NASA World Wind Europe Challenge: Inspiring Solutions for a More Sustainable World

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NASA World Wind EUROPA logo

NASA World Wind EUROPA logoThis is ‘year one’ for the annual NASA World Wind Europe Challenge. The challenge is for small teams of university students – and small businesses – to showcase their talents for developing solutions that serve the spatial data needs of the European Community and respond to the INSPIRE Directive.
The solutions will use NASA’s open-source virtual globe technology, World Wind. Examples of applications that address the Europe Challenge criteria include a wildfire management tool, a tool for urban management, tools for weather display and climate research, and others.
The kind of spatial data applications sought for in this challenge are driven by INSPIRE, Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe. INSPIRE solutions facilitate the discovery, access and exchange of spatial data across European Union member states. The thematic focus of INSPIRE is on information related to environmental applications.

An example of World Wind data, of Yosemite Valley in the United States. Image Credit: NASA.

An example of World Wind data, of Yosemite Valley in the United States. Image Credit: NASA.

NASA World Wind is an API-centric 3D virtual globe technology providing the platform for dynamic access, exchange and analyses of spatial data. World Wind is open source, platform independent and uses internationally embraced open standards. Solutions provided by the Europe Challenge are expected to address the real needs of the European Community. These solutions will be available for the community to continually advance to better serve their needs.
Applications developers using World Wind are able to start with a virtual globe of the real world and build their application with any desired functionality to interactively manage, analyze and display spatial data. The possibilities for data processing and data sharing are greatly enhanced by World Wind’s open infrastructure for spatial data. It is worth noting that this open source and open standards approach, unfettered by proprietary constraints, simultaneously provides for entirely proprietary use of this same technology.
To participate in the Europe Challenge competition, application source code needs to be published until May 31, 2013.
In September 2012, a World Wind Europe Challenge summer school took place. During the three-day workshop, participants received training in the World Wind technology and discussed potential applications for using this technology. The summer school served as exchange platform to establish criteria used in the Europe Challenge.
The Europe Challenge is organized by NASA World Wind, the Politecnico di Milano, and the Hungarian Association for Geoinformation (HUNAGI) and Graphitech. The challenge will typically run for the academic year and climax with honoring the winning team at the plenary awards session of the INSPIRE Conference 2013, which this year takes place in Florence, Italy, in June 2013.
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