Viviendo en Nuestro Mundo

La Tierra está compuesta de sistemas complejos: tierra, agua, aire, seres vivos y el planeta por si mismo. Comprender cómo funcionan juntos estos sistemas es importante. Los desafíos en esta categoría te pedirán que crees soluciones utilizando datos de la NASA (una historia, un juego, un vídeo, cualquier producto que tu diseñes) que capte lo que es vivir en la Tierra.

1UP Para NASA Earth


Tu desafío es crear un nuevo videojuego que utilice datos de NASA Earth, proporcionando a los jugadores una nueva forma de interactuar y divertirse con los datos de NASA Earth. Lo que crees puede informar, educar, inspirar o simplemente proporcionar una experiencia agradable para los jugadores: ¡la Tierra es tu escenario


The late 1900s saw the dramatic rise of both Earth observing satellite missions and the home video game console. Nevertheless, more than three decades later examples of Earth observations within video games are incredibly sparse!

In addition to helping us understand the biosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, lithosphere, and atmosphere, NASA’s Earth Observations have provided a virtual view of our planet as it changes across time. While game developers spend years building digital representations of detailed game components for players’ interactions, NASA’s satellite and suborbital data can provide accurate and breathtaking foundations for the next viral gaming environment.

Potential Considerations

  • You can build a game in any genre – action, adventure, RPG, strategy – the choice is yours!
  • NASA has a wealth of Earth data you can use. Think creatively about how these datasets could be used:
    • Satellite Imagery – decades of Earth imagery that visually represents how the planet looks and has changed across time.
    • Other satellite data – non-optical remote sensing data based on radar, sounder, microwave, ultrasound, lidar, and more! While more challenging to incorporate, these data could add new dynamic components to your game.
    • Ground data – NASA also has access to a large amount of data gathered by people on the ground. These include photographs of sky, ground, and water and even measurements of tree heights.
  • Here are some game ideas, but your creativity beyond these examples is not just welcome, but encouraged!
    • Matching Game – players could flip over a set of Earth images and match identical pairs by memory. This could be run in a competitive format where players are scored by the number of matches they find, or played alone in a more leisurely format.
    • Puzzle – Break a NASA satellite image into pieces and ask players to reassemble it into a complete picture.
    • Geography Quiz – Give players a choice of on the ground images gathered from the GLOBE land cover app and ask them to guess which of a series of satellite images match that location. This will test their ability to identify known global geography.
    • Navigation Challenge – Use Earth imagery as the base for a driving or navigation game. Have players navigate across images of the globe using different colors or features as obstacles that need to be avoided.
    • The land-change map – Allow users access to two images (for example a Landsat image from the 1980’s and 2019) from an area of interest and then over impose the newer image on top of the older one to see changes in land cover. Alternatively, the task could be to identify some aspect of change between images over a limited period of time.

¡Levántate Hacia la Resilencia!


Tú eres un ingeniero agrónomo regional recién nombrado. Tu desafío es desarrollar infraestructuras agrícolas para desafíos complejos en la gestión del agua y la reducción de riesgos. Crea una herramienta para evaluar las características de un área urbana o rural de tu elección e integra infraestructuras agrícolas, o soluciones basadas en la naturaleza, en los planes de desarrollo de esa región para 1) reducir el riesgo de inundaciones y/o sequías, 2) establecer prácticas para un uso sostenible de la tierra, 3) apoyar la gestión del agua, y/o 4) producir oportunidades económicas locales


As a result of climate change, cities are faced with increasing water management challenges – flash floods, sea level rise, and water quality issues, to name a few. Rural areas deal with an additional set of challenges – top soil erosion, low crop resiliency during drought, and increased stress on wildlife.

The most effective approaches to reducing risks associated with these complex challenges are often those that not only address building resilience across multiple interconnected issues but also remove practices that create or exacerbate hazards. It’s no surprise that some of the best solutions for water management and risk mitigation are those that embrace the power of Mother Nature and bring back the green!

