Global Hackathon to Use Earth Observing Data to Address COVID-19 Challenges

NASA's Space Apps COVID-19 Challenge invites global teams to use Earth observing data to find solutions to COVID-19 challenges over a 48-hour virtual hackathon May 30 to 31.
Dark square with the words "NASA Space Apps COVID-19 Challenge" in the center; a semi-circular stylized representation of the bumpy COVID-19 virus is at the bottom.

NASA, the European Space Agency (ESA), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the French Centre National d’Etudes Spatiales (CNES), and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) want to see how teams from around the world can use Earth observing data to help solve challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. NASA's Space Apps COVID-19 Challenge will be held virtually over a fast-paced 48-hour weekend May 30 to 31.

Open source data from NASA’s Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS) along with data from NASA’s Space Apps COVID-19 Challenge partners ESA, JAXA, CNES, and CSA will be used to find solutions to challenges related to:

  • Learning about the virus and how it spreads
  • Local response/change and solutions
  • Changes in the Earth system/Earth system response
  • Economic opportunity, impact, and recovery during and following COVID-19

Preview challenges in the hackathon include using Earth observation data to document the local to global environmental changes caused by COVID-19 and the associated societal responses, exploring how human activity and regional land-based human movement patterns may have shifted in response to COVID-19, and identifying patterns and factors that could help predict hotspots of disease spread.

Along with resources from ESA, JAXA, CNES, and CSA, participants will have access to the wide range of data and services freely available through NASA’s EOSDIS. These include more than 34 petabytes (PB) of data at NASA EOSDIS Distributed Active Archive Centers (DAACs) that can be discovered and downloaded using Earthdata Search, satellite-acquired imagery available through EOSDIS Global Imagery Browse Services (GIBS) that can be interactively explored using NASA's Worldview data visualization application, links to data in a new COVID-19 Data Pathfinder that might aid in tracking COVID-19 impacts to Earth systems, and much more.

NASA's Space Apps COVID-19 Challenge is a special edition of NASA's International Space Apps Challenge. This annual event is a NASA-led initiative organized in collaboration with Booz Allen Hamilton, Mindgrub, and SecondMuse. Over the hackathon’s 48 hours, teams work collaboratively developing open source solutions to address global needs applicable to both life on Earth and in space based on specific challenges. The 2019 hackathon was the largest ever, bringing together more than 29,000 participants in 71 countries.

Registration for NASA's Space Apps COVID-19 Challenge is now open. To register or for more information, please go to

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