Join ESA, NASA and JAXA for the Earth observation COVID-19 hackathon

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20/05/2021
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Do you have ideas on how Earth observation data can solve some of the challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic? If so, ESA, NASA and JAXA invite you to join a virtual Earth Observation Dashboard Hackathon taking place on 23-29 June. Registration for the hackathon opens today.

Earth observation data have proven crucial in documenting changes in the environment owing to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In June 2020, ESA, NASA and JAXA (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency) in an unprecedented collaboration joined forces to create the Earth Observation Dashboard, an interactive platform that combines a wealth of data from Earth-observing satellites to monitor the worldwide impacts of COVID-19.

To celebrate the one-year anniversary of the dashboard, coders, scientists, entrepreneurs and all space enthusiasts are invited to join the online Earth Observation Dashboard Hackathon. Participants will create virtual teams and solve challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic using data from the Earth Observation Dashboard. The challenge topics are: air and water quality, economic, social and agricultural impacts, greenhouse gas effects and impacts on the interconnected Earth system.

During the seven-day hackathon, participants will have the opportunity to interact with experts from NASA, ESA and JAXA in virtual chats, submit projects and offer solutions to improve the dashboard. The winning teams will have the opportunity to incorporate their solutions into the Earth observation dashboard.

ESA’s Acting Director of Earth Observation Programmes, Toni Tolker-Nielsen, said, “We have created a dashboard that allows us to have a time-series of critical information over different areas, and therefore compare information. I am particularly glad to say that this is not only a European effort, we have joined forces with global space powers NASA and JAXA and really combined our assets.”

Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s Associate Administrator for Science shared, “NASA, ESA, JAXA represent a unique and valuable human asset: Earth-observing instruments in space that we can use every day to benefit society and advance scientific knowledge about our home planet. Our three space agencies realised that if we could combine forces, we could bring a more powerful set of analytical tools to bear on this fast-moving crisis.”

“In the face of the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, the three agencies created the ‘Earth Observing Dashboard’ to release the joint analysis results of satellite data last June. We would like to welcome many proposals to solve the challenges using this website,” said Koji Terada, Vice President and Director General for the Space Technology Directorate at JAXA.

Registration to the hackathon is now open. To register and for more information on the hackathon, visit Earth Observation Dashboard Hackathon.

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