Your Science Zine

NASA releases API for Open NASA Data

NASA as part of the Open Government Initiative has been opening up their servers, releasing petabytes of data to the public. This past week they made that data easier to access and use by releasing an API.

NASA has a lot of data. For example, just one mission – the NASA’s Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) – has stored more then 3 petabytes of data since 2005 in a geographically distributed mass storage system. This is the same amount as the estimated total data size of the Library of Congress. EOSDIS is now downloading more than 7,000 GB a week.  Another mission, the NASA Solar Dynamics Observatory(@NASA_SDO) receives 1.5 TB of data per day. That’s roughly equivalent to 500,000 mp3s each and every day.

As part of the Open Government Initiative, the agency is working to improve accessibility to this data and incentivizing the use of government data by citizens. In 2010, NASA provided three new datasets and 18 other tools, widgets and catalogs to Data.gov – but that was just a start. To address the ever-increasing amount of tools and data catalogs that are publicly available on NASA’s many websites, we have created this directory of publicly available datasets. The directory includes information and direct links to more the 500 datasets, and this is just a small beginning. We’ve initially grouped the data into 9 broad categories and have generously used tags to make the directory searchable.

This is great news for both Open Science as a whole and any Citizen Scientists with a little programming know how.

Via NASA Hack Space