Green infrastructure offers an opportunity to build multi-faceted resilience and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Strategic placement of greenspaces in urban areas, for instance, can improve air quality and reduce the urban heat island effect. Greenspaces can also greatly decrease flood risk during precipitation extremes through improved water infiltration capacity, compared to concrete and other impervious surfaces. Increased water retention in the soil simultaneously increases groundwater recharge, thus improving drought resilience as well. As soil microbial health grows in a greenspace, so does the soil’s capacity to sequester carbon. This ultimately helps to reduce global greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere and address the underlying cause of climate-related hazards.

Potential Considerations

  • How will you collect, analyze and visualize multiple data sets to identify areas vulnerable to floods and other hazards?
  • What is the best way to visualize data layers of vegetation and other natural assets?
  • How will you assess best locations to convert grey (buildings, roads, etc.) to green?
  • How can your tool guide planning, mitigation, transition, and restoration efforts?
  • How can you find ways to improve effectiveness of existing green infrastructure?

De mentes curiosas vienen manos amigas


Tu desafío es diseñar y construir una plataforma innovadora para integrar datos satelitales e información sobre poblaciones vulnerables y peligros ambientales con el fin de identificar las poblaciones más expuestas. Sé creativo y abre tu mente. ¿Cómo identificarás a las personas que a menudo son olvidadas, pero que son las que más necesitan ser ayudadas.


The World Health Organization estimates that approximately 25% of human death and disease globally is linked to environmental hazards, and this increases to 35% in particularly vulnerable regions like sub-Saharan Africa. Vulnerability is driven by environmental, social, economic, and physical factors. For example, children and the elderly and those considered socioeconomically disadvantaged can be at greater risk of harm from environmental hazards. These hazards are wide ranging and can include single hazards such as cyclones and earthquakes, or more complex and cascading hazards, such as famine linked to drought, crop failure and population imbalances, or landslides and flash floods impacting development in insecure locations.

These regional variations in risk are driven by the overlap of increased likelihood of environmental hazards and increased presence of vulnerabilities. It is often in these locations where information about environmental and human conditions is most critical, that these data are the most difficult to obtain. Satellite data are often used to fill this data gap to provide timely and accurate information to support the decisions of humanitarian and development organizations that work to aid these communities.

Potential Considerations

Your solution should:

  • Be tailored to a specific environmental hazard vulnerability faced by a particular region, or based on global environmental hazards that make it scalable to any location.
  • Be easy to understand by someone without expertise in remote sensing or humanitarian work. Creativity (and accuracy!) in how you display your data is often just as important as how you analyze your data.
  • Consider that users may be interested in not just where all people are, but more focused on youth and gender issues (ex. girls under the age of 13).

A few data resources to get you started are listed on the side, but be creative in what data you include to best solve the issue you are working on!

¡Apunta más alto!


La NASA construye y opera numerosas misiones satelitales y aéreas que obtienen mediciones y datos críticos para la comunidad científica mundial. Tu desafío es desarrollar una herramienta que permita a las personas identificar satélites e instrumentos de satélite de la NASA mientras vuelan sobre sus ubicaciones en la Tierra. ¡Ayuda a las personas a explorar los datos y las aplicaciones que provienen de instrumentos sobre sus cabezas.


NASA’s Earth Science Division builds and operates many satellite and airborne missions that deliver critical measurements and data about our home planet to the world’s science communities. Currently, over 20 missions and many more instruments on satellites and the International Space Station help us to understand Earth’s atmospheric composition, weather and atmospheric dynamics, climate variability and change, water and energy cycle, carbon cycle and ecosystems, and the Earth’s surface and interior.

In addition, the Earth Science Division’s Airborne Science Program provides manned and unmanned aircraft used in research field campaigns to observe Earth’s changes, obtain data for modeling activities, test and refine new instrument technology, and calibrate satellite instruments.

At any hour, NASA instruments are hard at work, collecting data over oceans, land masses, ice, and everything in between. NASA’s Earth Science Applied Sciences Program helps identify innovative applications for these data that aid decision-making on Earth, thereby helping to improve quality of life and strengthen our global economy.

