NASA launches Google Mars

3-D site puts data from Mars exploration on the map

NASA, continuing a trend among agencies exploring new frontiers in online mapping, has announced a new Mars mode in Google Earth, providing an immersive 3-D view of the planet available anyone with an Internet connection. Google Mars 3D also gives researchers a platform for sharing data, similar to what Google Earth provides for Earth scientists.

The announcement came on the heels of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s announcement of using Google Earth to depict the Earth's oceans.

Google Mars 3D gives users a view of the planet Red Planet from the Mars rovers, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and other probes orbiting the Red Planet, the agency said. They’ll be able to see satellite images fly virtually through the planet’s canyons and over its mountains.

Users can learn about new discoveries, explore indexes of available Mars imagery and can add their own 3D content to the Mars map.

Data from Google Mars 3D comes from NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., Google, Carnegie Mellon University, SETI, and other institutions. It’s the latest result from a 2006 agreement between NASA and Google to make NASA’s data available.

About the Author

Kathleen Hickey is a freelance writer for GCN.

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