Moon in Google Earth – Demo at Newseum

>>WEISS-MALIK: Hi, everyone.
I’m not quite as famous as everybody else here,
so instead of looking at my face, we’re going to actually
get to look at Google Earth and look at Moon and Google Earth,
and hopefully, that’s a little more interesting. If you haven’t used it, Google Earth is kind
of a little virtual reality globe, so you can drag it around, you can zoom in
and out, you can go find your house is the usual thing.
I quite encourage you to try it, but what we’re really
going to talk about today, of course, is Moon and Google Earth.
Moon and Google Earth is easily accessed. There’s a button on the top tool bar that
looks like a planet. You pull it down, and you pick Moon.
It will transition here, and basically we have the same experience
as Google Earth, but we’re on the moon. You can do all the same things except for
finding your house, basically. You can zoom in, you can look around; there’s
imagery; the base terrain is from the Clementine Orbiter.
The USGS, the U.S. Geological Survey, put together the mosaic.
This strip through the middle is from the lunar metric camera,
or the Apollo metric camera, sorry, that was taken in the Apollo age.
If we zoom in, we can find craters. There’s this crater here that’s kind of interesting.
Unlike the map’s experience, Earth is actually fully 3D.
So we can actually tilt and fly around, and actually get a sense
of the space around these objects, instead of just viewing the imagery.
Additionally, on the left hand side, there’s this list of layers.
So we’re going to do a lot of play between the 3D view in the middle and the layers.
The layers basically turn on and off things, and double-clicking
something goes to it. It’s pretty intuitive.
If we zoom out at this point, there’s also, the name of the crater there…
I’m sure I’m going to pronounce it wrong… but it’s Timocharis,
or something like that. You click on them, you find out info about
them. If you keep zooming out, there’s actually,
these little red squares are featured satellite images.
If you click on those, you get these wonderful, basically,
magazine article style descriptions of what’s going on with annotated images,
and you can read all about what’s going on in these images.
It’s great for classrooms. Then, if we keep zooming out, there’s also
these little red squares, kind of dotting the planet…I’m sorry,
blue squares dotting the planet. These are actually donated video by the Jackson
Space Agency from the [unable to understand] Orbiter.
We won’t play these now; we’ll play some high definition versions
for you later on the full screen. Because that screen is amazing; it’s huge.
If we move along here, there’s… I’m going to go through
each of the layers on this left panel, basically. We have global maps…These are, basically,
global alternate versions. The view that we initially had is what your
naked eye would see. But these are color-coded according to altitude…this
terrain map. And the blue dark areas are basically low-lying
areas, and the brighter colors are the highlands.
There’s a key on the left. Let’s go out of the global maps; let’s get
into some of the best stuff here. Let’s go look at Apollo 11.
If we pop open the Apollo layers, you’ll see these mission badges
for each of them. We’ve got, basically, stories for every landing.
If we double-click the mission badge, we’re actually going to zoom in
and fly right down to the Apollo 11 landing sites.
Give it a second here to finish. Every place mark on the map, once we get down
here, is something that the Astronauts did.
There’s basically stories of all the major activities.
The red dots are basic stories with info. The camera icons are actually photos that
we can fine-tune. We’ll do that in a minute.
The You Tube ones are You Tube videos of their activities.
If we click on the name, Apollo 11, we get this little thumbnail gallery.
This is the way you navigate. Each of these little thumbnails is something
that they did, in sequence. If we click on, say, the TV camera, you can
read about how they deployed the TV camera and how they
tripped over the wiring, almost, and it presented some challenges.
There’s little ‘next’ and ‘previous’ buttons, so you can actually step along
in sequence and see everything that they did. We click ‘overview’ to get back.
Let’s go next, maybe, to the lander. These little photo icons you can see on the
thumbnails. So now we’re going to fly into a street view
style image. This is a 360 degree panorama that the Astronauts
themselves took. What they actually did was take lots and lots
of photos. They stood in place and rotated around.
And, in concert with NASA, we’ve stitched them all together
into these mostly seamless mosaics. Although, if we pan down here, you can kind
of catch a little piece of a leg. We left many things on the moon.
We did not leave part of Buzz Aldrin’s leg, I assure you.
This is just a stitching artifact. But you can zoom in and you can see the footprints.
There’s tons of really awesome, really cool, imagery here to explore.
Let’s exit the photo, and we’ll move on to some video.
So we pop open the Apollo 11 overview button again.
That first video is actually Neil Armstrong taking his first step.
Let’s listen to that, and play that for a second:>>VIDEO: That’s one small step for man…”>>WEISS-MALIK: It looks like our audio feed
isn’t working, but we all know what he says. Let’s try that one more time real quick.
Well, that’s all right; we’ll keep moving. So, as we exit the Apollo 11 segments, let’s
zoom out. This is really exciting.
Somebody described…Laurie described earlier
that Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. Just last week, it took images of the Apollo
11 landing site. The moon is much more than just a single product.
It’s a platform. It’s very easy to put content onto it.
It’s like a web browser. And, so, on quick turnaround over the weekend,
we actually put the images from Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter
into the product. So we can zoom in and actually see…what
we’re going to see here once we zoom in…that strip, that vertical
strip that just loaded is this image that was taken by LRO just this
week. We’re going to zoom in and try to spot…
that little flag guy is where the 11 site is.
As we get closer, there’s a long, black shadow. That’s actually the shadow of the lander.
These images are really amazing. I’m delighted that we were able to turn them
around really quickly and make them in for the product. [applause] Now, let’s pick another mission.
How about we head over to Apollo 17? Apollo 17…this is Jack Schmidt and Eugene
Cernan… they landed in the Valley of S/L Toris Litro.