Potential Considerations

  • Your ‘Earth observers’ tour guide could be an app that sends out real time-alerts for ISS or satellite-flybys, helps pinpoint instrument locations in the sky, and share information about how data from the instrument are used.
  • Be creative in how you engage users to learn more about the instrument, its path, its data, and how those data may have been applied in the users’ own lives!

¡Muéstrame los Datos!


Las fuentes de datos abiertos de la NASA contienen una gran cantidad de imágenes. El mapeo de esas imágenes en un globo terráqueo digital hace que los datos sean interactivos y puede permitir a las personas descubrir relaciones entre fenómenos del ecosistema. Tu desafío es desarrollar una aplicación web de globo terráqueo digital que muestre datos científicos de de la Tierra utilizando Web WorldWind de la NASA


NASA’s open data sources hold an abundance of imagery. Mapping that imagery to a digital globe makes the data interactive and may enable people to discover relationships among ecosystem phenomena. Using a digital globe, such as NASA’s Web WorldWind, this Space Apps challenge involves developing and deploying an interactive web app that enables exploration. A web-app that presents single view of the Earth could present one or more layers of imagery. A web-app multiple views of the Earth can provide side-by-side views of two sets of imagery. A few web-apps have already been developed using NASA’s Web WorldWind. Figure 1 presents a screen shot of NASA World. Figure 2 presents a screenshot of Quake Hunter. Both of these web apps were developed with Web WorldWind.

Potential Considerations

  • NASA World WeatherFigure 1: NASA World Weather
  • Quake HunterFigure 2: Quake Hunter

Skill Level

This Space Apps Challenge requires JavaScript programming skills, an understanding of how to use Application Programming Interfaces (API), and knowledge on how to deploy a web-app. The resources section will provide links to NASA Web WorldWind web app examples and API documentation; also, the resources will provide keywords on how to search for information about web-app hosting. Examples of products from this challenge include: (a) a video presentation that demonstrates a web-app and explains which data sets were used, or (b) a deployed digital globe data visualization web-app.

Keywords for researching web-app hosting include:

  • web-app hosting
  • code repositories
  • how to deploy a javascript web-app
  • what is a web service
  • geospatial web services

The following links leads to NASA Web WorldWind open source 3D globe library, tutorials, documentation, and examples of web-apps developed with NASA Earth science imagery and data from other federal government agencies.

¡Supera tus ODS!


Tu desafío es desarrollar soluciones creativas que utilicen observaciones de la Tierra para abordar los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible de las Naciones Unidas y fomentar el desarrollo sostenible en todo el mundo. Utiliza los datos de la NASA y otros satélites de observación de la Tierra, así como la información generada mediante crowdsourcing y las mediciones in situ para crear aplicaciones prácticas que respalden la política ambiental y social en los ámbitos del agua, la salud, la seguridad alimentaria y/o el uso de la tierra.


In September 2015, world leaders worked together to adopt a universal agenda for all countries and stakeholders to use as a blueprint for progress on economic, social and environmental sustainability. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is comprised of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), 169 Targets, and a Global Indicator Framework, providing countries a management tool to implement development strategies and to monitor and achieve progress.

Earth observations and geospatial information are uniquely suited to being integrated into national information systems and monitoring frameworks to: support the generation of high-quality and timely information; address data gaps; and contribute to the disaggregation of SDG indicators.

You are invited to join global champions in improving world health and education, reducing inequality, and spurring economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests. Your task is to inform the general public and support local managers and public agencies (national statistical offices, ministries, national mapping agencies) by using Earth observations for the tracking, monitoring, and reporting on progress on SDG targets and indicators, with an emphasis on: SDG 3 (Health and Well-Being), SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation), SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities), SDG 14 (Life Below Water), and SDG 15 (Life on Land).

The power to change the world and make it a better place is now in your hands!

Areas of particular interest include:

  • Earth observation solutions to address SDG interlinkages and trade-offs, e.g., linking land use/land cover change or management to freshwater and coastal pollution, and addressing multiple SDG targets through one solution.
  • Solutions to identify, monitor, and address or improve environmental factors affecting human health.
  • Solutions to map and analyze urban population patterns including the proportion of urban population living in informal settlements or inadequate housing.
  • Visualizations or interactive applications to showcase the interconnectedness of SDGs in people’s lives via the use of NASA Earth observation data as well as information generated by crowd-sourcing, social media, and in situ measurements.

