Mars...the Red Planet.
Named after the Roman god of war (well, they got it from the Greeks), Mars captivates our imagination. Although it’s only one-quarter the size of Earth, it looms large in our minds, whether in
the fabled mistranslation of the Italian word "canali" as canals, or the fertile imagination of H.G. Wells, Mars has intrigued, confused, and even frightened us.
Launched in August 2005, the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) is flying onboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) mission.
HiRISE will investigate deposits and landforms resulting from geologic and climatic processes and assist in the evaluation of candidate landing sites.
The People’s Camera
The science community and the broader public as a whole are encouraged to participate in HiRISE targeting and data analysis. This will be made possible by several key innovations:
1. User-friendly image targeting via HiWeb (based on the successful Marsoweb site, used for Mars Explorer Rover 2003 mission
landing site selection studies).
- A Web-based clickable, zoomable image data map will allow seamless access to all HiRISE, other MRO, and previous Mars mission data including image, topographic, spectral,
and derived datasets. The interface will allow easy intercomparison of data sets via transparent overlays on the image data map. A key feature will be rubber-band selection of
image targets and a simple justification interface. Similar versions of the interface will be maintained for team members and the general public.
- Anyone may submit suggested image targets, give short justification and list of constraints (e.g. season, signal-to-noise ratio, resolution, etc.). Suggestions will be routed to appropriate
HiRISE Co-Investigators and prioritized for targeting by HiRISE. NASA Quest and other partners will host web events and workshops to provide support to students and educators in the image
suggestion process, in learning more about Mars and to encourage high quality suggestions.
- Online analysis and visualization web tools will allow easy analysis of data (e.g. on-the-fly 3D perspective views of any location on Mars incorporating user-selected data sets, and
online image processing and profiling tools).
2. Public participation in science data generation via Clickworkers.
- Public interest in data analysis demonstrated by 80,000 individual users who collectively identified essentially every impact crater on Mars. Excellent fidelity of results was demonstrated
by comparison to the Barlow crater catalog.
- Users will generate a variety of geologic feature databases and may participate in image validation for the HiRISE team.