TerraMetrics Wins $600,000 NASA Research Contract to Make Earth Science Data Easier for Applications Like Google Earth™ and NASA World Wind
Littleton, Colo.—Littleton, Colorado-based TerraMetrics, Inc., announced today that it has been awarded a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II contract through NASA Stennis Space Center to research and develop a technology that allows Internet users to view earth science data on 3D geospatial browsers such as Google Earth and NASA’s World Wind. The two-year effort will also make it easier for third-party providers of aerial photography, imagery and other data, and government agencies such as the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to publish earth science data on the web.
Valuable science data, such as weather, atmosphere, temperature and climate change, are often stored in cumbersome formats that 3D geospatial browsers like Google Earth can’t read. These formats make it difficult to visualize and fuse multiple data sets. TerraMetrics’ new TerraBlocks server technology will store massive, multi-dimensional science data sets in their native format and deliver this data via KML to web-based mapping services and 3D geospatial earth browsers according to user preference. KML, the new international standard for describing web-mapping data and Google Earth’s native language, allows geospatial web browsers to read and visually display data. This is similar to HTML, which allows any web browser to read any web page.
Research activities will focus on the entire process of storing, processing and interactively delivering science data to 3D geospatial earth browsers efficiently. The Phase II work supports NASA’s mission to collect and disseminate earth science data for scientific research, education and general public use.
“Our work has the potential to widely expand the applications for Google Earth and NASA’s World Wind, and provides exciting avenues for using science data,” says Greg Baxes, TerraMetrics president. “With our TerraBlocks server, a web user will be able to retrieve data from multiple sources and overlay this information in these 3D geospatial browsers to create a composite view. This has enormous value for population growth research, watershed management, emergency services, climate change and ocean studies, and much more.”
The Phase II SBIR contract capitalizes on TerraMetrics’ proprietary technique for compressing huge amounts of data into units that can be efficiently stored and interactively served, and on work the company completed for NASA’s Langley Research Center on an innovative flight-based 3D terrain-rendering system.
About TerraMetrics, Inc.
Founded in 1998, TerraMetrics, Inc., is a recognized leader worldwide in providing global satellite imagery, 3D terrain datasets, and software tools to the computer visualization, simulation, web-based mapping and animation markets. The company has recently completed research and development work on flight-based 3D terrain storage and rendering technologies, and is developing a new technology that improves pilot safety during helicopter landings in brownout conditions. For more information, visit
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