Potential Considerations

Some examples of potential solutions include (but are not limited to!):

  • A decision support tool that helps monitor disease patterns, identify environmental factors that contribute to the spread of diseases, such as vector-borne diseases, and specify areas requiring disease-control planning.
  • A user-friendly product that integrates national and global level data including in situ observations from regular monitoring stations for coastal eutrophication/pollution.
  • An interactive application and/or data visualization tool that tracks and visualizes how marine litter/garbage circulates (and is transported) around the world – its origins and/or factors that influence its movement (e.g. ocean currents, other).
  • An analysis and visualization tool that demonstrates how Earth observations can help assess SDG interlinkages and tradeoffs, especially as they relate to the sustainable use of natural resources.

PLEASE BE SURE TO SPECIFY the SDG(s)/Target(s)/Indicator(s) your solution is aiming to address.

The most compelling solutions to this challenge will clearly manifest benefits for user communities – local and national authorities responsible for SDG monitoring and reporting, UN agencies, other major groups and stakeholders – by helping them use Earth observations to address specific SDG targets and indicators on a local, national or global scale.

Detecta Ese Fuego V2.0


Tu desafío es crear una aplicación que aproveche los datasets de incendios forestales casi en tiempo real y de archivo de la NASA, junto con otras herramientas para apoyar los esfuerzos en la lucha contra incendios y ayudar a mitigarlos. Este desafío se basa en el desafío del mismo nombre del año pasado que buscaba ideas y aplicaciones innovadoras que se centraran en cómo participar y permitir a los ciudadanos ayudar en todo el proceso de la lucha contra incendios.


In recent years, wildfires have become a significant threat to communities across the globe. New developments in technologies and data access have enabled citizens to participate in and contribute to firefighting and fire mitigation efforts. In the 2018 NASA International Space Apps Challenge, we received many stimulating solutions on wildfire early detection, reporting, and data visualization in response to the challenge Spot That Fire.

For Space Apps 2019, Spot That Fire V2.0 is calling for innovative ideas and apps that focus on how to engage and enable citizens to assist with the entire firefighting and fire mitigation process. For this challenge, you are encouraged to leverage various technologies, including (but not limited to) machine learning, artificial intelligence, voice recognition, application programming interface (API) development, data science and analytics, Internet of Things (IoT), image processing, mobile computing, cloud services, and computing and edge computing.

Potential Considerations

You may (but are not required to) consider one or several of the following topics while developing your solution:

  • Report a fire: upload text and multimedia (such as picture or video with geolocation), etc.*
  • Verify and screen citizen fire reports: check with NASA fire database, cross-check, verify whether a picture/video is fire-related (through machine learning for example), etc.
  • Notify related people: notify nearby residents and local fire department, notify people driving by, allow people to subscribe to fire warnings, etc.
  • Track and visualize fires: show fire locations and tracks on maps, embed animation, display detailed fire data, etc.
  • Design rescue paths: mark on maps a customized way to a safe area
  • Real-time fire status monitoring and reporting: provide real-time fire status reports and monitoring visualization
  • Predict fire trends: apply machine learning to predict fire trends and direction
  • Personalized support: show the public the nearest refuges, or how to self-support during a fire
  • Voice support: provide voice support in addition to screen-based support
  • Identify major concerns: apply big data analytics to identify core areas/concerns in a fire and notify fire department
  • Emergency social networking: build an emergency social network in a small area to facilitate support from neighbors
  • Build mashups: integrate geospatial data from various sources to provide innovative services to the public (e.g., local weather and local traffic), typically through their published APIs.

(* Note that this is an app challenge instead of a data collection challenge.)

Teams are encouraged to develop and post publicly accessible APIs, containerized images and files, code repositories and digital notebooks, and any other relevant technologies that may allow others to reuse parts of your solution after Space Apps in the spirit of open data!