We can zoom in and, again, this 3-D is really powerful
because it actually gives you a sense of some of the scale of these features.
There’s their spacecraft. There is the valley that they landed in.
We’re going to pan around here. And, of course, as LRO…Lunar Reconnaissance
Orbiter… gathers better and better data, we’ll be able
to improve this and give an even better view.
Let’s, real quick, click on the Apollo 17 overview, and we’ll visit…
how about the image of the Rover? Where is it?
That one…Yep. Just up one.
Now we’re going to fly into it. We’re going back into one of these street
views. This is the Lunar Rover.
We can zoom in again, just like that footprint view,
and take a look at things. As we look at it, actually, we’ll pan over
to the right. You’ll notice that there’s an odd-looking
fender on the real right wheel. We can actually learn a little bit more about
that. Let’s exit the photo.
As we exit the photo, we can then go back to the thumbnail gallery,
and on the top line of the thumbnail gallery, there’s actually a story on this fender.
This was an ad hoc engineering on the moon. I won’t go into detail, but I encourage you
to go look it up. There’s a really great story here.
So let’s go out of Apollo 17, and hit the historic maps.
This is a historic maps layer. This is really cool.
The U.S. Geological Survey put together a series of 20-some
poster size charts of the moon. They describe the geology of the moon, and
there’s also some topographic layers, as we zoom out here.
These are really colorful wall charts. Each one describes a small segment of the
moon. But what we’ve done is paste them all together
so that you can see them on the whole globe in context.
And, in fact, you’ll see that they end. They only cover half of the moon because we
only had information on the side of the moon that faced
us at the time. If we click on one of them, we can actually
zoom in even further. This is kind of unique.
And open up the original poster. So what it’s going to do is zoom in and give
us the whole poster, including the key, so these color-coded areas
represent different types of rock; different types of
geology. And we can actually zoom in and read all about
what the green stuff is versus what the blue stuff is.
These are great for science classrooms. These are great for real science.
These are great for actual mission planning for going to the moon.
And, indeed, they were used in the Apollo era for that sort of thing.
And my favorite little anecdote here, if we go all the way
down to the very bottom right-hand corner and zoom in…
they are for sale for the fine price of $1. But you can get them for free from us in Lunar
Google Earth. So it’s a real bargain.
Let’s exit out of here. And let’s open the human artifacts layer.
This is really cool. This is a list of all the objects that have
been thrown at the moon. Most of them crashed, either deliberately
or by accident. But some of them did land successfully, very
notably. So let’s go find Surveyor 3, because it has
a very particular story behind it. This is a U.S. Lander that landed in 1967.
[unable to understand short phrase] it was a successful project.
As it loads here, we’re going to have an actual little 3-D model of Surveyor.
But what’s really cool is, you can zoom around it, but if we pan up,
what is that in the background but Apollo 12?
So, in case you didn’t know, Apollo 12 actually landed.
They were shooting for Surveyor 3, and they really nailed it.
And they didn’t know until they got out of the LEM and found out.
And, in fact, we have a You Tube video in there
that you can go home and play, where they’re like,
“Hey, man. It’s right over there.” They didn’t realize this until they got out.
You can see it. And if we zoom up, we can see they’re really,
they’re not very far at all. There’s a scale bar at the bottom of the screen,
and it’s hundreds of feet. They really got right there.
The Russians also landed quite a few space craft on the moon.
Let’s go look at the U.S.S.R. real quick. The Luna 21 is an interesting mission.
We make a lot of…we celebrate the Merr missions a lot.
But what a lot of people don’t realize is that Russia actually landed this craft.
This is the main lander. You’ll notice the ramp.
So something drove off of this. Back in 1973, basically, it drove several
miles over several nights. If we zoom in, we can go find it.
This, in my opinion, is the most adorable space craft I’ve seen.
It looks like it’s right out of a cartoon movie.
This is the Luna Cod 2. And as we rotate around it, I feel like it
should be speaking. Moving along…the last thing that we
have to highlight here… we’ve really saved the best for last.
Andrew Chaikin, who will speak a little later, was kind enough to author a tour of Apollo
11 for us. So Google Earth gives you the power to compose
pre-made tours. We’re going to play a little bit of it for
you here.>>AUDIO TOUR: I’m Andrew Chaikin, author of
A Man on the Moon, The Voyages of the Apollo Astronauts.
By July 1969, NASA was racing to meet President Kennedy’s
audacious 1961 challenge to land a man on the moon and
return him safely to the earth by the end of the decade.
Apollo 11 might just be the mission that transformed the moon
from a light in the sky into a place where humans had actually walked.>>WEISS-MALIK: Now, this is not a movie.
This is a lot like a movie; you can pause it; you can fast forward; you can skip.
But while you’re paused, you can drag it around. You are actually in Google Earth.
You can look at a crater that catches your eye.
And when you hit ‘play’ or ‘resume’ it will basically catch right back up.
So let’s…I like, you know, when you read a book you kind of skip
to the end, so let’s skip to the end and see how this all turns out.>>AUDIO TOUR: …final seconds to the
critical moment. “9, 8, 7, 6, 5, [inaudible] stage, engine
on [inaudible], proceed. [rocket blasts off]
…beautiful… 26, 36 feet per second up…
[inaudible]>>WEISS-MALIK: So that’s a quick overview
of Moon and Google Earth. There’s tons of more content to explore.
It’s also…it’s a platform. It’s not just a product.
We hope that NASA embraces it as a tool for communicating,
both within…between themselves, as well as for the public.
In terms of the Apollo stories, it takes the Apollo stories
out of the history books and into on line media in a big way.
It let’s you experience it. So I hope you will all go home and try it.
And, that’s about all that we have for the demo.

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