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Gosh, but this is gorgeous.

Admittedly, I have a jones for data.  And for maps, too*. And NASA/JPL** and their work.

Screenshot from JPL's Earth Now app, taken by my phone. Click to enlarge. And that tiny purple dot near the bottom of the globe? That's New Zealand, where I live :)

 

All of which means that Earth Now, a recently-released iPhone/iPod/iPad app from JPL, is my idea of phonepr0n.

It shows, on an interactive model of earth, various overlays for various types of near-real time data, coming from NASA’s plethora of Earth science satellites.  Types of overlay include gravity field (shown above), carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, sea level, and a bunch.  With accompanying information.

According to a press release put out today by the fine people at NASA, Earth Now has been downloaded some 170,000 times***.

Said Michael Greene, manager for public engagement formulation and strategic alliances at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

Plans are in place for development of an Android version and for the addition of new NASA Earth science data sets over time.

I’m really glad it’s coming to Android, given the huge number of Android phones out there, although there’s also a small frisson of ‘hah!’, given how many awesome things are available on Android but not iphone * sulk *).

I’m also curious to see, though: to what extent might this app also begin to incorporate environmental data from other sources/organisations?

Anyway – go download it, and show it to your children and teachers and bosses and partners! I now several of my colleagues are Going to Be Shown It Forthwith (some are in meetings now, or at lunch.  pah).

—–

* Although, sadly, I am not quite as hardcore a maplover as these sorts of people (or some of my colleagues, who got all miffed that certain projections had been left out of the list!)

** JPL is the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  Also often thought of as nirvana for space/rocket geeks :)

*** Which is weird, as my phone’s App store says no ratings have been given yet. The iTunes store _website_, however, says it’s had a grand total of 129 reviews, all of which rated it well (4+ out of 5). So there you go :)