In order to make your efforts sustainable after the event and allow the community to continue with your innovative ideas, your solution must:

  • Provide a brief description of the app or solution goal and design – what does it do and how?
  • Offer the description (a story) of why this app or solution is important and what insights or future capabilities it provides with regard to fighting wildfires
  • Leverage NASA state-of-the-art technology, including near-real-time fire databases and satellite image processing APIs accessible through NASA OpenNEX
  • Be an open-source project with open and accessible code
  • Provide descriptions and links to other open-source tools used in the development
  • Register back to the NASA OpenNEX. In this way, other people can leverage your efforts to build new value-added apps.

We look forward to innovative apps that motivate, encourage, facilitate, and support this human-based remote sensing initiative on wildfires!

Misión Superficie-Aire (Calidad)


Tu desafío es integrar datos de la NASA, datos de calidad del aire en superficie y datos de ciencia ciudadana, para crear una plataforma de calidad del aire que muestre los datos más precisos para una ubicación y hora. Crea algoritmos que seleccionen o evalúen los mejores datos de varias fuentes para una hora y ubicación específicas, y muestra esa información.


Air pollution is associated with almost 5 million annual deaths worldwide as well as harm to countless others through negative health impacts, from asthma and diabetes to cardiovascular disease and cancer. The World Bank estimates that air pollution costs the global economy $225 billion in lost labor income and $5 trillion in welfare losses annually.

Yet real-time, reliable air quality data are not available in most of the world, leaving people with a significant and harmful knowledge gap. Confusion about what air quality data mean is only growing as low-cost sensors enter the market, companies create their own predictive algorithms, privatized messaging on satellite data streams to mobile applications grows, and countries and companies come up with various ways to present the data, which may not be understood by users. Similar to the U.S. Department of State’s global air quality monitoring system, which has stimulated research and awareness around the world, a transparent model is needed to automatically synthesize data from the ground to satellites into actionable information for the public.

Potential Considerations

Specific solution requirements:

  • Ideally, information would be displayed on a map so people can understand and use it.
  • Provide Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) so people can combine your data with other data.
  • Provide cues for visualization, and documentation about data quality and the logic of the business rules, such as weighting criteria.
  • You must use data from satellites. If open data from official reference monitors and citizen science sensors and models are available then you must use them or provide a justification for not using them. You can also use open data from regional sensor groups.
  • Allow integration of research and new data streams

Other considerations:

  • There may be different approaches for different types of land use (e.g., urban, suburban, desert, forest, other). You can develop air quality surfaces in one or more locations or type of land use.
  • You can include one or more outdoor air pollutants.
  • How can you extrapolate predictive values from intermittent satellite data for areas that have sparse or no ground-based air quality data? How does your forecast fill or handle data gaps?
  • How can you use machine learning or artificial intelligence to enhance predictive and forecast values over time?
  • How can you use data from networks of sensors to understand air quality at a single location?
  • How could you apply land use regression techniques, since these datasets provide more global coverage?
  • How can you ensure that the methodology for the algorithms and surface are open, transparent and iterative?
  • How can you enhance public understanding of what air quality data mean and the differences in data quality from different sources?

Florecer o No Florecer


Tu desafío es resolver el misterio detrás de las floraciones de algas! ¿Qué factores causan floraciones en algunos cuerpos de agua pero no en otros, y cómo podemos predecir mejor cuando van a tener lugar para evitar daños a la vida acuática y humana.


What are algae? If you answered phytoplankton, or plant-like microscopic organisms in water, you are correct! If you answered large hundred-foot seaweeds like kelp, you are also correct!

Algae are diverse, photosynthetic organisms that naturally occur in marine and freshwater systems. They are vital to many ecosystems, supporting aquatic food chains and affecting air quality.

One type of algae, known as phytoplankton, can bloom periodically, just like your house plants.

Certain conditions can cause a rapid, out-of-control algal growth causing “blooms” that can alter the quantity of light and the levels of oxygen in water, causing harm to marine life. Some algae can be particularly harmful to humans, producing toxins that cause rashes, breathing problems, and liver damage.

