Coastlines, grids, and labels can also be toggled on and off. The EONET search supports search by category (e.g., floods) and number of days to search. When the user clicks on an event, the title and date/time of event appear in the upper right hand corner. The scrollbar at the bottom allows dynamic selection of the date.

This helps the user to see exactly where an event occurred and to visualize natural data around the time of the event. For example, what does the aqua chlorophyll level look like around the time of an algae bloom? Is it possible to see a forest fire on a satellite image?

This application is up and running at . Please feel free to experiment with it.

It is available under the Apache 2.0 Open Source license.

Some potential enhancements are adding more relevant layers from other sources, and finding better ways to deal with projection and rendering issues. Adding geospatial analysis capabilities could also be useful.

Resources Used
  • NASA Geospatial Data (MODIS/GIBS)
  • NASA code samples
  • OpenLayers3
  • JQuery
  • Bootstrap
  • Github
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