Several factors that play a role in the occurrence of blooms have been identified:

– Wind and water currents

– Presence of nutrients (such as phosphorus, nitrogen, and carbon)

– Warmer than usual water temperatures

– Extreme events, such as floods, hurricanes, and droughts

– Sluggish water circulation

This list is not comprehensive, so the mystery of what cause algal blooms remains unsolved.

Potential Considerations

  • Consider addressing some or all of the following questions:
    • What is the interplay between known factors that causes blooms in some water bodies and not others?
    • Are there other factors, e.g. seasonality, that affect when and where blooms occur?
    • Do some factors play a larger role in causing blooms in freshwater lakes versus salty oceans?
    • What proximate human activities or events increase the likelihood of blooms in water bodies?
  • Satellite-based images of ocean color, specifically, phytoplankton chlorophyll a, a major light-absorbing pigment, can help identify and forecast the development and presence of algal blooms in water bodies. Specific spectral bands and their ratios can distinguish areas of high algal growth. But are there other clues within satellite-based data that are yet to be discovered?

Calentamiento del Planeta, Ideas Geniales


Tu desafío es examinar los proyectos y sistemas espaciales y terrestres existentes y adaptarlos a tecnologías específicas que ayuden a estabilizar o mejorar el clima de la Tierra, y/o eliminar los procesos que causan el calentamiento global. Tu solución podría ser una tecnología, un movimiento, una idea: ¡deja que tu imaginación no tenga límites.


With a critical impact on everyday life, local and global economies, and human and ecological health, the climate plays a key role in the stability and quality of life on Earth. Through these relationships, the climate also plays a role in the prospective development of the noosphere— the theoretical sphere of thought and consciousness that envelops the globe.

It is common today in the media to hear concerns related to climate, whether it be weather instability, greenhouse gas accumulation, hurricanes, earthquakes, tsunamis, ocean level rise, or even geophysical weapons. With the prospects of these very real threats, it can be difficult to stay proactive when contemplating the climate problem. This challenge encourages you to think constructively to develop creative ways to cool the Earth!

NASA is already partnering with organizations such as private companies, the U.S. Air Force, and the U.S. Navy to develop a new approach to Earth’s climate management that should provide exciting benefits for the planet and people. Their main goals are to explore existing technologies and knowledge to develop an array of solutions for 1) weather stabilization/improvement and 2) elimination of forces or processes that cause Earth’s climate to warm.

Potential Considerations

  • As with most solutions, a challenge you may face will be inviting and maintaining public trust and participation in proposed activities. For example, how will you demonstrate the feasibility and necessity of your solution?
  • Can your solution be implemented quickly? How much will it cost?
  • Don’t forget to check out the treasure troves at your local libraries – there could be new interpretations and valuable information hidden within thousands of publications, scientific reports, papers, concepts – all waiting to be united under the goal of managing thermal processes on Earth.

Donde Están las Cosas Altas


Tu desafío es explorar los tipos de superficie planetaria en todo el mundo y diseñar nuevos productos de datos para tipos de terreno más allá de las capas de hielo, hielo marino, tierra, océano y elevación de aguas continentales.


NASA’s Ice, cloud and Land Elevation Satellite – 2 (ICESat-2) launched on 15 September 2018 and uses a laser altimeter called the Advanced Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS) to measure the height of glaciers, ice sheets, and the height of sea ice. These elevation data are designed to help scientists understand how the height of glaciers and ice sheets are changing, as well as estimating the thickness of polar sea ice.

However, from the vantage point of space, ICESat-2 also collects data over the oceans, continental land masses, and inland water bodies such as lakes and reservoirs. The ICESat-2 mission has developed data products for these different surface types. However, these general surface types only scratch the surface of the different parts of the planet.

Potential Considerations

  • What other surface types are out there, and how could ICESat-2 data be used to characterize them and how they change with time? For example:
    • What do urban areas look like in ICESat-2 data?
    • What can ICESat-2 data tell us about the changes in the topography of deserts?
    • Can ICESat-2 data be used to study changes in permafrost?
    • How does the surface of the ocean look different between the coastal regions and the center of the oceans far from land?
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